Betting Stat Pack: 105th PGA Championship
3 Min Read
Written by Mike Glasscott @MikeGlasscott
The second major championship of the season returns to the East Course at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York. Justin Thomas will look to defend his title and add a third Wanamaker Trophy to his collection.
The East Course, designed by Donald Ross in the 1920s, has undergone a complete makeover. Architect Andrew Green restored this classic in 2019 to reflect the original routing, green shapes, and bunkering from the Ross original.
The fourth PGA Championship here will play 7,394 yards to Par 70. The course will not have the tree canopy of the previous two editions this century (2003, 2013), and the green complexes have also all been re-formed to original standards.
The field of 156 will consist of 20 PGA Professionals, zero amateurs, plus the Senior PGA Championship winner, Steven Alker.
The purse this week is $15 million. The winner takes home $2.7 million, 600 FedExCup points, and a lifetime exemption into the PGA Championship, among other perks.
Only players listed are competing this week. Stats from the current 2022-23 season.
Click stat headline above for additional players
Major championship golf will test all fourteen clubs in the bag and the six inches between the ears. I know which of the two is easier to measure! The chart above paints the picture of who is covering all the bases throughout the season relative to their peers. Scoring Average and other stats can also help decipher who has had the best of it recently, but I prefer the comparison against the rank-and-file.
Andrew Green may have removed enough trees, but not all of them have vanished. Strategy will still be a strength, as will moving the golf ball in both directions, for the first shot. Fairways are hardly generous and the thick fescue/bluegrass/ryegrass rough will swallow up the tee balls not struck perfectly. The average green size is 4,500 square feet, below TOUR average. The bunkers protecting them are steep-faced hazards that are anything but bail-out zones. Pure Bentgrass will run upwards of 13 feet. Finding the surfaces from the sand or surrounding rough will be a challenge.
Justin Thomas illustrated the importance of the putter last year at Southern Hills as he was second, picking up 1.578 shots per round. The surfaces will be unfamiliar to most again this year, especially after the recent renovation. Taking advantage of GIR is just as important as saving pars and bogeys. Pure bentgrass running around 13 feet on the Stimpmeter will not be for the faint of heart.
Par will be a very solid score this week. The Par 70 set-up contains a pair of par 5s but they stretch to 615 yards (No. 5) and 623 yards (No. 13), hardly guaranteed scoring chances. Half of the par 3s will play 230 yards and 245 yards. Six of the twelve par 4s are 460 yards and longer. The greens are heavily bunkered. The rough is thick and gnarly. SG: Grinding isn't an official stat, but players who can keep their focus, and their scorecards relatively clean, will factor this week. Cold mornings equal cold hands. Rain is also forecast for parts of the weekend. It's not August anymore!
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