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The Search for Discount Rory McIlroy: Yahoo! Values and Pivots 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 is 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.

Vegas Value

Golfers priced above $40 this week are priced anywhere from 10/1 to 60/1.  Relative to their odds, Bryson DeChambeau ($43) and Matt Kuchar ($40) seem like they’re the most overpriced. DeChambeau has been far from the guy that we saw back in August. His missed cut at Harbour Town was accompanied by his worst putting performance since 2017. Now he gets a crack at a course with Poa which is his worst surface. Kuchar has finished inside of the top 12 in each of his past three starts. He’s right around tour average in distance off the tee so this is definitely a course he can compete on. If choosing between these two, I’d lean Kuchar.

Tommy Fleetwood ($39) is at 33/1 at the top of the $30 price range. The majority of those around him are upwards of 50/1. Over his past 24 rounds, he’s fifth in the field in SG: Tee to Green and 27th in DK points. If his T2G game stays at this level and he gets a couple of putts to drop, we’re looking at a guy who can compete on any course in any field.

Price Pivots

Rory McIlroy ($49) is at the top of the pricing heap over on Yahoo! this week. When you’re dropping down from $49 to $21, you have to expect a bit of a drop off in stats. That being said, Jhonattan Vegas ($21) is the closest comp in the field to Rory over their past three events. From an off-the-tee perspective, they’ve been virtually identical. McIlroy’s approach game has been insane at 76% GIR but Vegas’ numbers are not to be dismissed. Vegas is streaky and he’s in the middle of a half-dozen made cuts. He might be peaking at just the right time.

Dustin Johnson’s ($47) closest comp is Brooks Koepka ($46) heading into the PGA Championship this week. A discount of a dollar isn’t exactly what we’re looking for here, though. Sergio Garcia ($34) and Jason Kokrak ($25) pop up in in the pivots app for both of these top priced golfers. Garcia is getting some love from bookmakers this week with 90th-percentile top-20 and win scores based on his odds. He bounced back from his MC at Augusta to finish fourth at the Wells Fargo Championship.

Kokrak has been a DFS darling this year. He has made 21 cuts in a row dating back to last season which is the longest current streak on tour. Since the start of 2018, Kokrak has gained more strokes on approach on courses longer than 7,400 yards than shorter courses.

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