PGA Championship at TPC Harding
The world’s best players will take to the Bay Area on Thursday. We will also be seeing chilly weather this week. Somewhere in the mid 60’s to high 50’s, which is a nice advantage to our European Tour players (*cough* Fitz). Moving on – The field will see 156 players while highlighting players like Tiger Woods, Justin Thomas and the return of Adam Scott. Brooks Koepka will be defending his title again this week. Could we possibly see a three-peat?!
TPC Harding is a par 70 course played about 7400 yards on Bent greens. It has hosted the 2005 WGC, 2009 Presidents Cup and the Charles Schwab Cup in 2010, 2011 and 2013. In 2014 the course was redone – it decided to get rid of the Poa Annua greens and replace them with Bent greens. The course is listed at 7200 yards, but the tees will be moved back to extend the course to 7400 yards.
There’s no water in play, but the thick rough will make up for the water. Not only that, but we have to take into consideration that there will be strong winds and fog. The most difficult holes on this course are the 10th, 3rd, 5th and 9th hole. They have upwards of 30% bogey chance, while only have a 10% chance in birdie opportunity. The easiest hole on the course is the 7th hole with an opportunity of making birdie 56% of the time.
Lastly, some courses we can make comparisons to are Bethpage State Park Black Course and The Old White TPC. Also, before I forget! This week the cut will be top 70 ties or better compared to the new rules this season which has been top 65 ties or better. Keep that in mind. Alright let’s get to the picks!
- Strokes Gained Approach
- Strokes Gained Off The Tee
- Strokes Gained Around The Green
- Par 4 Scoring 450-500 yards
- Brooks Koepka ($11000) – It’s going to be difficult to fade this man. It’s not only because he had a great performance at WGC, but in the last 5 years this man has won it twice here and then finished 13th in 2017, 4th in 2016 and 5th in 2015. In the last 6 rounds Brooks has gained over 14 strokes T2G and 12 strokes in ball striking. He’s ranked 18th in driving distance, 19 OTT and 36th T2G.
- Xander Schauffele ($10000) – Besides nearly losing 6 strokes on APP last week at WGC, Xander finished 6th and he actually looked good. Since the break X has been on fire. He’s gained 4.1 strokes T2G, 2.7 strokes OTT and 1.2 strokes ARG. This San Diego kid knows the course, and should he smash his irons he could take this. X is ranked 5th in GIR, 6th T2g and 7th OTT.
- Patrick Cantlay ($9400) – Last weekend at WGC, Cantlay played a terrible round 1 and 2, but he played great for the weekend. He finished a 65 on Saturday and a 67 on Sunday. He gained over 4 strokes T2G and 3 strokes on APP over the weekend. Coming to Harding Park he’s ranked 4th on Approach and 7th T2G. Cantlay also graduated from the University of California, so that’s something to consider as well.
- Collin Morikawa ($8600) – Collin is not known to drive the ball 300+ yards, but he is accurate which is what’s needed here. He’s ranked 32nd in accuracy and his irons speak tor themselves. Ranked 2nd on APP, 4th T2G and 17th OTT. Did I mention he’s played this course before? Went to school at University of California-Berkeley so the kid has some recent experience here.
- Jason Day ($8400) – My only concern with Day is his back. Since we’re going to be playing in colder temperatures this could give him some issues. But if he’s at 100% I’ll be all over him. In the last 3 events Jason has gained nearly 20 strokes T2G, 8 strokes ARG, 7 strokes on APP and 4 strokes OTT.
- Matthew Fitzpatrick ($8100) – He putted his butt off at WGC – gained 10 strokes in putting alone. In the last 5 events he’s gaining 6 strokes in putting on average. Fitzy can drive the ball 304 yards on average. He’s ranked 5th in GIR, 6th T2G and 7th OTT. Looking at his solid irons to come to play.
- Tommy Fleetwood ($7700) – Besides the Tour Championship and this event, Tommy has never been priced this low. Last time he was priced this low he gave you 8x value. Overall last week Tommy played much better than at 3M. Maybe he’s finally done with all that rust. He actually gained 2.8 strokes on APP, 1.4 strokes ARG and gained 1 stroke T2G.
- Chez Reavie ($7400) – Chez has been looking fantastic since the restart. Last week at WGC he gained 12.1 strokes T2G and gained 7.2 strokes on APP. Even at Memorial he did phenomenal – he gained 3.5 strokes T2G and 1.3 strokes on APP. Chez is ranked 6th in accuracy, 21st ARG, 28th T2G and 38th on APP. At this price range you can’t complain.
Dark Horse Play
- Jordan Spieth ($7700) – I usually never play Jordan! So this is a first for me. And it pains me to talk about Jordan, but I like what I see. Jordan has actually gained on APP 4 out of the last 6 events (since the break). Before the break Jordan was losing strokes in 16 events out of 18. There’s obviously been a change in his game which shouldn’t be ignored. Jordan also gains 0.3 strokes on this surface and has excellent history here as well. He’s finished 3rd, 12th, 28th, 13th and 2nd.
Thanks for reading fam,