Preview: 103rd PGA Championship

Built for the 1991 Ryder Cup, Pete Dye’s Ocean Course at Kiawah Island hosts the championship for the second time (2012).

Of the top 100 players, 99 are in the field this week making it the deepest field in golf.

Wait, how many acres???

103rd PGA Championship

Ocean Course at Kiawah

Kiawah Island, South Carolina

Yards (per official scorecard):7,876
Par:72 (36-36)
Greens:Seashore Paspalum
Stimpmeter:Tournament speed (wind factor)
Rough:419 Bermuda over-seeded with Rye at 3.5 inches.
Bunkers/Water Hazards30 acres of sand (waste areas, no rakes); water in play in six holes.
Architects:Pete and Alice Dye (1991).
Course Record:65; Seung-Yul Noh (Round 4), 2012.
Tournament Record:13-under, 275; Rory McIlroy, 2012.
2020 Purse:$11 million; $1.98 million and 600 FedExCup points (winner).


  • Field of 156.
  • Top 65 and ties play the weekend.
  • Vijay Singh (WD) replaced by Wyndham Clark Wednesday
  • 20 club pros included
  • Any past champions also included

2020-2021 Season Winners

*- First-time winner

**- First-time winner AND rookie winner

Safeway OpenStewart Cink
120th United States OpenBryson DeChambeau
Corales Punta Cana ChampionshipHudson Swafford
Sanderson Farms ChampionshipSergio Garcia
Shriners Hospitals for ChildrenMartin Laird (playoff)
Bermuda ChampionshipBrian Gay
Vivint Houston OpenCarlos Oritz*
84th Masters TournamentDustin Johnson
The RSM ClassicRobert Streb
Mayakoba Golf ClassicViktor Hovland
Sentry TOCHarris English
Sony Open in HawaiiKevin Na
The American ExpressSi Woo Kim
Farmers Insurance OpenPatrick Reed
Waste Management Phoenix OpenBrooks Koepka
AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-AmDaniel Berger
The Genesis InvitationalMax Homa
WGC – Championship at The ConcessionCollin Morikawa
Arnold Palmer InvitationalBryson DeChambeau (2)
THE PLAYERS ChampionshipJustin Thomas
The Honda ClassicMatt Jones
WGC- Match PlayBilly Horschel
Corales PuntacanaJoel Dahmen*
Valero Texas OpenJordan Spieth
85th Masters TournamentHideki Matsuyama
RBC HeritageStewart Cink (2)
Zurich Classic of New OrleansCameron Smith/Marc Leishman
Valspar ChampionshipSam Burns
Wells Fargo ChampionshipRory McIlroy
AT&T Byron NelsonKH Lee

Check out HORSES FOR COURSES for more details and angles for this week.

Previous Winners – Kiawah Island


2012Rory McIlroy-13Won by eight setting the PGA Championship for margin of victory.

Previous Winners – PGA Championship

2020Collin Morikawa-13First debut winner since Keegan Bradley in 2011; won by two at TPC Harding Park.
2019Brooks Koepka-8Opened with 63; set the 36-hole scoring record; led by seven (record) after 54 at Bethpage Black. Defended his title.
2018Brooks Koepka-16Set the major championship scoring record on a wet, receptive Bellerive.
2017Justin Thomas-8First major championship as he came from behind at Quail Hollow Club.
2016Jimmy Walker-14Picked up his first major at a soaked Baltusrol.
2015Jason Day-20Picked up his first major as he bombed Whistling Straits into Lake Michigan to win by three.

Facts and Figures:

Lowest Rounds: 201265; Noh (not entered) 66; Justin Rose (Round 4), Rory McIlroy (Round 4), Luke Donald (not entered, Round 4), Carl Pettersson (not entered, Round 1).
Defending Champion(s):Collin Morikawa.
Multiple Champion(s) Entered:Brooks Koepka (2018, 2019).
First Time – TOUR:Shaun Micheel (2003).
First Time – EventMicheel (2003), Bradley (2011), Morikawa (2020).
Oldest winner:Julius Boros, 48.
Youngest winner:Gene Sarazen, 20.
Odd Fact:Only major without amateurs.

Quick Thoughts

Back to Pete Dye and a brutal coastal layout.

Longest test in major championship golf at almost 7,900 yards.

Paspalum tee thru green minus the rough. Paspalum can be found at Corales, Puerto Rico, Mayakoba and CIMB Classic.

Pete Dye didn’t design any of those tracks so yeah.

Pete Dye 2021: TPC Stadium Course West (AMEX), THE PLAYERS, WGC Match Play (Austin CC), RBC Heritage and Zurich Classic.

Pete Dye Majors: Crooked Stick 1991, Whistling Straits 2004, 2010 and 2015.

 Major thoughts: No jokes here since Keegan Bradley in 2011 was ranked 108. Everyone else is top 30 or better.

Bradley is the only winner outside the OWGR top 50 to win in the last 10 years.

Kiawah Island will play much differently this year than 2012 because:

May has more wind than August.

It’s not soaked like it was in 2012.

It’s 200 yards deeper, if needed.

Field thoughts:

20 Club Pros so start crossing them off, no offense.

Any player from Europe who has never played a major championship or an event on US soil, cross them off.

Any past champion from later than 2010, cross them off, sorry Phil.

I’d guess that gets us down to around 100-ish players.

Here’s what we need:

Better be solid in windy conditions (Euros, Aussies).

Better embrace Pete Dye and grinding out pars.

Better find a premium player who won’t mind doing any of the above while handling the pressure of these immense closing holes.

Read more here: Horses for Courses

Last Week: AT&T Byron Nelson

Bryson DeChambeau (+800): Part of my mind wants to wander to TPC Twin Cities in 2019 when he posted 20-under and was second to Matt Wolff. Home game but with a major next week, I’ll pass. T55

Jon Rahm (+800): I’m sure he took his first MC well hahaha. Interesting he’s playing this week. But not interesting enough to get involved. T34

Jordan Spieth (+1200): The best form of the top three by a mile. No problem on Bentgrass either. Returning after a bout of COVID and 3 weeks off is tough. T9 even with his new Titleist golf ball.

Daniel Berger (+1800): Last time we saw him T13 RBC on Pete Dye Bermuda. Plenty of rust busting this week scares me off. Especially if a big score is required to win. Fantastic 64 on Sunday pushed him onto the podium T3.

Scottie Scheffler (+1800): Start here. Across win-top10-top20. T47. L. L. L.

Matt Fitzpatrick (+2000): 5 of last 7 T11 or better. If a putting contest breaks out, I won’t be worried. Top 10, Top 20. MC. I’ll let you in on a little secret: If I’m ever on Fitzpatrick, run, as fast as you can, away. L. L.

Hideki Matsuyama (+2200): First appearance after two weeks of quarantine and sainthood. I’ll let him bask in the glory of the green jacket. T39.

Brooks Koepka (+2200): Showed up at TPC Scottsdale and won after a harsh run of form. We’ll see how the knee is holding up after a month off. If he shows up, I’m concerned.  He showed up, shot 3-under, went home early.

Will Zalatoris (+2800): Real life engagement was followed by real life MC at Quail Hollow. Local should be in high demand this week professionally and personally. Balancing act will be on display. T17 with all four rounds 70 or better.

33-1 or worse

Marc Leishman (+3300): His last two events are WIN (Zurich) and T5 (Masters). Noted wind player if that picks up. No problem making birdies. Across the board. T21. L. L. L.

Sam Burns (+3500): Last time we saw him he won for the first time on TOUR. I don’t follow up with life-changing moments! Your money, you do you! Burns gives zero f#cks. Led by one after 54 but close out the back-to-back!

Ryan Palmer (+4000): 14 straight paydays should be 15. Oh, and he holds the course record and is a local. Another across. Riding the veterans this week. L.L.L. Blood bath.

Si Woo Kim (+4500): I’d feel better if this was a Dye track haha. T57

Sergio Garcia (+5000): Rolls in MC-MC-T5-T9 in his last four. Went low at Sanderson Farms to win after MC-MC. Lives in Austin. MC.

Charl Schwartzel (+6000): 5 straight, 6 if you include P2 at Zurich. T14 and T21 in his last two are the best on his own ball. Top 10, Top 20. HOLY SHIT I GOT ONE RIGHT. W.W.

Keith Mitchell (+6000): Fire lit at Valero with T17, carried on to Zurich and then he bent his putter. Fixed that and led by 2 after 54 holes last week before falling to Rory. Top 10, Top 20. Give it right back as his 66 on Sunday just hit T26. L.L.

Aaron Wise (+6600): Last time this event moved venues he won with 23-under at Trinity Forest. T9 last week is his best of 2021 so let’s ride. Top 20 at least. Nope, opened 64 and shat drawers after. L.

Carlos Ortiz (+7000): North Texas grad played great last week minus the final round and was top five TPC Scottsdale on another Weiskopf course. Stretching? Sure. Skinny across. Nothing like ANOTHER T21 to miss a piece. L. L. L.

Cameron Champ (+8000): Big open ballpark always will throw my eyes back in this direction. Top 20. T59. L.

Thomas Pieters (+8000): Lightly raced but all of those races are T15 or better in less than optimal fields on TOUR.

$2 Long Shots – Use them where you need

Peter Uihlein (+10000) – MC

Alex Noren (+10000) – T21 from T3 after 54 holes

Wyndham Clark (+12500) – T39

Camilo Villegas (+15000) – Pre tournament WD


Vince Whaley (+22500) – T26

Roger Sloan (+27500) – T34

Hank Lebioda (+30000) – T17

Sung Kang (+30000) – T47

This Week – 103rd PGA Championship

Rory McIlroy (+1100): Checks the boxes of form and function after his 2012 win and victory last time out at Quail Hollow. We’re going to have to stomach a price this week to find a winner. Hard not to start here.

Jon Rahm (+1400): First one is always the hardest but there aren’t any holes in his bag. Embraces Dye’s challenges and should be able to handle the elements. Top 10.

Justin Thomas (+1600): History doesn’t help here as there are not many who have won two big-time events in the same season. Had two great rounds at TPC Sawgrass but not much after.

Jordan Spieth (+1600): Would complete the career grand slam with a victory. With six of his last eight events cashing top 10 checks, it wouldn’t surprise.  Won’t have to worry about busting rust after contending last week in Dallas. Buying top 10 and top 20.

Dustin Johnson (+1600): If it’s the biggest and the baddest, he has to be in the conversation. Throw in some wind and a home game and I bet his knee feels better already. Top 10.

Bryson DeChambeau (+1800): I’m interested to see how this plane flies when the wind blows. All of the calculations that must go into to every shot, especially on a Dye layout, will be must-see TV/Stream/Radio. Curious bystander and that’s all for me.

Viktor Hovland (+2000): Saw Morikawa do it last time around so he won’t be too bothered. Won on Paspalum in Mexico late last year. T3 his last two on two very difficult courses. T9 at THE PLAYERS. Top 10. Top 20.

Xander Schauffele (+2200): Full bag, plenty of major big finishes but he admitted the breeze will be something that he’s not entirely familiar with heading into the week. He joked in his presser than 10 mph at home in San Diego was “windy”.  Or was he joking.

Daniel Berger (+3000): 12 of his last 27 events worldwide have cashed top 10 tickets and 19 have hit the top 25. Cashed in 13 of 16 majors. Top 10. Top 20.

33-1 or worse

Collin Morikawa (+3300): Still hasn’t defended a title on the course he’s won it…I like the price more than anything but won’t reach.

Patrick Reed (+3500): Skinny win ticket and across (top 10 and top 20) as I’ll rely on his short game to keep within reach of the leaders.

Tony Finau (+4000): Major machine. Across as well.

Hideki Matsuyama (+4000): That number should tell you everything you need to know. Pass.

Cameron Smith (+4000): Made the cut in 12 of his last 13 majors. Best PGA is T25 Whistling Straits after T4 at Chambers Bay for the 2015 US Open. Last five stroke play events all T17 or better. Across the board.

Abraham Ancer (+4500): Top 20, take it and run.

Marc Leishman (+5500): Aussie bias from me is huge this week. Blow, wind, blow! Top 10 and Top 20.

Keegan Bradley (+7000): Top 10 and Top 20.

Shane Lowry (+7000): Top 20

$2 Long Shots – Use ’em wherever!

Charl Schwartzel (+10000)

Matt Wallace (+10000) – Top 10 and Top 20

Bubba Watson (+10000)

Si Woo Kim (+11000)

Emiliano Grillo (+14000)

Charley Hoffman (+14000)

Alex Noren (+15000)

Carlos Ortiz (+20000)

Joel Dahmen (+30000)

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out through Twitter (@mikeglasscott) or email me:


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