PGA DFS Playbook - PGA Championship
Drew Phelps explores every Fairway, reads every Green and uses his DFS Golf experience to put together a winning DFS Playbook for the PGA Championship.
What a wild ride at the WGC: FedEx St. Jude Invitational with a terrific finish. Justin Thomas is something special, I mean when you look back at his Sunday final round, he didn’t really play well. He struggled but still found a way to fight off a crowded leaderboard which included some of the best players in the world. Then you’ve got Brooks Koepka who was great throughout the weekend, and puts him as one of the favorites to win this week’s PGA Championship, lost nearly half a million dollars in prize money with his double bogey on the 18th hole. It was also amazing to watch a guy like Daniel Berger start off terribly but battled his way back to finish in a four way tie for runner up. We saw what a great field of talent can do in Memphis this past weekend and the field gets even stronger this weekend as nearly all of the Top 50 players in the world will tee it up in San Francisco.
The PGA Championship will make its debut at TPC Harding Park this weekend. The Olympic Club which has hosted the U.S. Open five times sits right across the street. In 1998, the Olympic Club hosted the U.S. Open and the land where TPC Harding Park sits now was used as a parking lot for patrons of the event. In the time since, TPC Harding Park hosted the 2015 WGC Match Play and forty players from that field will participate this weekend.
The course played as a Par 71 when it hosted the Match Play but will be a Par 70 this weekend. The yardage could be as long as 7,400 yards depending on the tee placements but is listed at 7,234 yards. There are just two Par 5s on the course which means the scoring has got to be done on the Par 4s. We’ve got three short Par 4s and seven Par 4s which reach out more than 450 yards. That’s why once again I’ll put Par 4 Efficiency 450-500 back into my key stats this weekend.
When really looking through the information on this course and how the PGA Tour will set it up for these players, I got a sense that this will be a combination of a U.S. Open with an Open Championship. The course will feature narrow tree lined fairways, thick punishing rough, and fast greens like most U.S. Opens. The course also has little to no water, tough bunkers and high winds which makes you think of an Open Championship. Length off the tee will be at a premium but with these thin fairways, I’m going to focus on total driving which takes into account distance and accuracy. This deep rough is going to give even the best scramblers in the world fits, but I’m going to add that to my key stats. The winner this weekend will be the player who can avoid the big numbers (like Bryson’s 10 and DJ’s 9 over the last few weeks) and that’s why I’m putting bogey avoidance back in the mix. Finally, I talk about this every week, you can’t make up ground on the field without making birdies and you can’t make birdies without putting yourself into good positions on the approach.
So, what kind of players should you target this week? That’s the million dollar question because you want a player with distance off the tee but they can't sprays it all over the yard. You want an accurate player to keep the ball in the short stuff but will they be able to take advantage of the short Par 4s. I’m going to do my best to spread the wealth this weekend. There are 156 players in the field this weekend, so I decided to give you more plays than usual for this weekend's major.
Lastly, the weather looks to be terrific this weekend with partly cloudy skies and temperatures in the mid-60s throughout the tournament. The one thing these players will have to contend with will be the winds. Right now Thursday looks to be the worst with winds getting close to 20 MPH but the rest of the weekend will be in the low teens. There are players who play better in swirling winds like a Marc Leishman or some of the European tour players who are used to these conditions.
KEY STATS: Strokes Gained: Approach, Total Driving, Scrambling, Bogey Avoidance, and Par 4 Efficiency 450-500 yards.
ONE & DONE PICK: Jon Rahm
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