Macaulay Renner

Renner's Rundown

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99th PGA Championship Preview

Tuesday, August 8, 2017


Growing up as a kid, Sunday was always a special day reserved for watching golf on the couch with my dad.  These days my father and I mainly talk about strokes gained, player form, and narratives such as his favorite hypothesis called 'The Matt Kuchar Hawaiian Experiment' (find me on Twitter for what that relates to).

I am still amazed that after 40 year we still are able to share our passion both playing and watching golf, translating into PGA fantasy roster decisions and roster construction. 


This week, I am delighted to bring to you the final major of the year hosted for the first time at Quail Hollow Club located in Charlotte, North Carolina. It is a private member club, founded by James J. Harris in 1959.  The club hosted the Kemper Open from 1969 through 1979, the PaineWebber Invitational from 1983 through 1989, and the Wells Fargo Championship since it debuted in 2003.  It has never hosted a major PGA Tour event. Until now.

This course has undergone some major reconstruction to the front 9 with special detail to the reconfiguration of three holes in particular.  Quail Hollow's first hole will be dramatically lengthened, to the point that the second hole will be eliminated to allow proper space for No. 1 green. The 570-yard, par-5 fifth will also be removed to make way for a new par-3 and par-4.  The 11th was altered as well, adding more fairway bunkers to make for a more challenging play off the tee.  

Finally, the greens have been reworked from Mini-Verde to Champion, both are variations of bermudagrass. Greens were changed from bent to bermuda after the 2013 Wells Fargo Championship. 

 

Weather
The weather forecast this week in Charlotte, N.C. looks a bit on the rainy side on both Thursday and Friday with some wind to be expected.  The radar indicates a 90% chance of rain the both days but falling back to 50% on the weekend so it will be interesting to see if there are any delays or the event extended.  Unlike last week where there was a small field and no cut, this week tee times could play a small role in determining the winner. Keep an eye on the forecast as we get closer to Thursday.

Recent PGA Championship Winners
Jimmy Walker (2016)
Jason Day (2015)
Rory McIlroy (2014)
Jason Dufner (2013)
Rory McIlroy (2012)

Recent Winners at Quail Hollow Club
James Hahn (2016)
Rory McIlroy (2015)
J.B. Holmes (2014)
Derek Ernst (2013)
Rickie Fowler (2012)

Trends

...The last seven PGA Championship winners all ranked inside the top 60 of their respective tours for scoring average.


...The last seven PGA Championship winners ranked inside the top 60 on tour for birdie average.


...The last seven event winners recorded a top-25 finish in their previous start.


...In the past 40 years, The Open champ has gone on to win PGA Championship 5 times while conversely, The Open champ has gone on to MC the PGA Championship 8 times. This trend will become muted in a few years when the PGA Championship moves to May.

 

 

Vegas Odds 
Rory McIlroy 8/1
Jordan Spieth 10/1
Hideki Matsuyama 12/1
Dustin Johnson 14/1
Rickie Fowler 18/1
Brooks Koepka 25/1
Jon Rahm 28/1
Jason Day 30/1
Justin Rose 40/1
Sergio Garcia 40/1

 

Course-Specific Stats
Course history stats courtesy of FantasyNational.com as we look at who has performed best when isolating stats to just Quail Hollow Club.

To qualify for the following lists, a golfer must have played at least 8 rounds at Quail Hollow Club since 2012.


Fairways Gained at Quail Hollow

Henrik Stenson
Ryan Moore
Rickie Fowler
Danny Lee
Jim Furyk
Brian Harman
Zach Johnson
Hideki Matsuyama
Scott Brown
Vijay Singh

 

Greens in Regulation Gained at Quail Hollow

Rory McIlroy
Brendan Steele
Justin Rose
D.A. Points
Robert Streb
Kevin Chappell
Scott Brown
Charles Howell III
Rickie Fowler
Hideki Matsuyama

 

Birdies Gained at Quail Hollow
Rory McIlroy
Phil Mickelson
Webb Simpson
J.B. Holmes
Hideki Matsuyama
Gary Woodland
Danny Lee
Tony Finau
Lee Westwood
Patrick Reed


Strokes Gained Total at Quail Hollow

Rory McIlroy
Phil Mickelson
Justin Rose
Webb Simpson
Rickie Fowler
Lee Westwood
Ryan Moore
Danny Lee
Gary Woodland
Hideki Matsuyama


Strokes Gained Putting at Quail Hollow

Phil Mickeson
Danny Lee
Ryan Moore
J.B. Holmes
Lee Westood
Kevin Kisner
Zach Johnson
Gary Woodland
Martin Laird
Brian Harman



Opening Acts

Players that may fly under the radar and help you fit some headliners onto your roster.

Cuts Made = Cuts made worldwide during the 2017 calendar year

Scott Hend (12/17 cuts made)
Hend played well this weekend at the Bridgestone Invitational but ultimately slipped back on Sunday to finish a respectable T10.  Hand plays on the European Tour and can get it done on every continent.  He finished 42
nd
 at the 2016 PGA Championship (Baltusrol) is what was his tournament debut. 

 

Ross Fisher (11/15 cuts made)
Sunday wasn’t to kind to Ross this weekend as he finished T44 after shooting 4-over par. Fisher also spends most of his time on the European Tour and has picked up five top 10s internationally this year.

 

Zach Johnson (14/18 cuts made)
Zach ‘Money’ as I like to call him is exactly that, money, when he is on his game.  We saw a flash of it this week and hopefully he can find his game this weekend at Quail Hollow.  His recent results have picked up with three straight top 15s, kicked off by a T5 at the John Deere Classic, his 'fifth major'. Also seems to show up on the courses that are supposed to suit the bombers, this week's track would qualify.

 

Webb Simpson (13/17 cuts made)
In his past 5 events he's gaining an average of 3.4 strokes over the field (per event). Now he heads to a course where he is a member and will know the lay of the land better than anyone in the field. His PGA Championship is less-than-impressive overall (T13-T54-MC-T25-MC-MC) 
and is currently 125-1 in the betting markets.

 

Daniel Summerhays  (17/23 cuts made)

Summerhays has tweaked his game and has looked better of the past few weeks. At his price on DFS sites, I think a lot of people will incorporate him onto their roster in a stars-and-scrubs approach. Summerhays finished second at the 2016 PGA Championship and he finished T14 the last time he played Quail Hollw (2016 Wells Fargo).  

  

Charl Schwartzel  (12/15 cuts made)
Will be playing alongside Bubba Watson and Paul Casey this week at the PGA Championship as he looks to better his 42
nd finish from the 2016 PGA Championship. In his past 5 PGA Championships, Schwartzel has finished: T42-T37-T15-MC-T59. In his past 5 PGA TOUR starts, the South African has finished T24-T62-MC-T2-T35
 while gaining 17.3 total strokes on the field (3.5 per event). He currently sits at 80/1 in the markets.

  

Thomas Pieters (8/13 cuts made)
After this past weekend, there will be surge of ownership for ‘The Belgian’. After a strong showing at the Bridgestone Invitational against the best of the best, he again proved that he belongs near the top of the Official World Golf Rankings. This European Tour Phenom has four top tens worldwide this year
. He has gained 10+ strokes over the field in four of his last eight PGA TOUR starts and can hit the ball a mile. Coupled with his low price and recency bias, Pieters will be one of the higher owned players on FanDuel and DraftKings this week. 

  

Xander Schauffele (11/17 cuts made)
This kid has all the tools to be a PGA TOUR star.  The San Diego State product has been playing superb golf, gaining strokes on the field in each of his last eight starts (52.6 total strokes gained in that stretch)
 His recent results include top 20s in five of his last six starts and currents odds sit at 100/1.

  

Peter Uihlein (17/20 cuts made)
Another one of the young guns who is playing at the PGA Championship this week.  Uihlein has five international top-10 finishes to his name this year and has shown an interest in bringing his skills to the United States, full-time.  His recent PGA TOUR finishes include three top 30s over his last six starts
.  Odds 150/1

 

Byeong Hun An  (16/18 cuts made)
An has quietly amassed a solid resume this season but his recent results have seen a little setback: MC-T29
-T66-MC-T25.
 His ball-striking has been solid and could be a nice play due to is price across DFS sites.  An has gained strokes tee-to-green in each of his last 11 events with ShotLink measured data. He sits at 200/1 but that number should come down as Thursday approaches.

  

Patrick Cantlay  (7/7 cuts made)
Cantlay was ‘Can’t Play’ around the greens  two weeks ago but an early-week video popped up on Twitter showing Cantlay playing Quail Hollow and getting in a few extra practice rounds.  I like his motivation and it speaks volumes about his dedication to the game and his determination to win.  He has averaged 4.5 strokes gained total (per event) over his last 5 starts with finishes reading: T48-T35-T22-T3-T39. Will be making his first start in a major championship since the 2012 U.S. Open (T41). 

 

Ian Poulter (17/19 cuts made)  
Poulter has three top ten finishes worldwide in 2017 and has been resting his bones in preparation for the year's final major.  He looked good at The Open and has gained 41.9 total strokes over the field in his last six PGA TOUR starts despite struggles with the putter. His recent 
event history at the PGA Championship reads as MC-T58-T61-T3-T39.
  Poulter is ranked first on the PGA TOUR in scrambling and will be looking to better his finish at The Open (T14). He is currently 80/1.

 


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Macaulay Scott Renner has been playing ice hockey and golf for over 40 years while growing up on the beaches of the NJ shore. An avid Grateful Dead fan, he has been playing fantasy sports since 1999 and currently resides in Philadelphia. Macaulay can found on Twitter @msr427.



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