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DraftKings PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf Picks: PGA Championship Predictions, Preview

Reid Fowler previews the PGA Championship and gives his picks for your DraftKings PGA TOUR fantasy golf lineups.

The PGA TOUR travels to South Carolina for the PGA Championship at The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort. This Pete and Alice Dye design will play as a par 72, measuring up to 7,876 yards and will be putt on Seashore paspalum. The 2012 PGA Championship was also played here, when Rory McIlroy (+1000; $11,500) hoisted the Wanamaker Trophy, winning by eight shots.


This Pete Dye behemoth is very exposed and will be affected by coastal weather, wind specifically. The Ocean Course has more seaside holes (10) than any other course in North America, making it a beautiful yet daunting task. Inspired by the dunes and rolling hills in Scotland and Ireland, the Dyes built this place to make it one of the best American links-style layouts here in the United States. While it isn’t a proper links course, it shares some similarities with its rolling hills and undulating fairways.

The course is just under 7,900 yards, and with predominantly east or westerly winds, distance could be important if the winds are swirling. In 2012, players like McIlroy, Adam Scott (+6600, $7,900), Tiger Woods, Bubba Watson (+8000, $7,500), and John Daly placed inside the top 20 and finished inside the top 35 in average driving distance at the end of the season. This trend doesn’t mean it’ll play exactly like a U.S. Open where distance is a prerequisite, but it could be a difference-maker with slow, paspalum fairways and potentially strong crosswinds.

As will every Dye course, the tee shots are daunting and diabolical, which means course management, position golf and accuracy off tee boxes are priorities this week. Dye emphasizes second shots more than anything else, which means golfers who aren’t the longest Off-the-Tee can still place high. The greens are 6,000 square feet on average, slightly smaller than the average-sized greens on TOUR; being in the fairway will make it much easier to hit greens in regulation. The greens were elevated per the suggestion of Alice Dye so that players could have stunning views of the ocean. While this is aesthetically pleasing, a handful of greens became more exposed to the wind with no protection from the terrain. Subsequently, the raised greens created more runoff areas; when players miss their approaches, they’ll need to have an impeccable short game if they want to have success this weekend.

Roster construction should be balanced this week, with a lot of value in the mid-tier pricing. Sure, the golfers above $10,000 are the best in the world, but the PGA Championship has given way to breakout wins in the past, and this week could be similar.

Xander Schauffele (+1600 to Win, $9,600 on DraftKings)

The time may finally be here for Schauffele to notch a major win under his belt. Sure, he has trophies from other prestigious tournaments like WGCs and the TOUR Championship, but a PGA Championship would solidify him as one of the sport’s best. This course will demand a robust Tee-to-Green game, and Xander is coming off a third-place finish at Augusta National and a top 15 at a comparable course length in Quail Hollow, where he gained 4.7 strokes Tee-to-Green. Xander’s finished no worse than a 17th in his previous four majors.

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Viktor Hovland (+1600 to Win, $9,300 on DraftKings)

Hovland may be following in the footsteps of his compatriot, Collin Morikawa (+2200, $9,800), by winning the PGA Championship in such a short amount of time on the PGA TOUR. Few are better Off-the-Tee than Hovland, ranking 14th over his previous 12 rounds. Courses like Quail Hollow (Wells Fargo) and Innisbrook (Valspar Championship) share similarities to this week, and Vik finished third in both events back-to-back, gaining a total of 17.5 strokes Tee-to-Green. His putting has been fantastic, averaging 2.3 strokes gained over his previous five tournaments, and he won the Mayakoba Golf Classic, which plays on paspalum greens.

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Abraham Ancer (+4000 to Win, $7,900 on DraftKings)

Few have been better on Dye courses recently than Ancer, ranking first in Strokes Gained: Total and Strokes Gained: tee-to-Green over the past 24 rounds on Pete Dye courses. Ancer isn’t going to lead the tournament in driving distance, but he just finished runner-up at the Wells Fargo, which played over 7,400 yards, gaining 4.5 strokes Off-the-Tee and 12 strokes Tee-to-Green. A top 5 finish at the Valspar Championship a couple of weeks ago should also indicate that Ancer could be in line for a solid week at Kiawah. Another young player to consider in this range is Joaquin Niemann (+5000, $7,800). Niemann also has a solid record on Dye courses, ranking 22nd in Strokes Gained: Total and 11th in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green over the previous 24 rounds. Niemann nearly won at Kapalua in windy conditions, finishing second earlier this year. He’s also striking the ball well right now, gaining 9.8 strokes Off-the-Tee and eight strokes total with his irons over his past dozen rounds. Niemann brings in a recent top 20 at Wells Fargo, a top 10 at Valspar and a top 5 at the RBC Heritage in 2020.

Harris English (+6600 to Win, $7,200 on DraftKings)

English played exceptional last week at TPC Craig Ranch, shooting a 9-under-par 63 on Saturday en route to a 13th-place finish. English was the player who beat out Niemann at the Tournament of Champions, proving he can hit it well in windy conditions. English also plays well in this part of the country with top 10 performances at the RBC Heritage and RSM Classic in his career.

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