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PGA Championship field 2024: Ranking the top 30 golfers at Valhalla, from Rory McIlroy to Tiger Woods | Sporting News United Kingdom

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Brooks Koepka gave LIV Golf a major win last season at the PGA Championship — both figuratively and literally. Now, he’s seeking his second repeat at the major but will face stiff competition in his quest to do so.

The red-hot Scottie Scheffler represents Koepka’s top challenger en route to a repeat. Scheffler has won four of his last five starts, including his second Masters title, and has been virtually unstoppable since his putter heated up.

MORE: Who will win the PGA Championship?

Rory McIlroy is also rounding into form. He’s coming off his fourth win at the Wells Fargo Championship and recently won the Zurich Classic alongside Shane Lowry. McIlroy’s accuracy seems to be improving, and that should allow him to better take advantage of his power off the tee.

As far as LIV Golfers go, Jon Rahm figures to challenge Koepka as well. The marquee name on the upstart, Saudi-backed circuit hasn’t yet won since his PGA Tour defection, but he could earn a big one if he can emerge with his third career major title.

Those top challengers represent just a few in the stacked, 156-golfer field for the PGA Championship. Here’s a look at the full field and who might emerge as the top contenders within it, from established superstars to potential sleepers.

MORE: Full list of tee times, featured groups, more for the 2024 PGA Championship

PGA Championship field 2024

The PGA Championship will be played at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky. The event was last held at Valhalla in 2014 when Rory McIlroy (16 under) won the event by one stroke over Phil Mickelson (15 under).

The course was designed by 18-time major winner Jack Nicklaus. It will be a par-71 layout and play to a length of 7,609 yards for the 2024 PGA Championship. That is 151 yards longer than the course played in 2014 and will make it one of the longest courses on the PGA Tour’s 2024 season.

Naturally, the course’s length will favor the biggest hitters on the course. That means players with positive marks in strokes gained off the tee (SG:OTT) and ball striking should profile well for this course.

Driving accuracy will be just as important for golfers, as there are numerous obstacles in the form of water hazards, bunkers, and thick rough around the course. It will be important to hit the fairways as frequently as possible to set up high-percentage second shots into each hole.

As such, strokes gained on approach (SG:APP) will also be a determining factor for the winner. Golfers who can get the ball near the hole and consistently log greens in regulation (GIR) will have a better chance to go low at this difficult course.

Finally, it certainly helps players to be high-quality scramblers and hot putters. Scrambling and strokes gained putting (SG:Putting) will tell bettors a lot about which golfers can handle the pressure of a difficult course like Valhalla.

Below is a breakdown of Sporting News’ top 30 golfers for the PGA Championship in 2024. All odds to win the event are courtesy of BetMGM Sportsbook.


1. Scottie Scheffler

Scheffler will remain the No. 1 golfer in the field each time he plays for the foreseeable future. He is on a torrid run in 2024, having won four of his last five events with his lone defeat at the Houston Open ending in a tie for second place. He has the best tee-to-green game on the PGA Tour and should be able to shorten the course at Valhalla with his sparkling approach game (ranked No. 1 on tour in SG:APP).

Scheffler hasn’t yet won a major outside of the Masters, but this represents a great opportunity for him. That’s especially true if he remains hot with his putter, historically his weakest club. Add in that he no longer has to worry about leaving the tournament if his wife goes into labor — she gave birth to baby Bennett ahead of the PGA Championship — and Scheffler seems like a safe bet to play deep into the weekend in Louisville.

2. Rory McIlroy

McIlroy is another player starting to heat up, and just at the right time. The Northern Irishman is coming off a five-shot win at the Wells Fargo Championship, his fourth at the Charlotte-hosted event, and also recently won the Zurich Classic as Shane Lowry’s teammate.

McIlroy’s once-shoddy accuracy seems to be improving, which is a boon considering his 316.8 driving distance ranks second-best on the PGA Tour behind only Cameron Champ. If McIlroy can shape his shot well around Valhalla’s many doglegs, he should position himself to contend for his first major since 2014. Funnily enough, that came at Valhalla, so the veteran golfer has a chance to win and earn a full-circle moment.

MORE: Who will win the PGA Championship in 2024?

3. Brooks Koepka

Were Scheffler and McIlroy not absolutely on fire, Koepka might have ranked No. 1 on this list. The LIV Golf star has won three of the last six PGA Championships, including a two-stroke win over Scheffler at Viktor Hovland at Oak Hill last season.

Koepka enters the PGA Championship in good form. He’s fresh off a win at LIV Golf Singapore and finished tied for ninth in Adelaide at the end of April. He also played his way to a 15th-place finish at Valhalla during the 2014 PGA Championship when he was still just 24 years old. A decade later, he should be poised to contend — and potentially win — at another course favoring his well-rounded game.

4. Jon Rahm

Rahm has finished top-10 in each of his seven LIV Golf events this season, but he hasn’t yet earned a win. His tie for 45th at the Masters also disappointed bettors who presumed he would have a strong showing in his defense of his green jacket win, so some may choose not to back him in the PGA Championship.

Still, Rahm was one of the best PGA Tour players off the tee last season and possessed a tee-to-green game that rivaled Scheffler’s elite skill set. That’s enough to make him an intriguing value bet at 20-1 odds.

5. Xander Schauffele

Schauffele has not yet won a major, but he seems oh-so-close to a breakthrough. He hasn’t missed the cut through 11 events this season and has logged eight top-10 finishes, including an eighth-place finish at the Masters and runner-up finishes at The Players Championship and last week’s Wells Fargo Championship.

Schauffele is a top-10 ball striker who has a great combination of power and accuracy. He’s also an elite scrambler and an above-average putter, so he has the well-rounded skill set needed to thrive on the PGA Tour’s most difficult courses.

Indeed, the only issue with Schauffele is that he hasn’t broken through yet. His collapse at the Wells Fargo — where he held a two-shot lead over McIlroy in the final round before losing by five strokes — will leave some worried that he may crumble under pressure again at Valhalla. Even so, the 30-year-old should be within striking distance and has the form needed to log another top-10 finish if all goes well.

6. Ludvig Aberg

Here’s another player who seems close to breaking through. Aberg doesn’t have as long as history on the PGA Tour as Schauffele; in fact, the 25-year-old Swede only joined it last summer after qualifying through his performance at Texas Tech.

Aberg quickly established himself as a great golfer, winning the RSM Classic in November. He has only built on his budding legacy since then by finishing second in his first-ever major appearance at the 2024 Masters.

Aberg’s rise may be rapid, but it’s legitimate, as he ranks top-20 in SG:OTT, SG:APP and ball striking. That length and accuracy should give him an edge on most others in the field. The only question is whether the sore knee that kept him out of the Wells Fargo Championship will negatively impact him or whether his inexperience will finally catch up to him on one of the PGA Tour’s biggest stages.

7. Wyndham Clark

Clark hasn’t had the best form of late, missing the cut at the Masters and tying for 47th at the Wells Fargo with a 7-over mark in two of his last three starts. That said, when he’s on his game, he is one of the few PGA Tour golfers who can consistently challenge Scheffler.

Clark is a top-tier ball striker but his putting helps separate him from the other top contenders. He ranks 17th in SG:Putting on the season, and that was after a poor showing at the Wells Fargo. But when his putter is hot, Clark can go low, as evidenced by his course record round of 60 (12 under) at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am in February.

During that round, Clark made five putts over 25 feet and 190 feet of putts in total. If he can recapture even half of that magic at Valhalla, he will have a chance to blow past the rest of the field. If not, he will still have a chance to crack the top 10 — provided he putts a better than he did at Quail Hollow.

8. Bryson DeChambeau

Like Clark, DeChambeau’s present form isn’t the best he has shown this season. That came when LIV Golfer logged four consecutive top-10 finishes — including a tie for sixth at the Masters — over a month-long span between March and April. Since then, he has failed to crack the top-25 in his two LIV Golf starts.

Still, DeChambeau remains one of the most powerful hitters in golf. He also has two top-five finishes at the PGA Championship over the last four years, so while Valhalla is a new course to him, the major seems to suit him well. That should make him one of the better LIV Golfers to trust in the field.

9. Cameron Smith

Smith is one of the best putters on the planet, so it’s never a bad idea to trust him on tough, major-event greens. He has shown an ability to tame even the most slippery greens, and his sixth-place finish at the 2024 Masters was a sign that he is ready to contend this season.

Smith tied for second at his last LIV Golf event, so he is in good form right now as well. He has finished top 10 in three of the last four majors, so there’s little reason to doubt him at Valhalla.

Cameron Young

10. Cameron Young

Young has been volatile in his career at majors. He has appeared in nine since 2022 and has five top-10 finishes in those. He has also missed the cut three times, so trusting him tends to be an all-or-nothing type of proposition.

There are reasons to like Young. He looked good during his ninth-place tie at the Masters and is a rock-solid tee-to-green player at his best. The issue this year is that Young has been both a below-average scrambler and putter, so if he misses on his approach or doesn’t land it close to the hole, he can have trouble.

Even so, Young’s short stick has often served him well in majors, so he has the mindset needed to turn his putting game around. His recent form may not suggest that he’s as close to a breakthrough as Schauffele and Aberg, but he isn’t too far behind them either.

11. Sam Burns

Burns looks like a good sleeper for the PGA Championship. Sure, he missed the cut in two of his last four events (including the Masters) and only topped out at a tie for 13th during that stretch. However, he had a stretch of four consecutive top-10 finishes earlier in the campaign, and his solid skill set gives him a higher floor than most other golfers on a tough course.

Burns ranks 26th on the PGA Tour in ball striking and 31st in SG:Putting. That gives him the strength, accuracy and putting prowess needed to conquer a major course, and he’s coming off a solid showing at Quail Hollow.

And like Scheffler, Burns’ wife Caroline just gave birth to a baby boy, Bear. Burns had planned to leave the Masters if his wife went into labor, so he will be a bit more focused at the PGA Championship with that major life milestone now passed. 

12. Max Homa

Homa seems to be starting to peak after a slower start to his season. He finished tied for third at the Masters (4 under) and is coming off an eighth-place finish at the Wells Fargo Championship (also 4 under). He was one of just 20 golfers at the Wells Fargo to break even par and was one of eight at the Masters to do the same.

The one concern with backing Homa is he isn’t as big a hitter as some of the other top talents at the 2024 PGA Championship. He still ranks 67th on tour with a respectable 300.6 average, but he won’t be able to shorten the course like some of the other big boppers. That will make tee-to-green accuracy paramount to his chances of contending.

The good news? Homa still ranks 41st in strokes gained tee to green (SG:T2G) on tour. That should help him as he searches for his first career major win.

13. Tony Finau

Finau hasn’t been as hot in 2024 as he was last season, but he remains one of the PGA Tour’s best approach players. He ranks 14th in SG:APP and third overall in ball striking even after tying for 52nd at the Wells Fargo Championship.

Finau has five top-20 finishes this season and finished second at the Houston Open in late March. He has been up and down this season, but so long as he’s striping the ball, he’s worth considering as a sleeper or value pick.

14. Sahith Theegala

Theegala has enjoyed a strong 2024 season to date and has risen to 12th in the OWGR as a result. He is a bit volatile and is prone to the occasional blow-up round, much like his third-round 82 at the Wells Fargo Championship last week, but he has the skills needed to contend.

Theegala ranks top-10 in SG:Putting and 22nd overall in SG:OTT. If he can remain accurate and avoid the blow-up round at Valhalla, he could work his way into the top 10. That may be a lot to ask though, especially since he’s making just his second-ever appearance at the PGA Championship.

15. Justin Thomas

Thomas has started 10 times on the PGA Tour this season. He has made the cut seven times. In those seven contests, he has five top-12 finishes.

Bottom line: if you think Thomas is going to make the cut, odds are that he’ll at least be in contention for a top-10 spot. He’s a bit up and down, but he won the PGA Championship twice before, including in 2022. And as long as he ranks top-12 in SG:APP, he can be trusted at his favorite major.

16. Corey Conners

If you’re looking for a longshot to win the PGA Championship, Conners is worth considering. His ranks 10th on tour in SG:T2G and is aa top-tier ball striker with great accuracy to his game.

What’s holding Conners back? His short game hasn’t been good this season, and that’s why he hasn’t logged a top-10 finish during the 2024 season. That said, he also hasn’t missed a cut in 12 starts and should have a chance to make the weekend at Valhalla.

If Conners can get hot with his putter, that may be enough to put him in contention. At 100-1 odds, he’s worth a flier, especially considering that he has two, top-15 finishes at the PGA Championship over the last three seasons.

17. Hideki Matsuyama

Matsuyama is a well-rounded golfer who would probably be higher on this list if he didn’t have a persistent back injury that kept him out of the Wells Fargo last week. Hideki’s back has forced him out several times during his career, and it’s hard to predict when exactly it might flare up.

But if Matsuyama can play, his tee-to-green game (4th in SG:T2G) should get him closer to the hole than many of his top competitors. And if he misses, his scrambling ability (ranked 20th on tour) should allow him to recover better than most.

Matsuyama’s putter has been an issue this season, but golfers get hot with the short stick at random all the time. He could win his second career major if he can do that at Valhalla. 

18. Byeong Hun An

An has put together a career season in 2024, earning five, top-10 finishes early in the season including top-five starts in each of his last two starts. He’s showing excellent form and continues to be one of the best ball strikers on tour and ranks top-20 in SG:OTT.

An has never finished better than 22nd at the PGA Championship, but the 32-year-old seems poised to best that in 2024. He could log his first career top-10 finish at a major, but at the very least, he should be a top-20 threat at the tough course.

19. Stephan Jaeger

Jaeger earned his first career PGA Tour win earlier this season at the Texas Open. He is the only individual to beat Scottie Scheffler during the World No. 1’s five-even hot streak, so the prospect of trusting Jaeger is as a longshot is appealing.

Jaeger is a well-rounded golfer who averaged 310.2 yards per drive, the 10th-best on the PGA Tour. That length will give him an edge if he can remain accurate, though he will need to outperform his 102nd-ranked SG:APP to have a chance to win it all.

Still, Jaeger has finished between 18th and 21st at three consecutive events though, so ranking him in that range seems like the right thing to do.

20. Shane Lowry

Anyone looking to back Lowry needs only to look at one stat to have confidence. He ranks fifth on the tour in SG:APP, so he should hit more greens in regulation than most on tough courses.

The reason that Lowry hasn’t been as sharp in 2024 as he was the last couple of seasons is his scrambling and putting haven’t been good (ranked 163rd and 168th respectively). That may keep him from contending, but his approach game should be solid enough for him to make the cut and battle for a top-20 spot.

21. Tyrrell Hatton

Hatton is one of the more recent PGA Tour to LIV Golf defections, so he actually played three 2024 PGA Tour events including the Masters. He finished top 15 at each of those events and has done the same in his last three LIV Golf events as well.

Hatton’s form should keep him in contention at Valhalla. He doesn’t have a major win under his belt, and he may not quite have the length needed to dominate at the PGA Championship. Still, he’s a worthwhile value pick who could emerge as one of the better LIV Golfers in this week’s tournament.

Matt Fitzpatrick

22. Matt Fitzpatrick

Fitzpatrick has shown his mettle on championship-caliber courses this year. He finished tied for 22nd at the Masters and fifth at The Players Championship in 2024, which bodes well for his chances of contending at Valhalla.

Fitzpatrick is an accurate driver, so he should be able to shape his shot well enough to avoid obstacles on the course. Avoiding trouble will be critical for him, as he ranks just 82nd in scrambling, but he’s coming off a solid week doing so at the Wells Fargo, so he’s moving in the right direction at the right time.

23. Collin Morikawa

Morikawa has a good tee-to-green game, and he figures to do well on the left-to-right doglegs at Valhalla, as he consistently plays his power fade. However, his shot shape may hinder him on right-to-left doglegs, so this isn’t a perfect course fit for him.

Morikawa should stay near the top of the leaderboard if all goes well, but he ranks just 128th in SG:Putting this year. Another cold week with the putter could be enough to keep him from capturing his second career PG Championship, so he’s more of a top-20 consideration than a top-tier contender.

24. Patrick Cantlay

Cantlay hasn’t missed a cut in 2024, but he has just two top-10 finishes in 10 events this season. His tee-to-green game hasn’t been as strong as usual; he ranks just 83rd in SG:T2G, so that is holding him back.

Cantlay might be able to shake that off and finally put everything together again. He has shown signs of doing that with a 22nd-place finish at the Masters and a third-place finish at the RBC Heritage, but it’s hard to back him heartily on a difficult course — especially since he has never before won a major.

25. Jordan Spieth

Can Spieth finally complete the career Grand Slam at the PGA Championship? His 27th-ranked ball striking indicates that he should have a shot, but his second shot has been an issue for him at times in 2024. He ranks just XXth in SG:APP, which has played a big part in his missing the cut at four of his last seven events.

Spieth’s volatility will frustrate golf fans, so it’s hard to trust him as he remains in one of his funks. Still, he hasn’t missed the cut at the PGA Championship since 2014 — the last time it was at Valhalla — so it’s hard to recommend fading him full-out.

26. Viktor Hovland

Hovland is a talented golfer, but he has struggled to start the 2024 PGA Tour season. He has played just seven events and hasn’t finished better than 19th in any of them.

Hovland slightly altered his swing after winning the FedEx Cup last year and hasn’t yet seen the changes pay off. It’s best to avoid him until his middling approach game (ranked 81st in SG:APP) improves, especially since he ranks near the bottom of the pack in scrambling (169th).

27. Tommy Fleetwood

Fleetwood’s game is based on accuracy, good scrambling and excellent putting. He remains a top-15 scrambler this season, but his approach game has cratered (168th in SG:APP) while his putting hasn’t been as good as usual (95th in SG:Putting).

Fleetwood should eventually get back on track with the putter; he also tied for third at the Masters, so he can contend at top events. Still, his year-long performance doesn’t inspire enough confidence to place him in the top-25 for this event.

Dustin Johnson

28. Dustin Johnson

Johnson may be a former World No. 1 golfer and a two-time major winner, but the PGA Championship has never been his best event. He had back-to-back second-place finishes at the event in 2019 and 2020, but those mark his only top-10 finishes since 2016.

Johnson has missed the cut at the PGA Championship twice in the last three years. He tied for 55th the only time he didn’t in that span. That makes it hard to trust the 39-year-old golfer, especially considering he has just one top-10 finish in his last five LIV Golf starts.

29. Akshay Bhatia

Bhatia is a fun sleeper to consider backing at the PGA Championship. The 22-year-old is starting to come into his own and won the Texas Open earlier this year in a playoff over Denny McCarthy. Bhatia ranks top-50 in ball striking and 15th in SG:APP, so his proximity to the hole should be better than many of the golfers with longer than 100-1 odds to win the event.

Bhatia’s game overall is well-rounded and he doesn’t have a lot of weaknesses. Perhaps his 298-yard driving distance average — which ranks 94th on tour — will hamper him at this long course, but if he remains accurate, he could end up paying off top-20 tickets for bettors.

30. Brian Harman

Harman hasn’t recaptured the magic that allowed him to run away with The Open Championship last season, but he remains a strong putter. He could re-emerge as a quality betting option if he can straighten out his tee-to-green game.

For now, he’s just a big-name longshot who could be an intriguing — albeit risky — bet at another major championship.

Honorable mention: Tiger Woods

Woods made it through the Masters, making a record 24th consecutive cut to mark his first completed PGA Tour event since the Hero World Challenge in November. Unfortunately, he finished 60th after carding a 16 over for the tournament.

Woods has a favorable history at Augusta, so it’s hard to imagine him faring much better at Valhalla. He might do well enough to make the cut, but seeing him win at this point in his career would be shocking. Perhaps he still has some magic left in him, but golf fans will have to settle for the fact that he is still playing, which is a miracle in and of itself.

Honorable mention: Phil Mickelson

Never say never with Mickelson. He’s healthier than Woods and became the oldest player to win a major championship in golf just three years ago at the PGA Championship. Another vintage, throwback performance could put him in contention at Valhalla.

That said, Mickelson has finished better than 22nd just once on the LIV Golf tour this year. He tied for 43rd at the Masters as well, so it appears that the 53-year-old’s ceiling is capped at this point.

Full PGA Championship field 2024

Below is the full PGA Championship field for 2024 listed alphabetically by first name.

Golfer
Aaron Rai
Adam Hadwin
Adam Schenk
Adam Scott
Adam Svensson
Adrian Meronk
Adrian Otaegui
Akshay Bhatia
Alejandro Tosti
Alex Noren
Alexander Björk
Andrew Putnam
Andrew Svoboda
Andy Ogletree
Austin Eckroat
Beau Hossler
Ben Griffin
Ben Kohles
Ben Polland
Billy Horschel
Brad Marek
Braden Shattuck
Brendon Todd
Brian Harman
Brice Garnett
Brooks Koepka
Bryson DeChambeau
Byeong Hun An
Cam Davis
Cameron Smith
Cameron Young
Camilo Villegas
Charley Hoffman
Chris Kirk
Christiaan Bezuidenhout
Collin Morikawa
Corey Conners
David Puig
Dean Burmester
Denny McCarthy
Doug Ghim
Dustin Johnson
Emiliano Grillo
Eric Cole
Erik van Rooyen
Evan Bowser
Francesco Molinari
Gary Woodland
Grayson Murray
Harris English
Hideki Matsuyama
J.T. Poston
Jake Knapp
Jared Jones
Jason Day
Jason Dufner
Jeffrey Kellen
Jeremy Wells
Jesper Svensson
Jesse Mueller
Jimmy Walker
Joaquin Niemann
John Daly
John Somers
Jon Rahm
Jordan L. Smith
Jordan Spieth
Josh Bevell
Josh Speight
Justin Rose
Justin Thomas
K.H. Lee
Kazuma Kobori
Keegan Bradley
Keita Nakajima
Keith Mitchell
Kurt Kitayama
Kyle Mendoza
Larkin Gross
Lee Hodges
Lucas Glover
Lucas Herbert
Ludvig Åberg
Luke Donald
Luke List
Mackenzie Hughes
Mark Hubbard
Martin Kaymer
Matt Dobyns
Matt Fitzpatrick
Matt Wallace
Matthieu Pavon
Maverick McNealy
Max Homa
Michael Block
Min Woo Lee
Nick Dunlap
Nick Taylor
Nicolai Højgaard
Padraig Harrington
Patrick Cantlay
Patrick Reed
Patrick Rodgers
Peter Malnati
Phil Mickelson
Preston Cole
Rasmus Hojgaard
Rich Beem
Rickie Fowler
Robert MacIntyre
Rory McIlroy
Russell Henley
Ryan Fox
Ryan Van Velzen
Ryo Hisatsune
Sahith Theegala
Sam Burns
Sami Valimaki
Scottie Scheffler
Sebastian Soderberg
Sepp Straka
Shane Lowry
Shaun Micheel
Si Woo Kim
Stephan Jaeger
Steve Stricker
Sungjae Im
Takumi Kanaya
Talor Gooch
Taylor Montgomery
Taylor Moore
Taylor Pendrith
Thomas Detry
Thorbjørn Olesen
Thriston Lawrence
Tiger Woods
Tim Widing
Tom Hoge
Tom Kim
Tommy Fleetwood
Tony Finau
Tracy Phillips
Tyler Collet
Tyrrell Hatton
Victor Perez
Viktor Hovland
Vincent Norrman
Will Zalatoris
Wyatt Worthington
Wyndham Clark
Xander Schauffele
Y.E. Yang
Zac Blair
Zac Oakley
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