Daily Fantasy Golf Picks & Plays for The PGA Championship
As always, our goal is for PlayPicks to be your first and last stop for an all-around PGA news source each week … and for free! Give me a follow at @DFSJimmie if you haven’t already. And while you’re at it, go ahead and like PlayPicks on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Now, back to your regularly scheduled PGA breakdown.
PGA DFS contests
Millionaire: $20 entry, $2.75M guaranteed (DraftKings) – $1,000,000 to 1st!
Fore: $4 entry, $600k guaranteed (DraftKings) – $100,000 to 1st!
Eagle: $15 entry, $325k guaranteed (FanDuel) – $100,000 to 1st!
Click here for all FantasyDraft PGA DFS Contests!
Bellerive is located just outside St. Louis, Missouri in the heartland of America. It’s a lengthy 7,313-yard par 70, laid out in zoysia grass fairways with bent grass greens and some of the largest and deepest bunkers this side of the Atlantic. Originally a Robert Trent Jones classic, Rees Jones took his turn modernizing this track for big events in 2006. Plenty of mature trees line the fairways, and mowed run-off areas surround many of the greens and bunkers.
How it plays
Hosting only one professional competitive round since the redesign, the 2008 BMW Championship, Bellerive will be a curiosity this week. It is hard to say exactly how the course is going to be set up for its first major in a long time. The 2008 BMW edition yielded -0.63 strokes under par on average with a winning score of -15.
Ultimately, there’s plenty of scoring to be had on this dynamic course, which allows for some hole flexibility between rounds to encourage aggressive decision making. The short par 4 11th can and will be set up as a driveable hole two of the four days.
Golfers will likely miss the tight fairways at a higher clip than normal. The key will be to position themselves away from the bunkers and on the correct side of the hole to access the necessary quadrant of the green dictated by the pin position. Because of the par 5 length and the few gettable shorter holes, this course doesn’t seem to require a ton of length to compete. Instead, it favors strong ball-striking with an above average putting. See my full video breakdown of Bellerive here.
Looking at the one and only sample we have from 2008, we can see where the guys both struggled and succeeded. The long par 4’s are the only group of holes that averages over par scoring. Meanwhile, the par 3’s are neutral. The action all came on the short/mid par 4’s and the par 5’s.
The shorter par 4’s are gettable for everyone in the field. Sure, the bombers will have an edge on these holes if their skill set is applied wisely. That said, these holes are technical enough to make the guys think about placement off the tee. The 17th, a dynamic par 5 that will be set up significantly shorter one day this week, should make for some interesting late-round fireworks.
In looking through the leaderboard from 2008, I was surprised to find a lack of bombers and a glut of shorter hitters and really strong putters. I am going to lean that way again this year in player selection.
- SG: T2G
- SG: Approach
- Par 4 Scoring
- Par 5 scoring
- Bent Putting
PGA DFS players
Top Tier: $11.4K – $9.5K
Dustin Johnson ($11.7K)
Charging up the leaderboards last weekend, the world no. 1 didn’t miss a beat with his strong second-place finish. I’m not going to belabor the point, but DJ is suited for any course and can take advantage of any field when in form. When his putter gets going to match the rest of his elite game, the field is playing for second place. Johnson is most definitely in play this week.
Justin Thomas ($9.7K)
Luckily, we get to roll Thomas’ enormous value from last week into this one. JT has performed well across the world on a variety of different course styles and difficulty and has the all-around game to navigate Bellerive but be aggressive when he is able on the shorter par 4’s. Don’t be surprised if JT is the second Major winner to defend this year.
Brooks Koepka ($9.6K)
A disappointing Open Championship and Canadian Open led to people jumping off the Brooks train. But given his strong performance last week, with a fifth-place finish at a course I find to be comparable to Bellerive, I like Brooks to put himself in the mix this week. He should use his length to attack the scoreable holes and his clutch putting to keep near the top of the leaderboard and put up a big number on DraftKings.
Other to consider: Rickie Fowler, Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy
Mid Tier: $9.4K – $8K
Justin Rose ($9.4K)
I was really high on Rose last week prior to his WD from Firestone and am not going to let his “back spasms” get me down. Rose should be up to the task physically, and the course sets up great for his game. Sporting strong results all year, Rose plays for the big events. He is an exceptional value at $9.4K and allows flexibility in roster construction if you anchor a lineup with him.
Jason Day ($9K)
Jason Day is back in early season form that saw him notch a couple of wins, and just in time for his favorite Major. Day owns the most DraftKings points scored at this event the past three years, averaging 116.5. His dominant 2015 score of 149 certainly helps this case. Then, he posted 111 and 89 the next two years. Day loves this event and gaining his strokes through approach. Thus, he is a crazy value at his price tag. Look for him to be one of the more heavily tagged golfers at FanShare this week.
Tony Finau ($8.1K)
Finau just keeps getting it done at the Majors this year. His game is clearly in form off his strong finish last week. He’s a player we keep expecting to break through at a normal PGA event who just hasn’t gotten it done. Therefore, to think a win at a Major is coming seems a long shot, but a top five finish seems comfortably within his range of outcomes. Tony can attack with his distance but plays patient enough to conquer the technical aspects of the course as well. It’s nice to see him priced up a bit this week compared to the previous Majors. This might keep his chalky ownership in check.
Paul Casey ($8K)
Casey might be my favorite play of the slate. He comes with a stellar price, has notched a win this year, is in phenomenal from T2G, is currently gaining strokes approach and putting, is a positive strokes gained bent grass putter, and finally has a habit of nabbing a casual top five finish. What more could you want for $8k? Lock in Casey in all formats. Oh, and he’s averaged the seventh-most DraftKings points at this event the past three years!
Others to consider: Patrick Reed, Henrik Stenson, Hideki Matsuyama
Value Tier: $7.9K and Lower
Louis Oousthuizen ($7.7K)
Louis Oousthuizen doesn’t play much, but when he does, he tends to play well, especially lately. Normally, I’m not a Louis guy, but he should be a solid GPP play this week. He comes with lots of upside and owns the eighth-most DK points the past three years at this event. He’s made four of his last four cuts, including two Majors and three top 20s. Louis represents a GPP pivot with upside if you can handle the risk.
Joaquin Niemann ($7.6K)
My guy is making his PGA Champ debut this week off a string of strong outings. He will surely get plenty of attention this week in the tags department at Fanshare. Expect Niemann to be plenty chalky and rightfully so. His approach game is elite and should allow him to access the correct quadrants of these greens. He is a prolific scorer and handles his game off the tee nicely and with plenty of power. Just a word of caution: while Niemann is a stud, I would avoid an all-in push in GPPs. This is only his third Major appearance.
Brandt Snedeker ($7.5K)
Brandt didn’t do me any favors the last time I wrote him up for the Open Championship, but this is Major golf, and variance is at an all-time high. So I am going right back to Brandt this week. I don’t expect him to be contending for many eagles, but he should be able to manage the course well from the tee. Then, his strokes gained approach have been off the charts lately. Brandt is also a strong putter, clutch in close, and one of the best lag putters in the world. That should all help him contend on these large greens. I’ll be taking some shares on “Sneds” in GPP this week.
Rafa Cabrera Bello ($7.3K)
While Rafa will certainly be the least discussed Spaniard in the field, he just might be the one to post the best finish by the time Sunday is over. An elite ball striker with a mediocre putter, Rafa has the game to play here. He’s shown some signs of form recently with a 17th at the Players and a 17th last week, both accomplished through the aforementioned elite ball striking. RCB should give himself plenty of looks this week and is a positive bent grass putter too.
Others to consider: Ian Poulter, Billy Horschel, Joaquin Niemann, Marc Leishman, Keegan Bradley, Kevin Chappell, Gary Woodland, Aaron Wise, Russell Henley, Beau Hossler
*Eligibility restrictions apply. See website for details.