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PGA Championship 101

PGA Championship 2022: Frequently Asked Questions

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Andrew Redington

After a quiet stretch on the PGA Tour schedule, the season heats up once again with the 2022 PGA Championship, which will be held at Southern Hills in Tulsa, Okla. Fifteen years ago, the 2007 PGA Championship was contested at this same venue, and it may have been the hottest (temperature) major ever played.

Tiger Woods outlasted both the field and the record-setting heat that week, claiming his 13th major title by two strokes over Woody Austin. He makes his return to Southern Hills this week, much older and much more broken down, but seemingly ready to give it a full go. Woods surprised the golf world by returning to the 2022 Masters after many thought we wouldn't see him again until the Open Championship later this summer at the earliest, and 2023 at the latest.

The course will look a little different than it did in 2007, as well-known architect Gil Hanse restored the Perry Maxwell design to have it ready for another major championship. It will also be a lot less hot thanks to the new May date for the PGA, with a high temperature of 91 degrees on Thursday, 24 degrees cooler than it was on Sunday at the 2007 PGA. After that, temperatures are predicted to drop considerably as the week rolls on.

It should be an excellent second major of the season. Below, we'll answer any and all frequently asked questions you may have about the 2022 PGA Championship at Southern Hills.

When and where is the PGA Championship being held in 2022?

This year’s PGA Championship will be held May 19-22 at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Okla. The venue last hosted the PGA in 2007, when Tiger Woods won by two strokes over Woody Austin. The week was one of, if not the, hottest major championships ever played, with record-setting heat in Tulsa during Sunday's final round. The Perry Maxwell design ranks No. 1 on Golf Digest's "Best Courses in Oklahoma" list, and it should long remain there after well-known architect Gil Hanse and partner Jim Wagner completed their restoration project that began in 2018.

Has Southern Hills hosted any other majors other than the 2007 PGA Championship?

Yes, in addition to the 2007 PGA, Southern Hills played host to the 2001 U.S. Open, which South Africa's Retief Goosen won in an 18-hole playoff over Mark Brooks. It previously hosted the 1994 PGA Championship won by Nick Price, the 1982 PGA Championship, won by Raymond Floyd, and the 1970 PGA Championship, which Dave Stockton won. It also hosted two other U.S. Opens—the 1977 U.S. Open won by Hubert Green, and the 1958 U.S. Open, which Tommy Bolt won.

Who conducts the PGA Championship?

The Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) of America conducts the event.

Are the PGA Tour and the PGA of America different?

Yes, the PGA Tour and the PGA of America have been independent of one another since 1968. The PGA Tour is an elite organization of tournament professionals, while the PGA of America is made up of club and teaching professionals who work at on- and off-course golf facilities around the country (and the world).

When and where was the first PGA Championship played? And who won?

The first PGA Championship was played in 1916 at Siwanoy Country Club in Bronxville, N.Y. England’s Jim Barnes won, 1 up, over Jock Hutchinson.

Wait, 1 up … so was the PGA Championship a match-play event at one time?

Yes, from 1916 to 1957, the PGA Championship was contested as match play with a stroke-play qualifier. During the course of the championship, it was not uncommon for players to play more than 200 holes in seven days. Starting in 1958, the PGA Championship switched to the standard 72-hole, stroke-play format. Dow Finsterwald won the first stroke-play version of the event in 1958 at Llanerch Country Club in Havertown, Pa.

How many players are in the field?

There are 156 players in the field at this year's PGA Championship. Fourteen of those players are former winners of the event, and 20 of them are PGA Professionals. The rest of the field earned spots via a number of different exemptions, which are laid out here.

How do club professionals earn one of the 20 spots?

The PGA of America fills the 20 spots held for club professionals for the top finishers at the PGA Professional Championship, which was played one month ago in Texas.

Has a club professional ever won the PGA Championship?

Not in the modern era of the PGA Tour. According to PGA.com, the best performance since 1970 by a club professional playing in the PGA Championship was a third-place finish in 1971 by Tommy Bolt, a former tour pro who had retired from the tour. The last top 10 also came from a former tour pro—a very famous one—turned club professional: Sam Snead in 1973. Only one club professional has finished inside the top 20 in the last 30 years, Jay Overton in 1988 at Oak Tree. Prior to 2021, only three had made the cut in the previous seven years: Ben Kern at Bellerive in 2018, Omar Uresti at Quail Hollow in 2017 and Brian Gaffney at Whistling Straits in 2015. But in 2021 at Kiawah Island, two clubs pros made the weekend: Ben Cook, who tied for 44th, and Brad Marek, who finished 78th.

Can amateurs play in the PGA Championship?

The PGA Championship is limited to professionals only, meaning amateurs cannot qualify.

What does the winner of PGA Championship receive?

The PGA champion receives the Wanamaker Trophy, the largest trophy of the four men’s majors. In 2021, the winner also received a top prize of $2,160,00, 18 percent of the $12 million purse. (The PGA of America hasn't announced what the purse is for 2022.) Traditionally the winner also receives automatic invites into all three of the other majors and the Players Championship for the next five years, PGA Tour membership for the next five years and DP World Tour (formerly the European Tour) membership for the next seven years. They also become eligible to compete in the PGA Championship for life.

Who won the 2021 PGA Championship?

In one of the major shocking major wins in recent memory, Phil Mickelson claimed the 2021 PGA Championship at Kiawah Island for his sixth career major title, his first in eight years. In the process, he also become the oldest major champion of all time, winning at the age of 50 years, 11 months and seven days old. On Sunday, he outlasted four-time major champion (and two-time PGA winner) Brooks Koepka and former Open champion Louis Oosthuizen, who finished runner-up for the sixth time in a major championship.

Will Phil Mickelson be in this year's field to defend his title?

As you may have already heard, no, Mickelson will not be in the 2022 PGA Championship field, which will leave a rather large void given the magnitude of his victory a year ago. It's Mickelson's own decision, as he continues his golf sabbatical, which began in February, over comments he made to the Fire Pit Collective regarding the Saudi-backed golf circuit. The PGA of America stated that it would have welcomed Mickelson to defend his title, but Mickelson has chosen not to. He last teed it up in competition, ironically enough, at the PIF Saudi International in February.

Who has won the most PGA Championships?

Jack Nicklaus and Walter Hagen hold the record for most PGA Championship victories with five. Nicklaus also holds the record for most runner-up finishes in the PGA Championship with four.

How many PGA Championships has Tiger Woods won?

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Tiger Woods makes his putt for par and to win the PGA Championship at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 2007.

Montana Pritchard/PGA of America

Tiger Woods has won four PGA Championships, the last coming in 2007 at Southern Hills.

Who are the most famous golfers not to have won the PGA Championship?

There are three players in golf history who have won the other three men’s major championships (the Masters, the U.S. Open and the Open Championship) but have not completed the career Grand Slam by winning the PGA. They are Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson and Jordan Spieth. At 28, Spieth still has plenty of time, and he seems to be peaking just in time to complete the slam this week. In his last two PGA Tour starts, he's won (RBC Heritage) and finished in solo second (AT&T Byron Nelson). This week marks the fifth time Spieth will have an opportunity to win the career grand slam. He came close to doing so in 2019 at Bethpage Black, when he tied for third.

Who is the youngest winner of the PGA Championship?

Gene Sarazen is the youngest winner, claiming the title at Oakmont Country Club in 1922 at 20 years and 174 days old. He defended his title the following year at Pelham Country Club and went on to win his third and final PGA at Blue Mound Golf & Country Club in 1933.

What is the PGA Championship scoring record?

The record for lowest 72-hole score in a PGA Championship was held by David Toms for his 15-under 265 total at Atlanta Athletic Club in Duluth, Ga., in 2001, but Brooks Koepka broke that mark in 2018 with his 16-under 264 at Bellerive. Koepka also tied the record set by Henrik Stenson at the 2016 Open Championship for the lowest total in major championship history.

What is the PGA Championship scoring record in relation to par?

Jason Day holds the record for scoring in relation to par not only in PGA Championship history but in major championship history. The Australian was 20-under-par (268) when he won at Whistling Straits in Haven, Wis., in 2015.

What is the highest winning score of a PGA Championship? In relation to par?

The highest total score of a PGA champion is one-under 287, shot by Larry Nelson in 1987 at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. The highest winning score in relation to par was one-over 281, shot four times: Jay Hebert, 1960; Julius Boros, 1968; Gary Player, 1972; and Dave Stockton, 1976.

What is the largest margin of victory in the PGA Championship?

The largest margin of victory in the PGA Championship belongs to Rory McIlroy, who won by eight strokes in 2012 at the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island (S.C.). The Northern Irishman won the event again in 2014 at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky. That remains his last major championship victory.

If players are tied after 72 holes, how is a winner determined?

In the event of a tie, the PGA of America employs a three-hole aggregate format for the championship's playoff. If players are tied after three holes it becomes a sudden-death playoff.

How many playoffs have there been in PGA Championship history?

Since 1958 and the move to stroke play, there have been 13 playoffs in the PGA Championship, the last coming in 2011 at Atlanta Athletic Club, where Keegan Bradley defeated Jason Dufner in the three-hole aggregate playoff.

What site has hosted the most PGA Championships?

Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Okla., this week's host venue, was already the all-time leader in PGA Championships hosted with four. This week marks the fifth.

What state has hosted the most PGA Championships?

New York has hosted the most PGA Championships with 13, including three at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, N.Y., which hosted the 2013 PGA Championship and is scheduled to host again in 2023.

What are the future venues for the PGA Championship?

Future venues for the PGA Championship have been announced officially through 2029. There is also a “TBD” year for 2030, as well as a venue locked in for 2031. They are as follows:

2023 — Oak Hill Country Club, Rochester, N.Y.

2024 — Valhalla Golf Club, Louisville, Ky.

2025 — Quail Hollow Club, Charlotte, N.C.

2026 — Aronimink Golf Club, Newtown Square, Pa.

2027 — The East Course at PGA Frisco, Frisco, Texas

2028 — The Olympic Club, San Francisco

2029 — Baltusrol Golf Club (Lower), Springfield, N.J.

2030 — TBD

2031 — Congressional Country Club (Blue), Bethesda, Md.

2034 — The East Course at PGA Frisco, Frisco, Texas

Who is the favorite to win the 2022 PGA Championship?

As of this writing, Jon Rahm and Scottie Scheffler are the co-favorites to win this year's PGA Championship at 12-1 odds. Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy check in next at 14-1, while 2020 winner Collin Morikawa is at 16-1 and the aforementioned Spieth at 20-1. Patrick Cantlay and Cameron Smith are also at 20-1, and two-time major winner Dustin Johnson is at 18-1. Tiger Woods, who is playing this week, is at 60-1. Also of interest will be Brooks Koepka, who has drifted as high as 45-1.

What will the weather be like for the 2022 PGA Championship?

Just a few days out, and we can confidently say that the 2022 PGA Championship won't be anywhere near as hot as the 2007 PGA Championship was. The highest temperature of the week, 91 degrees, is expected on Thursday, but it than gets progressively cooler from there. Friday calls for a high of 83 degrees and then Saturday dips all the way to 67 degrees. Sunday should be the most ideal weather day of the week, with a high of 74, light winds, and no clouds, per Weather.com.

What is Southern Hills known for?

In addition to Tiger Woods' win in 2007, Southern Hills is most-known for the 2001 U.S. Open, which Retief Goosen won in a playoff over Mark Brooks. On the final day, Goosen, Brooks and Stewart Cink all three-putted the 72nd green, which lost Brooks the lead at the time, Goosen the win at the time, and Cink a chance at making it a three-man playoff against Brooks and Goosen. Each three-putt was more shocking than the last, none as bad as Cink's, though. His three-putt from 15 feet led to a crushing double bogey and a shot at his first major title. Fortunately, he was able to claim that elusive major at the 2009 Open Championship. For Goosen, it was the first of his two major wins, both of them coming in U.S. Opens (2001, 2004).

The course itself, which was originally designed by Perry Maxwell in 1936 and restored by Gil Hanse in 2018, is known for for the fact that nearly every single hole bends left or right from the tee box. Almost every tee shot asks for some sort of risk from the player, and the greens feature classic "Maxwell rolls." Hanse rebuilt much of the course in the summer of 2018, re-establishing Maxwell's distinctive bunkering and giving the course a more rustic and natural look and feel. Hopefully, the tournament will come down to the 18th hole, which Hanse describes as a "hard, hard golf hole." The uphill par 4, which features a creek running through the fairway, will stretch out to 491-yards, though the true test won't come until players reach the green. Of the seven men's majors contested at Southern Hills, only Tiger Woods (2007 PGA) an Tommy Bolt (1958 U.S. Open) were able to close out their victories with par.

Who broadcasts the PGA Championship?

This year’s PGA Championship will be broadcast between ESPN and CBS due to a joint contract between the two. ESPN replaced TNT in 2020 and holds rights to all of the early round and weekend morning coverage, including supplemental coverage on ESPN+. CBS will hold all rights to afternoon coverage of weekend rounds and will feature Jim Nantz play-by-play.