The PGA Tour is in the midst of a month-long break during the month of December for the holidays, but things ramp back up in the new year, we will over the 2022 PGA Tour Golf Majors.
Starting with the Sentry Tournament of Champions from January 6-9. A tour of the western states follows with some bigger tournaments scheduled for March, including the Arnold Palmer Invitational, The Players Championship, and the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play.
After that, we get into the meat of the schedule—major season! There’s a major per month for the next four months, starting in April and finishing in July.
While we await the return of the 2022 PGA Tour Golf Majors, odds are out at Jazz Sports for golf’s four majors. We’re going to preview the big events today, looking at the favorites and a few potential long shots to jump on.
Last year, Hideki Matsuyama became the first person from Japan to win the tournament at 10-under, beating Will Zalatoris, who would end up at the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year in 2021, by one stroke to capture the title. Jordan Spieth and Xander Schauffele were tied at seven-under while Jon Rahm and Marc Leishman were at six-under in fifth place. Rahm shot at six-under 66 on Sunday to move up the leaderboard into the top five. Justin Rose was seventh, Patrick Reed and Corey Conners tied for eighth, and Tony Finau and Cameron Smith were tied for 10th.
After Tiger Woods, at 21 years old in 1997, broke the tournament record by shooting an 18-under 270 and then winning again in 2001 and ’02, the course was lengthened from 6,925 yards to 7,270. It was further lengthened to 7,445 in 2006 and the greens were made more difficult as well.
Spieth tied Woods’ record in 2015 on the more difficult version of the course, and the record stood until 2020, when Dustin Johnson shot at 20-under 268 in winning the tournament in the fall of that year, after it was postponed from the traditional April period due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
You’ll notice a theme as you look at the odds for the four majors—World’s No. 1 golfer Jon Rahm is the favorite at each event. It remains to be seen how he will perform after his sabbatical that began in October at the Andalucia Masters. He will be returning for the Sentry Tournament of Champions, refreshed and ready to go. At Augusta, Rahm is finished in the top 10 four-straight times and has shot at or below par in 15-straight rounds.
Jordan Spieth, after enduring a four-year winless streak, rebounded for a strong 2021 campaign, and that included a third-place finish in the Masters, coming back from a 46th place finish in 2020. He’s finished in the top three in five of his eight attempts in this tournament, including his win at -18 in 2015.
Another name you’ll see a lot toward the top of the charts is Rory McIlroy, but he has the most favorable odds of the four majors here in the Masters, which is because he has not yet won here. But after resetting his game following a defeat at the Ryder Cup, McIlroy won The CJ Cup, led most of the way at the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, on the European Tour, and had a nice showing at the Hero World Challenge.
Collin Morikawa may be one of the hottest golfers on the planet but he can be had at +1800 because he’s finished in 44th and 18th in two starts at Augusta. Xander Schauffele, also at +1800, is the reigning Olympic gold medalist and was a top-3 finisher in two of the last three Masters Tournaments.
If you’re looking for a longshot, consider Zalatoris, who finished in the runner-up spot here last year in his first shot at the Masters. He also had top-10 finishes at the PGA Championship and U.S. Open last year, so at +4000, he’s already proven to be a strong contender in majors.
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The surprise result of the year took place in the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island in South Carolina, as Phil Mickelson became the oldest winner in the 161-year history of the four major golf tournaments by winning the event at age 50. Even though he shot a 1-over 73 in the final round, Mickelson still won by two strokes over Brooks Koepka and Louis Oosthuizen.
Southern Hills Country Club is the only course to host the PGA Championship four times, and this year will be the fifth. It was last held at the Tulsa, Oklahoma club in 2007, when the event was won by Tiger Woods. The course is par 71 and measures in at 7,481 yards.
Rahm isn’t as large of a favorite here, and we think that Morikawa could be a strong contender here, as he’s among a top group of golfers at +1400. The 24-year-old’s game has been compared to Woods, and when Tiger won here in 2007, he said that he hit many fairway woods and irons off the tee to deal with the course’s many dogleg holes. Morikawa, who has already won two majors, is one of the best at the approach game and is proving himself to be a clutch golfer in big tournaments as well.
Dustin Johnson is at +1600 and is a contender at any major. He’s been in the top-five going into the final day in 13 majors over the course of his career. Johnson is coming off a historic 5-0-0 run at the Ryder Cup, so DJ pocketing another major this year is something that shouldn’t be a surprise. Another golfer who had a hot fall is Viktor Hovland, and the Norwegian star lives in Oklahoma now.
He won the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba for his third-career PGA Tour win and followed it up with a victory at the star-studded Hero World Challenge in December, which is an invitation-only unofficial money event. Hovland is at +2200 mainly due to the fact that he hasn’t yet contended in a major, with a best finish of 12th in the seven events he’s competed in. But Southern Hills could be a spot for him to break out.
If you’re looking for someone not on the odds board to back, take a look at Jason Kokrak. Southern Hills has been compared to Colonial, and Kokrak won there in last year and was third in 2020. In addition, Kokrak has had a nice finish to 2021, winning the Houston Open and then the QBE Shootout as well.
Hideki Matsuyama may also be able to get back to basics here, a month after defending his title at the Masters. Matsuyama is a golfer who likes to do his work away from the spotlight, but as the defending champion at Augusta, plenty of attention will be given to him. A month later, Matsuyama will able to get back to golf, and he does have a win this fall at the ZOZO Championship when the pressure was on in his home country of Japan.
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Rahm, again the favorite in this event at +1000, is the defending champion, having won last year at Torrey Pines after shooting a 4-under in the final round to defeat Louis Oosthuizen by one stroke. Morikawa and Brooks Koepka, always a contender at the U.S. Open, tied for fourth at 2-under with Harris English third at -3.
The U.S. Open generally produces a champion that’s in the world’s top 25, had played the event at least three times, and is under the age of 35. The tournament provides a tough mental and physical test, and the winners reflect that.
Brookline is hosting its fourth U.S. Open and it’s first since 1988, when Curtis Strange won a playoff over Nick Faldo. It hosted the U.S. Ryder Cup’s comeback win over Europe in 1999 and played host to the U.S. Amateur in 2013, which was won by European pro Matt Fitzpatrick. A number of holes from each of the club’s three courses are put together to create the Championship Course that will host the U.S. Open this year. It measures 7,312 yards and is par 70.
In addition to Rahm, Brooks Koepka is a staple at this event. He won in 2017 and ’18 and was tied for fourth last year and has a runner-up finish as well. While he was slowed a bit by injuries over the summer, he came back to soundly defeat rival Bryson DeChambeau in The Match V, a made-for-TV duel on Thanksgiving Day. In his last 16 major appearances, he’s finished in the top 10 in 12 of them. Even though Koepka had what he called a down year in 2021, he still finished in the top-10 in three of the year’s four majors.
We talked about Schauffele at the Masters, but he should be a contender at any major. Among his 18 starts in majors, he’s finished in the top 10 in 50% of them and in the top 5 in a third of them. He’s also five-for-five in top-10 finishes at the U.S. Open, and now that he’s the reigning Olympic gold medalist, it would be fitting for him to win America’s national championship of golf.
We’ll talk about Oosthuzien in a bit, but his second-place finish here is worth noting. The South African, after winning the 2010 Open Championship, has been tantalizingly close to winning another major, as he had 54-hole leads at the U.S. Open and The Open Championship a year ago.
One longshot who has yet to win this year on the PGA Tour but is in the top 10 in FedEx Cup points is Matthew Wolff. He was leading in the final round of the 2020 U.S. Open before settling for a second-place finish, and he was fourth at the 2020 PGA Championship. He contended for three wins in the fall portion of the 2021-22 season, and that usually is a good sign of things to come. Perhaps Wolff’s time will be in one of the majors in 2022.
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The Open Championship will garner plenty of attention this year, as it’s the 150th edition of the event and will be taking place on the Old Course at St. Andrew’s, known as “The Home of Golf.” The course has held The Open 29 times, most recently in 2010, when Louis Oosthuizen won his only major and PGA Tour event.
Oosthuizen also set a tournament record for 36 holes with an 11-under 129 last year before giving way to Collin Morikawa, who won the event on Sunday at Royal St. George’s and winning The Open in his first try—the first person to do so since Ben Curtis in 2003. Morikawa shot a 66 in the final round, as did Jordan Spieth, who finished in second place.
St. Andrew’s is a par-72, 6,721-yard links-style course. Zach Johnson won the last edition of The Open here in 2015. Oosthuizen won in 2010, and Tiger Woods won back-to-back at St. Andrew’s in 2000 and ’05.
Morikawa proved to be adept at links-style golf last year and also won the season-long Race to Dubai title on the European Tour by becoming the first American to win the DP World Tour Championship event in Dubai. Spieth will also be a top challenger here, as he is a former winner of the event. Rory McIlroy, who is towards the top of the odds board in all four majors, is another former Open Championship winner who hails from nearby Northern Ireland and would love to add another Claret Jug to his mantle.
Oosthuizen is at +2200, which is a nice price for someone who dominated last year’s event and is a former champion at St. Andrew’s. Dustin Johnson, +1600, performed well at the Ryder Cup, going 5-0-0 in his matches on a Whistling Straits course in Wisconsin that is a links-style course.
The tournament has also been known to produce some surprise winners, as Irishman Shane Lowry won in 2019 and Francesco Molinari was victorious in 2018. Another long shot to look out for is none other than Tiger Woods, who is at +5000.
Woods hinted during the Hero World Challenge that he would love to play at St. Andrew’s this summer. He took part in the PNC Championship in December, playing with his son, and looking strong on the green and the iron game on their way to a surprising second place finish. Woods admits to having a long way to go while recovering from a car crash in February 2021 that severely injured his leg, but he has seven months from that event in Orlando to get his driver back into form, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him make an appearance in the final major of the year, if not before.
We mentioned him before, but another name to look out for that isn’t on the odds board at this event is Viktor Hovland. Despite playing more on the PGA Tour, Hovland cut his teeth on the European Tour and is at +2800 odds to win at St. Andrew’s.
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