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DraftKings PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf Preview: PGA Championship Course History vs. Current Form

Zach Thompson takes a look at golfers with the best course history and current form ahead of the PGA Championship.

The PGA TOUR is ready to tee it up for the PGA Championship this week at Kiawah Island in the second major championship of 2021. The spring season has set up plenty of storylines to launch a great summer of golf, and this week starts a busy and entertaining run of tournaments for the top golfers in the world. To help you get in on the fantasy action this week, make sure to check out the DraftKings Second Major Special for special offers this week.

For each major championship, this post examines two of the key factors to consider when building your DraftKings fantasy golf teams—course history and current form. In the charts below, check out the most notable players scheduled to tee it up this week who have had success at this event in the past or have been playing well in recent weeks.



Course History

The PGA Championship rotates venues each season and will be returning to the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island for the second time. The previous visit was in 2012 after the course first became well-known by hosting the 1991 Ryder Cup. The setup this week will be the longest ever for a PGA Championship, stretching to 7,876 yards. Length will definitely be required, but the PGA Championship setups usually reward players who are accurate off the tee as well and tests players throughout the bag. Length off the tee won’t be the only important factor this week.

Typically, PGA Championship courses aren’t quite as extremely difficult as U.S. Open course setups but provide a tough test to all elements of the players’ game and require plenty of strategic planning. Here’s a look at the top results from the event dating back to 2012 when it was last contended on this track.


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PGA Championship Results

Player Name Salary 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Player Name Salary 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Rory McIlroy $11,500 1 8 1 17 CUT 22 50 8 33
Justin Thomas $11,300 -- -- -- 18 66 1 6 CUT 8
Dustin Johnson $10,900 48 8 -- 7 CUT 13 27 35 6
Jordan Spieth $10,100 -- CUT CUT 2 13 28 12 3 71
Brooks Koepka $9,500 -- 70 15 5 4 13 1 1 29
Hideki Matsuyama $9,400 -- 19 35 37 4 5 35 16 22
Webb Simpson $9,200 CUT 25 CUT 54 13 33 19 29 37
Patrick Cantlay $9,000 -- -- 58 30 13 2 CUT CUT 13
Daniel Berger $8,700 -- -- -- CUT T73 CUT 12 71 13
Tony Finau $8,600 -- -- -- 10 CUT 44 42 64 4
Justin Rose $8,100 3 33 24 4 22 CUT 19 29 9
Tyrrell Hatton $8,000 -- -- -- 25 10 CUT 10 48 CUT
Louis Oosthuizen $8,000 21 -- 15 30 22 2 -- 60 33
Adam Scott $7,900 11 5 15 CUT 18 61 3 8 22
Paul Casey $7,700 CUT 33 CUT 30 10 13 CUT 29 2
Jason Day $7,700 CUT 8 15 1 2 9 19 23 4
Marc Leishman $7,600 27 12 46 CUT 60 13 71 CUT CUT
Keegan Bradley $7,300 3 19 CUT 61 42 33 42 29 CUT
Ian Poulter $7,100 3 61 58 CUT -- 22 31 CUT 22
Matt Kuchar $7,000 CUT 22 -- 7 CUT 9 CUT 8 CUT
Francesco Molinari $6,800 54 33 58 54 22 2 6 48 --

In 2012, Rory McIlroy ($11,500) cruised to an eight-stroke lead with a -13 total score. Justin Rose ($8,100), Keegan Bradley ($7,300) and Ian Poulter ($7,100) finished tied for third while Bubba Watson ($7,500) and Adam Scott ($7,900) tied for 11th. Those players definitely have the length needed to contend again this week and get a little bump due to their specific success on this track.

While the chart above is populated by some of the most well-known veteran names, last year’s PGA Championship was won by a “young gun” as Collin Morikawa ($9,800) raised the Wanamaker Trophy in his first PGA Championship appearance. Although it was his first PGA Championship, he definitely didn’t come out of nowhere, since he had already showcased the kind of accuracy off the tee and exceptional iron play that usually leads to success at major championships.

That same pattern will likely be the formula for success this week at Kiawah Island. The course is a Pete Dye design that offers plenty of sweeping vistas with more oceanfront holes (10) than any other course in North America. The course does rely on wind to make it difficult and features a great finishing stretch that includes a tough par-3 17th, just like Dye’s designs at PGA West and TPC Sawgrass. While it isn’t quite an island green like at those courses, this No. 17 is longer than those more famous holes and requires a shot that carries a lot of water. If things are close coming down the stretch, the magnificent par 5-par 3-par 4 finishing stretch will likely determine who claims the second major of the season.

If you’re looking for a value play based on experience at the PGA Championship, there are definitely some names that stand out. Bradley, Rose and Poulter have had nice runs of success at this event to go with their success on this specific course. Adam Scott ($7,900) and Jason Day ($7,700) also have the type of well-rounded game that fits this event well, although their current form isn’t great. Matt Kuchar ($7,000) has a little bit of recent form and has alternated top-10 finishes with missed cuts over the past six years at this event.


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Current Form

The loudest win leading up to this second major came from Rory two weeks ago at Quail Hollow, as he ended an 18-month victory drought with a win at the Wells Fargo Championship. He’ll look to continue that form this week and claim his second PGA Championship at the Ocean Course. Here are some of the other golfers looking to carry over some good recent momentum this week to Kiawah Island:

Current Form

Player Name Salary Arnold Palmer THE PLAYERS Honda Classic Valero Texas Open Masters RBC Heritage Valspar Wells Fargo AT&T Byron Nelson
Player Name Salary Arnold Palmer THE PLAYERS Honda Classic Valero Texas Open Masters RBC Heritage Valspar Wells Fargo AT&T Byron Nelson
Rory McIlroy $11,500 10 CUT -- -- CUT -- -- 1 --
Justin Thomas $11,300 -- 1 -- -- 21 -- 13 26 --
Jon Rahm $10,500 -- 9 -- -- 5 -- -- CUT 34
Bryson DeChambeau $10,200 1 3 -- -- 46 -- -- 9 55
Jordan Spieth $10,100 4 48 -- 1 3 -- -- -- 9
Collin Morikawa $9,800 -- 41 -- -- 18 7 -- -- --
Xander Schauffele $9,600 -- CUT -- -- 3 -- -- 14 --
Hideki Matsuyama $9,400 18 CUT -- 30 1 -- -- -- 39
Viktor Hovland $9,300 49 CUT -- -- 21 -- 3 3 --
Patrick Reed $9,100 CUT 22 -- -- 8 -- CUT 6 --
Cameron Smith $8,900 -- 17 -- -- 10 9 -- -- --
Will Zalatoris $8,800 10 21 -- -- 2 42 -- CUT 17
Daniel Berger $8,700 -- 9 -- -- CUT 13 -- -- 3
Matt Fitzpatrick $8,400 10 9 -- -- 34 4 -- -- CUT
Sungjae Im $8,300 21 17 8 -- CUT 13 29 CUT --
Abraham Ancer $7,900 -- 22 -- -- 26 18 5 2 --
Shane Lowry $7,800 CUT 8 36 -- 21 9 -- 65 --
Joaquin Niemann $7,800 29 25 -- -- 40 -- 8 18 --
Paul Casey $7,700 10 5 -- -- 26 CUT 21 -- --
Corey Conners $7,600 3 7 -- 14 8 4 21 43 --
Sam Burns $7,500 CUT CUT -- CUT 39 -- 1 -- 2
Bubba Watson $7,500 -- CUT -- -- 26 -- 13 18 --
Matt Wallace $7,400 18 -- CUT 3 34 18 -- 6 --
Charley Hoffman $7,300 10 17 -- 2 -- 18 18 -- --
Keegan Bradley $7,300 10 29 30 23 -- -- 2 18 --
Cameron Tringale $7,100 31 CUT 13 9 -- -- 3 CUT --
Ryan Palmer $6,900 -- 17 -- 17 34 -- 63 47 --
Stewart Cink $6,900 -- CUT 19 -- 12 1 -- 37 --
Charl Schwartzel $6,800 CUT CUT 53 69 26 -- 21 14 3
Alex Noren $6,600 49 CUT 46 -- -- 25 21 -- 21
Talor Gooch $6,600 43 5 46 -- -- -- CUT 26 39
Denny McCarthy $6,200 26 55 3 34 -- 13 39 CUT --

One of the biggest storylines of the PGA TOUR season so far has been the polarizing influence of Bryson DeChambeau ($10,200) and his long drives. Since the last major, though, Bryson hasn’t been around the top of leaderboards aside from a late surge to a top-10 two weeks ago at Quail Hollow after barely making the cut. Another major storyline has been the resurgence of Jordan Spieth ($10,100), who won the week before the Masters, finished third at Augusta and placed in the top 10 again last week at the AT&T Byron Nelson.

Justin Thomas ($11,300) won THE PLAYERS earlier this season on the Pete Dye design at TPC Sawgrass and is another player whose game looks on point, and we can’t forget Hideki Matsuyama ($9,400), who claimed the green jacket at Augusta and tuned up last week with a T39 at the Byron Nelson. The recent results above do not include the non-stroke-play events from earlier this season, including the WGC-Match Play won by Billy Horschel ($7,200) and the Zurich Classic which was won by the Aussie team of Marc Leishman ($7,600) and Cameron Smith ($8,900).

Statistically, Morikawa and Thomas lead the PGA TOUR in SG: Approach, with Will Zalatoris ($8,800), Matt Wallace ($7,400), Corey Conners ($7,600) and Keegan Bradley ($7,300) also in the top 10, making them intriguing plays this week if they can get their streaky putters going. Driving Accuracy is another key stat that has translated to success at PGA Championships in the past, and Abraham Ancer ($7,900) and Webb Simpson ($9,200) are two of the most interesting names near the top of the leaderboard in that stat.

For some reason in this tournament, there are a lot of players in the $7K range that have been playing extremely well lately and can help build a very strong, balanced roster. Younger players like Joaquin Niemann ($7,800) and Sam Burns ($7,500) join veterans like Bradley, Charley Hoffman ($7,300) and Bubba Watson ($7,500) as options in that range who come in playing well. If you want to go even cheaper, Talor Gooch ($6,600) and Alex Noren ($6,600) have been making cuts and posting decent finishes, and Denny McCarthy ($6,200) is even cheaper and offers some nice form in the middle of all the extremely long-shot punt plays.

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Z.Thompson) 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 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.


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