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Who are the biggest long shots to have won the PGA Championship?

Updated May 15, 2024 - 9:09 am

When Phil Mickelson became the oldest golfer ever to win a major at age 50 at the 2021 PGA Championship, he also became the biggest long shot to win the event in the 21st century.

Four of the five biggest long shots to win the PGA Championship have cashed tickets in the past 15 years, according to sportsoddshistory.com, which has odds dating to 1985.

Mickelson was as high as a 300-1 long shot before the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island, South Carolina. A bettor at DraftKings sportsbook turned $1,000 into $300,000 after winning a wager on Mickelson at 300-1.

His odds dropped to 14-1 after the second round, when he was tied for the lead with Louis Oosthuizen. Mickelson had a one-stroke lead over Brooks Koepka entering the final round, then shot a 73 to win the Wanamaker Trophy by two strokes over Koepka and Oosthuizen.

Here are the next four biggest long shots to win the PGA Championship:

150-1, Keegan Bradley, 2011

Bradley was five shots behind with three holes to play at the Atlanta Athletic Club before one of the most stunning turnarounds in a major. He made back-to-back birdies, including a 35-footer on the 17th hole, before a monumental meltdown by leader Jason Dufner. Three consecutive bogeys by Dufner led to a three-hole playoff.

Bradley birdied the 16th hole in the playoff — his first outright lead of the day — and won by one shot for his only major championship.

125-1, Jimmy Walker, 2016

Walker held off Jason Day by one stroke after a 36-hole final at Baltusrol that was one of the longest days in PGA Championship history. Walker shot a 2-under 68 in the morning for a one-shot lead over Day, then finished with a 3-under 67 in the evening. Day made an eagle on the final hole to cut the lead to one, forcing Walker to make a par to win the Wanamaker Trophy.

125-1, Y.E. Yang, 2009

Yang beat Tiger Woods by three strokes in the first major that Woods failed to win when leading after 54 holes. Before Yang’s stunning victory, Woods was 14-0 when he went into the final round of a major atop the leaderboard.

Yang, a South Korean who became the first Asian-born player to win a major, led by one on the final hole. He then made a birdie to finish with a 2-under 70 at Hazeltine. Woods missed a par putt and shot 75.

Woods, who entered the final round with a two-shot lead, three-putted for a bogey at No. 4 and made another bogey at No. 8. That meant the final pairing went to the back nine tied for the lead. Yang took the lead for the first time all week by chipping in for an eagle from about 20 yards short of the 14th green.

70-1, David Toms, 2001

Toms won his only major championship by one stroke over Phil Mickelson at the Atlanta Athletic Club. Toms had a two-stroke lead over Mickelson after 54 holes. He led by one stroke heading into the final hole, before making a 12-foot putt to save par for the win. His winning score of 265 was the lowest 72-hole score ever at a major championship until Henrik Stenson shot 264 in the 2016 British Open.

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com. Follow @tdewey33 on X.

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