• The PGA Tour returns this week after last week saw Jason Day returned to the winner’s circle for the first time in 5 years. This win seemed like it had been brewing all of this season with Day consistently finding himself in the top 10 of leaderboards. It was nice to see the former PGA Champion back on top.

    We now move on to the second major of the season, the PGA Championship. This is also the second time we will see the integration of the golfers from the LIV tour. Much will be made about their performance this week on both sides. I don’t really care all that much, I’m just happy to see all of the best players in the world competing on the same course and it should make for a fascinating week of golf.

    For those unfamiliar, the PGA Championship switched to the May spot on the schedule back in 2019. Previous to that it was the conclusion of major season being played in August, but was moved to May when the playoff schedule was revamped. The PGA Championship is played on a rotating schedule of courses, much like The U.S. Open and The Open Championship across the pond. Here are recent champions of the event:

    2022- Justin Thomas (Southern Hills)

    2021- Phil Mickelson (Kiawah Island)

    2020- Collin Morikawa (TPC Harding Park)

    2019- Brooks Koepka (Bethpage Black)

    2018- Brooks Koepka (Bellerive)

    2017- Justin Thomas (Quail Hollow)

    The Course

    Oak Hill Country Club will play host this week as it also did for the PGA Championship back in 2013 and 2003. This venue has also hosted 3 U.S. Open’s (1956,1968, 1989) and the Ryder Cup in 1995. Located just outside of Rochester, NY, Oak Hill saw a major renovation in 2019 where close to 600 trees were removed from the course. The purpose of this renovation was to help restore the course to its original conception created by Donald Ross over 100 years ago.

    The main takeaway is that the course will play significantly different than it did when it last hosted the PGA Championship in 2013. Oak Hill will play as a long, open course that feature penalizing bunkers and green runoffs for poor approach shots. Off the tee will be quite demanding as well, as even though trees were removed to open things up, the fairways are still fairly narrow and are lined with fairway bunkers that will be a chore to operate from.

    Playing as a par-70 at just under 7,400 yards this week, players will encounter two par-5s that both eclipse 615 yards in distance, as well as multiple par-3s that will be played over 230 yards.

    For a more detailed course breakdown, Golf Digest did an excellent flyover with individual hole descriptions that can be found here:

    The Field

    156 players will tee it up this week with a cutline after 36 holes of the top 70 and ties moving on to play the weekend.

    Former PGA Champions and upwards of 20 PGA Professionals are in the field this week, so really, we are looking at about 125 or so real players in the field this week. Add that to the fact that the cutline is increased to top 70 and ties for this week, means it is more imperative to get 6/6 golfers through in your DraftKings lineups this week. Easier said than done, but the odds of that happening this week are increased.

    Key Stats

    In addition to the stats listed below this week, I will look at recent major championship performance, play on difficult courses, and to a lesser extent, players who do well in windier conditions.

    Here are the key stats I am considering when building my lineups this week.

    1. SG: Approach– Iron play is always on this list and forever will be. It is the most correlated long-term stat with success. While bad iron play can be made up for if every other part of the game is dialed in, I don’t like to bet on that being a probably outcome. Strong irons put golfers in position to succeed at major championships time and time again.
    2. SG: OTT/Driving Distance– As is the case with most lengthy courses, off the tee play will be a major advantage. Fairly narrow fairways will lead to a decent number of missed fairways for players, so having a shorter iron in out of the rough will be an advantage when trying to have the proper ball flight to land it on these greens.
    3. Proximity 175+– Gauging by the scorecard, it is fair to assume that a good amount of approach shots will come from this range. Wind is in the forecast for Friday-Sunday (at the moment) so it may not hurt to check out who performs well in windy conditions from this range as well.
    4. SG: ARG- Long approach shots (and a couple very long par-3s) mixed with below average green sizes will lead to a fair number of missed greens in theory. Also, will be looking at how golfers perform out of the sand due to the litany of greenside bunkers.
    5. Bogey Avoidance- The PGA Championship has increased the difficulty over the past half decade or so. While it is not quite the test that U.S. Opens are, scoring will still be at a premium this week and pars will be perfectly acceptable. I am targeting golfers that limit mistakes as often as possible.

    Follow me on Twitter @mlafem10 for additional thoughts as the week goes on and I’d be happy to help out with any lineup questions you have. Let’s make some money!

    Round 1 Props

    Thrive Contest Plays for Thursday’s Round 1 Action

    Jon Rahm 68.5 Stokes: LESS (110 PTS)- Par 70 this week so we need Rahm to shoot a two under round or better, but if there is anyone in the field up to the task, it’s Rahm. His distance is going to be a major advantage at this course, especially with the chillier conditions forecasted for Thursday.

    Matthew Fitzpatrick 70.5 Strokes: LESS (100 PTS)- I think Fitz is an excellent course fit at Oak Hill with his improved distance and short game prowess. Fitzpatrick is top five in the field in strokes gained total in difficult scoring conditions over the past 50 rounds (including 3rd in bogey avoidance in those same difficult conditions). A recent winner at RBC Heritage, I am comfortable betting on Fitz to start his PGA Championship with a round of par or better.

    Bryson DeChambeau 72.5 Strokes: LESS (75 PTS)- I am going to go against my better judgement here and back DeChambeau. While he is not the player he was when he bombed his way to victory at Winged Foot during the 2020 U.S. Open (which has a very comparable set up to Oak Hill), he still has the skillset to do well enough this week. Showed some life with a 7th in Tulsa last week, so I expect Bryson to keep some of that momentum going into Thursday’s round.

    Props Record YTD


    DFS Top Tier Play

    Jon Rahm

    Salary: $11,400

    As is the case with most major championship weeks, the toughest decision is what to do up top. One of those factors is to consider is what the options are in the lower tier range. This week there are enough names in the mid to upper $6K’s that Rahm’s price isn’t going to deter me from using him. He is the best player in the world and he will certainly garner some ownership, so have a plan on how you want to use the rest of your roster spots when clicking Rahm’s name this week. I like the idea of pairing him with a $10K (or upper $9K) to fit as much win equity as I can to start my lineup. For what it’s worth, I think Rory is a great leverage play at $10,700 as the general sentiment around him is that something is off which should result in reduced ownership for Rory at a major.

    Others Considered: Brooks Koepka ($10,100), Rory McIlroy ($10,700)

    DFS Mid Tier Play

    Matthew Fitzpatrick

    Salary: $8,400

    Fitzpatrick’s price could have been $9,400 and I wouldn’t have blinked an eye. After struggling with his irons to start the year (possibly due to the neck injury), Fitzpatrick is playing some great golf again with a 10th at the Masters, followed by a win at the RBC Heritage and a 35th at Quail Hollow. Last year’s U.S. Open champion has shown multiple times he is built to handle long, difficult courses, but more importantly has been showing up in majors. His improved distance, touch around the green, and reliable putter gives me confidence that Fitz is a great course fit and won’t be engulfed in the moment.

    Others Considered: Sahith Theegala ($8,100), Taylor Moore ($7,800)

    DFS Value Play

    Gary Woodland

    Salary: $7,100

    This is going to be a fairly popular play, but with good reason. Woodland has been immaculate recently tee to green, but the putter is a real issue. Woodland is one of the best long iron players in the world and is also one of the longest drivers of the golf ball. These skills give him a distinct advantage this week. His form coming in is solid with a 14th at the Wells Fargo in his most recent appearance and having only missed one cut since January. We will keep an eye on ownership throughout the week, as if the love for Woodland gets a little too out of control, we will look elsewhere.

    Others Considered: Mito Pereira ($7,000), Alex Smalley ($6,300)

    Betting Card

    Jon Rahm +1100*

    Brooks Koepka +2100

    Justin Thomas +3000

    Keegan Bradley +10000

    Mito Pereira +19000

    *Boosted odds via DraftKings Sportsbook

    Lineup Builder


    Position Player Name DK Salary
    G Jon Rahm $11,400
    G Brooks Koepka $10,100
    G Taylor Moore $7,800
    G Alex Smalley $6,300
    REMAINING BUDGET $14,400 for 2 golfers
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