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PGA DraftKings and FanDuel DFS Primer: PGA Championship (2023)

PGA DraftKings and FanDuel DFS Primer: PGA Championship (2023)

The second major event out of four scheduled majors is set to take place at Oak Hills Country Club in Rochester, New York for the 2023 PGA Championship this week. Like most other majors on the PGA Tour, Oak Hills CC will be a strenuous test on distance, accuracy, and putting on lightning-fast Bentgrass greens. The winning scorecard will be lucky to hit double digits in the red by Sunday afternoon.

All of the big hitters are competing in this field, starting with outright betting favorites Jon Rahm and Scottie Scheffler. They have six outright wins combined, while Scheffler hasn’t dipped below a T12 finish since October. Rahm won The Masters, which was the first major, while subsequently going T15 at RBC Heritage and runner-up at the Mexico Open at Vidanta. Other notable favorites, according to oddsmakers, include Xander Schauffele (16/1), Rory McIlroy (16/1), and Patrick Cantlay (16/1) rounding out the top-five. LIV golfers will be in attendance too, so expect to see a few of their names near the top of the leaderboard. After all, Brooks Koepka looked like he was going to run away with the win at Augusta before Rahm bounced back in the final round.

Major events create ample opportunity for us to acquire value when constructing our DFS lineups on DraftKings and FanDuel. Whether you prefer stacking blue-chip prospects with cheaper players, or dig into the value bin and ignore the most expensive prospects, there are numerous ways to have sustained success to cash out DFS contests by the end of the weekend. I’ve found six of my favorite golfers to insert into lineups ahead of Thursday’s opening round at Oak Hills. As always, best of luck, and let’s enjoy the second major of the season with some extra cash in our pockets!

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Previous Winners

  • 2022 – Justin Thomas (-5)
  • 2021 – Phil Mickelson (-6)
  • 2020 – Collin Morikawa (-13)
  • 2019 – Brooks Koepka (-8)
  • 2018 – Brooks Koepka (-16)
  • 2017 – Justin Thomas (-8)

Relevant Betting Stats

  • Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green
  • Strokes Gained Off-the-Tee
  • Scrambling
  • Greens in Regulation percentage
  • Sand Save percentage

Course Overview

Oak Hill underwent some major changes since it last hosted the PGA Championship in 2013. The Donald Ross design had several holes reconstructed, while relocating a lot of sand bunkers to make it more difficult to hit approach shots. A huge project that occurred was the removal of trees to align with current golf course trends in the modern era. This means less obstructed views on some of the doglegged fairways, which could be a massive difference maker depending on the golfer.

Water hazards are incorporated on a third of the holes here, as Oak Hills is a par 70 that runs nearly 7,400 yards in length. Only two par 5s, along with four par 3s, will provide a bit of variety from the abundance of par 4 holes on the course. Players end the front-nine on four consecutive par 4s, while the final three holes all present themselves as par 4s, running 458 yards up to 502 yards in length. This is why strong drivers and irons will be such an advantage to staying near the top of the leaderboard. Bentgrass greens have been fully restored, which could run up to 13 feet via the Stimpmeter. In addition, the Bentgrass greens are only 4.500 square feet on average, emphasizing accuracy above all else.

Recommended Plays: DraftKings

DraftKings maximum salary is set at $50,000

Scottie Scheffler: $11,200
Any time a player leads the PGA Tour in strokes gained off-the-tee and strokes gained tee-to-green, he’s an automatic starter in DFS lineups. Such is the case for Scottie Scheffler. The World No. 2 ranked golfer has phenomenal irons and ranks third in total driving, which accounts for accuracy and distance with the driver. Putting has been the only thorn in Scheffler’s heel this season, but he’s logged T11 finishes or better in five consecutive events entering the PGA Championship. He’s a couple hundred dollars cheaper than Jon Rahm on DraftKings, and his outright betting odds shortened to +700, making him the outright favorite. Don’t overthink this one and get Scheffler into as many DFS lineups as possible.

Xander Schauffele: $9,900
One of the names that could wind up hoisting the Wanamaker Trophy at the end of the weekend is Xander Schauffele. The 29-year-old Californian has seven career wins and is another fantastic iron player, ranking fourth in total strokes gained, while having a massive advantage over Scheffler on the greens, ranking 19th in strokes gained putting. His driver puts him at a bit of a disadvantage, but Schauffele logged a T13 finish at Southern Hills during the 2022 PGA Championship, so he’s a considerable value at under $10,000 on DraftKings. Plus, Schauffele has gone T10, fourth, and runner-up in his previous event finishes, meaning he’s a player with a ton of confidence and momentum to prioritize.

Dustin Johnson: $8,800
Dustin Johnson is fresh off of an outright win at the LIV Golf Invitational Tulsa event this past weekend, so expect his confidence and form to be much better than what we watched at Augusta National last month. The rangy Johnson has three T10s and made all seven cuts in LIV’s league this season, plus he’s been a mainstay near the top of major events in the PGA Tour for well over a decade. Johnson competed at Oak Hill in 2013, winding up with a T8 finish (-3) alongside Jason Day, Zach Johnson, and Rory McIlroy. We’re getting Johnson at a massive discount, so fire him up without hesitation as a potent salary-saving prospect.

Recommended Plays: FanDuel

FanDuel maximum salary is set at $60,000

Patrick Cantlay: $11,300
Patrick Cantlay is due for a massive win this season. He’s come close several times, consistently producing T10 finishes, but the 31-year-old California native is also searching for the first major win of his career. Cantlay ranks eighth strokes gained tee-to-green, third in strokes gained off-the-tee, and 18th in strokes gained putting. Plus, he’s ranked second in total driving and hits greens in regulation on over 70.4 percent of attempts. Cantlay is the real deal and should continue lingering at the top of the leaderboard at Oak Hills this weekend, making him one of my favorite blue-chip prospects to target on FanDuel.

Tommy Fleetwood: $9,400
Tommy Fleetwood has no career wins yet, but he’s strung together three T10 finishes this season and also logged a T5 at the 2022 PGA Championship last year. The 32-year-old Englishman thrives on difficult courses like Oak Hills, where irons can make or break a golfer’s outcome. Fleetwood is ranked ninth in strokes gained tee-to-green, fifth in strokes gained around the green, and has a solid putter, ranking 46th in strokes gained putting. He struggles to hit greens in regulation, but makes up for it by ranking 41st in scrambling, which will be a determining factor in Fleetwood’s success at Oak Hills this weekend. I believe he’s capable of another T10 finish, so invest accordingly at $9,400 on FanDuel.

Adam Scott: $9,000
42-year-old Aussie Adam Scott has been heating up lately, ripping off T5 and T8 finishes at the Wells Fargo Championship and AT&T Byron Nelson. Scott didn’t take any time off like some of the other notable golfers in this field but he could use it to his advantage, as he’s playing great golf and ranks 23rd in driving distance. Not as many metrics pop off the page to recommend Scott, but he gets the job done. He ranks 12th in birdie or better conversion percentage at a 35.3 percent rate, while ranking 11th in par 4 birdie or better leaders. Considering how many par 4s are in store at Oak Hills, Scott is a prospect you want in your lineups. He finished T5 here at Oak Hills during the 2013 PGA Championship, so his familiarity with the course is another intangible asset that Scott possesses.

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Whether you’re new to daily fantasy golf or a seasoned professional, be sure to check out our Daily Fantasy Golf Glossary. You can get started with The Stats That Matter Most or head to a more advanced strategy – like How To Use Vegas Odds To Generate Your Lineup  – to learn more.

Matthew MacKay is a featured writer for FantasyPros. For more from Matthew, check out his archive and follow him @Matt_MacKay_.

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