The 2023 PGA Championship

The 2023 PGA Championship

The Former Fourth Major

All eyes will turn to the northwestern corner of our beautiful and vast New York State next week, to the legendary Oak Hill Country Club for the 105th rendition of the PGA Championship. Sure, lingering shade will abound from the ongoing LIV defector saga, but due to its relative isolation from the NYC metro area, I expect this crowd to be a bit more, let's say reserved, than it would normally be at Bethpage, seven hours south, right around the corner in fact from our Blatant Golf Headquarters. Last year’s tournament had no lack of drama despite a somewhat remote location at Southern Hills, featuring an all-time implosion by the once Mighty Mito Pereira on the 18th hole, leading to a playoff victory by Justin Thomas over the perpetual major lurker in Willy Z (get well soon) for his second Wanamaker Trophy, an exhilarating finish we all wished for, and hope to see again this time around.

A year later and with plenty of drama is still wafting over the event, along with many questions at the top of the board, many will lay claim to the title. Will Rahmbo go 2-for-2 in his quest for an elusive, but not out of the realm of possibility with the way he’s hitting the ball, calendar year Grand Slam? Will Rory McIlroy’s major mental block breakthrough come in a home-away-from-home locale? Will Scottie Scheffler continue his monumental two-year stretch of golf with yet another dominant victory after taming the wild Sawgrass? Will Jordan Spieth’s floppy wrist heal in time to continue his search for the career Grand Slam? Without Tiger in the fold, can his right-hand man Joe LaCava guide Patrick Cantlay to a long-awaited major anointing, or will it be his BFF the X-Man who is equally ready for the next step? What about Phil, or another in-form veteran (like 2016 PGA Champ Jimmy “Ribeye” Walker), to make one last run at glory? Or will it simply be the 800 pound meat missile, and father to be (cheers), known as Brooks Koepka who will claim his 3rd Wanamaker come Sunday evening?

All are valid questions which will be answered in less than a week's time. But until then, here are some other guys I see value in, who will likely be anywhere from $8,900 down to $6,000 on Draftkings DFS, or 20-1 and up in the outright market when the pricing is released in the coming days…I’ll start with a “local” guy who, despite half a dozen or so Top 3s since the start of 2022, including at The Open after eagling the 72nd hole in brilliantly dramatic fashion at the Old Course, we’ll start with the HUDSON VALLEY HAMMER, Cam Young. A prodigious driver of the golf ball at what will be a long, and potentially damp golf course, he is the ideal fit for finally getting his breakthrough win next week. Much like in the year’s first major, if we mention Cam making another run at one, it would be unwise to leave out another world-class driver of the golf ball: GOOD BOY VIKTOR Hovland. After winning a few, to be frank, underwhelming events on the PGA Tour, it’s time for a big one for the Norwegian Woodsman, and taking down the almighty Oak would be an apropos place to do it.

Now, just like I did at The Masters, I am going back to the well with the pair of Aussie compatriots who have seemingly found the fountain of youth this year: Jason Day and Adam Scott. Day has an impeccable record this year, albeit without a win, as well as a PGA Champ at Whistling Straits, not to mention a runner-up to the aforementioned Jimmy Ribeye at Baltusrol, one I witnessed in person with @RomeoTheCaddy amongst others. If he can withstand a lingering bout with vertigo, he can certainly add another Top 5 if not a win to his already stellar PGA Championship resumé. As for the Big Handsome, the last few weeks have been a renaissance for the sweetest swing, and sharpest jawline in golf. I have always felt he has one more major left in the tank, and the way he’s striking the golf ball (akin to prime Hogan), there’s no reason he can’t get it this week in Rochester.

As for the LIV contingent, besides the Kiawah winner in Mr. Mickelson, DJ still needs to add a Wanamaker to his trophy mantle as he remains two majors behind the other half of golf’s Bash Brothers. Talor The Goochmeister may not be an ideal dinner guest, but boy is he playing a special brand of golf this Spring. Cam The Mullet Man can never be counted out at a major either, course-fit or not…But, there are several more PGA Tour stalwarts coming in hot I’d like to highlight as well…

MET PGA legend and 2011 PGA Champ Keegan Bradley will look to bring the Red Storm to Oak Hill and add a second Wanamaker to his CV. With a win at another Northeast Donald Ross brute in Aronimink, and a resurgent last 18 months including a narrow miss at hometown Brookline, a ball-striking aficionado of his ilk should find this big ballpark right up his alley. Pebble Beach US Open Champ Gary “BIG COUNTRY” Woodland seems to peak for majors and after an admirable showing at Augusta, I expect the big-hitting Jayhawk to do to this place what his old pal Brooksy did to Bethpage Black a few years ago. Another winner at Pebble, this year in fact, Justin Rose got the job done at Merion eons ago in the US Open, but much like Scott and Day really needs to add another big one to his record before it’s all said and done. Finally for the upper echelon tier it would be criminal for me to omit THE MAD HATTON who has been a fixture on the first page of the leaderboard in '22-23 elevated fields, as well as, yes, TOMMY FLEETWOOD MAC, back in peak form and ready to contend yet again as he has at major venues Erin Hills, Shinnecock, and most recently Southern Hills, just to name a few...

Onto some longer shots who can definitely T5 if not outright win if everything clicks…everyone’s favorite Spring Breaker Rickie Fowler has shown the intestinal fortitude of Joey Chestnut in regaining his Top 50 rank in the OWGR after some much needed love from Uncle Butchie, and will go to the grave believing he will still win a major one day, maybe sooner rather than later. After lingering injuries over the past two years, Cousin Harris English has found it again and I expect him to lurk at yet another big boy event as he has at Torrey, Bay Hill, and countless others including a Top 5 at another Upstate gem in Winged Foot, which leads me perfectly to our next man to watch. The enigmatic renegade who single-handedly dismantled those hallowed grounds in Mamaroneck only a few years ago in titanic fashion, is of course Bryson DeChambeau. By bludgeoning his Bridgestone with the force of the mythological Brahma Bull, Bryson has battled some unfortunate circumstances on and off the golf course lately, but seems to be in improving form and potentially ready to lurk yet again…

Speaking of bombers, along with the en fuego Mexico Open winner Uncle Tony Finau, Cam Davis is another back in-form player who has previously tamed Donald Ross’ Detroit Golf Club, and after a deep lurk at Sawgrass is ready for a second run at the big stage, and could thus be a juicy T10 option. I’m sure I’ll end up sprinkling Ryan “What Did the Fox Say?” and MAD DAWG MITCHELL simply due to how damn far they hit the golf ball. CAPTAIN KIRK and ROWDY RUSS HENLEY (Masters, anyone?) are two more Georgia Dawgs playing a special brand of golf this year and could throw their hat in the ring for First Round Leader, and possibly more. Same goes for the guy who just won at Quail Hollow and who I’ve faded through most of his torrid run this Spring like a stunad, Wyndham Lewis and Clark. None of these fine players will win, but all are solid T20 options with T10 upside if things break their way. Same goes for the weekly Fearsome FOMO aka COUSIN DENNY, of course…


That’s all for now folks, make sure to stay tuned for our “Who’s Your Caddy?” Livestream Monday night, as well as my official picks for “Sicko Specials”, “Humpday Hammers”, and a whole lot more in the days ahead. Until then, enjoy the golf in Dallas, and get ready for what I expect to be another epic rendition of the PGA Championship, no longer the red-headed step-child of #MajorSzn

So whether it’s the Wanamaker or the Woodshed, we’ll be there for you...

As always, B.O.L!

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