Embed from Getty ImagesTHE 2022 PGA CHAMPIONSHIP begins on Thursday at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In January 2021 the PGA moved its 2022 championship to Southern Hills from Trump Bedminster in New Jersey.
Purse: $12 million
Winner’s share: $2 million +
Trophy: Wanamaker Trophy, named for Rodman Wanamaker, who started PGA of America and PGA Championship
2021 champion: Phil Mickelson
Scoring record: 264 by Brooks Koepka in 2018 at Bellerive CC
How to watch: Televised all four days on ESPN and CBS. Streaming via ESPN and CBS Sports apps.
Designed by Perry Maxwell and opening in the late 1930s, Southern Hills has hosted seven men’s majors: four PGA Championships and three U.S. Opens. The course was tuned up in 2018 by course architects Gil Hanse and Jim Wagner. They removed trees, decreased rough near greens, increased bunkers and restored the width of fairways.
The par-70 layout will play over 7500 yards, about 300 yards longer than in 2007 when Tiger Woods won his fourth PGA Championship. There are only two par 5s, both in excess of 630 yards.
The PGA Championship always has a strong field. This year’s field of 156 players includes 17 PGA champions, 34 major winners, three Ryder Cup captains, 70 points-earning players, and about 20 PGA club pros who qualified in the PGA Professional Championship in April.
THE PGA IN MAY
The PGA Championship moved to May in 2019, the year Brooks Koepka successfully defended his title. It has worked well. The PGA was formerly played in August, the last and least popular of the four majors. The weather was hot to unbearably hot, and, despite its great field, the championship did not garner nearly as much interest. The crowded golf calendar helped move the PGA to earlier in the year, creating more interest, and the better weather opens up more venue opportunities.
PHIL MICKELSON WILL NOT DEFEND
2021 champion Phil Mickleson will not play, only the third PGA champion in 75 years to not defend his title. The other two were Tiger Woods in 2008 and Ben Hogan in 1949, both due to injuries.
Phil also skipped the Masters, and has not competed on the PGA Tour since late February when his controversial comments surfaced about LIV Golf (a Saudi-backed golf series) and the PGA Tour, where he has won 45 times and earned millions.
TIGER WOODS WILL PLAY
Tiger is at Southern Hills, “a lot stronger,” he said. Woods, 46, made the cut at the Masters, a tremendous achievement considering that it was his first start since a 2021 automobile accident that resulted in serious injuries, including nearly losing his right leg. At Augusta he played well early in tough conditions but struggled on the weekend, especially with the putter.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Much of the field, including these guys:
World No. 1 and Masters champion Scottie Scheffler
Jon Rahm, 2021 U.S. Open champion
Justin Thomas, 2017 PGA champion
Brooks Koepka, 2018 and 2019 PGA champion
Rory McIlroy, two-time PGA champion
Colin Morikawa, 2020 PGA champion
Jordan Spieth, three-time major winner looking for first PGA title
Dustin Johnson, two-time major winner looking for first PGA title
A few more, all looking for a first major victory:
Americans have won the last six PGA Championships.