2022 PGA Tour Preview
2022 PGA Tour Preview
Written by Ian Robins
Augusta National Golf Course
2022 is here and the PGA Tour resumes its season with a tournament every week for the next 38 weeks! This is an exciting time in golf, with expanded tv coverage, bigger prize pools, and social media prize money. Betting on golf has grown tremendously in the past few years and we get more and more options. With countless ways to bet on a tournament and action each week, there is no better time to get into the game than this year. Let's look at some general handicapping strategies, the top players on tour, some new names to look for this year, and some potential breakout performers.
Betting on golf can be a fun and exhilarating weekend sweat. It is important to understand the many different types of wagers that are available to you and how to manage your bankroll over a weekend. Top 10s, 20s, 30s, and 40s are ways to hedge players against outright play. Matchups are also a nice way to play with just one player vs another. It's best to shop around for pricing and matchups as books all vary.
Each course is unique with challenges and skill sets needed, however, there are certain characteristics that lend itself for certain players to excel. One big thing to look out, is course designers. Certain players are better with certain designers and that can be applied to different courses. Si Woo Kim is an ace at Pete Dye design courses as an example. You can find value using this strategy.
TIme of Year
Weather, location and time of year can factor in for betting players. Certain players are better on the west coast, others better in Florida, some are best in Texas, others prefer coastal and windy conditions. Some like the courses hot and prefer the middle of the summer. All of these are handicapping factors that go a long way to building a card.
Top 10 Players
Viktor Hovland is a star on the rise. But he's plenty happy hanging out around his alma mater.
(Credit, Stephen Denton)
10. Tony Finau
Tony is the surprise on this list, as I think this is the year he breakthroughs for multiple wins and an almost unstoppable force. Finau ended his run on a huge note last year, with a win in the first event of the playoffs. Finau has been an auto play at top 10 at majors. He has been very consistent and so close to breaking through. I do believe Tony will win multiple tournaments this year and be in contention for majors. Top Major Prediction: Runner up at Masters
9. Hideki Matsuyama
Matsuyama, the defending Masters Champion, took the green jacket and never looked back. He has also been one of the top players on tour and finally broke through with the major victory. Hideki followed up his tremendous season with a win in the CJ Cup on his home soil in Japan this fall. Hideki is poised to continue his great play into 2022 and will be a contender in all majors. Top Major Prediction: Top 5 in Masters
8. Jordan Spieth
Spieth had a rebound in a huge way last year and put himself back on the top of the PGA tour contender list. Speith is one of the most exciting players around, and no doubt makes the tour better when he is. Look for Spieth to be at his best in wide open courses that have some challenges. He will also be atop all of the major leaderboards. Top Major Prediction: Top 5 in Open Championship
7. Xander Schauffle
Xander is the Olympic Champion, but still is missing the PGA traditional victory. Xander is an amazingly consistent player, awesome in smaller fields, and really improved all parts of his game. Xander is a consistent top 10 in major events and a safe bet to see a win come through this year. Top Major Prediction: Top 5 in all majors
6. Viktor Hovland
Hovland is on the brink of being considered the top player in the world. He has been nothing short of spectacular this fall and has won in the US, in Europe, in Mexico, and in the Bahamas. Hovland’s biggest weakness is his short game, but has worked hard to improve that. He also needs to limit his blow up holes, which should come with maturity. Hovland could have a “Morikawa” type season like we saw last year and take off into the number 1 discussion. Top Major Prediction: PGA Winner
5. Justin Thomas
Justin Thomas had a mini revival at the end of last year when “Bones” took over as his caddy. Thomas lost all confidence with his putter, but changed equipment back to his old putter and that combined with the new caddy partnership has him primed for a huge 2022. JT should contend out of the gate and will look to add his 1 major championship and reclaim his spot at 1 in the world. Top Major Prediction: Top 5 Masters
4. Bryson DeChambeau
Bryson is one of the most polarizing figures on the tour, but there is no denying his talent and ability to win at the highest level. Bryson has changed the way so many play the game. His biggest weakness is his approach game, but his touch in and around the green and his long driving ability are elite. Those will allow him to compete at any tournament he is in. Look for more improvements this season and more wins with it. Top Major Prediction: Top 5 US Open
3. Rory Mcilroy
Rory struggled when the tour returned from Covid, but has regained his elite form both overseas and on US soil. Rory still provides some early value on odds boards, but his talent, elite driving, and putting ability seem to be back. Rory is a threat at every tournament he is in this year and looks to be back among the elite golfers in the world. Top Major Prediction: Top 2 in Open Champs
2. Colin Morikawa
Morikawa surged to the top of the golf world last year to be in the debate as best player in the world. Morikawa followed up his WGC win with a win in the Open Championships, followed by a Race to Dubai Championship as the World Tour champion. Morkawa struggled with a back injury during the FedEx playoffs last year, but came back when he was healthy to prove his greatness and claim the European championship. Morikawa is one of the best closers on tour and relentless when he can taste victory. Expect Morikawa to continue to be considered the top player in the world and more championships to come. Top Major Prediction: Top 5 Masters, and Top 5 PGA
1. Jon Rahm
Rahm is the most talented player in the world. The only part of his game that has underachieved is his performance to win at Majors. Rahm finally got his first major victory at the US Open last year and should add to that this year. He is an elite driver, approach player and putter. Rahm is the most consistent player on tour and one of the few that can finish in the top 10 of every major, like he did last year. Expect him to add to his major total in a big way this year and hold off some of the younger players to keep his title as top golfer in the world. Top Major Prediction: Master’s Champion
Jon Rahm reacted on Sunday after sinking a long putt on the 18th green during the playoff of the final round of the BMW Championship in Olympia Fields, Ill.
(Credit, Tannen Maury/EPA, via Shutterstock)
Newcomers to Watch
Rai is a two time winner in the European who decided to go for his PGA tour card this year. He earned his card with a runner up finish in the first event of the Korn Ferry Tour playoffs. Rai is a name that we have seen at the top of leaderboards at WGCs and Majors in the past year and has been a consistent player in Europe. He is not the biggest hitter, but a very consistent ball striker who seems primed for a breakthrough. Rai finished off the fall season in fine form, after struggling early on tour. He seems to be more comfortable now on US soil , and will be someone to back at bigger numbers as we head into the spring.
Herbert really started to make his splash on both the European Tour and PGA tour at the end of the summer swing. He had consistent top 20 finishes in his few starts in the PGA tour and quickly followed that up with a win in Europe. He then came back to the US to earn his tour card in the Korn Ferry Playoffs. Herbert showed his prowess as a winner, by taking home the Bermuda Championships during the Fall swing. He is an excellent wind player, and someone to keep an eye on with tougher courses. Herbert will be one to watch on the early west coast swing.
Pendrith was one of the most consistent performers on the Korn Ferry Tour this past season, despite not getting a win. He showed his true acumen when he played in the Majors and smaller PGA tour field. Pendrith made the cut at the US Open, and followed up by being in contention at almost every event he played. Pendrith instantly becomes one of the biggest bombers on tour and has a nice soft touch around the greens. He excels at hard courses and could make an early splash. Pendrith showed off as one of the better drivers and putters during the fall season. In a game where long hitters have an advantage, Pendrith may be the best of the bunch.
Kanaya is a name that will not be a week to week mainstay on tour, but he will show up for the Majors, WGCs, and potentially the match Play. He also could get some invites to some smaller events. Kanaya is a former Number 1 ranked Amatuer golfer and has been dominant on the Asian tour. Kanaya has some experience in some World Tour (formerly European Tour) events and has been consistent in the top 20. Kanaya is super talented and will be on the PGA tour within the next 2 years to compete, if not sooner. If Kanaya is entered, expect the Line Movers to back him.
Aaron Rai secured his PGA TOUR card with a second place finish at the Albertsons Boise Open presented by Kraft Nabisco. (Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
As we preview some potential breakout players on the tour this year. These players will be ones not in our Top 10 with the potential to win a Major. All players are in the top 30 and are on the cusp of taking the next step into the top tier.
Niemann was a solid contender and cut maker all season. He is super talented and improved his short game tremendously as the summer went out. Niemann seems to be a better player in the warmer weather, but has shown versatility to contend at many different course styles. Look for a potential win this season. Best Major Prediction: Open Champs
Scottie is maybe the best player left on tour yet to have a win, after a tough final stretch at the Houston Open a few months ago. Scottie was also runner up at the Match Play last season. Scheffler does his best work at the tougher course and better field events. It's a mystery how he has not won yet and really needs to get one this year. He is so talented at the Majors, it would be no surprise to see him win one this year. Best Major Prediction: US Open
Abe Ancer: Ancer broke through with a win at the WGC- St. Jude last season. Ancer is one of the better short course players, and is super skilled with his irons and short game. Ancer has been in contention in many of the majors already and seems ready for the big breakthrough. Best Major Prediction: Masters
Conners took a big leap last year from good golfer to potentially top tier. Conners is one of the best ball strikers on tour, with his long iron game being nothing short of elite. Conners also contended at some of the toughest events, showing that he does belong amongst the best. He has been best in some tougher courses and can be a major player this year. Best Major Prediction: US Open
Getty Images - Scottie Scheffler