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PGA Championship Analysis and Picks

The final major of the year has arrived – the PGA Championship. Usually the PGA Championship is considered the least hyped, however, Valhalla promises to bring fantastic excitement and drama. Not only was Valhalla the site of the 2008 Ryder Cup when USA last defeated Europe, the details of this course will excite DFS players.

To keep things clear, we’ll give an overview to the course, important holes, other elements and then give picks using our statistical analysis.

  • Valhalla is a par 71 at 7,458 yards. If you’re any kind of a golf fan, I highly suggest you take a brief look at the course at the provided link. You can also watch a course tour and see flyovers of all the holes. You’ll see not just that it’s a gorgeous layout, but you’ll see how there are a ton of risk-reward holes. Why is this important to DFS? There are three par 5s that are all reachable in two and a par 4 that is possibly drivable. Eagles are very important for scoring. Vegas odds for this tournament are actually slightly favoring the longer hitters. Which holes are most noteworthy for DFS players to get eagles?
  • Hole No. 4, 372 yards – This hole would require an insane bomb. But for players like Rory McIlroy or Bubba Watson (hole design plays to his power cut), it’s possible. This hole is fairly flat, the fairway ends about 300 yards out, but there is a fairway patch that starts just short of the green. There are some bunkers around the green and trouble left, but anything short or right will end up in the rough. Most players will just hit a long iron or utility club here, but a few people may go for it.
  • Hole No. 7, 597 yards – This par 5 has a unique design. There are two fairways. One that is wider off to the right, has water on the left and plays the full 597. The second fairway plays about 50 yards shorter, however it’s narrower and has water on both sides of the fairway. Should someone take the narrower route, they will only have a long-iron in for their second. The course tour will give you an idea more specifically what the differences are, but you can bank on several eagles here. Longer hitters can hit this green in two no matter which route they take, but even shorter and accurate hitters can take the narrow route and easily hit the green in two.
  • Hole No. 10, 590 yards – A double-dogleg that will require shaping shots, but this hole is reachable. This is a shallow green that does set up more for it being a three-shot hole, but people can roll the ball onto the left-hand side of the green with the down slope in the fairway.
  • Hole No. 13, 350 yards – Even though this hole is only 350, no one is going to go for this green. This is an island green that sits 20 feet high on boulders surrounded by water. Even though eagles won’t happen here (unless there’s a spectacular wedge shot), drama always unfolds on this hole. Worth keeping an eye on.
  • Hole No. 18, 542 yards – With a very reachable par 5 to finish, a lot of noise will be made here. On Sunday, look for particularly aggressive play that will swing the standings as you chase to win your DFS event.

 

  • As you can see, longer hitters will have an advantage to take advantage of eagle opportunities. Furthermore, six of the par 4s are 463 yards or more. Many of these greens are shallow, so the longer hitters who can hit higher ball-flights will be able to hold the greens more effectively.
  • Weather must always be considered. One of the reasons why Jason Dufner was able to shoot his 63 at last season’s PGA Championship was that Oak Hill got a lot of rain before the tournament, and the greens were incredible soft. As of Tuesday night, It’s expected to be sunny on Wednesday, but cloudy at Valhalla (Louisville, KY) for the entire tournament, little wind and about a 50% chance of rain is expected Friday through Sunday. Should it rain, a softer course is an easier one, especially with no wind. This is all the more reason to grab the top guys who can go really low.

 

Picks: Since the PGA Championship has 155 entrants, there are salaries ranging from Rory McIlroy’s $11,600 all the way do a few people at $3,000. We have a lot of flexiblity in the kind of lineup we want to make. DraftKings has done a decent job in pricing the salaries this week, but there are some solid value plays here and there. I’ll give a few of my favorite plays at certain price levels primarily based on odds vs. salary and also factoring in how they fit the course. Then I’ll give my ideal lineup.

 

Low Salary

Russell Henley $4,400

Matt Jones $4,500

Matt Every $4,700

Thongchai Jaidee $4,700

 

Middle Salary

J.B. Holmes $6,700

Victor Dubuisson $6,800

Jason Dufner $7,200

 

Mid-To-High Salary

Hideki Matsuyama $7,700

Charl Schwartzel $8,300

 

High Salary

Sergio Garcia $10,200

Justin Rose $10,500

Adam Scott $10,700

Rory McIlroy $11,600

 

Ideal Lineup

Rory McIlroy $11,600

Adam Scott $10,700

Justin Rose $10,500

Charl Schwartzel $8,300

Matt Jones $4,500

Russell Henley $4,400

 

This lineup has the top three players, and it’s important to get as many of them in as you can while putting in other great value plays. McIlroy, Scott and Rose are playing outstanding golf this year and as of late. Schwartzel certainly has the best price vs. odds at around that price range. Jones and Henley are the two best value plays in the entire tournament. All six players have won of the PGA Tour, and four of them have won a major. All six of these guys are in the top 60 in driving distance (four in the top 30). Jones won earlier on the Tour this season and is very capable of going deep. Also, fortunately enough, this uses all of your salary.

 

Good luck!

View all posts by Nick Juskewycz
Nick Juskewycz

About the Author

Sked Nick is a Daily Fantasy Sports enthusiast and a former Bleacher Report Featured Columnist. Most of his time is dedicated to the sports world in front of several televisions, monitors and a projector. This involves researching, writing, watching games or simply keeping up to date on news.He graduated with honors from Bowling Green State University with a degree in sport management and journalism. Furthermore, Nick was a radio play-by-play and color commentator for Bowling Green football, men's basketball, women's basketball and baseball. He also has experience working with the BGSU athletic department.Follow @NickJuskewycz

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