Yahoo DFS Golf: PGA Championship

Yahoo DFS Golf: PGA Championship

This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Golf series.

PGA Championship

San Francisco, California
TPC Harding Park - Par 70 - 7,234 yards
Field - 156 entrants
Purse - $11M

The Preview

Abnormal circumstances have us preparing for the 2019-20 campaign's first major in early August as the PGA Championship finds itself also unusually stationed from a geographical perspective, making a west-coast appearance in California for the first time since Riviera hosted back in 1995. Major-caliber fields have already made their presence felt since the restart due to the nature of a condensed schedule with the FedEx Cup Playoffs looming in the near future, as made evident just this past weekend by the battle between Justin Thomas and Brooks Koepka atop a loaded WGC leaderboard. A lengthy, yet narrow par-70 layout lined with thick rough at TPC Harding Park plays even longer due to San Francisco's chilly summer morning temps and substantial oceanic afternoon breeze each day. Power off the tee is certainly a bonus here, but finding the fairway is going to be key in order to maximize scoring opportunities and avoid chronic scrambling needs.

Recent Champions

2019 - Brooks Koepka
2018 - Brooks Koepka
2017 - Justin Thomas
2016 - Jimmy Walker
2015 - Jason Day
2014 - Rory McIlroy
2013 - Jason Dufner
2012 - Rory McIlroy
2011 - Keegan Bradley
2010 - Martin Kaymer

Key Stats to Victory

SG: Off-the-Tee
GIR percentage
Driving distance
Rough proximity

Yahoo Value Picks

Based on $200 salary cap

Cream of the Crop

Justin Thomas - $48

Thomas not only clawed his way back from a four-shot deficit after 54 holes in Memphis, but a couple fortunate bounces late in Sunday's round allowed him to finish three strokes clear of anyone as he reclaimed World No. 1 honors with his second win of the 2020 calendar year. The WGC victory is even more impressive considering he lost nearly two strokes with the flat stick at TPC Southwind, but still managed to collect at least five birdies in three of four rounds. JT, who hoisted the Wanamaker Trophy in 2017 at Quail Hollow, has gained over 13 strokes from tee to green in two of his last three starts dating to a playoff loss at the Workday Charity Open. Through 42 measured rounds this season, the FedEx Cup points leader ranks first in SG: Approach, first in SG: T2G, third in birdie average, third in par-4 scoring, fifth in scrambling and fifth in proximity from 150-175 yards.

Brooks Koepka - $47

Whereas Thomas' errant tee shots throughout the closing stretch of the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational didn't hurt him, Koepka's sure did as he played holes 16 and 18 on Sunday in a combined three-over-par to fall into a tie for second at 10-under. Nonetheless, Koepka proved his ongoing knee issue isn't a lock to prohibit him from contention and he even led the entire field in SG: Approach. Koepka has lost almost eight strokes putting over his last six rounds, but the back-to-back defending champ at the PGA Championship should enjoy TPC Harding Park's simple green complexes.

Xander Schauffele - $41

Continuing to shine against elite competition in majors and World Golf Championships, Schauffele added a T6 to his impressive resume last week at the St. Jude Invitational. This marks five top-20 performances in six total appearances since the Tour's restart at Colonial and he's gained an average of 5.6 strokes from tee to green per event over his past four starts. Schauffele is fifth in GIR percentage, seventh in SG: Off-the-Tee, seventh in scrambling and fifth in par-4 scoring average this season.

Glue Guys

Daniel Berger - $36

The quality of Berger's all-around skill set has been made apparent as of late, given he ranks top-10 in SG: Tee-to-Green, SG: Approach and SG: Putting over 14 rounds since his win at the Charles Schwab Challenge in June. He lost strokes off the tee just once in his last 15 measured events, with that lone instance coming at the Houston Open in October of 2019. A T9 at the Waste Management Phoenix Open in early February sparked what has become an incredible run for Berger, with five top-5s in his last six starts.

Jason Day - $29

Day possesses the PGA Championship's tournament scoring record in relation to par at 20-under thanks to his three-shot win over Jordan Spieth at the 2015 edition hosted by Whistling Straits, but he now heads to TPC Harding Park fresh off a run of three straight top-7s from the Workday Charity Open through the WGC-FedEx SJI where he gained strokes across the board and racked up 20 par-breakers.  Day has gained strokes from tee to green in each of his past six starts dating to the RBC Heritage, bolstered by his ranking of seventh in SG: Around-the-Green since the restart. 

Ryan Palmer - $29

A bogey-free 64 on Sunday at TPC Southwind was good enough to earn Palmer his third top-15 result in five showings since the RBC Heritage, also averaging 4.4 strokes gained from tee to green per tournament during this span. Additionally, Palmer's gained just north of 15 total strokes on approaches over his previous eight rounds and he's 20th on Tour in SG: Off-the-Tee this season at 43 years old.

Bargain Bin

Joaquin Niemann - $24

Up to second among his peers in SG: Approach since the schedule resumed at the CSC in June, Niemann's ball-striking prowess should make him a target at a venue like TPC Harding Park where his putting woes can be somewhat masked. Short-game issues have kept him from notching a single top-30 finish in his last four starts, which should help deflate his exposure in DFS formats, but he's gained an average of 4.6 strokes from tee to green per tournament since the RBC Heritage. The 21-year-old Chilean already has five major championship appearances under his belt, notably making the cut at the 2018 PGA Championship.

Shane Lowry - $23

The putter has been a letdown for Lowry in 2020, but he's gained at least 2.4 strokes on his approaches in three consecutive tourneys since the Workday Charity Opening, culminating with a T6 this past week in Memphis where he ranked T7 or better in GIR percentage, SG: Around-the-Green and scrambling while carding just six total bogeys or worse in 72 holes. The Irishman and major champion is 24th in SG: Tee-to-Green, 22nd in scrambling and he leads the entire PGA Tour in average proximity to the hole this season.

Chez Reavie - $22

Reavie was on track to tie the leaders at 11-under-par on the back nine during Sunday's final round at TPC Southwind, but he missed a three-foot birdie chance on the par-4 12th and then made late bogeys on 17 and 18 to finish in a disappointing tie for sixth at the WGC-FedEx SJI. On a more positive note, nobody hit more fairways than Reavie throughout the week at TPC Southwind, while he also scrambled at an extraordinary rate of 87.50 percent despite losing nearly five strokes putting. He's also gained strokes both off the tee and on his approach shots in four straight events dating to the Travelers.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Bryce Danielson plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: brycedanielson99, FanDuel: brycedanielson99, Yahoo: RotoBOOM.
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Bryce Danielson
Bryce covers the PGA for RotoWire and provides input on the golf cheat sheet. He also contributes to the coverage for NFL, NBA and other sports.
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