This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Golf series.
Southern Hills CC – Par 70 – 7,556 yards
Field – 156 entrants
Purse – $ 12M
A large member of the cat family defeated Woody Austin by two shots back in 2007 when Southern Hills Country Club last hosted a PGA Championship, and although Tiger is back in the field this week for his second major appearance of the year, a 2019 Gil Hanse restoration of the design will have this 7,556-yard, par-70 layout playing just as tough as ever. Wider fairways have created additional options for creativity off the tee as players hope to pull driver more often given the course’s length, but small bentgrass greens are defended by bunkers and runoffs as savvy chipping abilities become paramount. Emphasizing the importance of distance, eight par-4s measure at least 441 yards, while three of the four par-3s come in at 214-plus. Not to mention, the shorter of the two intimidating par-5s is a robust 632 yards. Approach play from 175-plus will be key in promoting healthy enough GIR percentages to limit short-game blunders. As for the weather, the early-late split should have an advantage with strong winds arriving Thursday afternoon into Friday morning.
2021 – Phil Mickelson (Kiawah Island Golf Resort)
2020 – Collin Morikawa (TPC Harding Park)
2019 – Brooks Koepka (Bethpage Black)
2018 – Brooks Koepka (Bellerive Country Club)
2017 – Justin Thomas (Quail Hollow Club)
2016 – Jimmy Walker (Baltusrol Golf Club)
2015 – Jason Day (Whistling Straits)
2014 – Rory McIlroy (Valhalla Country Club)
2013 – Jason Dufner (Oak Hill Country Club)
2012 – Rory McIlroy (Kiawah Island Golf Resort)
Key Stats to Victory
Proximity: 175-225 yards
Yahoo Value Picks
Based on $ 200 salary cap
Cream of the Crop
Justin Thomas – $ 44
World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler ($ 49) is obviously deserving of the top salary at his favorite course with a 57.14 percent win rate throughout his last seven starts if you exclude the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, but Thomas should simply be higher than the seventh name on the board, so we’ll start the value-pick assessment here. JT lands atop my custom model for a second straight week, and he produced for us with a T5 at the AT&T Byron Nelson where he averaged 6.5 par-breakers per round while ranking third among the field in SG: Around-the-Green. Scoring opportunities will come at a premium in Tulsa, but Thomas’ short game can shine. He’s fifth in scrambling and sixth in sand save percentage this season. It should also be noted that he’s gained strokes on his approach shots in 13 consecutive measured events dating to early August of 2021.
Jordan Spieth – $ 43
The 28-year-old is at a stage where he shouldn’t be bothered by the pressure of trying to complete the career Grand Slam, but Spieth seems to have found something off the tee since the Valero Texas Open, and he should push for contention again this week after placing 2-Win in his last two starts at the AT&T Byron Nelson and the RBC Heritage. He’s second to none in SG: Tee-to-Green over his past 12 measured rounds, and he finally posted a positive putting performance at TPC Craig Ranch after some pretty demoralizing flat-stick woes going all the way back to the WM Phoenix Open. The Spieth magic probably puts him at even money for a bunker hole-out at Southern Hills.
Hideki Matsuyama – $ 41
If this is starting to look like the AT&T Byron Nelson leaderboard, that’s because Matsuyama also notched a top-5 finish in Texas after firing a 10-under 62 during Sunday’s final round. He ultimately led the tournament in SG: Approach en route to 26 total birdies and a pair of eagles, leaning on his elite long iron play. Matsuyama is second in proximity from over 200 yards throughout his past 24 measured rounds, and he’s fifth in P4: 500-plus efficiency within the same sample size.
Joaquin Niemann – $ 35
Niemann made the highlight reel at TPC Craig Ranch with some beautiful wedge play around the greens last week, ascending to third in SG: ARG over his last 24 rounds. He’s also fifth in P4: 450-500 efficiency and eighth in SG: Tee-to-Green during this span. Additionally, Niemann has not lost strokes off the tee in a single event since mid-November, and his ability di lui to keep the driver flighted low should be a huge advantage in the Oklahoman wind.
Daniel Berger – $ 35
Berger has placed just T21-T50 in his only two stroke-play events since a T13 at THE PLAYERS, so he’ll be a candidate for reduced rostership with a plethora of gamers flocking to Will Zalatoris ($ 34) in this range. Berger still pops in several key categories, however, as he ranks third in scrambling, third in P3: 200-225 efficiency, fifth in sand save percentage, 12th in SG: T2G and 13th in bogey avoidance over his last 24 measured rounds. He was also sixth in SG: Approach during his most recent outing at the RBC Heritage. This is a sneaky chance to be overweight to the field on a four-time PGA Tour winner, who’s looking to add to his four career top-10s in majors.
Shane Lowry – $ 33
Lowry is going to draw plenty of attention at just $ 33, given he’s finished T13 or better in five consecutive stroke-play setups dating back to a runner-up effort at the Honda Classic. He’s coming off back-to-back T3s at the RBC Heritage and the Masters, but he’s also second in bogey avoidance, fifth in Prox: 200-plus, eighth in SG: APP and ninth in scrambling over his last 24 rounds.
Cameron Young – $ 26
Young is slated to make his PGA Championship debut at No. 14 in the FedExCup standings, which is currently 19 spots higher than the next-best rookie. He’s already collected four top-10s this season, and all of them were top-3 finishes. Young just went T2-T3 at the Wells Fargo Championship and the RBC Heritage, rising to second on Tour in SG: Off-the-Tee and 16th in SG: T2G this season. Over his past 24 rounds, he ranks first in P4: 450-500 efficiency, seventh in driving distance and eighth in scrambling.
Gary Woodland – $ 21
Woodland’s results have been volatile with eight missed cuts in 15 events played this season, but he’s also posted five top-25s in eight starts dating to back-to-back T5s at the Honda Classic and Arnold Palmer Invitational. He gained at least 4.9 strokes from tee to green in all five of those showings, but he’s also fourth in Prox: 200-plus, fourth in P4: 450-500 efficiency, 10th in P3: 200-225 efficiency and 11th in scrambling over his past 24 measured rounds.
Robert MacIntyre – $ 20
With seven straight top-40s from the Ras al Khaimah Championship through the Betfred British Masters, along with a major championship resume that includes eight made cuts in as many appearances, MacIntyre deserves more respect than the minimum salary this week. He finished T23-T12 in his first two trips to Augusta National, and there’s good reason to expect that to translate to Southern Hills CC. Over his last 12 measured rounds on the PGA Tour, he’s seventh in bogey avoidance, 18th in SG: Around-the-Green, 20th in P4: 500-plus efficiency and 24th in scrambling.
The author (s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it’s possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Bryce Danielson plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: brycedanielson99, FanDuel: brycedanielson99, Yahoo: RotoBOOM.