Here is your last chance to win a major this year.
The Bellerive Country Club in St Louis will host this week’s PGA Championship. There’s little course history on offer as the track has not hosted a PGA Tour event since 2008.
It did hold the 1965 US Open and the 1992 PGA Championship but the course has changed since then, courtesy of a re-design by Rees Jones.
Nearly all of the world’s top 100 players are on deck, ensuring this is one of the deepest fields of the year.
Twenty club professionals will also help make up the 156-man field after coming through a qualifying tournament earlier this year.
This course is long. It will play 7,317 yards and is a par 70 with only two par fives.
The par fours and three vary wildly length but the two par fives are fairly lengthy at 597 and 610 yards.
The fairways are zoysia grass and the big greens are bentgrass. Water is in play on a range of holes but you’d need to miss wildly to find it.
Forecasting ownership is always tough but I will also suggest a potential pivot play in each price range for the tournament.
Last week: Hardly an effort to write home about. I looked at eight players and only two finished inside the top 10 in Aaron Wise ($5,400) and Brooks Koepka ($7,700), both of whom will tee it up this week.
Previously known as ‘Glory’s Last Shot’ before that marketing was dropped a few years ago, this tournament has thrown out some surprise results.
But it’s been a long time since the likes of Y.E Yang ($5,000) took this event down so you will need quality in your line-ups this week.
I will lean towards fading some of the most expensive players because I believe there’s so much talent in the $7K range.
There’s no problems with building from Dustin Johnson ($9,100), he’s the No 1 player in the world for a reason. But if you do, you will need to find someone cheaper down below to balance things out.
Ball-strikers look the best play here given the length and if your horses don’t pound a ton of greens then they will need to be elite scramblers.
Opinion is divided online about a potential winning score but – at the time of writing – there are some suggestions that it could be low-scoring, -13 or better, if the greens are slow.
$8 and $9K Range
Rory McIlroy ($8,800) – As I mentioned above, I will not knock you for playing DJ. But I am not going to tip the world No 1, there’s no glory in that.
So, take the Irish superstar. McIlroy drives it a mile and, crucially, he loves to the draw the ball and a bunch of these holes have right to left doglegs.
Majors seem to be the only events he really gets up for and he was T2 at The Open recently.
It’s hard to see Jordan Spieth ($8,600) generating a lot of interest here given how good DJ is and the fact everyone seems to love Rickie Fowler ($8,200).
Justin Thomas ($7,800) – I can’t see how you can fade the world No 2 at this price.
Coming off a win at last week’s WGC Bridgestone Invitational, Thomas looks like a great play.
He’s also the defending champion – obviously at a different course – and is second in strokes gained: tee to green on Tour this season.
Brooks Koepka ($7,700) – Koepka led the field in strokes gained: tee to green at the WGC event last week.
He gained nearly six strokes on the field on approach and is an excellent putter.
Hat tip to Kenny Kim from the Fantasy Golf Degenerates podcast who noted that Koepka leads this field in putting from more than 25 feet across the past 50 rounds.
Putting from distance may be valuable this week given the large greens.
Henrik Stenson ($7,000) – The Iceman is second on Tour for strokes gained: approach this season.
He will hammer that three wood to the middle of the fairway all week. Let’s hope he can make some putts, maybe the slow greens will help.
Jon Rahm ($7,300) – The Spaniard is boom or bust but will help set you apart from the pack.
Tony Finau ($6,500) and Paul Casey ($6,400) will be uber chalk at their prices, so I don’t need to sell you on them.
Patrick Cantlay ($6,700) – The American is a tee to green specialist.
He’s eighth on Tour for strokes gained: tee to green this season and has improved around the greens.
He is remarkably consistent and rarely misses cuts.
Bubba Watson ($6,400) – I am still hurting from Bubba’s MC at the Candian Open a fortnight ago.
But the shot-shaping required at this course may fit his eye. He’s fourth on Tour for strokes gained: off the tee this year.
The left-hander is too cheap for a guy that has won three times this season.
Bryson DeChambeau ($6,300) – Even semi-regular readers will know I have hammered DeChambeau all season in PGA DFS.
The young American hits his long irons well and is the best in the field at approaches from more than 200 yards.
He is inside the top 18 in strokes gained: approach and off the tee on Tour.
Can you stomach the idea of playing Sergio Garcia ($6,800)? If you can, then climb aboard because hardly anybody else will.
Gary Woodland ($5,600) – After winning in Phoenix earlier this season, Woodland fell off the face of the planet and barely made a cut.
But his game appears to be coming around and he finished T17 last week.
He is a great ball-striker and is good value at this price.
Kevin Na ($5,400) – The American bagged his second win on Tour recently after a lengthy drought.
He seems really cheap given his experience. He’s third in strokes gained: around the green as he is an elite scrambler.
Obviously there’s plenty of pivots at this price range but Ian Poulter ($5,900) is good value. He’s never that popular but can pop in big events.
Piece of Chalk: Justin Thomas ($7,800), fill your boots.
Scrub-A-Dub: Gary Woodland ($5,600) will help you save some salary.