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PGA CHAMPIONSHIP 2022 PREVIEW & PICKS by @NelsonsGolfTips

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By @NelsonsGolfTips

Southern Hills Country Club

The 104th PGA Championship and the Wanamaker trophy will return to Southern Hills Country Club; this is the only club to host four PGA Championships and now five.

The last time it hosted was when the great Tiger Woods won by beating Woody Austin by two shots, let’s hope we see the master back where he belongs.

As you would expect the field assembled is a stellar one.

The market is a three-way heading with new world number one Scheffler, Rahm and Mcllroy with Thomas, Morikawa and Johnson close by.

COURSE

Southern Hills Country Club is located in Tulsa, the Championship course, it’s a par 71 featuring three par 5s and four par 3s measuring 7481 yards.

This course was designed in 1936 by Perry Maxwell and renovated in 2019 by Gil Hanse.

Seven major championships for men have been hosted here, four PGA Championships (1970, 1982, 1994, 2007) and three U.S. Open (1958, 1977, 2001). It’s also hosted the first-ever U.S. Womens mid-Amateur in 1987, and 2021 senior PGA Championship.

The greens were all redone with Pure Distinction bentgrasss, underground drainage pipes were all brought to the surface to create a creek system running throughout the golf course.

Cozby the director of golf at Southern Hills says Hanse’s restoration work has made the course more aesthetically pleasing, while probably also making it a bit more difficult.

Listening to Hanse talk about the renovation and regeneration was so insightful, he talks about how he wanted to strip the course back to its former glory,

He goes on to explain that Hes opened up the fairways and returned the edges to the greens creating run offs so any errant wedge shot will be punished. 

10th Hole

Hanse has gone on to say, the changes are evident on many holes on the course, but they stick out most clearly on nos,10,17 and 18, holes that will play a pivotal role in determining the 2022 PGA Championship.

The first hole is a very challenging opening hole. It’s long (451 yards) and the green complex runs away from you. It’s a good hole to hit the centre of the green and walk off with a par.

The 200-yard par-3 sixth hole was a thorn in the side of many a player in 2007, Angel Cabrera ruined his chances by shooting a 10.

Hanse has moved the seventh green back 40-50 yards, The fairway slopes from left to right with the creek coming into play more now on the right side, making it even more important to hit the green.

The par four 15th– 417 yards, is noted to play as one of the top five most difficult holes in a major Championship. 

I’m confident in saying that this will be an awesome venue, that has made a change for the better and will be remembered for an amazing Championship.

HISTORY

PAST TEN WINNERS

2011 Bradley 272

2012 Mcllroy 275

2013 Dufner 270

2014 Mcllroy 268

2015 Day 268

2016 Walker 266

2017 Thomas 276

2018 Keopka 264

2019 Keopka 272 

2020 Morikawa 267

2021 Mickleson 282

Last year’s event was won by Phil Mickelson won’t be defended this year, which is such a shame.

WEATHER

The weather this week should be ok with winds expected to be as high as 10-20 mph, there maybe a few stray showers on the Saturday, and highs of 74. The weather shouldn’t affect the outcome of the Championship.

ANGLE IN

So, looking through what little stats we have, there are some small tit bits, looking through past winners we have Goosen winning here and at Shinnecock hills in 2004, and Floyd winning at both venues, we also have Pavin second here and winning at Shinnecock.

After listening to Hanse its apparent this is going to be a second shot competition with accuracy off the tee and GIR an essential, we will be looking for someone who can navigate round the course and has a solid scrambling game.

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PICKS

BROOKS KOEPKA  33/1 3PTS EW BOYLE 11PLS 1/5 ODDS

This man needs no introduction to the PGA Championship Hes a twice winner of the Wanamaker trophy and two time us open, champion, he also has 8 PGA Tour wins to his name.

Brooks has been struggling of late with his what with his injured wrist, then his both knees had to be sorted, he couldn’t even bend down to read a putt.

Koepka is quoted as saying, I’m playing fine so fine is where I’m at, in short battered Brooks is gone, Brooks the destroyer of the world, is back. Adjust your bets accordingly.

His recent form reads MC-T5-T12-MC-T16-MC-T2, and his stats are SGT2G 108TH-SGOTT 70TH-SGAPR T110TH- GIR 131ST– SGARG 156TH– SGPUTT T76TH.

As you can see the stats are not great but this is no ordinary person, this is a major winning machine that smell glory again.

CAMERON SMITH 18/1 3PTS EW BOYLE 11PLS 1/5 ODDS

We couldn’t leave such a good player out who has this year, and has been consistently there, Hes won twice already, with a wind at the 5th Major the Players Championship and 1st at the Sentry Tournament of Champions.

Cameron has had a couple of missed cuts along the way, but both only by two shots, so that can be excused, his last outing was in the doubles format, the Zurich classic where he T21 with his partner Leishman.

His results this year read, T21-MC-T3-1ST-T37-T4-1st-MC, his stats on the course are, SGOTT 143RD– SGT2G 28TH-SGAPR 6TH-GIR 6TH SGARG T37TH-SGPUTT 4TH.

Cameron is one or if not the best iron player on the tour, and with the open wide fairways its essential to have a good iron player, he also never gets flustered and we defiantly need a calm head in a Major Championship, I’m hoping to see that mullet bouncing down the 18th fairway with a smile on his face.

VICTOR HOVLAND 20/1 3PTS EW 11PLS BOYLE 1/5 ODDS

The smiling assassin is ready and for me going to take one of his many majors in waiting, his quest so for a major has yielded little luck, his best finish was T12th at the US Open in 2019 and T12th at the Open Championship.

Victor has already won three times on the PGA Tour with him winning the Mayakoba Classic twice and the Hero world championship, Hes already won once this year in Dubai.

There has only just been one MC this year and four top ten, Victor is on top of his game with him up to world number 6, his iron play is second to none and he will be contending come Sunday.

His stats this year read as, SGOTT 12th- SGT2G 37th -SGAPR 3rd – GIR 17th- SGARG 210th- SGPUTT 50th. As you can see Victor is still weak around the greens but every week, he grows stronger and better.

Have trust in seeing that big smile come Sunday and lift his first major.

HIDEKI MATSUYAMA 28/1- 2PTS EW 11PLS BOYLE 1/5 ODDS

The enigmatic Hideki is going for his second major after capturing the fairy tale Masters last year, which will not be forgotten for some time in Japan.

Matsu has made a solid start to the year, he started where he left off last year, and won at the Sony Open in Hawaii, Hes only played eight events this year, not sure why but I do know Hes competed well.

His form this year has yielded one win, four top 20s and a WD, he defended his Masters with a creditable T14th, he also has some good form in past majors, T2 US Open 2017- T4- 2016 PGA Championship- T6- 2013 Open Championship.

Hideki’s stats this year read as SGOTT 62nd -SGT2G 13th-SGAPR 12th– GIR 12th– SGARG 49TH – SGPUTT 154th.

The stats speak for themselves, and for Hideki to win this then he needs a good week with the putter, when he won the Sony, he gained 1.82 with the flat stick so it can be done. 

Matsuyama has the all-round game to become the PGA Champion, his approach play is a sight to behold, so let’s get on him and make some money.

MATT FITZPATRICK 33/1 2PTS EW BOYLE

So far, his first PGA Tour victory has eluded Matt, Hes come close on a few occasions recently, Hes had five top ten so far this season, with a T2 at Wells Fargo the most recent. 

He gained +1.19 OTT and +3.20 in total at Potomac and was probably undone by the torrential rain 

Fitzpatrick has seven DPWT victories to his name, with his last coming in the Abu Dhabi Championships in Dubai.

Matt has the guile off the tee, and will help him to get around this course, Hes’s 6th in SGT2G and 15th SGOTT, and as you can see, he 24th SGAPR which will be vitally important in this tournament.

Matt is also third in scrambling this year and with the rough around the creeks and greens, it could prove invaluable. 

TOMMY FLEETWOOD 66/1 0.5PTS EW 11PLS BOYLE

I’m adding another Brit to my selections, world number 43 has been ultra-consistent this year without getting his head in front, his approach stats all year have been solid, only at the Honda has he not gained on the field.

In all recent Majors Hes always been there about without winning, which shows he has the mentality for it, Hes come close a few times with a 2nd and 4th in the US Open and 2nd in the Open championship.

His results this year are, MC- T10TH- T14TH- T35TH – T16TH –T22ND –T20TH –MC –T8TH –T12TH. As you can see three top ten and 6th top 20s.

His numbers this year read as SGOTT 92ND – SGT2G 52ND– SGAPR 133RD – GIR 178TH –SGARG 4TH – SGPUTT 8TH.

Although his numbers don’t read as you would want, tommy hasn’t got so many top ten without playing well, and Hes only one good round away from his first PGA win.

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