PGA Championship Preview

PGA Championship Preview

Course: Quail Hollow Club, Carmel, NC

7,600 Yards, Par 71

August 10th – 13th, 2017

Quail Hollow has undergone some renovations since we last saw the Wells Fargo played there in May of 2016 (James Hahn won, don’t expect it to happen again). In fact, as the last group teed off on the back 9, construction crews began a rapid 12-week renovation that would generally take 5-6 months on other courses. They added three holes, reshaped greens and fairways and removed a ton of timber. The course will play similar to as it has in the past, but we could see some moderately higher scores.

Since the Wells Fargo has been played there every year since 2003 (with the exception of this year), we have a lot of course history to borrow from. Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy and someone named Tiger have all won there. Justin Rose has a great track record, as well as Philthy Mickelson.

Players:

The big storyline will be whether Jordan Spieth can win the Career Grand Slam this week (he can). Thunderstorms are expected in Charlotte every day of the tournament, and soft conditions generally favor bombers. In fact, the best players in strokes gained in the rain (SGITR, it rhymes!) are, in order:

Rory McIlroy – 2.21

Dustin Johnson – 1.94

Sergio Garcia – 1.90

Adam Scott – 1.80

Rickie Fowler – 1.76

Henrik Stenson – 1.74

Jordan Spieth – 1.67

Jason Day – 1.67

Justin Rose – 1.60

Brooks Koepka – 1.59

None of them are exactly punch-and-judy knockers. We can probably expect one of these guys to win it, although Hideki Matsuyama just fired a course-record 61 at Firestone and if he’s on, watch out (also 1.32 SGITR).

Here are the Vegas odds:

Rory McIlroy

Open: 8/1

Current: 7/1

Jordan Spieth

8/1

8/1

Dustin Johnson

10/1

12/1

Hideki Matsuyama

20/1

12/1

Rickie Fowler

15/1

12/1

Brooks Koepka

20/1

20/1

Jon Rahm

20/1

25/1

Jason Day

20/1

25/1

Sergio Garcia

30/1

35/1

Henrik Stenson

30/1

35/1

Adam Scott

30/1

35/1

Justin Thomas

30/1

35/1

Paul Casey

50/1

35/1

Justin Rose

30/1

35/1

Phil Mickelson

40/1

40/1

Thomas Pieters

50/1

40/1

Matt Kuchar

40/1

50/1

Tommy Fleetwood

50/1

50/1

Daniel Berger

80/1

50/1

A quick note: last year Jimmy Walker was 125/1 and won it, so the truth is no one really knows anything when it comes to golf.

Here is my $1,000,000 DK Lineup, bound to change upwards of 50 times in the next few hours and demoralize me as I wish I’d kept my original lineup over the weekend:

Hideki Matsuyama

Adam Scott

Sergio Garcia

Gary Woodland

Tommy Fleetwood

Webb Simpson

The big money is on Rory and Spieth, for good reason. Rory has obliterated this course in the past and has two PGA Championships to his credit. Spieth’s veins run with glacier water. If I had to pick anyone, it would be Rory, but for some inexplicable reason I’m going with Sergio. I once boldly and wrongly predicted in 2011 that Sergio would win both the Masters and the PGA in the same year. Six years later, why not be wrong again (although things do line up well for him here)?

Hope you enjoy the tournament this weekend. It should be a little more interesting than most PGAs what with a career slam on the line and a lot of bombers at the top of the leaderboard. Good luck and happy golfing!