PGA Championship Friday Showdown


PGA Championship Friday Showdown

What an awesome day from Tulsa! We saw two of our top plays from the week in Rory McIlroy and Will Zalatoris post low rounds to get to the top of the leaderboard. We know how well Rory plays in these Majors from Friday-Sunday so a -5 start is HUGE for him going forward. I am going to format this showdown article the same way I did for the weekend in Dallas as we predicted Xander Schauffele’s low round perfectly. Look to utilize these players in your showdown lineups or in round matchups.

Top Tier ($9,000 and above)

Chalk Play (Justin Thomas $10,100)

What a round from JT — 67 in the tougher afternoon conditions was just as good as Rory’s morning 65. The PM wave played a little more than 1.5 shots harder than the morning. JT gained almost 2 shots on approach and putted the lights out. As we know, the approach is always going to be elite, but a putting JT is dangerous. He will go out in the morning tomorrow which is expected to be slightly calmer conditions than the afternoon was today. We have seen JT play better in harder conditions before (i.e. The Players Championship) but there is no reason he shouldn’t post another 67 tomorrow. As long as he plays his game and does not try and do too much, he will be fine.

Leverage Play (Collin Morikawa $9,500)

I am expecting Collin to gain some more ownership in round 2 after being sub 10% in round 1, but should still be low owned. Collin started his round fine today as he went out with 9 straight pars but came in at 2 over par, carding a 72. By no means did he play badly — he was about field average in all four major categories, which is slightly better than the field because it was in the afternoon. Watching him shot by shot, that was about the worst I have ever seen him hit his irons and the stats back that up. He ranked 102nd in SG APP after round 1. Being arguably the best iron player in the world, I completely expect Morikawa to bounce back on approach, especially in the calmer morning conditions.

Mid Tier ($7,400 to $8,900)

Chalk Play (Max Homa $8,100)

Max Homa had a ROUND going — 3 under through 5 holes and at the top of the leaderboard early. About two hours later, he was 1 over par but fought back to card a 70. Homa was solid all around and showed how much he has improved. He is going to need another solid round in the afternoon winds to ensure the cut is made. I do not love Max Homa in this spot, but I chose him just because he may be popular. Out of all the guys at his ownership / price point, I think he will be the best play.

Leverage Play (Daniel Berger $8,000)

Forgotten elite? Pricepoint? This was a no brainer. BoogNight is priced around guys like Corey Conners, Cam Young, and Tiger Wood s… all solid golfers but objectively not as good as Daniel Berger. I was very high on him headed into the week with that elite accuracy, mid iron play, and short game. A 3-over 73 in the afternoon is not great, but I am expecting a turnaround and a solid round from Berger as he will get out in the morning.

Other Plays

Sam Burns — Solid afternoon round (71). Price is way too cheap ($8,100) for his upside.

Talor Gooch — 69 in the afternoon, which is an amazing round. I gave three words to describe Gooch heading into this tournament. Irons, short game, Oklahoma. Don’t overthink it… we’re going right back to the Gooch.

Bottom Tier ($6,000 to $7,300)

Low Priced Bullets

Robert MacIntyre — Bobby Mac may be a little chalky but the game/narrative is there. He made a lot of birdies in round 1 which is always a great sign and he continues to thrive in difficult conditions. He is 8/8 made cuts in majors and is looking to make that 9/9 on Friday.

Luke List — List was having a solid round going for himself until he made a double on a par 5. List will go out in the morning which will give him an advantage and free him up a little to take some more aggressive shots, and he will need it as the putter continues to let him down. List is a high-risk/high-reward type player but I like the risk on Friday.

Aaron Wise — It was an extremely impressive round from Aaron Wise in the tough afternoon conditions. We know he is a tee-to-green machine, and if he is rolling a few putts in, that is a bonus. I have no reason to predict his putter will just heat up overnight and truly don’t expect it to. But I like Wise because he does not have to do too much to vault up the leaderboard. 2-under par in the second round is more than attainable because he will go out in the morning wave on Friday. A 68 should get him inside the top 10 or 15 heading into the weekend.