OAD: 101st PGA Championship

Nowhere to run to baby

Nowhere to hide

One and Done

Each week I’ll throw in my thoughts on the field and those to back and avoid in this wonderful format.

This Year:

Event Golfer Place $$
Safeway Open Brendan Steele T53 14,610
CIMB Classic Ryan Moore T66 12,740
CJ CUP @ 9 BRIDGES Gary Woodland 2nd 1,026,000
WGC-HSBC Champions Ian Poulter 21st 93,500
Sanderson Farms Cameron Davis MC 0
Shriners Aaron Wise T15 101,675
Mayakoba Golf Classic Charles Howell III MC 0
The RSM Classic J.J. Spaun MC 0
Sentry TOC Jon Rahm T8 191,000
Sony Open Marc Leishman T3 307,200
60th Desert Classic Andrew Putnam T34 29,975
Farmers Insurance Patrick Cantlay MC 0
WMPO Hideki Matsuyama T15 113,600
AT&T Pebble Beach Jason Day T4 334,400
Genesis Open Justin Thomas 2nd 799,200
WGC-Mexico Champ Xander Schauffele T14 128,000
Puerto Rico Open Graeme McDowell T42 10,500
The Honda Classic Adam Scott MC 0
Arnold Palmer Invitational Rickie Fowler T40 35,490
THE PLAYERS Championship Sergio Garcia T22 125,000
Valspar Championship Patrick Reed MC 0
Corales Punta Cana Trey Mullinax T61 6,450
WGC-Match Play Paul Casey T9 167,000
Valero Texas Open Billy Horschel MC 0
Masters Rory McIlroy T21 107,956
RBC Heritage Matt Kuchar 2nd 745,200
Zurich Classic Ryan Palmer WIN 1,051,200
Wells Fargo Championship Phil Mickelson MC 0
AT&T Byron Nelson Keith Mitchell T59 17,301
Total Events: 29 Top 10s: 8 MC: 8 $5,417,997

Last Time: AT&T Byron Nelson

Another week of dodgy weather and massively low scoring is going to make this event one for the “don’t care” pile in this format next year.

As with most shootouts that open the door for just about everyone, Trinity Forest is WORSE because the greens can’t get hot due to the probability of wind. There’s no rough and not many ways to make bogey if the wind doesn’t blow. Can’t have one questionable round here!

My Choice: Keith Mitchell – T59

Opened with 66 and added another 66 on Saturday but Friday and Sunday added up to 3-over. That’s hardly any good when 20-something under is the winning score.

Safety Dancing: In Order

Marc Leishman: WD with a bulging disc in his back according to his social media. Nothing safe about that pick!

Ryan Palmer: Four rounds at par or better (-9) was good for exactly T43 this week. The top 42 players were 10-under or lower. This will be an impossible event to handicap moving forward.

Branden Grace: T63 as his 2019 pushes farther and farther away from solo second at TPC Scottsdale.


Picks that should click but have more element of risk

Sungjae Im: DFL MDF 83rd.

Rafa Cabrera Bello: T53 with all four rounds under par.

Scott Piercy: T2 as he closed 63-64 for his best finish since winning the Zurich Classic with Billy Horschel. That’s top 10 No. 6 on the year as well.

Thomas Pieters: T23 for those who needed a limb to go out on.

Picks for Dreamers:

Breakout performance from this group will get gamers back into contention

Aaron Wise: T43 as the first-time defending champion rule was followed.

Scott Scheffler: Probably thought he was back on the Web.com as his 10-under was good for T35. More guys on this TOUR than that Tour that can post numbers.

Henrik Stenson: A very solid T20 but when selecting Stenson, that’s not the aim.

Picks for Noses:

Save them for another time. Each week I usually have a couple of these hit the top 10 so BUYER BEWARE!

Brooks Koepka: Solo fourth because 20-under wasn’t enough.

Six Beers In: 

Brian Harman – MC, Wyndham Clark – MC, Seamus Power – T79

Might have to hit the Colorado Magic Mushrooms as the beer isn’t doing it recently!


This Week

If you like to read about trends, stats and the players I have rated, I have you covered in The Confidence Factor Preview.

Bethpage Black is a bad dude.

Add in the less-than-optimal weather conditions, plus wet rough and almost 7,500 yards at Par-70, and we’ve got a test on our hands.

I don’t think so.

I think this is one of the easier majors to handicap because there’s no way to fake it tee-to-green here for four days.


The rough is just nasty enough.

The bunkers are YUUUGE, deep and perfectly placed.

The greens are where the stress ends but not finding them in regulation isn’t going to help.

Power players who can find GIR will have more opportunities to make par and move on.

Nothing wrong with surviving and advancing!

My Choice: Brooks Koepka

He’s not concerned with any history so I won’t be either. He believes the majors are the easiest to win according to his presser earlier in the week so I’m not concerned about his mindset. He’s won or finished second in three of the last four majors. This isn’t hard.

Safety Dancing:

Tiger Woods: If the U.S. Open wasn’t at Pebble Beach, a course he knows better than Bethpage Black, the roles would have been reversed at the top. Woods hasn’t played since the Masters and should be fresh and ready to go. He’s not 20-something, rather 40-something, and asking him to win back-to-back is something that I don’t have the stones to do.

Dustin Johnson: If your angle is Pebble Beach, Royal Portrush or the FedExCup Playoffs, I’m not stopping you either.

Justin Rose: All the tricks in the bag plus his MC at the Masters should have him more than hungry for another chance.


Picks that should click but have more element of risk

Francesco Molinari: It wasn’t surprising to me that he crashed out at RBC Heritage after THAT happened at Augusta. Time to pick up the pieces and move on. His last three majors he’s cashed T5 at Augusta, T6 at Bellerive and first place at The Open playing with Woods on Sunday.

Rory McIlroy: Quick: Name the last time he won a major! Time’s up! 2014 PGA Championship at Valhalla. It’s not Par-72 so if you’re saving him, save him for The Open, his home game, in an event where he’s rattled off Win, T5, T4 and T2 in his last four.

Xander Schauffele: He’s knocking on the door of greatness and all that is missing is the door opening on a Sunday of a major championship. He’s played in eight of these and made seven cuts. Four have gone for top-10 paydays including T2, T2 and T6 in three of the last four.

Rickie Fowler: The redemption for 2016 is built-in and an easy narrative to embrace. Winning a FedExCup event probably doesn’t come with the pressure of closing out major No. 1. Fowler should be embraced by the crowd, unless it’s Tiger down the stretch, and has been in this spot before.

Picks for Dreamers:

Breakout performance from this group will get gamers back into contention

Gary Woodland: Winning the first one is tough but he had a front-row seat last August to watch Woods on Sunday.

Paul Casey: Another 40-something that knows how to get the ball from tee-to-green, the Englishman won’t have to rely on making a ton of putts this week.

Hideki Matsuyama: Stick another prototype putter in the bag! Hell, use your umbrella! Make a putt! Wonderful ball-striker should be looking at plenty of GIR this week.

Patrick Cantlay: I like the Poa angle and he’s relentless tee-to-green.

Picks for Noses:

Save them for another time. Each week I usually have a couple of these hit the top 10 so BUYER BEWARE!

Phil Mickelson: I get that NYC loves him but he’s a bit out to sea for me right now. He plays great at TPC Southwind and most of you won’t remember that.

Jordan Spieth: I think a top 25 is very possible but I’ll take my chances at Royal Portrush or down the road when he’s playing more consistently. Oh, and he’s playing for the career grand slam.

Six Beers In: 

Scott Piercy, Jim Furyk, Jhonattan Vegas


History Channeled:

2017-18 Thermometer: FINAL

Event Golfer Place $$
Safeway Open Tony Finau 2nd 669,600
CIMB Classic Paul Casey T7 218,166
CJ CUP @ 9 BRIDGES Keegan Bradley T47 23,759
WGC-HSBC Champions Hideki Matsuyama T50 51,875
Sanderson Farms Chesson Hadley T2 464,400
Shriners Patrick Cantlay WIN 1,224,000
OHL Classic Kevin Chappell MC 0
The RSM Classic Charles Howell III MC 0
Sentry TOC Kevin Kisner T17 99,333
Sony Open Brian Harman T4 256,266
CareerBuilder Challenge Jason Dufner T36 27,189
Farmers Insurance Jon Rahm T29 43,872
WMPO Alex Noren T21 80,040
-AT&T Pebble Beach Phil Mickelson T2 488,400
Genesis Open Dustin Johnson T16 111,600
Honda Classic Graeme McDowell MC 0
WGC-Mexico Tommy Fleetwood T14 126,500
Valspar Championship Ryan Moore MC 0
Arnold Palmer Tyrell Hatton T69 18,067
WGC-Match Play Patrick Reed T9 163,000
Corales Puntacana Patrick Rodgers T22 27,850
Houston Open Luke List T24 54,162
Masters Jordan Spieth 3rd 748,000
RBC Heritage Cameron Smith T32 35,510
Valero Texas Open Billy Horschel T11 136,400
Zurich Classic Bud Cauley MC 0
Wells Fargo Championship Bryson DeChambeau 4th 369,600


THE PLAYERS Francesco Molinari MC 0
Ft. Worth Invitational Adam Scott T52 16,472
AT&T Byron Nelson Jimmy Walker T6 257,950
Memorial Tiger Woods T23 76,985
FESJC Henrik Stenson T26 50,820
US Open Justin Rose T10 270,151
FESJC Xander Schauffele MC 0
Quicken Loans National Kyle Stanley T32 36,841
A Military Tribute Bubba Watson T13 121,632
John Deere Classic Zach Johnson T16 81,366
British Open Rory McIlroy T2 694,250
RBC Canadian Open Charley Hoffman T29 37,743
Barracuda Martin Laird T15 51,000
WGC-Bridgestone Invite Rickie Fowler T17 104,250
PGA Championship Brooks Koepka WIN 1,980,000
Wyndham Brandt Snedeker WIN 1,080,000
THE NORTHERN TRUST Jason Day T20 101,160
Dell Technologies Marc Leishman T21 100,800
BMW Championship Gary Woodland T12 189,000
TOUR Championship Justin Thomas T7 279,900
Total Events: 47


Top 10s: 15 MC: 7 $10,967,909


2015-16 Season total: $5,978,929; 47 events

  • Wins: 2 (Matsuyama, Hoffman)
  • Seconds: 0
  • Thirds: 1
  • Top 10s: 9
  • Top 25s: 18
  • MC: 8 (Mickelson, FIO; Oosthuizen, SHO; Chappell, Colonial; Casey, Memorial; Woodland, FESJC; Hearn, RBC Canadian; McGirt, Wyndham; Justin Thomas, DBC)

2016-17 Season total: $6,533,509 45 events

  • Wins: 1
  • Seconds: 1
  • Thirds: 1
  • Top 10s: 12
  • Top 25s: 20
  • MCs (10): Grayson Murray (Safeway Open); Patton Kizzire (SFC); Jamie Lovemark (CB Challenge); Jimmy Walker (FIO); Charl Schwartzel (Genesis); Russell Knox (Honda); Henrik Stenson (API); Thomas Pieters (Zurich); Kevin Kisner (WFC).

Thanks for reading!


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