The second major of the year is upon us as the golf world heads to Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York for the PGA Championship.
The PGA Championship's course rotation makes it a unique event, but it's been 10 years since we saw this course host the PGA Championship (which was 10 years after it hosted the 2003 PGA Championship).
That means we won't have as much course knowledge to work with this week.
How does that impact our daily fantasy golf and betting strategy?
You can jump ahead to any specific section of the piece you would like.
Course Information and Key Stats
Golfers With Great Course History
Daily Fantasy Picks
Oak Hill Country Club Course Info & Key Stats
Distance: 7,394 (around 175 yards longer than the average par 70)
Fairway Width: 3.8 fairway acres per 1,000 yards (a little tight)
Average Green Size: 4,500 (tiny; around 75% of the PGA average)
Green Type: Bentgrass
Recent Winning Scores: -10 (2013 PGA), -4 (2003 PGA)
Recent Cut Lines: +3, -1
Key Stats (in Order of Importance): Total Strokes Gained, Strokes Gained: Approach, Strokes Gained: Off the Tee, Birdie or Better Rate, Strokes Gained: Putting
With a lack of strokes gained data from past events at Oak Hill, we can do only so much with regards to knowing what stats will matter most by Sunday afternoon.
With that said, though, we can look at comparable courses based on distance and green size.
Typically, at longer courses with smaller greens, there's a natural emphasis on driving distance and a bit of a de-emphasis on driving accuracy. With the small greens, golfers will be missing greens in regulation and will need to get up-and-down often.
Frankly, any time we get a major setup, golfers have to excel at everything, and that's why I'm okay letting total strokes gained do the heavy lifting this week.
The more holes a golfer has in his game, the less likely he is to win a major. Sometimes it's that simple.
Golfers With Great Course/Event History
I will not be factoring in the 2013 PGA Championship this week.
Win Simulations for the PGA Championship
Here are the most likely winners this week, according to my win simulation model, as well as their golf betting odds at FanDuel Sportsbook.
Win Simulation Analysis and Best Bets for the PGA Championship
At the top of the board, we have identical +750 numbers for both Jon Rahm and Scottie Scheffler, but one is overvalued (Scheffler) and one is an actual value (Rahm). Rahm is expected to be +675 in my model for the week. I'm fine starting a betting card with Rahm as he attempts to extend his grand slam bid.
Beyond that, we have some overvalued names in the mix, which puts added value on Xander Schauffele at +1700 even after being bet down from +2400. Schauffele has an all-around game and a good major record. That's ideal.
There's some value (but less) on his buddy, Patrick Cantlay at +2000. I don't mind getting there, as well, but with a favorite in Rahm on the card, we have to be mindful of how we're constructing the rest of the list.
And with some value on Collin Morikawa (+3400), I like him as my third. In the event that accuracy helps guys separate, Morikawa would likely be able to gain greens on the field due to his elite iron play. Rahm is looking for a third major -- but so is Morikawa.
Daily Fantasy Golfer Picks for the PGA Championship
All stats cited below originate at datagolf and reference ranks relative to the field over the past 50 rounds. References to my combo model refer to a combination of long-term, field-adjusted form, key stat performance, and hole-by-hole-level strokes gained data.
Best of the Best
Jon Rahm (FanDuel Salary: $12,100 | Golf betting odds: +750) - There really aren't any wrong answers at the top of a major pool, but the most correct one this week from a process standpoint is Jon Rahm, who is my model's favorite to win and who also ranks top-five in combined strokes from ball-striking and short game, the only golfer in the field who can say that. Rahm now has two major titles under his belt and has three top-15s over his past five PGA Championships.
Xander Schauffele ($11,100 | +1700) - Yeah, so I recommend Schauffele in basically every major, but it rarely goes wrong. He has four straight top-15s at majors and is in impeccable form right now, including ranking third in the field in true strokes gained over the past 50 rounds. In his lone start since late April, he was solo-second at the Wells Fargo Championship. His irons are at an all-time high for him, too.
Others to Consider:
Patrick Cantlay ($11,300 | +2100)
Tony Finau ($10,900 | +2100)
Collin Morikawa ($10,800 | +3400)
Sungjae Im ($10,200 | +3600)
Jason Day ($9,900 | +2900) - It's not chasing with Day after a win last week. He had been trending up for quite some time now and is listed at a great salary because the slate was released before his win occurred at the AT&T Byron Nelson. Day ranks 7th in the field in true strokes gained overall and is 15th in strokes gained: tee to green and 7th in putting. He's one of the most complete players in the world right now.
Rickie Fowler ($9,200 | +5500) - Rickie Fowler is back in a pretty big way. Fowler finds himself ranked 11th in this field in strokes gained: approach over the past 50 rounds and is 30th in putting. Where he could struggle is with the driver, as he is 81st in strokes gained: off the tee despite positive marks in both driving distance and driving accuracy. He enters with four straight top-15s in stroke play events.
Others to Consider:
Tyrrell Hatton ($9,700 | +4600)
Tommy Fleetwood ($9,400 | +5500)
Wyndham Clark ($9,200 | +7500)
Corey Conners ($9,100 | +12000)
Russell Henley ($8,600 | +12000) - Whenever we want some semblance of accuracy (1st) and irons (39th), Henley is someone to consider. He is coming off of a top-five at the Masters in terms of his major record, and his only true red flag is putting (112th). That's not something we can totally just gloss over, but he's a top-25 tee-to-green player at a true value salary.
Si Woo Kim ($8,500 | +12000) - Kim enters ranked in the top-50 in all four strokes gained stats but isn't better than 40th in any of them. That's all right. That's a really balanced profile, and he's 15th in the field in accuracy. He enters off of a T2 at the AT&T Byron Nelson.
Others to Consider:
Chris Kirk ($8,800 | +28000)
Matt Kuchar ($8,700 | +28000)
Denny McCarthy ($8,100 | +19000)
Taylor Moore ($8,000 | +16000)