Written by: Phillip Beneteau – Staff Writing Intern (@Fantasyphilled)
Course: Baltusrol GC
Key Stats: Strokes Gained: Tee-To-Green, Strokes Gained: Putting, Birdie-or-Better percentage, Greens in Regulation (GIR) and Bogey Avoidance.
Dustin Johnson ($11,600)
How can you argue with this guy, especially when he isn’t even the highest priced player this week! While he is just $100 cheaper than Jason Day, I don’t see Day finishing about Johnson this week, hence why I will be using plenty of him at the PGA Championship. He has finished top 10 in each of the previous Majors this season, including a win at the U.S. Open. He has eight top 10 finishes in his last 10 starts and his worst being a T28th at the Players Championship. He is undoubtely one of, if not the best golfer this season and with his skill set, beating him will be a tough task.
Rory McIlroy ($11,400)
Someone who is possibly on the other end of the spectrum for heating up, but someone who has faired well in his seven appearances at the PGA Championship. While they all have been played at different courses, he has a tendency to pop up in important tournaments, this one being no exception. He may very well go low owned this week as he is just $200 cheaper than the likes of Dustin Johnson, and $300 cheaper than the top world ranked golfer in the world, Jason Day. I believe he is a great pivot off of Day and I can’t see him finishing worst than a T10 here.
Sergio Garcia ($9,400)
The year of ending the drought? This has been the year of first time winners and it would be fitting to have Sergio Garcia win the PGA Championship to earn his first Major victory. Garcia has played mediocre over the last couple PGA Championships, but his form is some of the best of his career. He is coming off three consecutive T5 finishes, and a win at the AT&T Byron Nelson. Garcia’s Tee-To-Green game has been great this season as he ranks 11th in Strokes Gained: T2G, 8th in Birdie-or-Better percentage and 3rd in GIR.
Justin Rose ($9,800)
There is something ‘under-the-radar’ about Justin Rose for me this week coming into the PGA Championship. For some reason I feel like he is being left out, maybe it’s just that I have been busy with work to not watch as much pre-tournament coverage of the PGA Championship, but I just get the vibe that he will surprise people this week. Rose has been a little hard to read lately with two missed cuts in his last six events, and that’s another reason why I believe that he will be much lower owned than usual. He is very hard to trust if you play cash, but a very high risk, high reward play in GPPs. Rose ranks 4th in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-green, 31st in BOB% and 22nd in GIR which will be important at this event.
Brandon Grace ($8,000)
For starters, Brandon Grace’s price seems too low for what kind of player he is. Grace has made seven straight cuts and has six top 30 finishes in his last 10 starts, including a victory at the RBC Heritage. He finished third last year at the 2015 PGA Championship and has a game that is well fitted for this course. Grace ranks 13th in Strokes Gained: T2G this season.
Steve Stricker ($7,000)
This play stuck out to me when I started going through the numbers. Steve Stricker has made five straight cuts, and seven of his last eight starts. Stricker is coming off a T4 finish at the Open and has six straight top 30 finishes at the PGA Championship. Stricker ranks second in Strokes Gained: Putting, 1st in Bogey Avoidance and 5th in Par 4 Scoring. He is my favourite value plays this week!
Jim Furyk ($7,600)
Jim Furyk has made six straight cuts since missing three cuts in four Tour starts when returning from his injury. Furyk finished 13th the RBC Canadian Open last week and seems to be finding his grove. He as well has three straight top 30 finishes at the PGA Championship. Furyk ranks 3rd in Strokes Gained: T2G, 8th in Bogey Avoidance and 10th in Par 4 Scoring.
Charl Schwartzel ($7,300)
He is going to keep finding himself here with his price being so low. Charl Schwartzel has made 15 of 16 cuts this season, with his only miss coming at The Masters. He has five straight top 25 finishes and a skill set to match this course. When you start to dip lower than $8,000, making the cut is great, but when you have top 5 potential, that is where you really get value on your dollar. Schwartzel is exactly that. He ranks 9th in Strokes Gained: T2G, 18th in BOB%, and 16th in GIR. He will be higher owned than most in this price range, but eat the chalk here if you want to stay in contention to win big!
Brandon Steele ($6,000)
These final two are exactly what you get when you go under the $6,500 price tag: educated dart throws. Brandon Steele ranks 34th in Strokes Gained: T2G, 15th in GIR and did I mention that he can absolutely crush the ball. Steele is 17th in Driving Distance this year and that will help him this week on a longer course.
Andy Sullivan ($6,100)
For my second educated guess, Andy Sullivan checks alot of the boxes. While he isn’t a top 10 in any of the key categories this week, he still does most things well. He ranks 47th in Strokes Gained: T2G, 27th in GIR and 30th in Par 4 scoring. Sullivan’s form is where is gets the big boost. He is coming in as as hot as anyone under the $10K price tag. Sullivan has six straight top 23 finished which is enough for me to roster a guy at $6,100!
Thanks for reading and tweet at me with any questions you may have this week!