This article is part of our PrizePicks Golf series.
PrizePicks offers a unique twist on DFS play in the form of Over/Under picks for individual players in almost every sport imaginable. You have the opportunity to pick two, three or four players per entry, and the goal is to predict whether the individual player will end up over or under the projected total PrizePicks provides. For PGA play, you are required to pick at least one Over and one Under play. The legend for scoring in this format is as follows:
|Double Eagle or Better||13|
|Double Bogey or Worse||-1|
Unlike your usual PGA DFS platforms, PrizePicks offers PGA gameplay on a per-round basis, not for an entire tournament. So, the projected totals you see today are for the individual rounds on Thursday, and once Thursday's round commences, you will see updated numbers for Friday, and so on.
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The Tour has realized that the end of the season is inundated with FedEx Cup-related events, so they've wisely moved the PGA Championship to May, making it now the second major on the schedule. While this is the first time for Bethpage and the PGA Championship, the course is no stranger to the bright lights of a major.
Bethpage State Park (Black Course) – 7,436 yards, Par 70
While it's a public course and utterly devoid of water hazards, Bethpage Black is one of the toughest courses in the world. As a former New York resident, I've had the pleasure(?) of sleeping in my car overnight to get a tee time on this course, only to end up out of luck numerous times. Most of the people after the cutoff have to settle for the sister Red or Yellow Courses on the property, but I did manage to sneak in once. Let me tell you - it is every bit the monster it is purported to be. The carries off the tee are monstrous, and the rough is incredibly unforgiving, so you're immediately in trouble if you aren't long and accurate off the tee. The layout is also littered with an almost innumerable allotment of sand traps, especially around the greens. It's even more difficult for the pros as some of the shorter Par 5's are playing as long Par 4's, making long iron accuracy a vital statistic we will consider when approaching our recommendations. As you'll see on PrizePicks, our O/U numbers are significantly lower, and for good reason. The majority of the field won't break par, and most of the Top 20 finishers probably won't, either. Since we are required to input an Over AND Under pick, this will be a problematic slate to tackle, but I'll do my best to find three potential Overs for you.
Rain will be a factor before the tournament so the course will be wet. This will favor both long drivers and long iron accuracy, as both the fairways and greens will hold up most balls. Currently, there are no significant advantages between the morning and afternoon tee times on the weekend, but there will be sustained winds of around 10 MPH, which will affect shot selection somewhat.
Brooks Koepka – 14.5 (TOSS-UP)
I'm singling him out because the public is high on Koepka to take this tournament, and there's no denying that he's hot in these big events. The course plays right into his skill set, as his distance alone makes him an excellent candidate to post a high number. I am forced to pause with some of his other numbers, however. He's a notoriously slow starter (105th in Round One Average), and his driving accuracy percentage (88th) leaves a bit to be desired. While I think he'll be in the mix on Sunday, I don't know that he's the best person to go with on Thursday. There's no doubt that he'll be a popular selection for the Over, but I'd be cautious here.
Jon Rahm – 14.5 (OVER)
I'm surprised that more people aren't talking about Rahm here, and I think he's an excellent candidate for the Over. He's 20th on Tour in Driving Distance, and while his driving accuracy is a little low (63.75%), he ranks 3rd in Round One Percentage and ranks second in approaches from 200-225 yards. Couple that with a Par 4 Average of 3.96, and you have a good scoring candidate on a day where most of the field won't break 10 with this scoring system.
Patrick Cantlay – 14.0 (OVER)
Cantlay's #1 ranking in Par 4 Average puts him squarely in the mix for a good performance. He also fares well in the 200-225 Approach Average. He definitely gets hotter on the weekend, and many will remember his surge over the weekend at The Masters, so a Thursday breakout is not as likely as some other candidates. You also have to consider his driving accuracy (184th) despite his length off the tee. If he can keep it in the fairway, he should be able to steal a few birdies, which will be hard to come by.
Matt Kuchar – 14.0 (OVER)
Kuch always comes fast out of the gate, as his 67.75 Round One Scoring Average is the best on Tour currently. He's not the longest driver you'll find, but he's a surprising 8th in Driving Accuracy (71.1%), and for my money that is a more crucial skill if you want to concur the Black Course. Assuming he can stay in the fairway, I think we should see another good first round from him.
Dustin Johnson – 16.0 (UNDER)
Not to knock the World #1, but I think getting over 16 on this course is an almost superhuman feat and I don't think anyone will manage it. When you consider that eagles are going to be hard to come by, a player would have to find four birdies and no bogeys to get to this score, and I just don't think that's within the realm of possibility - even for DJ. His ability to crush the ball off the tee makes him a great candidate to be in the mix later on, but this number is just too unrealistic for me to get behind.
Hideki Matsuyama – 14.5 (UNDER)
Bottom line, Hideki has been pretty streaky all year. He's usually slow coming out of the gate, and his driving accuracy is pretty dreadful (122nd overall). He's also had some difficulty with his mid-to-long iron accuracy, although he ranks 13th on Tour if he's forced to approach from 250-275 yards out. His length will make those kinds of shots unlikely. When Matsuyama misses the fairway, he sprays the ball to the right with a much higher degree of frequency, and for the majority of Bethpage's holes, missing to the left is a lot more forgiving.
Tiger Woods – 15.0 (UNDER)
Don't get me wrong, I'm high on Tiger this week in my DFS lineups, but it's no secret that Tiger starts off the week slow, and he hasn't been a wire-to-wire winner in a loooong time. I think we'll see Tiger right around par in the first round, which won't even come close to the Over/Under line. You can expect Tiger to heat it up over the weekend. He is paired with Koepka and Francesco Molinari in the opening rounds, and I think that will be a fun threesome to watch. The drawback here is that we might see a match-play quality to that group, as it's evident that Woods regards Koepka as his primary competition this week – in previous majors, it's reported that he asks about Koepka's status more often than any other player while he's on the course.