With a record $20 million purse ($3.6 million going to the winner) on the line, the 2022 Players Championship will be the biggest event yet with 48 of the top 50 players in the Official World Golf Ranking scheduled to play. TPC Sawgrass was created to host this event and its emphasis on risk vs. reward has made it one of the most exciting courses on the PGA Tour. The last two Players Championships have been decided by just one stroke with superstars Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy adding illustrious wins to their already-incredible resumes.
Thomas is listed as a 14-1 co-favorite in the latest 2022 Players Championship odds from Caesars Sportsbook along with Jon Rahm and Collin Morikawa. Meanwhile, McIlroy is listed at 18-1 in this week's PGA Tour odds coming off a disappointing weekend at the Arnold Palmer Invitational where he shot back-to-back 76s to fall out of the top 10 after shooting a first-round 65. Before making any 2022 Players Championship picks, be sure to check out the PGA Tour predictions and betting advice from proven golf insider Sal Johnson.
The esteemed golf insider has been around the game for many years and knows what it takes to win on the PGA Tour. Johnson has been on a strong run this season. Before the Mayakoba event in Mexico, Johnson had Hovland among his players to watch, while he predicted Brooks Koepka would miss the cut. Koepka went home early, while Hovland shot 23-under to cruise to a four-stroke victory. Johnson also nailed Hideki Matsuyama's victory at the Zozo Championship, and Sam Burns' win at the Sanderson Farms. Anyone who has followed Johnson's advice has cashed in huge.
Now Johnson, a longtime ABC Sports golf producer who worked closely with Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer, has released his highly confident 2022 Players Championship picks. The picks from the founder of GOLFstats.com, the world's top golf stats database, will definitely surprise you. Johnson's Players Championship picks, predictions, and expert analysis are only available at SportsLine.
Top 2022 Players Championship expert picks
One shocking choice from Johnson: The golf expert is fading defending champion Thomas this week. The No. 8 player in the Official World Golf Ranking has six top-10 finishes in his last eight starts and he continues to be one of the best ball strikers on tour, ranking inside the top 10 in strokes gained: tee-to-green the last six seasons. However, he's always been a streaky putter, ranking outside the top 100 in strokes-gained: putting the last four seasons. And no player in history has ever won back-to-back Players Championships.
On the other hand, the expert is very high on Morikawa this week at TPC Sawgrass. Morikawa has ascended to No. 2 in the OWGR and he'll have a chance to overtake Jon Rahm to go to No. 1 for the first time in his career this week. And TPC Sawgrass should be an exceptional fit for the 25-year-old who is challenging Thomas as arguably the best ball striker on tour. Morikawa finished second in strokes-gained: on approach in 2019-20, first in 2020-21 and is fourth in 2021-22.
Johnson can't wait to see which version of McIlroy shows up at Sawgrass this week, because he knows the course can be perfect for him. It was in 2019, when the Northern Irishman won the Players, but he missed the cut last year. His inconsistency has been maddening, for him and for bettors, but McIlroy has been posting solid finishes. He has been no worse than 14th in nine straight events, including a victory at October's CJ Cup. He is the tour's best driver, hitting it more than 319 yards and ranking second in strokes gained. He also is seventh in strokes gained putting.
How to make 2022 Players Championship golf picks
Johnson is backing a huge long shot among his picks who comes in at well over 60-1. This player has come through with a major surprise in a similar situation before, and the expert believes he can do it again. "If he has a great putting week, he will win," Johnson says. Anyone who backs this underdog at the Players Championship could cash in big. You can only see who it is, and get the rest of Johnson's Players Championship picks at SportsLine.
Who wins the 2022 Players Championship this week at TPC Sawgrass? Where do Collin Morikawa and Rory McIlroy finish? And which long shot is a must-back? Check out the odds below, then visit SportsLine to see Sal Johnson's full leaderboard, picks and analysis for the 2022 Players Championship, all from the insider who knows what it takes to win on the PGA Tour, and find out.
2022 Players Championship odds, field, top contenders
Justin Thomas +1400Collin Morikawa +1400Jon Rahm +1400Rory McIlroy +1800Viktor Hovland +2000Scottie Scheffler +2500Patrick Cantlay +2500Xander Schauffele +2800Hideki Matsuyama +3000Dustin Johnson +3000Daniel Berger +3000Cameron Smith +3300Brooks Koepka +3500Shane Lowry +3500Matt Fitzpatrick +3500Jordan Spieth +4000Sungjae Im +4000Sam Burns +4000Will Zalatoris +4000Billy Horschel +4000Joaquin Niemann +4500Tyrrell Hatton +4500Louis Oosthuizen +5000Corey Conners +5000Adam Scott +5000Talor Gooch +5000Tony Finau +5500Paul Casey +6000Webb Simpson +6600Max Homa +6600Cameron Young +6600Tommy Fleetwood +6600Abraham Ancer +6600Gary Woodland +6600Marc Leishman +6600Sergio Garcia +7000Chris Kirk +7000Russell Henley +8000Si-Woo Kim +8000Jason Kokrak +8000Jason Day +8000Justin Rose +9000Alex Noren +10000Brian Harman +10000Keith Mitchell +10000Harold Varner +12500Seamus Power +12500Lee Westwood +12500Patrick Reed +12500Bubba Watson +12500Cameron Tringale +12500Maverick McNealy +12500Thomas Pieters +12500Ian Poulter +12500Aaron Wise +15000Lanto Griffin +15000Sebastian Munoz +15000Jhonattan Vegas +15000Lucas Herbert +15000Francesco Molinari +15000Tom Hoge +15000Mito Pereira +15000Ryan Palmer +15000Mackenzie Hughes +15000Erik Van Rooyen +15000Kevin Na +15000Kevin Kisner +15000Matthew Wolff +15000Keegan Bradley +15000Matt Jones +15000Luke List +15000Sepp Straka +17500 Cam Davis +20000Dylan Frittelli +20000Martin Laird +20000Kyoung-Hoon Lee +20000Emiliano Grillo +20000Patton Kizzire +20000Brendon Todd +20000Andrew Putnam +20000Joel Dahmen +20000Sahith Theegala +20000Cameron Champ +20000Russell Knox +20000Denny McCarthy +20000Matt Kuchar +20000Adam Hadwin +20000Charley Hoffman +20000C.T. Pan +20000Doug Ghim +25000Stewart Cink +25000Brendan Steele +25000Wyndham Clark +25000Lucas Glover +25000Matthew NeSmith +25000Pat Perez +25000Chez Reavie +25000Troy Merritt +25000J.T. Poston +25000Carlos Ortiz +25000Henrik Stenson +25000Beau Hossler +25000Garrick Higgo +25000Taylor Pendrith +25000Matt Wallace +25000Zach Johnson +25000Charl Schwartzel +30000Adam Long +30000Hayden Buckley +30000Sam Ryder +30000Adam Schenk +30000Hudson Swafford +30000Doc Redman +30000J.J. Spaun +30000Lee Hodges +30000Kevin Streelman +30000Harry Higgs +30000Brian Stuard +30000Branden Grace +30000Kramer Hickok +30000Henrik Norlander +30000Brandt Snedeker +30000Ryan Brehm +30000