Updated: Jan 14
This week we get the PGA Championship, the second major of the year, and the first PGA event on the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island since 2012. In that event, only 20 golfers scored under par, including champion Rory McIlroy with a score of -13. At over 7,800 yards, about 200 yards longer than the course Rory won on, the course is the longest in major championship history.
And if the length alone is not enough of challenge, the Oceans Course features several raised greens, which eliminated the traditional bump and run approach shots that are effective at most other courses on the tour. As of now, wind is supposed to be moderate, but if it picks up things will get difficult fast. As such, we will be targeting a few golfers who play well in windy conditions.
Other metrics we will be targeting this week include strokes gained off the tee, strokes gained on approach, strokes gained around the green, ball striking, par 4 efficiency, and bogey avoidance.
In this post, we want to look at these metrics and highlight some of our favorite golfers in the competition:
Dustin Johnson ($10,900-DK; +900 to win)
There was some speculation over whether Johnson is healthy heading into this major, but a few social media posts of him jumping off a boat resolved that. When healthy, Johnson is one of the best golfers in the world and jumps off the page in our models for strokes gained off the tee and ball striking.
Jordan Spieth ($10,100-DK; +1600 to win)
With six top ten finished in his last eight events, Spieth will be in excellent form as he looks to win the last major he needs to complete a Career Grand Slam. He finished second in 2015 and third in 2019.
Victor Hovland ($9,300-DK; +2000 to win)
Another golfer who enters this major in excellent form is Hovland, who tied for third in his last two events. Hovland is an elite golfer who tends to struggle most around the green, but recently he gained strokes in those last two events.
Thomas Pieters ($6,800-DK; +10000 to win)
As we mentioned earlier, if the wind picks up, things can get ugly for golfers. Pieters stands out as one of the golfers in the field who plays relatively well in such windy conditions. Pieters struggled last week finishing putts, but will benefit from putting on his preferred surface in this event.
Paul Casey ($7,700-DK; +5500 to win)
Casey has been in excellent form lately and has a history of finishing high in big events. While we would not pick him to win, he would be an interesting play to finish inside the top 20.
Chris Kirk ($7,000-DK; +20000 to win)
It would be wrong not to mention Kirk, who stands out in multiple metrics we are look at this weekend, including ball striking, approach, and bogey avoidance.
Sam Horsfield ($6,700-DK; +60000 to win)
One last value play to consider is Horsfield, a regular golfer on the Euro Tour. He may not win but he could be a valuable asset in DFS lineups. In Euro Tour events, Horsfield is among the $10k golfers priced at the top.
*This preview does not represent our final picks for this event. For our full set of picks, check out our Game Picks section!
**Odds accurate at time of posting.