This article is part of our FanDuel PGA series.
Course: TPC Harding Park (7,234 yards, par 70)
Winner: $1,980,000 and 600 FedExCup points
It's been over a year since the last major championship was contested over at Royal Portrush. Now the PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park kicks off the first of seven majors in fewer than 12 months with all the rescheduling due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly all of the top-100 in the OWGR will be teeing it up this week in San Francisco. The golf world last saw TPC Harding Park at both the World Golf Championship events in 2005 and 2015, as well as the 2009 Presidents Cup. In addition to the PGA Championship this week, the top American and International players will return here for the 2026 Presidents Cup. Tiger Woods will be making his second start since the resumption of tournament competition after recording a T40 a few weeks ago at the Memorial. The 15-time major champion is one of a few intriguing storylines that also include Brooks Koepka going for the three-peat and Jordan Spieth looking to complete the career grand slam. 2017 PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas is coming in hot after his win last week at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, which propelled him back to No. 1 in the OWGR. He jumped Memorial winner Jon Rahm, who will be looking for his first major championship and two-time PGA Championship winner Rory McIlroy who will be looking his fifth major, but first since 2014. The weather in San Francisco this week will be unlike anything players have seen in some time with temperatures tipping in the mid-60's and winds likely to extend to 20+ miles per hour every day. The thick marine layer should make the 7,234-yard layout play much longer, especially the morning.
2019 – Brooks Koepka (Bethpage Black)
2018 – Brooks Koepka (Bellerive)
2017 – Justin Thomas (Quail Hollow)
2016 – Jimmy Walker (Baltusrol)
2015 – Jason Day (Whistling Straits)
2014 – Rory McIlroy (Valhalla)
2013 – Jason Dufner (Oak Hill)
2012 – Rory McIlroy (Kiawah Island)
2011 – Keegan Bradley (Atlanta Athletic Club)
2010 – Martin Kaymer (Whistling Straits)
Key Stats to Victory
TPC Harding Park is a pretty classic layout. It will feature narrow tree-line fairways and small greens. Thick four-plus inch damp rough will make any slight miss very penal. Accuracy off the tee will take precedent, but with little roll in the fairways distance will always be an advantage. As in all major championships, scrambling will also be a major factor with bogey-avoidance. Bentgrass at TPC Harding Park as opposed to poa annua, which we see in surrounding areas, should make the greens roll much smoother. Even with the marine layer bringing in damper conditions every day, I'd be surprised if we don't see one of the more challenging PGA Championships in recent memory with the expected setup. Players that gain strokes off the tee and are hitting the highest percentage of greens in regulation should be those you favor this week.
FanDuel Value Picks
Justin Thomas ($11,600)
I have no idea how No. 1 in the OWGR is listed as the No. 4 in salary this week, but that alone give this tremendous value. Thomas also now ranks first in SG: Approach, SG: Tee-to-Green, and SG: Total. He missed last year's PGA Championship with a wrist injury, but won the 2017 edition at Quail Hollow and was T6 at Bellerive in 2018. Putting may be the only concern, but he is still 30th in putting average and 24th in one-putt percentage. Thomas is also fifth in scrambling and 15th in SG: Around-the-Green. He's got the total package for this setup and has tremendous confidence after his WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational win last week.
Xander Schauffele ($11,100)
Schauffele already has to be in the conversation of best players to have not won a major, but that doesn't mean he hasn't been close. In 11 career major starts, the San Diego State product has five top-six finishes and seven top-20's. He is trending very well right now as well, with five top-20 finishes in six starts since the resumption of tournament play. Like Thomas, Schauffele has very few holes in his game. The 26-year-old currently ranks seventh in SG: Off-the-Tee, sixth in SG: Tee-to-Green, fifth in GIR percentage, and seventh in scrambling.
Webb Simpson ($10,900)
Anytime you can get a player like Simpson for under $11,000 that is excellent value. He has good vibes in this area, winning the 2012 U.S. Open right across Lake Merced at the Olympic Club. The Wake Forest product doesn't have the distance as some of the other top players, but his is so complete. Simpson ranks top-20 this season in SG: Approach, SG: Putting, SG: Tee-to-Green, FIR percentage, GIR percentage, scrambling, and putts per round. He has three top-12's including a win in his last four starts.
Collin Morikawa ($10,700)
Having played collegiately at Cal, Morikawa has plenty of experience with the conditions in this region and has dozens of rounds under his belt at TPC Harding Park. That could come in handy with many players having not seen this course in some time. An elite ball striker like Morikawa should find himself in contention on Sunday. He ranks second in SG: Approach, fourth in SG: Tee-to-Green, and 17th in SG: Off-the-Tee. The recent Workday Charity Open winner has only missed one cut all season.
Longer Shots with Value
Tyrrell Hatton ($9,900)
Hatton for under five figures is a layup. The Englishman ranks third in SG: Total, second in birdie average, and third in bogey avoidance this season. I'm going to completely throw out his T69 last week in Memphis and instead focusing on the fact that he has five top-six finishes in his last seven starts worldwide with two wins included in there. Hatton's iron play, short game, and putting are all elite.
Gary Woodland ($9,800)
Woodland was fantastic en route to his first major championship last summer at Pebble Beach in what were very similar conditions to what the players should see at TPC Harding Park. He currently ranks top-25 on Tour in SG: Approach, SG: Putting, SG: Total, birdie average, and scoring average. Woodland also was the runner-up the last time this course appeared on the PGA Tour calendar back in 2015 at the WGC-Cadillac Championship.
Matthew Fitzpatrick ($9,300)
Fitzpatrick is really trending in the right direction, coming off a solo third at the Memorial Tournament and a T6 at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational last week. He is also the best putter in the world at this current moment, ranking third and first respectively in strokes gained at each of those events. The Englishman has always played very well in difficult conditions like what is forecasted this week, and I anticipate him being able to scramble his way to another great showing. This is typically not the style of player I target, but his results and price this week make him very attractive.
Jim Furyk ($8,000)
The recently turned 50-year-old is coming off a victory in his first start in the Champions Tour last week at the Ally Challenge. Even at his age on a course that will play long because of the heavier air, there is still a lot to like here. For starters Furyk has experience on this course, finishing T4 at the WGC event in 2015, he was a member of the 2009 Presidents Cup team, and was T15 at the 2005 WGC event here. He also was T4 back in 2012 at nearby Olympic Club. Two great stats for almost all major championship are FIR percentage and GIR percentage. Furyk is currently the PGA Tour leader in both of those, which should make his life a whole lot easier with this thick, juicy rough.
Strategy Tips This Week
Based on a Standard $60K Salary Cap
Much like last week, with so many great players in the field you can find a lot of terrific values. By the same token, I can also find a lot of poor values relative to the field. Some players I would avoid include Dustin Johnson ($11,300), Jordan Spieth ($10,500), and Justin Rose ($10,400). As much as I hate to say it, I also don't see Tiger making much noise this week. I don't trust his back in cold, heavy air like this, especially having played competitively only once since February and at a $11,200 price tag. I think you can build an extremely balanced roster this week with a lot of firepower in the $9,000-$10,000 range with players that have played very well since the restart.