Best exotic prop bets for the 2022 PGA Championship: McIlroy has the luck of the Irish

Rory Mcilroy at a Charles Schwab Challenge practice round
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Ricky Dimon

Golf

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Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports -- just about any and all you can think of! -- and coaching tennis in Atlanta, GA. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me.

The PGA Championship used to be glory’s last shot, but now it is the second major of every golf season. Following Scottie Scheffler’s triumph at the Masters in April, the stars of the sport will descend on Southern Hills Golf Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma this week to battle for the Wanamaker Trophy. Phil Mickelson was the champion last year and will not be defending his title, but Tiger Woods is part of a loaded field that also includes Scheffler and tournament favorite Jon Rahm.

All in all, it should be an incredibly entertaining PGA Championship. Without further ado, let’s dive into some of the best exotic prop bets for the season’s second major.

Be sure to check out Diane Knox Balas’ full PGA Championship preview and course insights

Cameron Smith to be the top Australian (+175)

One of our golf experts likes Smith’s chances of being the first-round leader, and I like his full tournament outlook. The 28-year-old is quite simply one of the best players on tour right now. He won the Players Championship and was third at the Masters. Clearly, he loves the big stage; five top-10 performances in majors also support that claim. Smith has missed the PGA Championship cut only once in five appearances. Moreover, the rest of the Australian Open contingent is unspectacular. Adam Scott and Jason Day are past their primes, while Marc Leishman’s five most recent results are T68, MC, T30, MC and T51.

Rory McIlroy to be the top Irishman (+100)

Seamus Power and Padraig Harrington can’t be entirely discounted, but this may end up being a showdown between just McIlroy and Shane Lowry. Even that may not be overly interesting. I like McIlroy a lot this week. He already has seven top-13 finishes during this 2022 golf season, including one win and a runner-up showing in Augusta. It’s only a matter of time before the 33-year-old finally wins another major. I’m not saying he is going to win the PGA (although he might!), but +100 odds on simply being the top Irishman is a bet that should be taken.

Diane Knox Balas also has her best Top 5 and Top 10 prop bets for the PGA Championship

No hole in one in tournament (-125)

This isn’t the Masters, where you can generally count on an ace taking place at the par-3 16th – especially on Sunday when the pin placement is a friendly one. I know that rooting for a hole in one is a lot more fun than not rooting for one and you can get an ace at plus money odds (albeit right at +100). Still, I’m not taking the bait. These par-3s at Southern Hills are absolute beasts. Three of them are 214, 251 and 230. The other is 173, but even that hole is no walk in the park and a prevailing left-to-right wind there often makes life difficult. Wind is expected to be prevalent from start to finish this week, so I do not see any hole in one in the PGA Championship forecast.

Tommy Fleetwood to beat Maverick McNealy (-120)

Give me Fleetwood to finish better than McNealy over the course of the entire tournament. Both of these guys are cut-making machines. Fleetwood has missed only one this season (at the Honda Classic in late February). McNealy has not missed any in 2022. In a matchup between two extremely consistent performers, I like Fleetwood’s superior ability to go low. The Englishman has placed in the top 16 in three of his last four starts. McNealy has gone five straight without placing better than 26th. Fleetwood also has much more major experience. He has three top-4 performances and is coming off a T14 effort at Augusta National. McNealy, a +100 underdog, has never made the cut at a major. I just don’t have as much faith in the 26-year-old American in this situation.

Get info on EVERY golfer in the PGA Championship with our player-by-player guide

Pickswise is the home of free expert Golf Picks and Golf Predictions. Our PGA expert picks go live every Monday or Tuesday, so check out our latest golf picks, best bets and analysis for the PGA Championship.

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