2017 PGA Championship – Thursday, August 10th through Sunday, August 13th
The last major of the year is on the schedule this week, so for anyone looking to take down the millionaire maker this is most likely your last chance in 2017 golf. The PGA Championship is taking place at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, NC. This course is usually the host of the Wells Fargo, but since it was a major venue this year, they changed the Wells Fargo to a different track, but we still have some course history from past years to look at. Out of the four majors this is probably the weakest IMO, but we still have a stacked field and then a bunch of PGA Club Pros who you should not roster unless you are trying to get 0/6 thru.
The first thing to note is that Quail Hollow has undergone some changes, so it will be a little different from the past Wells Fargo’s that were played there. The course is long, 7600 yards and is a Par 71 which should make for difficult test. Par 71 means only 3 par 5s, and the course has a bunch of Par 4s measuring 450-500 and even a few that are 500+ so get ready to see some long iron shots this week. Greens are Bermuda, heard something about it being some new type or something, but will have to see what I can find on that and overall they should be really smooth and pretty firm.
Fairways are tough to hit so finding players who are pure ball strikers is going to be key. Good OTT (off the tee) and Approaches will be a must if they want to contend. Scrambling will be something I will take a look at, and will increase in my priority list if it looks windy as that leads to more missed greens in regulation. Like most majors this course is going to test every part of a golfer’s game, so I will focus on those ball strikers who are not terrible on Bermuda putting surfaces and hope their T2G (tee to green) game can keep them in the hunt.
This is a major so it is all the usual suspects up top. As I mentioned earlier since this is the PGA Championship so you have a bunch of Club Pros who qualified and most likely will not make the cut so you can ignore those golfers with no stats towards the bottom. In terms of pricing nothing too crazy, Spieth Rory and DJ lead the way as they usually do.
WGC events mean no cut format which I have said multiple times does not fit my style in DFS. I really try and beat the 6/6 % from the field and when everyone gets through that strategy goes out the window and you have to just target pure upside and scoring. The week was actually good to me almost the entire way, and I was heading into Sunday with a few sweats and was Thomas Pieters would hold on. Unfortunately, I did not prepare for the Hideki going Captain Insano and showing no mercy on the rest of the field. His Sunday had an eagle, bogey free and birdie streak all wrapped into one and that crushed all my teams that had serious chances to make noise. From a macro standpoint it was pretty uneventful, I toned down my volume because of the non-cut format and that probably saved me some money as I had a little Hideki but preferred Ricky and Day at similar price points.
** As always keep an eye on weather and wind. If you are around Wednesday night 9 PM EST check out the deep dive show where we will update and break down the latest info we get as this article is written a few days before lock **
Rory McIlroy $11.8k DK/$19.3k FDraft – Rory is going to be the favorite and he should be. It is well known that he dominates Quail Hollow and his game has shown signs of life which is all most people need to see before jumping back in on Rory. Off the tee he is starting to get dialed in and when he is on point, he is of course miles ahead of everyone else on tour maybe with DJ being somewhat comparable. Still if you watched the WGC he hit drives straighter and further then just about anyone. I expect him to be popular, but it is for good reason as his game is a blueprint to success at this course.
Ricky Fowler 10.7k DK/$16.6k FDraft – Ricky and Paul Casey are the only golfers I targeted in every major this year, and that trend is going to continue this week. Fowler had a string of double bogeys early in his week at Bridgestone, but still grinded back and rallied for a solid finish. Probably playing the most consistent golf of anyone this year, solid everywhere and is an elite scrambler. Price is a little elevated so it is not like the Open where everyone was targeting him, but he still should be one of the more popular plays up top.
Jon Rahm $10.1k DK/$16.8k FDraft – Not super sold on this spot for Rahm, but besides Rory he is on the short list of guys who can just go nuts off the tee with the driver. Like most places we have no course history with Rahm, but he has shown that he can contend anywhere especially when he gets off to a good start. Frustration has been a little issue with Rahm, seems like when he gets heated the wheels can fall off. Not someone I plan to jam in, but as a different style of team I could see Rahm being a sneaky play with the ability to go under-owned this week.
Adam Scott $8.6k DK, $15.9k FDraft – For cash he seems like close to a lock as he is usually very steady and reliable. GPP upside has been limited, as Scott has not made much noise on Sundays this year. He also does have the wife possibly having a child a week early WD risk, but that is something that most likely will not factor in. For GPP’s I am looking to possibly pay up a little and go get Rose in some spots, but that is based off ownership and finding out what is going on with Rose as he has been really bad lately.
Paul Casey $7.8k DK/$14.7k FDraft – Last week I wrote the following about Casey and it is exactly how I feel once again this week: “Obviously recommending Paul Casey since I play him every week. He again at the Open started off with hot fire and then did Paul Casey like things and collapsed, but still breezed thru the cut and finished T11 which is very solid. Casey has not won, but also has rarely if ever burned anyone this year so I will continue to roster him and hope he can keep up these top 15 finishes that he keeps posting. Stats wise he is solid across the board, only knock would be his upside is pretty limited and he has not broken thru to get a W this year”
One thing I will add is his price is a lot more appealing this week rather than last, but I expect ownership to be increased as well.
Louie Oosthuizen $7.5k DK/$14.4k FDraft – Charl Schwartzel is at the same price, so good luck figuring out which South African to play. Louie is one of the harder players to roster because it’s super difficult to project how he plays, but he can get going at any moment. Charl probably the safer of the two which is insane because Charl is not that safe, but Oosty has a lot of mystery surrounding him. Clearly Louie is GPP only, but stats wise he should fit this course with his ability to attack long par 4’s and hopefully get hot on these Bermuda greens. Hoping he is really lightly owned with his recent form so that I can only invest like 15% and possibly be 3x against the field.
Kevin Chappell $7k DK/$14k FDraft – Used him a good amount last week and he was solid with a T13 finish. His irons have been fire lately and that is what he is going to need to continue to do in order to have a chance this week. His 7k price range is super crowded – Finau, Kisner, Lucas Glover all sitting there and I am interested in all 4. Going to wait and see about ownership and other supplemental factors (tee times, weather) before determining my exposure, but Chaps has the skill set to compete at Quail Hollow.
Bill Haas $6.8k DK/$13k FDraft – Another guilty pleasure of mine is rostering Bill Haas, who can be one of the more frustrating players to target. He is known for his 17 par 1 bogey type rounds which are killers in the scoring department, but lately he has been a little more erratic. At the Open he had plenty of birdies, but was bogeying at an absurd clip which sent him packing after Friday. He has North Carolina roots, one of the best on 450-500 yard par 4s and is still a reliable cut maker. If he can keep the ball in play off the tee and avoid spraying he should have no problem hitting a ton of greens and giving himself plenty of chances to hang around late into the weekend.
Francesco Molinari $6.8k DK/$13.1k FDraft – When this guy was rolling earlier in the year everyone was on him and I used to fade, now he is playing pretty ugly golf and I keep firing. Moli finally showed signs of life with a really good weekend at Bridgestone and his price is as depressed as you will see it. Putting has been the issue as Moli has been one of the worst over his recent stretch of poor form, but I see regression coming and that makes this price a pretty good steal. Usually limited upside, but sub 7k for a quality golfer like this should allow him to easily make value if he can get thru the cut.
Fades & Notes
Hideki Matsuyama – Uncomfortable fade, but that is what you have to do in majors where there is this kind of talent. Hideki played maybe the best single round of golf I have seen this year last Sunday, but I prefer everyone else over 10k to Hideki this week. Still plan to have a little, but think his ownership is going to be inflated off that absurd showing last week.
** One last note, they are expecting possible heavy rains throughout this week, that will change some things and make this course longer and softer. Keep an eye out for that, and as always make sure to check back in later in the week to see what has changed **
Good luck everyone!
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