The second major of 2023 begins Thursday at the iconic Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, N.Y.
The 156-player field will take on the Donald Ross design that will play far differently than the last time the PGA visited Oak Hill 10 years ago. The course underwent a major renovation three years ago that included hundreds of trees being removed and three completely new holes added.
The Par 70 track will play very difficult at 7,394 yards — more than 250 yards longer than in 2013 — and our golf experts provide key notes along with their favorite prop picks and best bets to win this week.
Location: Rochester, N.Y., May 18-21
Course: Oak Hill Country Club, East Course (Par 70, 7,394 yards)
Defending Champion: Justin Thomas
FedEx Cup leader: Jon Rahm
HOW TO FOLLOW
TV: Thursday-Friday, 1-7 p.m. ET (ESPN); Saturday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. (ESPN), 1-7 p.m. (CBS)
Streaming on ESPN+: Thursday-Friday, 7 a.m.-1 p.m. ET; Saturday-Sunday, 8-10 a.m.
–Adam Scott to Beat Wyndham Clark (+100 at DraftKings): Clark is coming off his first PGA Tour victory at the Wells Fargo and has two other top 10s in his past five starts. He is in good form but doesn’t have a wealth of major success to fall back on. He finished T75 at the 2021 PGA — his best-ever finish at a major to date. Scott has quietly found his own solid form. The former Masters champion has twice finished third at the PGA, and is coming off a T5 and a T8 in his past two starts.
–Jon Rahm to Finish Top 5 (+160 at BetMGM): Rahm is the pre-tournament betting favorite along with Scottie Scheffler, but he’s almost certain to be in contention come Sunday even if he doesn’t win. He has teed it up only twice since winning the Masters, including a runner-up in Mexico in his most recent start. Outside of a three-event slump ahead of Augusta, Rahm has four wins and six top-5s in his other eight starts in 2023. This has been the second most popular Top 5 finisher bet at the sportsbook behind Xander Schauffele at +300.
–Talor Gooch to Finish Top 30 (+140 at DraftKings): We’re including a LIV player prop in the mix because the odds here are too good to overlook. Gooch has won a pair of LIV events this year and posted a solid T34 at the Masters. He is coming off a disappointing T36 at LIV’s event in Tulsa last week, but Gooch tied for 20th at last year’s PGA and could be a quiet darkhorse contender this week.
2023 Prop Picks Record: 21-27-1
–Scheffler (+750 at BetMGM) finished T5 last week and has a pair of top 10s in three previous PGA Championship starts. He has a streak of 12 consecutive finishes of T12 or better on tour, including a win at The Players. Scheffler opened at +1400 but his odds steadily shortened as he’s third in the field in both total outright winner tickets (6.2 percent) and money (9.2 percent). He is being offered at +700 at BetRivers, where Scheffler leads the field with 15.5 percent of the money backing him to win.
–Rahm (+800) is attempting to become the first player to win consecutive majors since Spieth in 2015. He’s coming off a runner-up at the Mexico Open and has also won two other designated events this year. The Spaniard leads the way at BetMGM with 8.3 percent of the tickets and 12.0 percent of the money backing him to win.
–Rory McIlroy (+1400) is seeking to end a nine-year major drought but has claimed two of his four majors at the PGA. His wife, Erica, is from Rochester and he is an honorary member at Oak Hill. McIlroy is also +1400 at BetRivers, where he is sixth in the field with 4.3 percent of the money.
–Brooks Koepka (+2200) has been in good form on LIV Golf and finished second at the Masters after entering the final round with the lead. He also has won two of his four major titles at the PGA. Koepka has been the most popular LIV player with the public this week, having drawn 7.5 percent of the bets and 9.7 percent of the money to make him BetMGM’s biggest liability.
–Justin Thomas (+2200) is looking to become the first player to successfully defend a major since Koepka at the 2019 PGA Championship. However, he has not won since last year’s PGA Championship and missed the cut at the Masters.
–Cameron Young (+3300) has yet to win on the PGA Tour but he did finish T4 at last year’s PGA and has knocked on the door numerous times in his young career, including runner-up at the Match Play before a T7 at Augusta. A native of Scarborough, N.Y., this is somewhat of a home event for Young, who is the third biggest liability at BetMGM.
–Oak Hill will play host to its seventh major championship but first since the 2013 PGA Championship won by Jason Dufner.
–Only seven players in this week’s 156-player field remain from the 2003 PGA at Oak Hill won by Shaun Micheel.
–Only once in the past decade has the Wanamaker Trophy been won by a player ranked outside of the Top 50 in the world. That was in 2020 by Collin Morikawa, who enters this week ranked No. 16.
–Jordan Spieth will make another attempt to become only the sixth player to win the career Grand Slam. However, he did withdraw from last week’s Byron Nelson due to a wrist injury and missed the cut in his PGA Championship debut in ’13. Spieth is still among the betting favorites, having drawn 4.9 percent of the money at +4000 at BetRivers.
–Four-time PGA Championship winner Tiger Woods is not in the field after undergoing ankle surgery last month. Will Zalatoris, who lost to Thomas in a playoff last year, is the only top 100 player not in this week’s field as he recovers from back surgery.
–Nico Echavarria and Ben Griffin are among 16 players making their major championship debuts.
–World No. 4 Patrick Cantlay is the highest-ranked player yet to win a major.
–Koepka holds the tournament scoring record of 264 set at Bellerive in Missouri in 2018.
–2011 Korn Ferry Tour Player of the year J.J. Killeen is one of 20 players who qualified through the PGA Professional Championship.
–Field Level Media