2024 PGA DFS PGA Championship DraftKings and Betting Preview

by Keith Flemming
2018 PGA Championship Deep Sleepers

Rory McIlroy on Sunday shot a remarkable final round 65 to win the Wells Fargo Championship. It was his fourth win at Quail Hollow. With McIlroy's win Sunday, he joins Scottie Scheffler and Brooks Koepka entering the PGA Championship having won their previous start. Let's discuss this in my 2024 PGA DFS PGA Championship DraftKings and Betting Preview.

Valhalla has previously hosted (3) PGA Championships, (2) Senior PGA Championships, and the 2008 Ryder Cup. The 1996 and 2000 PGA Championships here ended in playoffs. Rory McIlroy made a scrambling par to win by one in 2014 on the 72nd hole. The United States ended a three-match losing streak in the Ryder Cup by defeating the Europeans 16.5 - 11.5.

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy won the last two editions of the PGA Championship held at this venue. Tiger and Rory the week of their victories at Valhalla entered the week as the best golfer in the world. This is great news for the best three current players in the game Rory McIlroy, Scottie Scheffler, and Brooks Koepka.

The Big Three This Week?

This week Scheffler is attempting to win his second consecutive major championship following his win at Augusta National in April. Scheffler would be the first player since Jordan Spieth in 2015 to win the first two majors of a golf season. Rory enters the week coming off his dominant victory at Quail Hollow last week. Koepka enters the week as the defending champion. He's finished second or better in four of his last six PGA Championship starts with three wins. If Koepka wins this week he'll become the 13th player to win six or more major championships in the history of professional golf.

This year’s PGA Championship is one of the deepest in major championship history. The field includes 99 of the top 100 players in the OWGR.

You can find me on Twitter @KeithFlemming to keep the conversation going!

2024 PGA DFS PGA Championship DraftKings and Betting Preview

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Venue (Valhalla)

Valhalla is now completely owned by the PGA of America. The PGA made numerous updates since the last major held here in 2014. They include converting the tee boxes and fairways from Bentgrass to Zoysia. For the players, the change in grass provides a firmer and less forgiving surface. Players will gain distance off the tee due to this. However, more drives landing in the fairway will end up in the rough.

Resembling other recent PGA Championship venues Kiawah Island, Southern Hills, and Oak Hill, Valhalla is a beast of a par-71 measuring over 7,600 yards from the tips.

The course offers a unique blend of scenic views, risk/reward shots, with both scoring and difficult holes. Elite distance was a huge factor in players who found success at the 2014 edition of the PGA Championship. That year ten of fifteen players atop the leaderboard ranked top 15 in the field for driving distance that week.

Valhalla features a good mix of longer and shorter holes for each of the par types. Overall, the par 3s are very challenging with three of the four playing over 205 yards. They averaged 3.08 in 2014. The six par 4s playing 460+ yards were a big reason the average score was 4.17 on Par 4s in 2014. The three par 5s are both reachable in two, but both the 7th and 10th holes have an eagle rate under 1.5% due to water and bunkers surrounding those greens.

Key Stats

  • Strokes Gained Off The Tee 

Accuracy off the tee is vital with four-inch rough but elite distance is a huge advantage at this venue. Valhalla is a long course, ranking as the 5th longest course played on the PGA Tour. Players who hit drives with distance and accuracy have a huge advantage this week. Favoring players like Scheffler, McIlroy, Ludvig Aberg, Cameron Young, and Min Woo Lee.

  • Strokes Gained Approach

Similar to other Jack Nicklaus designs there is a huge premium on precise approaches into greens. The firm and fast greens mean players who can hit their approaches high and soft will have a huge advantage this week. Approaches from Valhalla's thick rough are very unpredictable. Putting more pressure on players to hit fairways with their tee shots.

  • Strokes Gained Putting (Fast Bent Greens) 

Putting surfaces that are deceptive with undulation will frustrate and confuse the field. The greens are expected to roll in the 13/14 range on the stimpmeter(very fast). This forces players to putt defensively. Particularly on downhill putts  this week.

  • Strokes Gained Around the Greens

Like most major championships, scrambling and bogey avoidance is crucial for success. The bluegrass rough around the greens is lush and will provide challenges on pitch/chip shots. Bunkers surrounding the green historically played difficult with the field having a sand save rate of 50% in 2014. Creativity around the greens with your short game will be huge advantage this week.

  • Results and Strokes Gained Total PGA Championships and U.S. Opens dating back to 2017

You might be asking why include U.S. Open’s history with PGA Championships'? In recent years the PGA Championship has played as a sort of “U.S. Open lite” event. Among major championships in recent years these two majors are most comparable.

This event has had an average winning score of -8 under par since 2019. The winning score has reached double figures only once in that five year stretch.

Other Key Stats 

  • Total Driving
  • Driving Distance
  • Proximity from 175+ yards on approach
  • Bogey Avoidance
  • Scrambling
  • Par 4 Scoring (Difficult Par 4s)

My 2024 PGA DFS PGA Championship DraftKings Lineup

Brooks Koepka $10.8k/+1600 to win/+350 top-5

  • since 2017 in 13 starts at the PGA Championship and U.S. Open he has five wins, eight top-5 finishes
  • finished top-5 in six of his last nine PGA Championships
  • finished T14 at Valhalla in the 2014 PGA Championship
  • 4th in the field strokes gained total on Zoysia fairways
  • publicly stated he was upset about his performance at The Masters earlier this year
  • shot 66 or better in four of his last six rounds entering this week
  • won his last start on the LIV Tour in Singapore
  • best major championship player in the world
  • finished top-10 in 17 of his last 32 major starts, top-5 in 11 of them

Another option in this price range: Scottie Scheffler ($13,200)  

Bryson Dechambeau $9.6k/+2800 to win

  • finished 38th or better in 7 of his last 8 appearances in the PGA Championship and U.S. Open
  • T4 in 2 of his last 3 PGA Championship starts
  • one of the longest drivers in the game of golf
  • finished top-7 in five of his last seven starts, including 6th at The Masters
  • 1st in the field in strokes gained off the tee last 24 rounds
  • 1st in the field in carry distance average off the tee

Cameron Young $9.0k/+5000 to win/+1000 top-5/+450 top-10

  • finished T9 or better in five of his last eight Majors appearances
  • has made the cut in all 12 events on the PGA Tour this season
  • five top-10s this season including a 9th place finish at The Masters
  • 7th in total driving
  • 4th in proximity on approaches 175-200 yards
  • 11th in birdie average
  • 9th Par 4 birdie or better %
  • 12th putting from 25+ feet this season

Another option in this price range: Patrick Reed ($8,000) +2500 top-5/+1000 top-10

Adam Scott $7.3k/+10000 to win/+700 top-10

  • in his last 12 starts at the PGA Championship and U.S. Open five top-35 and three top-10 finishes
  • finished T14 at Valhalla in the 2014 PGA Championship
  • has made the cut in 16 of his last 20 major championship starts
  • four consecutive top-30 finishes on the PGA Tour entering this week
  • 11th total driving
  • 24th strokes gained off the tee
  • 30th in proximity on approaches from 175-200 yards
  • 11th Par 3 scoring

Akshay Bhatia $7.2k/+13000 to win/+2000 top-5/+850 top-10

  • won the 2018 junior PGA at Valhalla
  • has made the cut in both major championships he's played in
  • finished T35 at The Masters
  • enters this week with six straight PGA Tour finishes of T42 or better
  • in that span, he has a win and four top-20s
  • 22nd in total driving
  • 15th strokes gained approach
  • 22nd strokes gained putting
  • 13th putting inside 10 feet

Another option in this price range: Kurt Kitayama ($6,500) +15000 to win/+1000 top-10

Lucas Glover $6.1k/+30000 to win/+4500 top-5/+1600 top-10

  • finished 23rd or better in three of his last five PGA Championship/U.S. Open starts
  • finished 30th or better in three straight major championships
  • 35th or better in eight of his last nine PGA Tour starts
  • 6th strokes gained approach
  • 11th strokes gained around the greens
  • 6th driving accuracy
  • 18th in total proximity on approaches
  • 26th Par 4 scoring

Another option in this price range: Phil Mickelson ($6,100) +6500 top-5/+2500 top-10/+900 top-20

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Thank you for reading my 2024 PGA DFS PGA Championship DraftKings and Betting Preview. I'll be live at 1pm eastern tomorrow with the Inside Drive previewing the tournament on ESPN 104.3 Radio.

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