The PGA Championship is one of the most prestigious golf tournaments on the PGA Tour calendar, and the 2023 edition is right around the corner, with the first tee shots taking place on the morning of May 18. The Oak Hills Country Club in Rochester, New York, is the stunning venue for what will be one of the most exciting and spectacular golf tournaments in 2023, but which of golf’s superstars are most likely to join the long list of all-time greats in becoming the PGA Championship’s worthy champion?
Some of golf’s elite-level players have lifted the PGA Championship trophy aloft over the years. The legendary Jack Nicklaus won the title five times between 1963 and 1980, with Tiger Woods becoming the PGA Championship champion on four occasions. Other winners include the likes of Vijay Singh, Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka, Rory McIlroy, and reigning champion Justin Thomas. Three of those former winners are among the favourites in the latest PGA Championship betting odds online, but those odds suggest there will be a new, first-time champion come to the final putt.
Jon Rahm Is the 2023 PGA Championship Favourite
Spain’s Jon Rahm, the current number three in the PGA Tour Rankings, is a narrow favourite in the race to win the 2023 PGA Championship. The 28-year-old is a phenomenal talent, with estimated career earnings rapidly approaching $50 million. Those almost unbelievable earnings are helped by Rahm’s 11 victories on the PGA Tour.
Two of Rahm’s PGA Tour wins were in major championships. The first came in 2021 when Ram triumphed at the U.S. Open, beating Louis Oosthuizen by one stroke after finishing six under par. Major title number two came as recently as April 9, when Rahm became the Masters Tournament champion, finishing 12 under and four strokes ahead of the chasing pack.
Surprisingly, Rahm’s record at the PGA Championship is not too great. He tied for fourth in 2018 but missed the cut the following year. He then tied for 13th, then tied for eighth, before finishing joint 48th in 2022. However, he played some scintillating golf during his Masters victory, so he is the man to beat at the 2023 PGA Championship.
New Jersey’s Scottie Scheffler climbed to the PGA Tour rankings summit in March 2022 and held onto the number one spot for the next 35 weeks; he is the current number one. Scheffler only turned pro in 2018, yet has already made a name for himself with some outstanding results on the PGA Tour and in the tour’s majors.
Scheffler shot a four-round score of 278, ten under par, on his way to winning the 2022 Masters Tournament. He finished a staggering 19 under at the WM Phoenix Open in February 2023 before shooting 17 under as he won the 2023 Players Championship five strokes ahead of Tyrell Hatton.
He has only played in three PGA Championships, tying for fourth and eighth before missing the cut in 2022.
Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy won the PGA Championship in 2012 and again in 2014. Recent events involving the Irishman could mean he is fired up more than ever as he embarks on a journey to complete a PGA Championship hat trick.
McIlroy was one of the hot favourites to win the recent Masters but missed the cut for the second time in three years, prompting him to withdraw from the RBC Heritage tournament in South Carolina. As the RBC Heritage is one of 12 designated events on this year’s PGA Tour schedule, McIlroy looks set to miss out on up to $3 million of his Player Impact Program payment. Although McIlroy does not need the money, it seems he withdrew so he could get his head back in the game, and a laser-focused McIlroy is an incredible golfer.