Golf’s second major is here — the PGA Championship. As is typical with majors, DraftKings and FanDuel PGA DFS contests are the biggest and brightest here, as all of the world’s best assemble to battle it out for the Wannamaker Trophy, which makes the picks that much more difficult. Beyond the best golfers in the world gathering to compete for one of the four most coveted titles in golf, there is also the world-class venue in Kiawah Island Resort.
The last time this event was played here, off the coast of South Carolina, was 10 years ago, when Rory McIlroy torched the field for his second of four majors titles. He did it with brute force and a superb all-around game, and with the course expected to play just shy of 7,900 yards, it’s no secret that type of play will be needed again this week. There will be 156 players competing, with the top 70, and ties. making the weekend.
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If it is your first time joining us, here’s a brief synopsis of what you can find in this article most weeks.
- Tournament and Format
- Course Commentary
- Course Facts and Figures
- PGA DFS Course Summary and Statistical Comparison
- PGA DFS Preview, including sweat sheet and optimal lineups from last year’s event
- Player Preview
PGA Championship PGA DFS Picks & Preview
One of the oldest events around, this will be the 103rd playing of the event. In its first 40 playings or so, the tournament was a match-play event. But after losing money in 1957, they decided to switch the format to 72 holes of stroke play, keeping the interest and most of the players there all the way through Sunday. Since the event is typically held in the summer, it’s normally located on the East Coast. In fact, the 2020 showing of the event held at TPC Harding Park was just the 11th time the tournament has been played out west. This year the tournament heads back to Kiawah Island and the Ocean Course held at this beautiful resort.
The Course: Kiawah Island Ocean Course
It would not be fair to the Ocean Course to not mention the fact that this will be the longest course a major has ever played. While it measured a mere 7,650 yards back in 2012, the then-longest major course was eclipsed by Erin Hills for the 2017 playing of the U.S. Open, which came in with a measurement of 7,700 yards. There is no debate now, as the Ocean Course is going to be set up a full 150 yards longer than its predecessor and will surely test all parts of the golfers’ games.
It’s named the “Ocean” course for good reason, as this course features more holes along the water than any other course in North America, with 10 holes running along the Atlantic. It got its notoriety from the 1991 playing of the Ryder Cup, where the “War By the Shore” had the event come down to the final putt. In addition to those famed events, the course can also be seen on the big screen in the movie “The Legend of Bagger Vance.”
Kiawah Island Ocean Course Deep Dive
In 2012. the course played to an average of just over 74. That’s even though the winning score shot by McIlroy was 13-under. He won by eight strokes that week, with the runner-up finishing at 5-under. That is more in line for a course that boasted a scoring average higher than 74. Only four holes for the week averaged under par. Two of them were par 5’s, and the other two were Nos. 1 and 3, the shortest par 4’s on the course. In fact, the first three holes present some of the only scoring opportunities all day. Do not be surprised to see someone get out to 3-under before ultimately falling back throughout the day. There are the only two par 4’s on the course that measure under 400 yards, and the shortest par 5 measures just shy of 560 yards.
Lastly, on this beauty of a track, the course is going to play about 200 yards longer than in 2017.
- Hole No. 4: +30 yards, now a par 4 measuring 485 yards.
- Hole No. 5: +20 yards, now a par 3 measuring 210 yards.
- Hole No. 6: +10 yards, now a par 4 measuring 490 yards.
- Hole No. 9: +20 yards, now a par 4 measuring 514 yards. Likely to play as one of the toughest holes on the course with the added yardage.
- Hole No. 12: +70 yards the biggest change to the course comes on this 12th hole, which played as a 412-yard par 4 back in 2012. The additional 70 yards is surely to make this hole much more difficult, and it already played to an average of 4.15 last event. It will play as a 480-yard par 4 this year
- Hole No. 15: +20 yards now a par 4 measuring 466 yards.
- Hole No. 16: +25 yards, now measuring over 600 yards. It was the easiest hole on the back nine and the only one that played to an average score that was under par.
Course Facts & Figures
Par and Yardage
- Par 72 measuring 7,870 yards.
- With a scoring average over 74, it was one of the hardest in 2012.
- Four par 3’s: 223, 238, 200, 210
- 10 par 4’s: 390, 396, 485, 490, 510, 450, 466, 480, 500, 500, 466, 501
- Four par 5’s: 560, 580, 590, 610
Grass Types and Hazards
- Grass Type: Sea Spray Paspalum/Sea Isla Supreme Poa Annua
- Average Green Size:6000 sq. feet
- Water Hazards: Five
- Bunkers: Tons, but won’t be played as a hazard this week.
- Rough Length: 2 inches
Latest PGA DFS Content
The PGA Championship PGA DFS Slate Preview
DraftKings has rolled out a couple of good offerings this week, with dual millionaire makers, and, for those into the new NFT craze/phase, gamers can “Putt for a Punk” and have a chance at winning a crypto punk.
Of course, all the normal offerings are bumped up, like the $5 Drive the Green moving up to $100,000 to first.
PGA DFS Sweat Sheet for Kiawah Island’s Ocean Course
*Using 2012 stats as a basis with a 10% adjustment due to strength of the field while adjusting for the yardage adds to a number of holes.
With so many improvements to the players and technology over the last 10 years, it will be interesting to see how the field will handle the long and difficult track. McIlroy’s winning score of 13-under may be right on the number again this year. However, second place should be better than 5-under. Lastly, the cut line was +6 back in 2012. It should not be nearly as high this year — somewhere in the +3 range.
The PGA Championship DFS Player Preview
With a win at the Wells Fargo and a win back in 2012, McIlroy comes in as the favorite in the odds market and the highest-priced golfer on DraftKings. World No. 1 Dustin Johnson hasn’t been in his best form and has a knee injury that seems to be nagging him right now. He comes in at 14-1, the first time he has been that high since before last year’s Masters’ tournament. It is no surprise to see Jordan Spieth as the biggest outlier in terms of OWGR to his salary/odds to win. He is No. 6 on the board in both categories and ranked outside the top 20 in the world.
Be sure to stay tuned all week as the team here at Awesemo revs up the coverage of golf’s second major of the year.
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