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PGA DFS: Top Cash Game Picks for the PGA Championship at Southern Hills

The PGA DFS Breakdown offers data-driven analysis for each week’s slate, using the FantasyLabs Tools and metrics to highlight notable golfers.

The TOUR heads to Tulsa, Oklahoma this week as Southern Hills Country Club hosts the 104th edition of PGA Championship. The course is a very long par 70, measuring at 7,365 yards with bent grass greens.

I’ll be highlighting the best cash game/single-entry plays on the DraftKings main slate, but these players are often great options in any contest.

My analysis will frequently reference Strokes Gained, a set of proprietary metrics generated by the PGA TOUR using millions of data points to calculate how many shots, on average it takes a player to get the ball in the hole from every distance and situation.

Strokes Gained is now available in the FantasyLabs PGA Models.

There are a variety of Strokes Gained-related metrics, but the six main categories you need to know include:

  • Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee (SG: Off-the-Tee)
  • Strokes Gained: Approach (SG: Approach)
  • Strokes Gained: Around-the-Green (SG: Around-the-Green)
  • Strokes Gained: Putting (SG: Putting)
  • Strokes Gained: Ball-Striking (SG: Ball-Striking), which is SG: Off-the-Tee + SG: Approach
  • Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green (SG: Tee-to-Green), which is SG: Ball-Striking + SG: Around-the-Green

Also, our new Perfect% metric is a great data point to use with your roster construction.

If you missed it, we added two new metrics in our models — Perfect% and SimLeverage. You can find an explainer on those metrics here.

The cliff notes version is that you can use SimLeverage to quickly find leverage plays in tournaments, while Perfect% is great for finding the best price-considered plays for cash games.

And don’t forget to utilize our various PGA DFS tools like our Lineup OptimizerLineup Builder, PGA Correlation Dashboard, and our Trends tool.

The following players listed are based on DraftKings scoring and pricing.


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PGA DFS Core Picks

Hideki Matsuyama ($9,200 DraftKings)

Matsuyama seems to be fully over the neck injury that’s ailed him over the past couple months. He finished T14 at Augusta and then followed that up with a T3 at last week’s Byron Nelson, gaining over nine strokes on approach in the process. This week the two biggest keys to success will be approach play and short game, and Matsuyama checks both of those boxes.

He’s always fared well at the PGA Championship, having made the cut in each of his previous nine appearances, including four top-25 finishes and two top fives. During Major Championship weeks it’s best to try and not get too cute, and by locking in Matsuyama, you’re getting one of the highest floors of any golfer on the slate for a severely discounted price tag of $9,300.

He’s my favorite cash play on the board.

Will Zalatoris ($8,900 DraftKings)

After watching Zalatoris finish in a tie for sixth place at the Masters — his fourth top-10 finish at a Major in seven career starts — I made the decision to simply play him at all Majors moving forward. It makes a ton of sense, as Willy Z usually does his best work on longer, tougher tracks where approach play is paramount and where putting has less of an impact.

Southern Hills should play exactly like that, as the expected winning score should come pretty close to the -8 range. Zalatoris missed the cut last week at the Byron Nelson, but that was strictly due to his putter, as he gained over 2.9 strokes on approach in his two rounds.

He will be ready to go this week, and I fully expect another top 20 in this spot.

Shane Lowry ($8,700 DraftKings)

Lowry is on some type of roll right now, having finished no worse than T13 in any of his past five starts, including three top-three finishes in that stretch. We know the former Open Champion thrives in nasty conditions, so he should be right in his element this week as the winds in Tulsa will be nasty.

The Irishman has all facets of his game clicking right now, ranking No. 1 in this field in SG: Approach and 11th in SG: Putting over his previous 16 rounds in this field. Lowry has three top-12 finishes at the PGA Championship over his past four starts and is definitely on the shortlist of contenders this week.

At just $8,700 on DraftKings, we’re getting a major discount here.

Corey Conners ($8,000 DraftKings)

An event where putting is less emphasized, and approach play is magnified? Sign me up for some Corey Conners. He finished T17 last year at this event and most recently went T6 at Augusta. He’s established himself as one of the best ball-strikers on the planet, ranking seventh in this field in SG: Ball-Striking over his past 48 rounds. Just to be clear, 97 of the top 100 players in the world are teeing it up this week, making that all the more impressive.

Conners’ odds to make the cut are shorter than multiple guys priced above him on DraftKings, which is a strong way of identifying value.

He will certainly be chalky, and for very good reason. Fade at your own risk.

PGA DFS Value Picks

Cameron Young ($7,600 DraftKings)

Not to put any added pressure on Young, but if he continues to play the way he has been, he’ll find himself on a similar career path that the Schefflers, Morikawas, and Hovlands of the world are on. Obviously, he has some ways to go, but the tools are certainly there. Young ranks ninth on the PGA TOUR in both driving distance and birdie or better percentage at just 25 years of age.

Young ranks No. 3 in this field in Total Strokes Gained over his past 24 rounds, trailing only Justin Thomas and Scottie Scheffler. He also ranks 14th in SG: Around-the-Green, which, as previously mentioned, will be pretty important with the small greens at Southern Hills.

He has yet to make a cut at a Major Championship but did finish runner up both the Wells Fargo and the Genesis Invitational this season, two incredibly tough events. The time is now to hop on board the Young train when his price tag is deflated.

Keegan Bradley ($7,500 DraftKings)

Bradley, for all his shortcomings, is truly one of the best ball-strikers in the world, especially when you put a long iron in his hands. He sits 18th in this field in that department over his previous 48 rounds and has been on quite the run of late. He’s coming off a T2 at the Wells Fargo two weeks back, which was his fourth top-12 finish over his past five starts.

Bradley won the PGA Championship back in 2011 and has made 9 of his past 11 cuts at this event. It feels weird, but he feels like a really safe option this week, especially since putting won’t play a huge role.

His make the cut and top-20 odds both look really strong, and he makes for a rock-solid cash game option on the week.

Jason Kokrak ($7,300 DraftKings)

We’ll round out the $7K range with Kokrak, who constantly goes overlooked despite having won three times over the past 19 months. Kokrak is also one the best Bentgrass putters in this field, which certainly cannot hurt. He has the length to compete at Southern Hills, sitting 29th on TOUR in driving distance and 34th in par-5 efficiency from 600-650 yards.

Kokrak has made 10 of 12 cuts this season and four of his past five at this event, and for his salary, you’d be hard-pressed to find that type of safety elsewhere.

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The PGA DFS Breakdown offers data-driven analysis for each week’s slate, using the FantasyLabs Tools and metrics to highlight notable golfers.

The TOUR heads to Tulsa, Oklahoma this week as Southern Hills Country Club hosts the 104th edition of PGA Championship. The course is a very long par 70, measuring at 7,365 yards with bent grass greens.

I’ll be highlighting the best cash game/single-entry plays on the DraftKings main slate, but these players are often great options in any contest.

My analysis will frequently reference Strokes Gained, a set of proprietary metrics generated by the PGA TOUR using millions of data points to calculate how many shots, on average it takes a player to get the ball in the hole from every distance and situation.

Strokes Gained is now available in the FantasyLabs PGA Models.

There are a variety of Strokes Gained-related metrics, but the six main categories you need to know include:

  • Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee (SG: Off-the-Tee)
  • Strokes Gained: Approach (SG: Approach)
  • Strokes Gained: Around-the-Green (SG: Around-the-Green)
  • Strokes Gained: Putting (SG: Putting)
  • Strokes Gained: Ball-Striking (SG: Ball-Striking), which is SG: Off-the-Tee + SG: Approach
  • Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green (SG: Tee-to-Green), which is SG: Ball-Striking + SG: Around-the-Green

Also, our new Perfect% metric is a great data point to use with your roster construction.

If you missed it, we added two new metrics in our models — Perfect% and SimLeverage. You can find an explainer on those metrics here.

The cliff notes version is that you can use SimLeverage to quickly find leverage plays in tournaments, while Perfect% is great for finding the best price-considered plays for cash games.

And don’t forget to utilize our various PGA DFS tools like our Lineup OptimizerLineup Builder, PGA Correlation Dashboard, and our Trends tool.

The following players listed are based on DraftKings scoring and pricing.


Start Your PRO Trial Today

Lineup builder and optimizer

Real-time DFS models

Data-driven analysis & tutorials

PGA DFS Core Picks

Hideki Matsuyama ($9,200 DraftKings)

Matsuyama seems to be fully over the neck injury that’s ailed him over the past couple months. He finished T14 at Augusta and then followed that up with a T3 at last week’s Byron Nelson, gaining over nine strokes on approach in the process. This week the two biggest keys to success will be approach play and short game, and Matsuyama checks both of those boxes.

He’s always fared well at the PGA Championship, having made the cut in each of his previous nine appearances, including four top-25 finishes and two top fives. During Major Championship weeks it’s best to try and not get too cute, and by locking in Matsuyama, you’re getting one of the highest floors of any golfer on the slate for a severely discounted price tag of $9,300.

He’s my favorite cash play on the board.

Will Zalatoris ($8,900 DraftKings)

After watching Zalatoris finish in a tie for sixth place at the Masters — his fourth top-10 finish at a Major in seven career starts — I made the decision to simply play him at all Majors moving forward. It makes a ton of sense, as Willy Z usually does his best work on longer, tougher tracks where approach play is paramount and where putting has less of an impact.

Southern Hills should play exactly like that, as the expected winning score should come pretty close to the -8 range. Zalatoris missed the cut last week at the Byron Nelson, but that was strictly due to his putter, as he gained over 2.9 strokes on approach in his two rounds.

He will be ready to go this week, and I fully expect another top 20 in this spot.

Shane Lowry ($8,700 DraftKings)

Lowry is on some type of roll right now, having finished no worse than T13 in any of his past five starts, including three top-three finishes in that stretch. We know the former Open Champion thrives in nasty conditions, so he should be right in his element this week as the winds in Tulsa will be nasty.

The Irishman has all facets of his game clicking right now, ranking No. 1 in this field in SG: Approach and 11th in SG: Putting over his previous 16 rounds in this field. Lowry has three top-12 finishes at the PGA Championship over his past four starts and is definitely on the shortlist of contenders this week.

At just $8,700 on DraftKings, we’re getting a major discount here.

Corey Conners ($8,000 DraftKings)

An event where putting is less emphasized, and approach play is magnified? Sign me up for some Corey Conners. He finished T17 last year at this event and most recently went T6 at Augusta. He’s established himself as one of the best ball-strikers on the planet, ranking seventh in this field in SG: Ball-Striking over his past 48 rounds. Just to be clear, 97 of the top 100 players in the world are teeing it up this week, making that all the more impressive.

Conners’ odds to make the cut are shorter than multiple guys priced above him on DraftKings, which is a strong way of identifying value.

He will certainly be chalky, and for very good reason. Fade at your own risk.

PGA DFS Value Picks

Cameron Young ($7,600 DraftKings)

Not to put any added pressure on Young, but if he continues to play the way he has been, he’ll find himself on a similar career path that the Schefflers, Morikawas, and Hovlands of the world are on. Obviously, he has some ways to go, but the tools are certainly there. Young ranks ninth on the PGA TOUR in both driving distance and birdie or better percentage at just 25 years of age.

Young ranks No. 3 in this field in Total Strokes Gained over his past 24 rounds, trailing only Justin Thomas and Scottie Scheffler. He also ranks 14th in SG: Around-the-Green, which, as previously mentioned, will be pretty important with the small greens at Southern Hills.

He has yet to make a cut at a Major Championship but did finish runner up both the Wells Fargo and the Genesis Invitational this season, two incredibly tough events. The time is now to hop on board the Young train when his price tag is deflated.

Keegan Bradley ($7,500 DraftKings)

Bradley, for all his shortcomings, is truly one of the best ball-strikers in the world, especially when you put a long iron in his hands. He sits 18th in this field in that department over his previous 48 rounds and has been on quite the run of late. He’s coming off a T2 at the Wells Fargo two weeks back, which was his fourth top-12 finish over his past five starts.

Bradley won the PGA Championship back in 2011 and has made 9 of his past 11 cuts at this event. It feels weird, but he feels like a really safe option this week, especially since putting won’t play a huge role.

His make the cut and top-20 odds both look really strong, and he makes for a rock-solid cash game option on the week.

Jason Kokrak ($7,300 DraftKings)

We’ll round out the $7K range with Kokrak, who constantly goes overlooked despite having won three times over the past 19 months. Kokrak is also one the best Bentgrass putters in this field, which certainly cannot hurt. He has the length to compete at Southern Hills, sitting 29th on TOUR in driving distance and 34th in par-5 efficiency from 600-650 yards.

Kokrak has made 10 of 12 cuts this season and four of his past five at this event, and for his salary, you’d be hard-pressed to find that type of safety elsewhere.

Get Your First Deposit Matched Up to $100!

Sign up and deposit up to $100

Your deposit will be fully matched

New users only