Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Fantasy Golf: The PGA Championship Preview

One of the benefits of my new role as a golfing nomad is that I've had the opportunity to meet a lot of new very interesting (and some not so interesting) people. I've heard stories about their kids and their jobs and, in one case, even a story about how a guy had to fire his own kid which reaffirmed my decision to never work for my dad so there you go.

Just last weekend I found myself with a couple hours to kill so, after hitting five balls at the range and declaring my swing to be in fine working order, I shifted into a putting green lurker waiting for an unsuspecting twosome or threesome to make the turn. It didn't take long for a pair of young athletic looking chaps in a cart to make a pit stop at the bar on the way to #10. Five minutes later and they were less than enthusiastically accepting my offer to grace them with my presence.

After a few holes of casual banter, we stumbled onto the fact that we all have lacrosse backgrounds (as lacrosse players inevitably will do). We then proceeded to have a delightful Baltimore grounded conversation about the sport that would have absolutely annoyed the shit out of 99.9% of the population (that number feels low). 

By the 18th hole we had all become fast friends. It was then that a crow landed on their cart and I instinctively said "don't worry, it's good luck." When I didn't get a response, I said, "you're supposed to say, 'in Haiti.'" All that did was draw a blank look with an awkward chuckle.

The lesson here is that we can't expect the classics to live-on if we don't make the effort to pass them down to our kids. Come on people. Do better.   


Live look at me picking Scottie Scheffler. 


I've had Scheffler engraved in this spot from day one and his recent success has done nothing but make me more convinced that he's going to methodically take down his second major. Not to mention, Oak Hill is due for a bit of a legacy restoration after its last two majors were won by Jason Dufner and Shaun Micheel. No offense to those two guys but previous winners in Rochester had names like Nicklaus, Trevino and Europe (ouch!). Probably more of what the PGA of America has in mind. 

On the other hand, the PGA Championship has historically been a bastion of first-time major winners and, in many cases, only time major winners which is why you may not have even known it was being played this week until you got an email from your assistant pro to enter a pool. It is to golf's majors what Andy Gibb was to the Bee Gees. In the family but not quite in the band.  

So we're going to hedge against the first time winner trend with our next five guys, especially Patrick Cantlay who has one major win written all over him. The same could be said for Tyrrell Hatton and Tommy Fleetwood. If either of them does ever win one, it's going to be in a situation like this when we're kind of due for someone to come flying in from off the radar.

I've also got Xander Schauffele and Viktor Hovland in the mix because they're 1 and 1A on my list of current best players yet to win one. Schauffele just added another top ten at Augusta and sooner or later, Hovland is going to simply bludgeon his way to a major title at which point his infectious smile while momentarily bring the entire world together and people will even stop being mad at beer.   

Adam Scott is in one of those smooth Adam Scott grooves and he co-led after the first round here in 2013 before finishing T5. He's coming-off a final round 63 last week that landed him a T8 which backed-up a T5 at Quail Hollow. And he's still just so damn handsome. 

DraftKings threw us a subtle morality test by pricing both Rickie Fowler and Patrick Reed at $7,600. With Rickie, you have one of the most likable players of all-time chasing his first major win and who also turned-down what had to be a sizeable offer from LIVGolf to continue playing on the PGA Tour. With Reed you have a waddling bag of bile. Unfortunately, recent FGR performance means that we don't have the luxury of morality plays around here so Reed gets the nod. I feel dirty. 

We're throwing some love Si Woo Kim's way despite his less than stellar record in majors because frankly the 36th ranked player in the world and four time PGA Tour winner is perennially undervalued and we smell opportunity. Or maybe it's just the lingering stench of the Reed pick.

And finally, some guys just tend to rise to the challenge of a major and Seamus Power appears to be one of those guys. He's played in five of them and made the cut in four with a T9 at last year's PGA Championship. The sleeper pick came down to him or Adam Hadwin but, as the old sports gambling adage goes, "when in doubt, don't go with the Canadian." 

One and Done Pick: Scottie Scheffler 
Worth noting that I picked Scottie
at last year's PGA and he missed 
the cut. So there. Fucking noted.

Other Guy I'd Pick: Patrick Cantlay 

Sleeper Pick: Seamus Power 

DraftKings Top Ten Values

Scottie Scheffler


Xander Schauffele


Patrick Cantlay


Viktor Hovland


Tyrrell Hatton


Tommy Fleetwood


Adam Scott


Patrick Reed


Si Woo Kim


Seamus Power


Email the Fantasy Golf Report at fgr@fantasygolfreport.com

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