Fair Value Preview: PGA Championship

For the second time in as many weeks, we have a new #1 ranked golfer. Justin Thomas now sits atop that throne after his Sunday surge to stave off a crowded field at TPC Southwind. Thomas’ jump from 5th to 1st was the largest deficit (in terms of starting position) he had overcome to win in his career. However, the biggest story from the St. Jude Invitational was the return of Brooks Koepka’s form: holding a lead over various points of the tournament and eventually ending T2.

What timing for Koepka to regain his mojo ahead of the year’s first major and his second consecutive title defense at the PGA Championships this weekend in San Francisco. This will be the Tour’s first tournament at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco since 2015, and there have been plenty of course modifications since. A par 71 when last played in 2015, par will drop to 70 this week. The lack of reliable historical data will make this week’s tournament more difficult to predict and our contest much more wide open and competitive.

The course is on the longer side, playing somewhere between 7200 and 7400 yards depending on where the tee boxes lie. Additionally, there are seven par 4s of over 450 yards. Put this all together, and it becomes clear that distance and ball-striking will be key. Although, you might want to pump the brakes on stacking your squad with bombers because rumors are circulating that the rough is unruly. This question will not be resolved until the practice rounds are played, but it is definitely something to consider.

Here are the Fair Value Ranks among the field and who looks like they could outperform their IPO:

The Favorites

Justin Thomas– Number one, king of kings, Thomas looked so good in Memphis that it’s hard to doubt him this week. You can feel confident buying the best player in the world while on top of his game. Even against a loaded field, a top 10 finish feels all but certain.

Jon Rahm– Rahm’s driving accuracy and formidable power make his profile fit what everyone should be looking for this week. His brutal showing last weekend….is not. A 66 on Sunday is enough for me to get back aboard the Rahm train.

Daniel Berger– Solid round after solid round, Berger is the only player on Tour to have a trio of top three finishes since the restart of play. Consistency will be key with such a strong field at the Championship and Berger gives you a mountain of it for $7.36.

Middle Men

Collin Morikawa– Morikawa’s hybrid game makes me think he will sneak up to the top of the leaderboard this week: solid drives, above average accuracy, and monster irons. The short game will be an uphill battle, but a Cali kid who went to college at Cal may well have some familiarity at TPC Harding.

Patrick Reed– Despite not yet finding his from, Reed’s SG:OTT have been trending up over his last eight rounds played. When at his best, Reed is a top 10 player, making his $6.07 price point a potential steal.

A Darkhorse(s)

Adam Scott– Usually I stick with one darkhorse, but with such a loaded field there are great players galore down the board. Scott makes his return to the Tour this week still as a top 10 player in the world but is ranked outside our top 25 in price. Buy, buy, buy!

Joaquin Niemann– Here is where we find some value for 36 holes with a player whose last 36 holes would have put him in contention last week if it had not been for a slow start. For $3.91, Niemann presents tremendous value.

What do you think? Check out the entire field below and get in the game!

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