For the season’s second major championship, we head to Oak Hill Country Club (par 70, 7,394 yards, bentgrass greens) in Rochester, New York, for the PGA Championship. This par 70 has hosted six major championships, most recently the 2013 PGA Championship, which was won by Jason Dufner at -10, two shots clear of Jim Furyk.
Oak Hill was originally designed by Donald Ross in 1926 and then was redesigned by Andrew Green in 2019. Most notably in the latter year, the greens were converted to pure bentgrass and many trees were removed. The course is a very long par 70 that features narrow fairways, thick rough and extremely small greens. Without a doubt, being long and accurate off the tee is going to be critical to contend at Oak Hill this week and we need to be prioritizing elite drivers off the golf ball. While Dufner is a short player nowadays, he ranked 25th in driving distance during his victory at the daunting par 70 a decade ago and finished 14th in SG OTT that season. Given how tiny the putting surfaces are at Oak Hill, being in promising form with your irons will also be essential at this challenging track, as Dufner finished the event third in GIR during his win here in 2013.
As always with a par 70 – meaning there are 12 par fours and only two par fives – being efficient on the par fours will be the most critical for success at Oak Hill. Dufner ranked fifth in par four efficiency during his victory here in 2013 and he also ranked ninth in efficiency on the 450-500-yard par fours, which is certainly a length of hole to focus on for research, with five of the 12 par fours at Oak Hill landing in this range. Last but not least, we need to be putting a large weight on bogey avoidance. This venue is going to be one of the most demanding tests of golf of the season and when Dufner hoisted the Wanamaker Trophy at Oak Hill 10 years ago, he notably led his field in least bogeys recorded.
The PGA Championship is a full field of 156 golfers - including all of the top-50 ranked players in the world – with Tiger Woods being the only notable absence this week. Instead of the PGA TOUR standard top-65 and ties moving onto the weekend, this major features a slightly expanded cut, with the top-70 and ties advancing after the first 36 holes.
Below, I break down four of my favorite DraftKings bargain plays for the PGA Championship, that all cost less than $7.5K.
Gary Woodland ($7,100) – Woodland advanced to the weekend at Oak Hill for the 2013 PGA Championship and returns to the par 70 this week in the midst of a strong season. Excluding his first-round withdrawal at the Shriners Open, Woodland has made 12-of-15 cuts and carded five top-30 finishes this season. On top of some impressive work with his irons, ranking 13th in SG APP over his last 50 rounds, Woodland has been incredible with his driver as of late, ranking fifth in SG OTT and 11th in driving distance during this time.
The former major champion has made nine-of-11 cuts at the PGA Championship for his career – including four top-25 finishes – and is a no-brainer at this cheap salary.
Si Woo Kim ($7,100) – Kim is coming off an impressive runner-up finish at the AT&T Byron Nelson, in which he gained strokes in every major category and led the field in both par four efficiency and bogeys avoided. For the season, the 27-year-old has made 16-of-18 cuts, with 10 of these finishes being top-30 results, including a win at the Sony Open. Following his performance in Texas last week, Kim now sits at No.36 in the world golf rankings, which is impressively 43 spots better than his ranking from the start of the season and is the highest he has ranked in over five years.
One of the primary reasons for Kim’s success this season has been his driver – he currently ranks 24th in total driving for the season – setting him up nicely for the challenge that awaits at Oak Hill. Kim has made eight of his last 11 cuts at the major level and is an elite value play at this low price point, especially when we compare DFS salaries to betting odds. At +8000 on the DraftKings Sportsbook, the four-time PGA TOUR winner carries the best odds to win the PGA Championship of all the golfers priced under $7.5K, which are better odds than Shane Lowry, who is significantly more expensive than Kim for DFS purposes at $8.3K.
Ryan Fox ($6,500) – Fox withdrew from the RBC Heritage during the first-round due to an illness in his last start but has been very successful in his limited starts this season, making 4-of-5 cuts with all these finishes being top-30 results. The professional out of New Zealand has always relied on his driver and this season has been no exception, with him gaining strokes OTT in all but one of his solo starts. Additionally, Fox ranks fifth in driving distance when we compare this world-class field’s last 50 rounds, making him a strong fit for a lengthy track like Oak Hill.
Fox owns a 3-for-4 record in terms of made cuts at the PGA Championship and is criminally underpriced at this near minimum salary. For some perspective, the 36-year-old is currently the 41st-ranked golfer in the world but is the 104th most expensive player on DraftKings for the PGA Championship.
Seamus Power ($7,000) – Power must be considered at this cheap price tag. In his 17 starts this season, the Irishman has made 14 cuts and produced 10 top-30 finishes, most notably with a victory at the Bermuda Championship. Power arrives in Rochester on the heels of a T18 at the Wells Fargo Championship and then a T19 at the AT&T Byron Nelson, both of which he gained strokes from T2G, OTT and on APP. The 36-year-old has shot under par in seven straight rounds and brings much better upside than this low salary suggests.
Including a T9 at last year’s PGA Championship, Power has supplied three top-30 finishes in five starts at major championships.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Hunta512) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.