2022 PGA Championship DraftKings DFS Advice: Hump’s Heroes
That weird squeaking sound you hear is me shaking off the rust to write again, so don’t be alarmed. For those of you not familiar with Hump (nearly everyone), I’m not a course preview guy. If you want a really in-depth look at this course, I’d recommend Golf Digest’s breakdown on Youtube with Derek Duncan — it’s sick. After watching that myself, I came to a few conclusions: One, I’d shoot 150 (on the front), and two, the players who keep the ball in the fairway, out of the creek and trees, and can hit a ton of greens in regulation will be in contention come Sunday. Easy game. Let’s get after it.
Stud Fee: Players priced at $10,000 and Higher on DraftKings
Obviously, Scottie Scheffler ($11,400) is on an other-worldly tear — he’s won three times in his last six starts, including The Masters — and he has a top-10 and a top-5 finish in the two PGA Championships he’s played. Scottie’s a great play even at his massive salary. What else do you want from me?
Collin Morikawa ($10,400)
Both Morikawa’s strokes gained numbers and recent results (MC, 68th, 5th, 26th) are slightly out of line with his fellow competitors in this price range, so he could likely end up as the lowest-owned golfer in this 10k group. Let’s not forget that Morikawa won this event in 2020 and finished tied for 8th in 2021, so his event history, although short, is elite. Although Collin’s typically elite iron play has been a bit off throughout this season, he’s clearly dialed it in as of late, and his approach numbers during his last start at the RBC Heritage were off the charts good. Morikawa did not finish outside of the top-20 in any of the four Major Championships in 2021 — won The Open — and more recently finished 5th at The Masters. He comes to play in Majors.
Not Quite a 10: Players priced at $9,000 – $9,900 on DraftKings
I hear a lot of Jordan Spieth grand slam chatter, and I think he might be the highest-rostered player in this price tier. I’ll likely stay away, but he’s obviously a great play with a win and a second-place finish in his last two starts.
Cam Smith ($9,700)
Smith has played sparingly in 2022, but it’s hard to ignore what he’s done when he’s played: He leads the PGA Tour with a 69.338 scoring average and ranks 2nd this season in Strokes Gained: Total at 1.892 per pgatour.com. He has two wins in his last six starts and has two missed cuts during that same stretch, so his rostership levels will likely be suppressed compared to others in this tier like Hideki Matsuyama or Spieth. Unlike Morikawa, Smith hasn’t cranked it up in Majors (other than the Masters), with recent finishes of T59, T43, and T64 at the PGA Championship. If Smith can stay locked in like he’s been most of this year, he’s got a great shot at improving his PGA Championship record — his 30.38 Birdie or Better Percentage is the best on Tour this season.
Brooks Koepka ($9,000)
Koepka has been #notgreat recently with six missed cuts in his last 10 starts (gasp!), but this is Brooks Bleepin’ Koepka, and we’re at a PGA Championship, baby. Do I care that he’s basically stunk this year or that he’s so disengaged that he locked his keys in the car and couldn’t get to Southern Hills on time? Absolutely not. Not long ago, I told myself that I would never fade Kopeka in a PGA Championship or US Open for the rest of my life, and I’m not about to start now. Why? Like that crazy man on NBA Twitter said, “Who’s gonna win it? Brooks Koepka. Because there’s no other reason why, Koepka has the balls.” Since 2015, Koepka has had two wins, a T2, two top-5s, and two top-15s at the PGA Championship. At what’s likely to be 5 percent rostership, I like dem apples.
Ate Em Up: Players priced at $8,000 – $8,900 on DraftKings
I love Tiger Woods ($8,200) more than you do and was literally freaking out when he came out and shot 68 in the opening round of The Masters, but I’m on a wait-and-see with Tiger for the time being. He got progressively worse each round at Augusta and looked like he could barely walk after the final round. The man nearly had his leg amputated, so let’s just enjoy whatever he’s able to give us this week.
Shane Lowry ($8,700)
Likely to be chalky, Lowry is a guy I really like this week, especially in cash games or smaller-field tournaments. Shane hasn’t finished outside of the Top-15 in any of the last five starts and has back-to-back 3rd place finishes in his two most recent starts at The Masters and the RBC Heritage. Lowry has been absolutely locked in on Approach recently and ranks 4th overall in SG: APP (.923) on the PGA Tour this season. If you watched the course overview from the intro, you likely noticed a massive amount of bunkers around the greens at Southern Hills, and Lowry’s 70.27 Sand Save Percentage ranks 2nd this year. Additionally, in 8 Major Championship starts since the 2018 PGA Championship, where he finished 12th, Shane has five top-25 finishes, including a win at the 2019 Open Championship.
Max Homa ($8,100)
Homa ranks 27th on Tour in SG: Tee to Green (.976) and ranks 16th in SG: Off the Tee (.530), and in his last five starts, all his SG numbers other than Around the Green have been elite. He hasn’t done much in Major Championships, but he’s really a different golfer now than he has been in years past, and he’s been locked in since The Waste Management Phoenix Open in February, where he finished 14th. In his last six starts, Homa has finished 14th, 10th, 17th, 13th, and 48th (The Masters) and won the Wells Fargo two weeks ago. While he’s yet to pop in a Major, I’m digging the Homa vibes this week and am ready to deploy him freely.
Sevendust: Players Priced at $7,900 -$7,000 on DraftKings
There are tons of intriguing plays in the $7,000 range, and here is a couple that I’m looking at. Of course, I’ll be looking at former PGA Champion Jason Day, who has shown recent flashes of form. Cameron Young looks chalky in this range but still delicious.
Tony Finau ($7,900)
Finau has been all over the place this season and has just one quality finish to his name, and that was a 2nd place at The Mexico Open. In his last nine starts, he’s missed three cuts and finished 29th or worse in 5 others, so he’s not exactly tearing it up out there. Despite his lackluster finishes, many of Finau’s underlying Strokes Gained numbers have been solid, and his 69.7 Greens In Regulation percentage (25th on Tour) leaves some hope that he’ll turn it around. Finau has finished T4 and T8 in his last two PGA Championship appearances, and at his depressed price and likely depressed ownership, I’m willing to roll the dice.
Billy Horschel ($7,400)
I’m not a huge Billy Ho guy, but he looks excellent this season, and since the Farmers in late January, Billy has finished 11th, 6th, 16th, 2nd, 43rd, and 21st. He also has solid if unspectacular history at this event with 2 top 25s in the last three years and no finish worse than 48th in the previous five years. Of course, he could mentally meltdown at the drop of a hat, but other than that, he’s fine.
Play ‘Em and Pray: Players Priced at $6,900 or less on DraftKings
These guys are cheap for a reason.
K.H. Lee ($6,500)
Lee is coming off a win at the AT&T Byron Nelson, heading into the PGA Championship for the second-straight year. Of course, last year, he promptly missed the cut at The PGA but whatever. Lee drives the ball long and, more often than not, straight (47th in SG: Off The Tee), and the dude has nerves of steel. He was able to get himself out of some huge trouble down the stretch last week with Spieth and Sebastian Munoz breathing down his neck, and I just love the guy.
Ryan Fox ($6,300)
Fox has been lighting up the European Tour with finishes of 2nd, 8th, 9th, 15th, and a win in his last five starts. His 4.83 birdies per round rank 3rd, and his 69.87 scoring average ranks 8th on that Tour this season. Like the great Peter Tosh sang, “Coming in hot, firin’ some shot, coming in red hot.” Hot Fox is worth a shot, shot, shot.
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