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2022 PGA Championship Picks: Xander Schauffele, Tiger Woods & 4 Others to Target in OAD Pools

2022 PGA Championship Picks: Xander Schauffele, Tiger Woods & 4 Others to Target in OAD Pools article feature image
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Keyur Khamar/PGA TOUR via Getty Images. Pictured: Tiger Woods and Xander Schauffele.

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2022 PGA Championship OAD Picks

Patrick Cantlay (+2200)/Xander Schauffele (+2500)

So, what have we been talking about here so far? This is an event — from year to year, course to course — that challenges every part of a player’s game. You don’t have to do one thing better than everyone else, but you do have to do a lot of things better than a lot of others.

When I think of the most balanced players at a high-level, Cantlay and Schauffele are two of the first names which come to mind. They’re both proverbial five-tool guys, to steal a term from another sport. Between all the major Strokes Gained categories, neither is ranked lower than 63rd this season in any of them. Speak with their peers and most believe each is not only capable of winning a major championship, but ascending to No. 1 in the world in the not-too-distant future.

In theory, the PGA might be an easier first step in that direction than the Masters or the U.S. Open, which suggests this could be a strong week for either – or both.

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Will Zalatoris (+3500)

If he’d shown any sort of form last week, I’d expect that Zalatoris would be a more popular pick for this one. Maybe it’s not a surprise, though. When a tourney requires birdies in bunches, his balky putter is likely to hold him back more often than not, but as we’ve seen in a small sample size early in his career, when scoring isn’t too low, he can ball-strike his way up the leaderboard. Like many of the bottom of the top-tier/top of the mid-tier players on the board this week, his outright price

Corey Conners (+4500)

We’re getting dangerously close to living in a world where Conners is talked about being underrated so often that he’s actually overrated, considering “one of the game’s best ball-strikers” — a label I myself have often used to describe him — is ranked just 45th in Strokes Gained: Approach this season, but we’re not quite there yet. Even so, that 45-1 number (it’s as high as 66-1 at BetMGM) kind of reeks for a player who’s struggled to win his second career title.

I still think he’s built to play well at majors,  though, as proven by five finishes of 17th or better in his last eight major starts. Conners wouldn’t be my first choice in OADs this week, but in major pools, where you might be picking 4-5 players and need a little differentiation, I think he provides a solid alternative.

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Tiger Woods (+6500)

Here’s one way to look at Tiger as an OAD selection this week: You know there are only two other places where you even potentially could use him this year.

Here’s another: If indeed he plays well at the PGA and the U.S. Open, expect your fellow poolsters to make that nostalgia play and take him at The Open, where he could actually be a somewhat popular pick, negating his value.

And another: While most of the world’s best players have been out there playing the Wells Fargos and Byron Nelsons, Woods is solely committed to prepping for just the major championships. He’s already revealed this week that he feels much healthier and the swing feels much better than at last month’s Masters.

Returning to the site of previous success has often been a successful proposition for him and a profitable one for his backers. I won’t list him irrationally high when I make my full ranking of the field this week, but I can certainly envision a scenario where the course plays tough, Tiger plods his way to a couple under-par each day and by the time all the dust settles, his name is firmly on the leaderboard come Sunday evening.

Robert MacIntyre (+10000)

While the 25-year-old MacIntyre hasn’t exactly been knocking on the door lately, he has finished between ninth and 36th in each of his last seven worldwide starts. He’s also shown an early propensity for not being intimidated by major championships in his young career, making the cut in all eight appearances so far.

We should expect him to be a more popular play for The Open later this summer — and for good reason — but again, in pools with multiple picks where some contrarian thought is part of the game theory, I don’t mind taking a shot on him.

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