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BlogPGA Championship Preview and Picks

PGA Championship

August 6th – 9th, 2020

TPC Harding Park

San Francisco, Ca.

Par: 70 / Yardage: 7,251

Purse: $11 million

with $1,980,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Brooks Koepka

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

This week’s field includes:

As of this minute when I write this on Tuesday morning, the field includes 91 of the top-100 of the latest Official World Rankings.  Last year they had 102 of the top-102 players.  Of course, the reason is easy, COVID-19.  Of the nine that aren’t in the field, eight of them were from outside of the United States, #37 Francesco Molinari, #39 Lee Westwood, #54 Shugo Amnia, #78 Thomas Pieters, #84 Branden Grace, #87 Paul Waring, and #90 Thomas Detry.  #76 Charles Howell III was the only American that didn’t come and he withdrew over the weekend.  So it’s understandable why these folks didn’t want to venture to San Francisco and California, which is probably one of the worst spots in the world right now with COVID-19.  But on the bright side, all of the marquee players are playing this week so for everyone to enjoy.

The field includes all 25 of the top 25 on the FedEx point standings for 2020 are in the field.

The field includes 13 past champions: Brooks Koepka (2019 & ’18), Justin Thomas (2017), Jimmy Walker (2016), Jason Day (2015), Rory McIlroy (2014 & ’12), Jason Dufner (2013), Keegan Bradley (2011), Martin Kaymer (2010), Tiger Woods (1999, 2000, ’06 & ’07), Phil Mickelson (2005), Shaun Micheel (2003), Rick Beem (2002) and Davis Love III (1997).

A perfect way for fantasy golfers to check on the past performance of all the players in the PGA Championship field is our performance chart listed by the average finish.  Another way to check who is the best is through a special formula worked out in Golfstats that gives us the best average performances at the PGA Championship field in the last five years or check out our sortable 8-year glance at the PGA Championship field.

A good cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmakers in England.

Another cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmaker in Las Vegas.

Time to look at our who’s hot and who isn’t:

Who’s Hot in the field for the PGA Championship

Player WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational Barracuda Championship 3M Open Memorial Tournament Workday Charity Open Rocket Mortgage Classic Travelers Championship RBC Heritage Charles Schwab Challenge
Justin Thomas
(320 pts)
Win
(198)
DNP DNP T18
(32)
2
(66.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T8
(16.67)
T10
(13.33)
Richy Werenski
(254 pts)
DNP Win
(132)
T3
(90)
DNP T35
(10)
T21
(19.33)
T46
(2.67)
DNP T58
(0)
Daniel Berger
(214 pts)
T2
(150)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP T3
(30)
Win
(44)
Matthew Fitzpatrick
(206.67 pts)
T6
(90)
DNP DNP 3
(90)
T27
(15.33)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T14
(12)
T32
(6)
Xander Schauffele
(201 pts)
T6
(90)
DNP DNP T13
(37)
T14
(24)
DNP T20
(20)
T64
(0)
T3
(30)
Jason Day
(196 pts)
T6
(90)
DNP DNP T4
(80)
T7
(36.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
T46
(2.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Bryson DeChambeau
(194.67 pts)
T30
(30)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP Win
(88)
T6
(40)
T8
(16.67)
T3
(30)
Tom Lewis
(190 pts)
T2
(150)
DNP T32
(18)
DNP DNP T12
(25.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Phil Mickelson
(164 pts)
T2
(150)
DNP DNP T54
(0)
T58
(0)
DNP T24
(17.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Collin Morikawa
(161.67 pts)
T20
(45)
DNP DNP T48
(2)
Win
(88)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T64
(0)
2
(33.33)
Jon Rahm
(158.33 pts)
T52
(0)
DNP DNP Win
(132)
T27
(15.33)
DNP T37
(8.67)
T33
(5.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
Brooks Koepka
(157.67 pts)
T2
(150)
DNP CUT
(-10)
T62
(0)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP 7
(18.33)
T32
(6)
Ryan Palmer
(152.5 pts)
T15
(52.5)
DNP DNP 2
(100)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T8
(16.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
Tony Finau
(148 pts)
T65
(0)
DNP T3
(90)
8
(50)
DNP T53
(0)
CUT
(-6.67)
T33
(5.67)
T23
(9)
Michael Thompson
(144.67 pts)
T57
(0)
DNP Win
(132)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T64
(0)
T46
(2.67)
T8
(16.67)
DNP
Chez Reavie
(139.33 pts)
T6
(90)
DNP DNP T22
(28)
T17
(22)
DNP T46
(2.67)
T74
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
Dustin Johnson
(137.67 pts)
T12
(57)
DNP WD
(-5)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP Win
(88)
T17
(11)
CUT
(-3.33)
Viktor Hovland
(132 pts)
T59
(0)
DNP DNP T48
(2)
3
(60)
T12
(25.33)
T11
(26)
T21
(9.67)
T23
(9)
Troy Merritt
(128.67 pts)
DNP 2
(100)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
T22
(18.67)
T8
(33.33)
T60
(0)
T70
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
Mackenzie Hughes
(127 pts)
T44
(9)
DNP DNP T6
(60)
T48
(1.33)
DNP T3
(60)
T70
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
Abraham Ancer
(123.83 pts)
T15
(52.5)
DNP DNP T58
(0)
DNP DNP T11
(26)
2
(33.33)
T14
(12)
Webb Simpson
(121 pts)
T12
(57)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T8
(33.33)
DNP Win
(44)
CUT
(-3.33)
Kevin Streelman
(119.17 pts)
T35
(22.5)
DNP DNP T54
(0)
T7
(36.67)
DNP 2
(66.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Emiliano Grillo
(119 pts)
DNP T9
(45)
T3
(90)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-6.67)
T39
(7.33)
T60
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Matthew Wolff
(117.5 pts)
T49
(1.5)
DNP T12
(38)
T22
(28)
CUT
(-6.67)
2
(66.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
54
(0)
Kevin Na
(107.5 pts)
T35
(22.5)
DNP DNP 9
(45)
DNP WD
(-3.33)
5
(46.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Billy Horschel
(105.17 pts)
T25
(37.5)
DNP DNP T13
(37)
T7
(36.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
T38
(4)
Patrick Cantlay
(103.17 pts)
T35
(22.5)
DNP DNP T32
(18)
T7
(36.67)
DNP T11
(26)
DNP DNP
Matt Wallace
(102.67 pts)
T59
(0)
DNP DNP T4
(80)
T39
(7.33)
T12
(25.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
T64
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
Adam Long
(100.67 pts)
DNP DNP 2
(100)
CUT
(-10)
T52
(0)
DNP T24
(17.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Brendon Todd
(99.83 pts)
T15
(52.5)
DNP DNP T22
(28)
DNP T57
(0)
T11
(26)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Matthias Schwab
(98 pts)
DNP T3
(90)
T32
(18)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Cameron Tringale
(90 pts)
DNP DNP T3
(90)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T30
(13.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP
Louis Oosthuizen
(89.33 pts)
T6
(90)
DNP DNP T54
(0)
T65
(0)
DNP T46
(2.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
T55
(0)
Sepp Straka
(85 pts)
DNP DNP T18
(32)
61
(0)
T14
(24)
T8
(33.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
T33
(5.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
Kevin Kisner
(84.5 pts)
T25
(37.5)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP 3
(60)
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
T29
(7)
Tyrrell Hatton
(83.33 pts)
T69
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T4
(53.33)
DNP T3
(30)
DNP
Gary Woodland
(83 pts)
T57
(0)
DNP DNP T22
(28)
T5
(46.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T62
(0)
9
(15)
Shane Lowry
(80.67 pts)
T6
(90)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
T39
(7.33)
DNP T60
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Rickie Fowler
(79.83 pts)
T15
(52.5)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
T22
(18.67)
T12
(25.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Corey Conners
(78.67 pts)
T30
(30)
DNP DNP T22
(28)
T39
(7.33)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T21
(9.67)
T19
(10.33)
Patrick Reed
(77.5 pts)
T47
(4.5)
DNP DNP T10
(40)
T39
(7.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
T24
(17.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
T7
(18.33)
Harris English
(76.67 pts)
DNP DNP T18
(32)
T13
(37)
DNP DNP DNP T17
(11)
CUT
(-3.33)
Jordan Spieth
(73.67 pts)
T30
(30)
DNP DNP T13
(37)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T54
(0)
T68
(0)
T10
(13.33)
Brendan Steele
(73.67 pts)
DNP T53
(0)
DNP T13
(37)
T52
(0)
DNP T6
(40)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Sergio Garcia
(72.5 pts)
T35
(22.5)
DNP DNP T32
(18)
DNP DNP T32
(12)
T5
(23.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Christiaan Bezuidenhout
(70.33 pts)
T20
(45)
DNP DNP T22
(28)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T28
(7.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Hideki Matsuyama
(69.67 pts)
T20
(45)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
T22
(18.67)
T21
(19.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Joel Dahmen
(69.33 pts)
T20
(45)
DNP DNP 74
(0)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T20
(20)
T48
(0.67)
T19
(10.33)
Adam Hadwin
(68.67 pts)
T72
(0)
DNP DNP T54
(0)
T35
(10)
T4
(53.33)
DNP T41
(3)
T43
(2.33)
Max Homa
(66.33 pts)
T52
(0)
DNP T3
(90)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T41
(3)
CUT
(-3.33)
Cameron Champ
(64.83 pts)
T25
(37.5)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
67
(0)
T12
(25.33)
DNP DNP T14
(12)
Si Woo Kim
(64.33 pts)
DNP T41
(9)
T46
(4)
T18
(32)
64
(0)
T57
(0)
T11
(26)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Charl Schwartzel
(63 pts)
DNP DNP T3
(90)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
T41
(3)
DNP
Erik Van Rooyen
(62.67 pts)
T20
(45)
DNP CUT
(-10)
T22
(28)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T21
(9.67)
CUT
(-3.33)

How Player Rankings are Computed

Who’s Not Hot in the field for the PGA Championship

Player WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational Barracuda Championship 3M Open Memorial Tournament Workday Charity Open Rocket Mortgage Classic Travelers Championship RBC Heritage Charles Schwab Challenge
Vaughn Taylor
(-36.67 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T52
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
Andrew Putnam
(-33.33 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
T58
(0)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Nate Lashley
(-25 pts)
DNP DNP DNP WD
(-5)
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Jimmy Walker
(-20 pts)
DNP DNP DNP T62
(0)
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Wyndham Clark
(-18.33 pts)
DNP T35
(15)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP WD
(-3.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
T64
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
Tom Hoge
(-17.33 pts)
DNP DNP T46
(4)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
T37
(8.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Davis Love III
(-16.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Kurt Kitayama
(-16.67 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP
Jazz Janewattananond
(-16.67 pts)
T59
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Victor Perez
(-16.67 pts)
T65
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)

How Player Rankings are Computed

The Buzz:

On a personal note, this is a sad week for me.  I have attended every major championship and every Ryder Cup going back to the 1987 U.S. Open, that’s like 147 straight championships I have attended.  Making the pain even deeper, I have attended every PGA Championship going back to 1975 at Firestone when Jack Nicklaus won, that is 45 straight PGA’s.  Come next month if the U.S. Open is played the same with that, I have attended every U.S. Open going back to 1975, 45 straight.  At 64 years old, unless they come up with some miracle cure, these will be streaks I will never be able to obtain again and it’s a shame.  I kind of knew it was stupid and more ego-driven than anything else but was hoping to make it to 50 straight.  So looking forward to 2024 and Valhalla, site of the PGA and then Pinehurst, site of the 2024 U.S. Open in which I would have been to not only 50 straight PGAs and U.S. Open’s, but 168 straight majors and Ryder Cups in a row.  Guess nobody but I and my dogs really care so on to some golf.

Have to say this, boy is golf’s biological clock going to really get screwed up this week. Not only will they be playing the first major championship in August, when last year it was established that majors would be finished in July at the British Open. But for most players (with the small exception of those coming from the Barracuda), the last eight weeks have been about playing in hot, humid conditions in which the ball has been flying googillion miles. For all those that have been playing regularly over the last eight weeks and especially those coming from Memphis, they will be in for a different experience this week at TPC Harding Park because everything shall we say in the stratosphere will be definitely different this week. Instead of stifling conditions that everyone would be sweating profusely, players will find themselves having to bundle up as each day will be in the mid-60s and the conditions will change during the day. Since the course is just a half a mile from the Pacific and it is August, the course will have clouds and fog in the morning that will burn away by 11 for a few hours of sunshine and then the clouds moving in around 3. With conditions like this, Bryson DeChambeau will probably not see drives in the 360-yard range and be lucky to hit it over 300 yards this week. So the advertised length of the course at 7,251 will be that and it will probably play long this week.  Oh, and talking about DeChambeau he is probably a very good player to start off with.  After being the hottest player on the planet last month, he has come down to earth and his game is showing signs that yes he is human and can make mistakes.  After missing the cut at Memorial and finsihing T-30th in Memphis DeChambeau comes to San Francisco a bit deflated and looking to regain the mojo he had last month.  DeChambeau needs to realize that on some courses hitting greens in regulation is important and the last two weeks on courses that he hasn’t had flip wedges left tot he greens he has stumbled on, he was T-61st in Greens in Regulation in Memphis.  If that happens at the PGA Championship it will be another long week for him.

As for some other key players, gosh anything is possible. Last week we were worried about the health of players like Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, and Jason Day and many including myself were wondering if their seasons were dead. But all three proved that wrong in Memphis and will be very talked-about this week. The biggest Brooks Koepka was T-2nd in Memphis and will have a big bullseye on his back in the early days of this championship as many wonders if it’s humanly possible to win a major championship three straight years in a row. It’s been 64 years since it’s last been done by Peter Thomson winning the British Open in 1954, ’55 & ’56. Adding to the rarity of the feat, it had been 29 years since Walter Hagan did his four-peat between 1924 and 1927 and 22 years and before that when Willie Anderson won the U.S. Open in 1903, ’04 & ’05 so you can see the type of rarefied air that Koepka is breathing this week. Making things worst there are 155 players that would love for Koepka not to accomplish that feat just this week, out of that pack about 40 have a legitimate chance of really winning. The one with the biggest chance will be Justin Thomas who played great in the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational and told the world after his three-shot victory that he has been working really hard on his game since the break and was surprised it took this long for him to register a victory. So for many, this is all the news they need, just have the engravers put his name on the Wanamaker Trophy now.

As for Dustin Johnson, he showed in Memphis that he had some life left in him my finishing T-12th after he missed the cut at Memorial with a pair of 80s and then departed the 3M on the cloud of possible back problems.  Didn’t seem to have any back problems in Memphis as he broke 60 all three days as he finished T-12th.  He was five back of winner Justin Thomas and things could of been better if he didn’t take a first-round triple-bogey seven on the 17th hole.  So have to think he will be in the mix this week.  Have to also think that Jason Day will be in the mix.  He has been banged up for a long time with a bad back and struggled with his game all year.  They at the Workday Open he was T-7th, followed by a T-4th at the Memorial, five shots back of winner Jon Rahm.  In a surprise move, Day announced before the start of the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational that he parted ways with his longtime swing teacher Colin Swatton.  The pair had one of the longest relationships on the PGA Tour, they have been together for over 30 years since they met the first day that Jason attended boarding school when he was 12 years old. When Day came to America and won on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2007, he called and convinced Swatton to join him in America as not only his swing coach but as his caddie and traveling companion as well.  In 2017 Swatton stepped away from the bag and just became his instructor.  Day says he just wants to work on his own as it pertains to his own swing and game  At the WGC-FedEx St.Jude, he was T-6th, four shots of winner Thomas so you have to wonder if Day can contend this week?

All of this, plus with Tiger Woods back, and you never know what could happen to him, what could happen this week.

Tournament information:

This is the 102nd edition of this event, and the first time the PGA Championship has been played at TPC Harding Park.  This course has never held a major championship on it.  Harding Park is a new, old face to professional golf.  TPC Harding Park is a municipal course owned by the city of San Francisco.  The course has a storied history in San Francisco golf legend holding several PGA Tour events in the 60s plus a lot of local championships.  For years Harding Park was called one of the most demanding and underrated courses around since it first opened in 1925.

In the 70s, with the money crunch brought to California with Proposition 13, Harding Park became neglected.  The gem of public golf became a weed-infested haven, and if former USGA president Sandy Tatum didn’t step in with a helping hand, the course would have been forgotten.  Tatum remembered how the course was in the 50s and 60s, he played in numerous city championships held at the course and championed its revival.  He got corporate backing, and with the help of the PGA Tour promising to bring championships to the course, a $16 million renovation took place in 2002.  The total cost grew to $24 million and the WGC-American Express Championship was held at Harding Park in 2005 with Tiger Woods beating John Daly in a three-hole playoff with the course redone.  Four years later, the Presidents Cup was held at Harding Park, with the U.S. Team winning by five points.  Then in 2015, it held the WGC-Dell Match Play as Rory McIlroy beat Gary Woodland in the finals.  But it’s most significant accomplishment will be this week.

Harding Park is located less than a mile from the Pacific Ocean, and in the four days don’t be surprised to see all four seasons during the week so that the weather will play a significant role.

The biggest rap against Harding Park is the greens. They are very flat with no undulations.  What that means is that the excellent ball strikers that don’t putt very well will have a significant advantage this week.  Adam Scott is a perfect type of player, great ball striker, but poor putter.  If you were to look at the players leading in greens hit that aren’t supreme putters, six names jump off the page that could do well this week, Hideki Matsuyama, Viktor Hovland, Paul Casey, Webb Simpson, Adam Scott, Chez Reavie and Collin Morikawa. So hitting lots of green will be a must as putting will be a lot easier this week.  Look for a lot of ten to fifteen footers to be made.

Driving will be key.  The rough will be thick, and those players that hit it right or left of the rough wouldn’t get away with it because the fairways are lined with lots of trees.  Some will think that the course is short, yes 7,251 yards is short under today’s standards, but remember the area of the course is in.  With fog coming in most evenings, the course is very lush, and the players will see minimal roll.  So, of course, a straight driver will have an advantage over a long hitter this week.

Course information:
  • TPC Harding Park
  • San Francisco, California
  • 7,251 yards     Par 35-35–70

In 2020, the PGA Championship will make its fifth appearance in California, following Hillcrest Country Club (1929), Pebble Beach Golf Links (1977), and Riviera Country Club (1983 and 1995). It will also become the first time San Francisco hosts a PGA Championship. Harding Park will be the third municipally-owned golf course to host the PGA Championship (Tangle wood in 974 & Bethpage in 2019).

Situated on a gently rolling peninsula surrounded by the shores of Lake Merced in San Francisco’s southwest corner, Harding Park has reclaimed its stature as one of the top public golf properties in the United States. The course opened for play in 1925 after a design by noted architects Willie Watson and Sam Whiting, who also oversaw the construction of the Olympic Club (which will host the 2028 PGA Championship and 2033 Ryder Cup). Officials named the course after President Warren G. Harding; the 29th President of the United States was an avid golfer who died at the Palace Hotel in 1923 during a visit to San Francisco.

The course became immediately popular and gained national notoriety when the United States Golf Association selected the par-70 course to host the U.S. Public Links Championship in 1937, which again was played at Harding Park in 1956. After that time, the course endured a slow deterioration and fell into what the San Francisco Chronicle described: “Weeds, clusters of daisies and splotches of dirt came to characterize this once-pristine layout.”

Enter Sandy Tatum, who had played in the San Francisco City Championship while attending Stanford University and stayed in the Bay Area, spending his career there as an attorney. Tatum had gained stature in the golf industry, serving as president of the USGA. Tatum became instrumental in turning Harding Park’s fortunes around, receiving assistance from local government leaders.

There is nothing fancy to the course, there is no real charm to the course other than it’s an old-style design from the time.  The course is on rolling terrain and at the time it was built by Willie Watson and Sam Whiting on wind-swept dunes.  But with the advent of the depression and the need to put people to work the city decided to have a massive tree-planting project at Harding Park and lined the fairways with hundreds of eucalyptus, Monterey Pine and cypress trees.  The main reason for the project was that the course was public and to make it more manageable for the general public, the trees would make the wind no longer a factor anymore.

Harding Park was highly regarded in golf circles from its opening through the 1960s. It hosted the United States Public Links Championship in 1937, won by Bruce McCormick, as well as the 1956 Publinks won by James Bixbaum.

Now a couple of important things to remember about TPC Harding Park.  They are going to say that the primary rough is a combination of Poa/bent/rye and is 3.5 inches long.  But the dirty PGA of America secret is that the course is really easy and without really wicked rough the course will be like a local muni with these guys making birdie on every hole. So the rough is tough.  The second thing they say the greens are bent.  Don’t believe it, there is not a single green on a single course that is within a mile from the Pacific Ocean that isn’t overrun with Poa Anna.  So the greens will be harder to read and late in the afternoon will tend to get bumpy, that is the facts with Poa in greens.

DraftKings tips

Before we get to our picks, we have to look at last week’s picks because it was a very hard week on DraftKings.  Let’s review what the top-price folks did on the leaderboard, it was very poor:

Jon Rahm – $11,400    He finished T-52nd

Rory McIlroy – $11,200   He finished T-7th

Bryce DeChambeau – $10,000  He finished T-30th

Justin Thomas – $10,700  He won

Patrick Cantlay – $10,100  He finished T-35th

Webb Simpson – $9,900  He finished T-12th

Xander Schauffele – $9,800  He finished T–6th

Tyrrell Hatton – $9,700  He finished T-69th

Daniel Berger – $9,600  He finished T-2nd

Collin Morikawa – $9,500 He finished T-20th

Viktor Hovland – $9,400  He finished T-59th

*Here are the guys that cost the most on DraftKings this week:

  • Justin Thomas – $11,300
  • Brooks Koepka – $11,100
  • Rory McIlroy – $10,700
  • Jon Rahm – $10,500
  • Bryce DeChambeau – $10,300
  • Xander Schauffele – $10,000
  • Webb Simpson – $9,700
  • Patrick Cantlay – $9,400
  • Tiger Woods – $9,200
  • Dustin Johnson – $9,000

So you can see from the chart above this week’s picks,  it was a tough week if you bought the high priced talent last week.  I kind of got suckered into Rahm and he didn’t play well but liked Thomas, and I did well on him.  So what is ahead of us this week at the PGA Championship.  I will say this, anybody watches the classic show “Seinfeld”?  I love the show and have seen each one of the shows at least five times.  One of my favorite shows is the one called “The Opposite.”  It’s the one that George tells Jerry that eery decision he seems to make has been wrong and his life is screwed because of that.  So Jerry tells him that if every instinct you have is wrong, do the opposite.  Maybe we should think this week to do the opposite and I will tell you why.

First of all, they are playing in conditions totally different.  After 8 weeks of hot, humid weather, they are playing in chilly, crisp windy conditions.  Instead of playing on dry courses in which the balls roll a long way, they will be playing on course that will give them no roll so drives will be shorter.  Club selection will be harder because they will be at sea level and at cooler conditions, balls won’t fly as far so you will see players coming up short.  So I say in decision making this week think opposite of what your first hunch will be.

So your first “hunch” on seeing Justin Thomas at $11,300?  My first thought is that he won last week so he won’t have anything in the tank left for this week.  Think opposite, he is young and has lot’s of energy, his stats are great 1st in Strokes Gained Tee to Green, 2nd in Strokes Gained Approach the Green, 2nd in Proximity to Hole all of these show that Justin is playing great coming into the PGA Championship and can win for a second straight week.  Next is Brooks Koepka at $11,100 and I will say this no matter what anyone says, winning three straight majors is like rolling three straight 7 or 11s in a row in craps, it’s just not done.  The last time it happened as when I was two days old and that was 64 years ago and I can say it won’t happen again this year.  Now, will Brooks play well, yes so he could make you some good points worth the points.  Rory McIlroy at $10,700 is a yes for me because of his win at the Match Play victory in 2005, but hey that is my first hunch so playing the opposite says don’t pick him this week.  Jon Rahm at $10,500 is a yes he is the top pick, no opposite at work here.  Yes, he played poorly in Memphis but finished with a 66 on Sunday.  At the Workday, played poorly but finished with a 64 and won the next week at Memorial.  But here is the most important thing for you to know, Rahm has the California mojo. In 13 starts in the “Golden State” has three wins and six top-five wins and rules on courses with poa, so that is why I like him a lot this week.  Bryce DeChambeau at $10,300 is a waste of your money, save it for the FedExCup were he will rule at TPC Boston.  Xander Schauffele at $10,000 says yes based on playing well at Pebble during the U.S. Open and has been trending and looking to possibly peaking this week.  Webb Simpson at $9,700 is from the south so you say no to the west coast and poa but at the U.S. Open in 2012 just down the road at Olympic he won.  That course has a lot of characteristics that Harding Park has so that opposite tends to kick in on our choice of him.  Patrick Cantlay at $9,400 is another problem because the opposite doesn’t work because we don’t know which direction to go so it’s best to pass on him.  Tiger Woods at $9,200 is more betting from your heart instead of betting what is right, he just has not played enough competitive golf to believe he can win this week.  Dustin Johnson at $9,000 does have a good chance at winning and I think he is a good bet.

*Players in that $7,600 to $8,900 price range, which ones are worth the money?:

Our first name up is Daniel Berger at $8,800 and normally since he is from the south I say no, but in looking at his west coast record he has some good starts at Pebble including a T-5th last February so he is worth the money since behind Thomas he has probably played second best since the break.  Jason Day at $8,400 is a very scary person to think about because of his back.  The main problem is the cool temperatures this week, that could present a problem for him.  But have to say, of late he has played great golf and could be peaking.  What I like most about him is his California record and the fact that he has won twice at Torrey, a course with Poa, and played well at Pebble a course with Poa.  I like Hideki Matsuyama at $8,200 many because he hits the ball so straight and keeps it out of the rough and hits a lot of greens.  Poor putter, maybe these flat greens will be good for him.  Matthew Fitzpatrick at $8,100 is used to poa because they have it in England.  He has played well of late, T-6th at WGC-FedEx St. Jude, was 3rd at Memorial.  Getting to some really good choices now, first Gary Woodland at $7,900 is fine, Since the break, his best finish was T-5th at Workday, but what impresses me is that he has been low key the last couple of months just like he was before he won at Pebble last month.  In the PGA Championship was T-8th last year, T-6th in 2018 lost in the finals of the Match Play to Rory at Harding Park in 2015.  Hard to believe after last week that you can get Phil Mickelson at $7,600.  Yes, his year has not been the best, but he was T-2nd in Memphis and he is returning to California where he has won 14 times.  Maybe because Phil was T-29th at Harding Park in the 2005 WGC-Amex and he took a pass on the 2015 Match Play due to family commitments, but in the 2009 Presidents Cup he won five of five matches so I think he likes TPC Harding Park and will do well this week.

*Some of the “bargains” this week at the PGA Championship

Let’s see what we can find in the bargain barrel this week.  Paul Casey is $7,500 and I know has had is share of problems this year, last week was T-67th in Memphis but have to think he will get a top-ten this week.  Was T-5th in the Match Play in 2015, putting is his problem and these greens will help that.  His game is ok so maybe this will work for him.  Brendon Todd is $7,400 and has to wonder if last week either did damage to him that he will play bad this week or his game will be solid and will play well.  I think he will play well and looking to get some of his mojo back.  Same with Chez Reavie at $7,400, he is a very good pick just because he played well last week, has played well since the break and does well on poa and in California.  Scottie Scheffler is $7,300 and always like him because he makes cuts.  Erik Van Rooyen is $7,100 and has played well of late and think he will have a good week.  Cameron Champ is $7,000 and returns to the Bay Area and 100 miles from his home in Sacramento.  Lucas Glover at $6,700 is always are a low priced guy that we know will make the cut and make a lot of points for you.  His U.S. Open win came on a “muni” course, who knows what can happen on another “muni” course with greens he can handle.

Here are some of the secrets of what it takes to play well at TPC Harding Park:
  • A player that drives the ball long and straight and will make almost all of his putts inside 8 feet.  That is very easy to say, is there a human being that can do that?  Yes, there will be a few but we won’t know it until the weekend.
  • You look at events held in Torrey Pines, Riviera, and Pebble Beach a lot of those born or with California roots have won them.  Harding Park has had its share of California winners, four of the seven Lucky International winners had California roots plus Tiger Woods from 2005 WGC-Amex so yes you have to favor someone from California this week.  Yes it’s advertised that the greens at TPC Harding Park are tyee bentgrass but it’s nearly impossible for any course by the sea in California not to have some Poa in the greens, so that helps give those with California roots another added advantage in possibly winning this week.
  • Harding Park is located less than a mile from the Pacific Ocean and over the course of the four days don’t be surprised to see all four seasons during the week.  Morning fog will greet early morning players, with the sun breaking through at about noon.  On really sunny days, the wind will pop up just after lunch, thus bringing back the fog.  As for poor weather there aren’t any storms in the Pacific which means dry conditions for the championship.  Still, it takes a different breed of player to control the changes that are experienced playing near the ocean in August.
  • The biggest rap against Harding Park is the greens. They are very flat with no undulations.  What that means is that the excellent ball strikers that don’t putt very well will have a significant advantage this week.  Adam Scott is a perfect type of player, great ball striker, but poor putter.  If you were to look at the players leading in greens hit that aren’t supreme putters, six names jump off the page that could do well this week, Hideki Matsuyama, Viktor Hovland, Paul Casey, Webb Simpson, Adam Scott, Chez Reavie and Collin Morikawa. So hitting lots of green will be a must as putting will be a lot easier this week.  Look for a lot of ten to fifteen footers to be made
  • Driving will be key.  The rough will be thick and for those players that hit it right or left of the rough, they wouldn’t get away with it because the fairways are lined with lots of trees.  Some will think that the course is short, yes 7,251 yards is short under today’s standards but remember the area of the country the course is in.  With fog coming in most evenings the course is very lush and the players will see very little roll.  So of course a straight driver will have an advantage over a long hitter this week.
  • There is also the unknown factor in which the course could yield low scores to an unknown player. In 17 of the last 29 PGAs, the winner has claimed his first major in the PGA Championship with names like 2017 winner Justin Thomas, Jimmy Walker, and 2015 winner Jason Day.  So this could be a good omen for a Bryce DeChambeau, Rickie Fowler, Hideki Matsuyama, Jon Rahm, Xander Schauffele, Matt Kuchar, or Patrick Cantlay. Rich Beem and Shaun Micheel weren’t household names when they won, so you never know if that will get repeated.

Who to watch for at the PGA Championship

Best Bets:

Jon Rahm

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
CUT T4 T58

It’s his time to win a major. I like his “California mojo” of winning three times in 13 starts along with six top-five finishes, he plays well on courses with poa.

Justin Thomas

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T6 Win T66 18

On a roll that will be hard to stop, great from tee to green which will be hard to stop. He will be weak on the greens so that will be his kryptonite if he can get over that will be impossible to beat.

Phil Mickelson

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T71 CUT CUT T33 18 2 T72 T36 T19 T12 73 T7

In the sunset of his career have to think he has one more major left in him could be this week? Maybe because Phil was T-29th at Harding Park in the 2005 WGC-Amex and he took a pass on the 2015 Match Play due to family commitments many don’t think of him as being able to play well at Harding Park. But in the 2009 Presidents Cup he won five of five matches so I think he likes TPC Harding Park and will do well this week.  Showed last week his game is getting there rising from the dead to finish T-2nd in Memphis.

Best of the rest:

Dustin Johnson

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
2 T27 T13 CUT 7 T8 T48 CUT T5 T10

His year has been complicated and messy and he can make it all work out with a win this week in a major championship.

Rory McIlroy

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T8 T50 T22 CUT 17 Win T8 Win T64 T3 T3

He too has had a complicated and messy year, it’s not like it’s been bad the stats are right on, it’s just his rhythm is just a bit off which means he can break out at any time.

Gary Woodland

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T8 T6 T22 CUT CUT 74 T42 T12

Since the break his best finish was T-5th at Workday, but what impresses me is that he has been low key the last couple of months just like he was before he won at Pebble last month.

Webb Simpson

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T29 T19 T33 T13 54 CUT T25 CUT CUT

Lot’s of people will like him, the only problem is that he doesn’t usually play well outside of the south but hey he won down the street at Olympic eight years ago. Harding Park has a lot of things that Olympic has.

Solid contenders

Daniel Berger

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T71 T12 CUT T73 CUT

The same wrap as I had with Simpson, a kid from the south in an area of the country he has struggled in, got his first top-ten in 15 California starts at the AT&T last February a T-5th. But have to remember behind Thomas probably the second-best since the break, T-2nd last week, won Colonial, T-3rd at Hilton Head.

Xander Schauffele

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T16 T35 CUT

Played well at Pebble during the U.S. Open and has been trending of late with a T-6th last week in Memphis, looking to possibly peaking this week.

Matthew Fitzpatrick

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T41 CUT CUT T49

He has played incredibly consistent since the break with 3rd at Memorial and T-6th in Memphis, ready to bust out.

Viktor Hovland

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
First time playing in this event

Game was great after the break but slow down last two events. Have to say that the greens at Harding Park are just what he needs.

Knock, Knock, Knocking on Heaven’s door this week:

Brooks Koepka

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
Win Win T13 T4 5 T15 T70

Looking to enter some rarified air by being the first man to have a three-peat in a major in 64 years, gosh that is knocking on heavens door. Forget what he has gone through to get to this point, just think about the pressure of that. Now I really think that pressure doesn’t bother Koepka like pressure bothers most people. Still, you have to think in the back of your mind or have that thought that hey this is something that doesn’t happen any day. Hey, Tiger never won a major three straight years so it has to be special right? I just don’t think, as good as Koepka will play, I just think something will prevent this from happening.

Tiger Woods

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
CUT 2 CUT CUT T40 T11 CUT T28 2

Talking about Knock, Knock, Knocking on Heaven’s door I just don’t see him coming to a major and getting to the level needed to win. Yes he won the Masters 18 months ago with limited prep work, but I just don’t see it happening in the case of Tiger this week. Maybe a top-ten, maybe being in contention on Sunday but not putting on the plaid jack with Jim Nantz on Sunday I am sorry to say.

Wait for TPC Boston:

Bryson DeChambeau

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
CUT CUT T33

I just think that TPC Harding Park will drive him nuts. The fairways will be brutal for him, the greens, the weather, everything is just not lining up for Bryson I hate to say.

Comments

  1. tommcgarvey@gmail.com says:

    Hard to bring it down to a couple of players but looking at the course and stats and form I’m finding it hard to look past Webb Simpson, and Daniel Berger. The fact that putting isn’t very difficult here brings Corey Connors into the equation I think. Ryan Palmer is seriously overpriced for this

  2. You are right, it’s down to about 30 to 40 players. Yes, you will see the Jimmy Walker’s and Jason Dufner’s win, these will be the flukes of the future, but I can’t picture seeing a Y.E. Yang or a Shaun Micheel or even a Rich Beem ever winning a major again. It’s just too hard and the pressure is too great.
    The one thing that I didn’t write that maybe I should of, if a “fluke” winner is going to happen it’s going to happen on this course and with no people to hinder and scare an inexperience, not really there pro. I honestly think that having no people helps inexperience and honestly, I wouldn’t hold a major with no people, it’s just not a major. Let me ask you, would there be a World Series or a Super Bowl with no people in the stands? Hell no. So there shouldn’t be a PGA Championship, U.S. Open or a Masters played with no fans. The British Open got it right.

  3. Hi Sal,
    Who is your favorite “sleeper” pick this week?

  4. Probably Phil Mickelson. The only problem I have with him is that the winner has to hit it straight, we are hearing stories from the players that the rough is wicked and very inconsistent. You can place two balls down two feet apart and one is playable with a seven-iron and one you have to gouge out.
    So the best way to solve this and one is to look at a stat that is never used anymore. It’s called Total Driving. What it does is adds up the rank of distance and the rank of accuracy and here is the top-eleven

    Rank Player Total Distance Rank Accuracy Rank Events
    1 Paul Casey 85 37 48 11
    2 Jon Rahm 87 35 52 11
    3 Lucas Glover 99 50 49 18
    4 Dustin Johnson 106 20 86 10
    5 Jhonattan Vegas 110 14 96 16
    6 Martin Laird 113 49 64 12
    6 Bryson DeChambeau 113 1 112 13
    8 Daniel Berger 115 74 41 13
    9 Scottie Scheffler 117 12 105 19
    10 Xander Schauffele 118 31 87 14
    11 Viktor Hovland 120 73 47 16

    We see a lot of useful names on this list. Of course Rahm is the favorite along with probably Dustin, DeChambeau and Berger. Casey is a great choice because he played well here in 2015 so you want a “sleeper” there he is, but he isn’t playing great and frankly, he doesn’t know how to close. On top of that his putting sucks. But that leaves three really good sleeper bets in Scheffler, Schauffele and Hovland.
    Hope this helps.

  5. Sorry your major streak is coming to an end. Impressive run Sal. How much pressure is on a guy like Collin Morikawa who played this course a dozen times in competition during his years at CAL. He had a victory at Muirfield Village in July, a playoff loss at Colonial in June yet I don’t see you mention him in your Who To Watch this week? Should I steer clear? I’m going with Rahm and Xander for sure (we get 3 picks for all majors; can only pick each player once). I still have a lot of options remaining for last 3 events (Wyndham, US Open and Masters) including Koepka, Rory, Webb, Day, Scott, Woodland, DJ, Tiger, Phil and Fowler.

  6. Chad,
    James above you ask me about longshots, maybe I should have included Collin on the list. In looking at his stats, yes he is great from tee to green. He isn’t long ranking 89th in driving distance of all drives but is 32nd in accuracy so that will be good for Harding Park. He is also 27th in greens hit, which is good. Now just by chance he won the Workday at Muirfield Village when the greens were playing very slow, Collin isn’t a great putter, that is his weakness and the greens at Harding are perfect for weak puttters. And yes, Collin has played the course a lot growing up in Southern California and going to school across the bay in Berkely so he knows the course. So you are right, Collin is a great choice a match made in heaven, shit I should have thought of that. You want to save Webb for next week at Wyndham, save Koepka for the Masters.

  7. tommcgarvey@gmail.com says:

    Just on the longshots Sal, Werenski has improved his driving a great deal over the last few weeks. He’d be a fluke winner even though his last two performances put him down as a serious contender. He hasn’t missed a cut since the restart, seems to have fixed his third round woes which cost him in a few tournaments.
    What’s your thoughts on Palmer? I don’t know what to make of him. Some seriously good performances of late on difficult courses, Fed-ex St Jude and the Memorial. This isn’t the Ryan Palmer I’m used to, normally rips it up on the easier courses and struggles mightily on the more difficult ones.

  8. You have mentioned poa but weren’t the greens changed to bent grass a few years ago?

    Also is Paul Tesori back on Webb’s bag this week or is he using a replacement like he did last week?

  9. Tom, to answer your question I don’t like Werenski at all. I think making the cut will be a big deal for him mostly because he is a very short hitter and is not very accurate, ranks 111th in that stat. As for Rough Proximity he is 146th, numbers that show why he will have a free weekend.

    Now as for Ryan Palmer, I really don’t like him at all. He has had two top-tens in 28 majors, best was T-5th at the 2014 PGA at Vahalla. He is 99th in driving distance and 64th in accuracy and 91st in greens in regulation so that means if he is a bit better than average will finish in the top-25. But in order to win has to have the week of his life and even though in the 420 PGA Tour events he won four times, one of them in Hawaii on a course with similar circumstances at Waialae, just don’t see out of the blue Palmer doing it this week.

    Kevin, to address your question yes the greens at Harding were change to Bent, but there is no course by the Pacific Ocean that doesn’t have Poa in it. They changed Torrey Pines north from Poa to the same Tyee Bent and the characteristic of the grass is that it helps keep Poa annua away. But in the case of Torrey North, the Poa is starting to creep in after a couple of years. The same with TPC Harding Park. The greens will be “bent” but you will see some Poa characteristics, bumpiness in the afternoon, that kind of stuff. The things that drive pros crazy.

    As of the status of Paul Tesori, no news yet. Sorry just found out, No Tesori it will be Jonathan Dilami who I have never heard of

  10. desmonddantzler2@gmail.com says:

    Hey Sal love the content! Quick question: in your response to Chad you mentioned that the greens at Harding are perfect for weak putters but in your article in the last paragraph right before “Draftkings Tips” you said, “The second thing they say the greens are bent. Don’t believe it, there is not a single green on a single course that is within a mile from the Pacific Ocean that isn’t overrun with Poa Anna. So the greens will be harder to read and late in the afternoon will tend to get bumpy, that is the facts with Poa in greens.”

    I’m confused, wouldn’t hard to read and bumpy greens make it hard to put? And even more difficult for a bad putter like Morikawa? (genuinely asking, no sarcasm)

  11. Desmond, Yes, and no. The bumpiness of the greens will work for everyone.
    Now the problem is I am not at TPC Harding Park to see them and I am going off of what I remember when I was at Harding Park in 2005 and 2009. I have yet to see anyone say there is a problem with poa so who knows if there will be one. In 2013 they rebuilt the greens and put in Tyee Bent greens, I have now heard were not effected with Poa at the Match Play, which I was not at in 2015. But I have heard from friends that have played at Harding Park in the last year that said the Poa has returned and the course has some Poa in it. Lots of courses have this in common, Detroit Golf Club which held the Rocket Mortgage has Bentgrass/Poa combination. TPC River Highlands which held the Travelers has a combination of Bent and Poa. We never heard players complain about the poa in the greens on those courses. The facts of life with courses in California and Oregon, if it’s next to the ocean it’s going to have Poa Annua in it.
    Now Tyee Bent is supposed to resist Poa but still, Poa is a weed and is very hard to keep out 100% The main reason courses are going to Tyee Bent is because it’s great for courses with high play on it, can tolerate lot’s of people and is has extra density in all season and has a heat tolerance. Basically it’s a wonder grass for course builders of courses that will get a lot of play in places that have heat and will have greens that will maintain their color through the heat of summer and into the winter. Start looking for courses in the desert to use Tyee Bent.

    Now on the question of wouldn’t it be hard to read and bumpy greens be hard for poor putters? No, the disadvantage goes to everyone. For Morikawa the problem for him, he is not good on fast-breaking greens. That is why he won at Muirfield Village during the Workday, the greens were much slower and didn’t break as much as they did a week later at the Memorial. I think Collin will have a very good week.

  12. I have received about a half dozen emails from people who have cut the cord and can’t seem to find a way to get the PGA Championship today. Sorry to say the only solution you have is to join ESPN+, pay the $4.99 for a month, and if you don’t want it, cancel it on Monday.
    As for CBS frankly, I don’t know what you will do because I figured anyone can get CBS.
    Guess this is the new world that we have to look forward to with all of the options with TV. I know that I still have my cable package with Verizon Fios and never been happier and have realized that in the long run the money that others save is pennies for the grief when I hear that they can’t watch the first round of the PGA championship.

  13. desmonddantzler2@gmail.com says:

    Sal that makes a lot more sense, I appreciate the thoughtful response. I was torn between Morikawa and Fitzpatrick, went with Fitz and I’m already regretting it.

    You said “the disadvantage goes to everyone” and I can already see that by the putting woes so far lol. Some of these guys can’t seem to be able to get a good read on the breaks. Scottie Schef, Woods, JT, Rory (early on) are all struggling there.

  14. Have to again give a lot of credit to Kelly Haigh who sets up the course for the PGA of America. He does a first-class job and makes a course very playable, fair, and championship-caliber. Trust me when I say that if things were just not right, the scores would have been everyone under par with scores of 61 and 62 the norm. For these guys, a normal Harding Park is easy. But Haigh hasn’t done what the USGA does, trick up courses and make them ridiculous, makes players look ridiculous.
    So hope everyone is enjoying the first major of the year.

  15. tommcgarvey@gmail.com says:

    Hi again Sal. Gotta say I don’t think the greens looked very bumpy late yesterday. That’s just from my viewing no stats or anything.
    I think Brendon Todd needs serious consideration after his performance yesterday afternoon. While the greens didn’t look very bumpy they are always tougher later in the day. There was a bit of wind too and he shot a great score. Out early today, he is high up in early round two scoring, shot 65 with an early second day start last week,
    It also.looks like distance isn’t that huge when you see the likes of Todd, Cauley, Zach Johnson and Kisner all in contention.
    What’s your thoughts after that round?
    Personally I like Schauffele and Koepka. The way Koepka is talking is scary, pretty much saying his game is perfect right now.
    I do think there is a great chance Todd opens a bit of a gap today and they’ll have to chase him down like last week.

  16. Let’s talk after today. Remember last week Brooks led after a first-round 62 then came back. Todd was close after a first-round 64 and ended with a 75. DeChambeau started with a 67 and blew-up. Fowler started with a 64 and blew-up. Thomas was T-12th and won. Jason Day started with a 68 and finished T-6th. The point is you can’t put much into the first round.
    On the greens you are right, maybe I was wrong on greens being bumpy, no problems, and players didn’t complain. Also, those that played late like Todd and DeChambeau should have the advantage of playing early today with perfect conditions and lack of wind. Again we will see.

  17. tommcgarvey@gmail.com says:

    The guy that’s in front right guy now, Haotong Li from China. I’ve seen him play many times. Has not been at his best for a whole now but capable of keeping this going for the whole round when he starts well. A future top 10 golfer in my opinion. I’ve followed him at a few tournaments in Europe. He’s been playing quite a bit over the last 12 months on the PGA tour and I guess the new experience has been difficult for him which has affected his form.

  18. sorry have to disagree, he will never be a top-ten, maybe a top-50 but never a top-ten. He is like a Billy Horscel, has his moments, will have three or four good events a year and may win a tournament a year. But I can’t picture him being around on Sunday. The PGA always seems to have that one “Asian” guy hanging around, last year it was Jazz Janewattananond, Anirban Lahiri in 2015, Y.E. Yang in 2009

  19. tommcgarvey@gmail.com says:

    Well Sal, and I respect your opinion greatly, but we’ll have to agree to disagree here. This guy has that ruthlessness in him when in contention. He is a bit of a character too. He has a lot about him. Most of those Asian guys are pretty robotic in their approach, this guy is different. If you could find coverage of his first win on the European tour you’d see what I seen almost immediately from him. He broke away in the last round, lost the lead and battled back to win it. Then in 2018 he went head to head with Rory McIlroy in the last round of the Dubai Desert Classic and beat him.
    There’s a quirky side to him too where he does things differently from awkward angles to greens. Basically I believe he has a lot more about him than most young players. He is 25 now, took his time on the European tour to develop and got to the top. He has missed two cuts in 11 majors and has a 3rd place finish at the British Open.
    I really think you haven’t seen the best of him yet in the US. I think he’ll get used to it over the next twelve months and then you’ll start to see how good he is
    What impresses me about him is how he thinks his way around a golf course.
    Lots of people going on about how long he spent on the practice range after his round yesterday. That just shows me how much he really wants it. Remember Vijay when he was on top, he did that, Harrington too.
    He’s currently ranked outside the top 100 but was as high as 32 in the world rankings. I think his attempts to mix the two tours have not helped him. He needs to commit to the PGA tour full time and then you’ll see what I see.

  20. Morikawa! Wow! A loaded leaderboard with 7 people tied at -10 and then his chip in and the tee shot on 16 and eagle was just unreal.
    I’m in 1st place as the only one in my pool to pick Collin. GO CAL BEARS!

  21. Collin, the Bear that will be the next tiger.

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