Bryson DeChambeau

2022 majors preview: Who are we backing to lift golf’s biggest titles this year?

NCG tipster Barry Plummer has found some early value in big names who will undoubtedly challenge in the majors this year

We are fast approaching the blissful window where the excitement for major championship golf cranks up, so what better time to have an early ponder over the ante-post betting markets? With plenty of golf to be played between now and April 7, when The Masters kicks off the men’s major championship season, I am eager to sniff out some value at the top-end of the market. So, let’s have some fun and get some early golf betting tips in…

The Masters

Where: Augusta National, Georgia
April 7-10, 2022
We’re backing: Xander Schauffele

Xander Schauffele

When looking at the Masters from a betting perspective, it becomes very clear that experience is key.

A simple analysis of recent course form at Augusta, and a cross-reference with regular tour form in 2021, throws up a very strong contender that should perhaps have slipped into the Green Jacket in 2021.

Xander Schauffele (20/1) will surely still have flashbacks of the par-3 16th at Augusta, putting his tee shot into the water when it looked like he was ready to chase down Hideki Matsuyama. Despite that disappointment, Schauffele has plenty of pedigree to challenge again this year.

The Olympic gold medallist was second at Augusta in 2019, and third last year, so certainly knows how to compete at the business end of the Masters. Four PGA Tour career wins, and of course that incredible performance in Japan to win gold for Team USA, indicate he can get the job done in the highest quality fields and a major is on the horizon.

PGA Championship

Where: Southern Hills, Oklahoma
When: May 19-22, 2022
We’re backing: Patrick Cantlay

Patrick Cantlay WITB 2020

After Phil Mickelson’s history-making exploits last year, the 2022 PGA Championship has a lot to live up to.

This year’s venue, a typically challenging test for players, will potentially throw a devilish Oklahoma wind into the mix that is likely to have it’s say on the outcome. Having said that, one player stands out in the early markets simply because the price seems altogether wrong.

After pipping World No 1 Jon Rahm to the Tour Championship and FedEx Cup titles last year, I’m backing Patrick Cantlay (28/1) to kick on to his first major win in 2022.

Cantlay has some of his strongest major form in this event, with a third-place finish in 2019 and a 23rd-place finish last time out. His six PGA Tour wins have come on some challenging courses, including when twice winning the Memorial at Muirfield Village, so he should have as good a chance as any to negotiate Southern Hills.

After starting the year with a fourth-place finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, in a very strong field, I like his chances at a big early price.

US Open

Where: The Country Club, Massachusetts
When: June 16-19, 2022
We’re backing: Viktor Hovland

Viktor Hovland

I defy anyone to find me another young European with a brighter future than Viktor Hovland (28/1), and I can’t help but think he is ready to take that next step in his career this year.

After blowing away the field at Tiger Woods’ Hero World Challenge in December, Hovland will surely have his eyes on claiming a first major win and the US Open will suit him down to the ground.

The Norwegian was 12th when taking the Low Amateur title in 2019, and followed that up with a 13th-place finish in 2020 to secure some of his best major form. An unfortunate withdrawal in 2021 prevented an improvement on those efforts, but with a stern test on offer at The Country Club, he will surely relish the chance to dig in and grind.

Hovland has already secured five professional wins in his blossoming career, and while the 2021 Ryder Cup will be viewed as a learning curve for a progressive young talent, he has held off some of the best under extreme pressure at times.

Hovland’s fearless approach to the game and length off-the-tee will allow him to aggressively take on this test, so if he continues to play well he surely won’t go off at this price.

The Open

Where: St Andrews, Scotland
When: July 14-17, 2022
We’re backing: Bryson DeChambeau

The 150th edition of golf’s oldest major St Andrews this year, and if conditions are settled then Bryson DeChambeau (18/1) could make a mockery of the Home of Golf.

DeChambeau stormed to victory in the 2020 US Open, winning by six shots when he overpowered a very tough Winged Foot. Part of the beauty that the Old Course offers is the risk-reward nature of many of its holes. We know from previous editions of big events around the globe, Bryson is not adverse to taking risks, and with the length he offers off the tee he could take aim at some very low scores.

DeChambeau’s Open form is uninspiring, and that’s reflected in his price, but it is worth considering that he is a different player now to many of those previous attempts. With 10 professional wins already it’s easy to see him reaching the summit of this sport. His unbeaten run at the Ryder Cup in September, along with four wins since the start of 2020, suggest he is picking up the pace and he could be an unstoppable force this year.

Who are you backing to win the majors in 2022? Let us know in the comments below, or you can tweet us. You can read Barry’s weekly betting columns here.

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