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It’s Jon Rahm and Then Everybody Else at Bethpage Black: Chalk, Pivots, and Ownership for the PGA Championship


For the first time ever, the Black Course at Bethpage State Park will play host to a PGA Championship. The course itself is a par 71 that plays about 7,500 yards. The average green size is 5,400 square feet which are smaller than the average tour stop. The length and setup of this course will mean that we’re seeing longer approaches than usual, which makes the greens difficult to hit. Most of the trouble lies in the bunkers. Per the GCSAA, there are eight acres worth of bunkers that golfers have to contend with as they make their way around Black. For a more in-depth look, check out the course preview article.

Also be sure to check out the best values and pivots on Yahoo! PGA DFS this week.

Checking the Chalk

When parking your boat is newsworthy, you know you’ve made it big. Tiger Woods’ ($11,300) yacht Privacy has been parked in Oyster Bay for a couple of weeks as he’s gotten prepared for the PGA Championship. In his past eight events, Tiger hasn’t finished outside of the top 30. That includes a win at the Tour Championship and also this little tournament called The Masters – or something like that. Over that span, he’s averaging 73% of GIR per the RotoViz Splits app.

Brooks Koepka ($10,400) has been inside of the top five in each of his past two events, including a runner-up at the Masters. In six of his past eight rounds, he’s finished in the 60s. Some of you reading this might be able to break 70 at Trinity Forest, but it’s impressive nonetheless. In his past two events, he’s 21-under on Par 5s alone. Koepka already has a Wanamaker Trophy on his mantle and is looking for his third major win. It’s hard to argue against his fit on a 7,500 yard par 71 course.

Sergio Garcia ($7,900) had a bit of a love-hate relationship with the crowd at Bethpage in the past. He channeled the heckles into two top-10 finishes including a third-place finish in 2012. He’s now made six of his last seven cuts, including three top-10 efforts recently. Over that stretch, the Spaniard has broken 70 DK points on five different occasions. This time last year he was right around the top 10 OWGR. His tumble in the rankings was well-deserved after a difficult stretch last season.

Jhonattan Vegas ($7,100) will probably be popular this week. It’s for good reason, too. Vegas has some positive experience here, with a 22nd place finish back in 2016. More importantly, he’s on a string of a half-dozen made cuts with no finish outside of the top 30. Over the past six seasons, per the RotoViz Splits App, Vegas has performed well on longer courses. He averages 0.5 SG: Approach on courses over 7,400 yards compared to 0.1 on shorter courses. If you’re looking to zig-zag the ownership and save a few hundred bucks while you’re at it, there is an option at $6,800 listed below that makes some sense.

GPP Pivots

Ownership has the potential to go pretty flat at the top so it’s hard to call him a total pivot. But, Jon Rahm ($9,500) is my pick to win. Dating back to the start of 2019, Rahm has made nine starts. Seven of those starts have resulted in top-10 finishes. As great as he’s been, it’s not like he’s playing above his baseline in an unsustainable way. Rahm is on the verge of taking the golf world by storm, and a win at a venue like this could vault him to the forefront.

With Tommy Fleetwood ($9,200) sandwiched between Rickie Fowler ($9,300) and Xander Schauffele ($9,100), we could be looking at a bit of an ownership vacuum. It’s incredibly rare for three golfers within a space of $300 to all see high levels of ownership. On courses longer than 7,400 yards, Fleetwood gains more strokes on approach, off the tee, and tee to green than on shorter courses. This is, by no means, a knock against Fowler or Schauffele as they both rated quite highly in my model. At the end of the day, with similar expectations in this price range, we should almost always pivot to lower ownership.

Jason Kokrak ($7,600) is a few hundred bucks cheaper than Sergio and performed admirably against him head to head in my model this week. Kokrak has the longest made cut streak on Tour with 21 cuts in a row. But, he won’t see insane ownership because of those around him in the high $7,000s.  Since the start of 2018, Kokrak has gained more strokes on approach on courses longer than 7,400 yards than shorter courses.

This is a wild one, but Joost Luiten ($6,800) is worth a dart throw in one of your lineups if you’re building 20 or more. He got an 87.9 from the Sim Scores app to Tiger Woods based on their last three events. This only counts Luiten’s efforts on the PGA Tour, not the Euro Tour. Luiten’s exploits on the Euro Tour recently are nothing to scoff at, though. He’s made six straight worldwide cuts, including four finishes inside of the top 12. Luiten’s worst GIR% over that time is 69.4% at the Valero Texas Open a few weeks back.

Cash Locks

So far this season, the totals for the cash locks are 31/34 made cuts, 21/34 top 30s, and 12/34 top 10s. Here are this week’s cash locks:

  • Jon Rahm ($9,500)
  • Jason Kokrak ($7,600)

Ownership Projections and Model Results - PGA Championship

NameDK$Own ProjectionModel Score
Tiger Woods1130017.330.98
Dustin Johnson1110020.730.99
Rory McIlroy1090010.861.00
Brooks Koepka1040021.900.91
Justin Rose990013.430.93
Francesco Molinari97007.230.78
Jon Rahm950016.730.90
Rickie Fowler930014.530.88
Tommy Fleetwood920018.730.95
Xander Schauffele910017.420.88
Jason Day900015.150.86
Bryson DeChambeau890010.150.53
Tony Finau880012.970.76
Matt Kuchar87009.530.94
Jordan Spieth860010.350.75
Hideki Matsuyama850015.560.79
Patrick Reed84006.230.74
Paul Casey830013.330.91
Patrick Cantlay820015.430.87
Adam Scott81009.930.79
Bubba Watson800016.230.88
Phil Mickelson80006.730.68
Sergio Garcia790022.730.78
Henrik Stenson790011.750.85
Louis Oosthuizen78007.610.81
Marc Leishman78005.530.66
Gary Woodland770012.060.88
Kevin Kisner77005.480.30
Jason Kokrak760011.700.89
Webb Simpson760010.350.81
Ian Poulter76007.580.83
Hao-Tong Li75002.920.52
Cameron Smith75002.640.74
Brandt Snedeker75001.960.62
Sung-Jae Im74003.990.65
Tyrrell Hatton74002.130.66
Ryan Moore74002.110.72
Billy Horschel74002.040.70
Branden Grace74001.730.47
Rafael Cabrera Bello73007.360.53
Lucas Glover73006.900.83
Keith Mitchell73005.830.71
Joel Dahmen73004.250.25
Thorbjorn Olesen73002.540.70
Sung-Hoon Kang72001.360.26
Keegan Bradley72008.390.83
Si Woo Kim72002.960.60
Ryan Palmer72001.710.63
Zach Johnson72001.670.65
Alexander Noren72001.450.23
Shane Lowry72000.790.43
Byeong-Hun An71004.950.87
Jhonattan Vegas710010.430.89
Aaron Wise71006.520.88
Matthew Fitzpatrick71002.330.54
Emiliano Grillo71002.040.57
Charley Hoffman71002.010.53
Thomas Pieters70007.180.27
Jim Furyk70003.820.86
Charles Howell III70003.520.84
Justin Harding70002.160.22
Lucas Bjerregaard70002.150.49
Pat Perez70001.700.46
Graeme McDowell70001.280.22
Jorge Campillo69002.680.19
Eddie Pepperell69002.190.53
Daniel Berger69001.580.53
Kevin Na69001.460.58
Martin Kaymer69001.270.21
Max Homa69001.040.20
Cameron Champ69000.970.66
Joost Luiten68003.840.73
Luke List68003.640.79
Kyle Stanley68002.900.51
Corey Conners68002.530.73
Lee Westwood68002.360.50
Kevin Tway68000.890.72
Andrew Putnam68000.590.43
Sam Burns68000.480.47
Matt Wallace67004.940.69
Russell Knox67003.400.76
Erik Van Rooyen67001.530.51
Cheng Tsung Pan67001.500.43
Tom Lewis67001.100.18
Brian Harman67000.900.19
Danny Willett67000.410.16
Jason Dufner67000.360.63
Mike Lorenzo Vera66000.010.04
J.B. Holmes66003.100.69
Ryan Fox66002.230.18
Abraham Ancer66001.300.19
Chez Reavie66001.020.40
Beau Hossler66000.410.17
Richard Sterne66000.380.14
JT Poston65000.360.40
Scott Piercy65008.400.30
Ross Fisher65003.790.73
Kiradech Aphibarnrat65001.780.19
David Lipsky65001.450.48
Adam Hadwin65001.110.41
Joaquin Niemann65000.970.43
Michael Thompson65000.860.53
Alexander Bjork65000.370.13
Jimmy Walker65000.310.58
Chesson Hadley65000.290.14
Jazz Janewattanano64000.060.14
Julian Suri64003.660.24
Lucas Herbert64000.720.34
Adrian Otaegui64000.320.16
J.J. Spaun64000.290.37
Kurt Kitayama64000.290.13
Martin Trainer64000.270.60
Jason Caron64000.160.06
Steve Stricker64000.140.57
Harold Varner63000.710.17
Dylan Frittelli63001.770.16
Brian Gay63000.660.53
Shugo Imahira63000.330.42
Brandon Stone63000.270.14
Danny Lee63000.250.38
Kelly Kraft63000.210.25
John Daly63000.190.08
Rod Perry63000.150.06
Vijay Singh63000.070.35
Troy Merritt62001.080.16
Mikko Korhonen62000.700.47
Patton Kizzire62000.690.12
Padraig Harrington62000.630.62
Brendan Jones62000.320.09
Adam Long62000.310.39
Richy Werenski62000.170.43
Craig Hocknull62000.160.24
John O'Leary62000.120.06
Cory Schneider62000.120.03
Satoshi Kodaira61000.340.10
Sam Ryder61000.270.42
Shaun Norris61000.230.09
Ryan Armour61000.220.55
Bronson Burgoon61000.200.41
Y.E. Yang61000.150.40
Rich Beem61000.110.28
Rich Berberian Jr.61000.110.07
Rob Labritz61000.110.07
Ben Cook61000.110.05
Danny Balin61000.110.04
Michael Kim61000.060.12
Marty Jertson60000.090.31
Shaun Micheel60000.090.09
Stuart Deane60000.090.08
Craig Bowden60000.090.06
Tyler Hall60000.090.06
Casey Russell60000.090.05
Ryan Vermeer60000.090.05
Andrew Filbert60000.090.04
Jeff Schmid60000.090.03
Brian Mackey60000.090.03
Justin Bertsch60000.090.03
Alex Beach60000.090.03

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