PGA Championship 2022: Predictions, Live Stream and TV Coverage Hub for Saturday
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Matt York/Associated Press
Every major winner in the history of Southern Hills Country Club either held the outright lead or a tie for first after 36 holes.
No pressure on Will Zalatoris to keep up that streak, right?
The 25-year-old American has dealt with the pressure of playing on the weekend at majors well over the last two years, but he has yet to be the man to beat.
Zalatoris owns four top-10 finishes at major tournaments, but only one of those was above sixth place. He took second place behind Hideki Matsuyama’s dominant performance at The Masters in 2021.
All of the attention on Saturday afternoon will be paid to Zalatoris and whether he can hold the lead and fend off challenges from previous major winners.
Justin Thomas, Bubba Watson and Rory McIlroy lead the list of major-winning golfers at the top of the leaderboard. Mito Pereira sits in between Zalatoris and the trio.
One slip-up from Zalatoris, or a string of birdies from any player beneath him will further increase the pressure throughout the third round and potentially on Sunday.
Most of the other players sitting in red numbers either have major wins, high major finishes, or a ton of experience that could help them make a run at the top five.
The potential displayed by Zalatoris and the talent behind him on the leaderboard should make Saturday the best one yet at the 2022 PGA Championship.
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Matt York/Associated Press
Start Time: 8 a.m. ET
TV: ESPN (9 a.m. ET-1 p.m. ET), CBS (1-7 p.m. ET)
Live Stream: ESPN+ and CBSSports.com
Will Zalatoris (+210; bet $100 to win $210)
Justin Thomas (+320)
Mito Pereira (+500)
Rory McIlroy (+700)
Bubba Watson (+1600)
Cameron Smith (+1800)
Matt Fitzpatrick (+2000)
Abraham Ancer (+2000)
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Eric Gay/Associated Press
History suggests Will Zalatoris sits in a tremendous position at Southern Hills.
The previous seven majors held at the Tulsa, Oklahoma, course were won by golfers who at least had a share of the 36-hole lead, per PGA Tour Communications.
Zalatoris played with a steady hand in the first two rounds. He carded a 66 on Thursday and was one shot better with a 65 on Friday.
The four-time top-10 finisher at major tournaments recorded 13 pars and five birdies during his ascent into first place on Friday.
Zalatoris may play with less pressure in the final group on Saturday because he is not playing alongside one of the stars of men’s golf.
Mito Pereira is as unfamiliar in this spot as Zalatoris, and that may keep some pressure off both players compared to if they were partnered with an intimidating figure like Rory McIlroy or Justin Thomas.
Zalatoris needs to avoid mistakes, especially on the front nine, to keep his composure and potentially open up a gap between himself and other contenders, like Scottie Scheffler did at The Masters in April.
The 25-year-old only has two bogeys over 36 holes, and if he takes advantage of better weather conditions on Saturday, he could avoid more dropped shots and remain on top going into Sunday.
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Eric Gay/Associated Press
It would not be the weekend of a major tournament without a who’s who of previous major champions on the first page of the leaderboard.
Justin Thomas, Bubba Watson and Rory McIlroy fill that role at the 2022 PGA Championship. They sit in third, fourth and fifth place, respectively. All of them are within striking distance of Zalatoris.
McIlroy was the star of the first round, as he took the lead with a 65. He cooled off a bit in the second round by carding a 71.
Thomas mastered the difficult windy conditions on Thursday afternoon and Friday morning by carding back-to-back 67s.
Watson used the best round of the tournament to date, a second-round 62, to earn a spot alongside Thomas in Saturday’s penultimate pairing.
McIlroy owns the most recent weekend surge at a major, as he came out of nowhere to land a top-five finish at The Masters.
McIlroy needs to rediscover some of that magic on Saturday to put pressure on Zalatoris, while Thomas and Watson need to continue their high form to be near the top on Sunday.
Other former champions could replicate McIlroy’s run on Sunday at The Masters to be in contention on Sunday.
Patrick Reed, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm were among the players who carded rounds in the 60s on Friday.
Any of those players could make a run to at least finish inside the top 10, and if Zalatoris struggles, they could be in contention for the Wanamaker Trophy.
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