Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Fantasy Golf: The PGA Championship Preview

I had so much fun in New Orleans a few weeks ago that I'm heading back and bringing the curmudgeonly grandparents with me to navigate four sultry days of thunderstorms and cracked sidewalks while celebrating the anticipated graduation of the eldest grandson. Can't wait to get them down to the French Quarter so we can catch-up with the gang at the Rawhide Lounge. I'm sure there will be questions . . . asked at an inappropriate decibel level. 

Suffice it to say that I'm not counting my chickens until I'm sharing a victory AMF with him at The Boot. It's been a long strange trip that started with about five thousand miles worth of school visits to colleges he apparently didn't want to attend yet applied to anyway. Then there was a gap year, a few COVID quarantines and a couple hurricane evacuations. Now everyone asks what he's going to do next and my answer is that I hope he spends a few years having a great fucking time. As we all well know, the grind will be there when he's ready.   


One of these days me and Clue are going to cross paths outside of Snake & Jakes and it will be epic . . . until one or both of us inevitably falls down. 


We've reached the point with the majors where you have to take some kind of position on the LIV players and whether their traveling circus adequately prepares them to compete against the best golfers in the world. They placed three in the top ten at Augusta but one of those was recent defector Tyrrell Hatton and their lead dogs, Jon Rahm and Brooks Koepka, both finished tied for 45th. I say they place a couple in the top ten this week but they're all overvalued so I'm not going to bother to hazard a guess on which two. In other words, fuck 'em all. 

The last time they held the PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club, Rory held-off Phil Mickelson (and darkness) with a loaded leaderboard that included Rickie Fowler, Henrik Stenson, Jim Furyk and Ernie Els. That bodes well for this year's competition as the top two ranked players in the world come-in on a ridiculous combined heater having won six of the last ten primary PGA Tour events.   

I'm giving Rory the nod over Scottie because I'm a bit of a romantic but more of the golf kind and way less of the guy who just became a father kind. I will never believe that the new dad will play golf with a clean conscience unless he soaks that conscience in booze which doesn't strike me as Scheffler's style. And yes I am aware that Rory has his own personal shit brewing but that sure didn't seem to bother him last Sunday. 

With all that being said, Xander Schauffele actually gets the feature spot as I just used Rory and Scottie was my pick at the Masters. Let's be honest. You can't believe I waited this long to mention that. (Took humility for a test drive there and found the handling a little clunky). As for Xander, my once firmly held belief that he would eventually win a major is now just loosely held but it's still there and this week seems like as good a shot as any.

We're staying in full ball striker/shot maker mode for the next five picks with Ludvig Aberg, Justin Thomas, Cameron Young, Sahith Theegala and Sungjae Im. The last two feel like great values on this track, especially Sungjae who's found his groove since missing the cut at Augusta. 

And the sleepers this week (if you can call the 25th and 29th ranked players in the world "sleepers"), are Chris Kirk and Denny McCarthy. Kirk is a hunch pick based in part on his T26, T16, T10 run through The Players, The Masters and the RBC Heritage. The McCarthy pick is, however, more scientific as he's been on a nice bentgrass green lately and that's what they'll be putting on this week (source: @GolfBetCaddie).

Here is how I would allocate my resources. 

Ludvig Aberg

Top 5


Cameron Young

Top 5


Sahith Theegala

Top 10


Sungjae Im

Top 10


Denny McCarthy

Top 10


Chris Kirk

Top 20


I'd wish you all luck but I'm pretty sure I'm the one who's gonna need it this weekend.

One and Done Pick: Xander Schauffele
I share what appears to be
the cautious optimism here. 

Other Guy I'd Pick: Rory McIlroy

Sleeper Pick: Denny McCarthy

DraftKings Top Ten Values 

Rory McIlroy


Xander Schauffele


Ludvig Aberg


Justin Thomas


Cameron Young


Sahith Theegala


Sungjae Im


Chris Kirk


Denny McCarthy


Taylor Pendrith


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