For a long time, the PGA Championship was golf’s final major of the year, having been played for decades in the dog days of summer in July and August. That all changed in 2019 when it was moved to the penultimate weekend before Memorial Day.
What does that mean? Well, this year, at least, it means cool temperatures at Oak Hill in Rochester, NY, where it likely will be in the upper 30s early in the morning of the opening round Thursday with highs only getting into the 60s, while Friday it will be a tad warmer. Rain looks likely on and off on Saturday. (More on that below.)
The big news is since the last time a major tournament was played here in the 2013 US Open, there have been more than 600 trees removed, opening up the fairways for the big bombers. Also, Andrew Green’s revamping of the course included deeper bunkers, which could punish those who aren’t accurate with their approach shots.
Another word of note is this tournament usually favors not only players who have fared well previously in this tournament, but those who have played well as of late. Of course, the three big guns – Jon Rahm, Scottie Scheffler and Rory McIlroy – are favored for good reason, but there certainly are some value plays to be had here.
Let’s dive into it all with a full breakdown of The 2023 PGA Championship, including course information, more notes on the weather, TV information and our top plays:
Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, NY
Note: Course information, in part, aggregated from Andy Lack, who writes a weekly tournament preview for RickRunGood.com.
2022 winner: Justin Thomas (-5) defeated Will Zalatoris at Southern Hills in Tulsa in a playoff.
Oak Hill’s design: In 1925 by Donald Ross with multiple redesigns, the last coming in 2019 and 2020 by Andrew Green.
Length: Par 70, 7,394 yards (considered extremely long for a par-70)
Hazards: Rough will not play much of a factor, although bunkers surrounding greens will be tough to get out of to save par, and water comes into play on six holes.
(according to The Weather Channel)
Thursday: Sunny and highs around 60, but temperatures early in the morning could be as low as the upper 30s. (Winds E 5-10 mph)
Friday: A little warmer, as morning temperatures should be in the mid-50s. Throughout the day, cloudiness will increase, and there’s a 20% to 30% chance of rain later in the day. Highs in the mid-to upper-70s. (Winds S to SSW 10-20 mph and gusty at times)
Saturday: Most iffy day of the tournament. Rain likely at some point during the session, although it shouldn’t be bad enough to postpone the day into Sunday. Temps in the low 60s most of the day. (Winds SW 10-15 mph and gusty at times around showers)
Sunday: Great weather day. Mostly sunny and highs around 70. (Winds W to NW 10-15 mph)
Thursday and Friday: ESPN+ from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m. with featured hole and group coverage, as well as live overall coverage on ESPN from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: ESPN+ from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. with featured hole and group coverage, as well as live overall coverage on CBS from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Tony Finau (+2200 to win at DraftKings)
The bet: $30 to win $660 and $31.50 to win $30 (-105) to finish in the top 20
Our take: There are few golfers who have been as consistent as Finau this entire PGA season thus far. Just a few weeks removed from winning the Mexico Open, it sure seems like time for this guy to win his first major.
He has finished in the top 26 in 13 of his past 14 tournaments and the other was a 31st-place finish at the Heritage last month. He also finished eighth in this tournament two seasons ago and fourth in 2020, and overall has made seven of eight cuts with three top-10s.
Xander Schauffele (+1600 at Caesars Sportsbook)
The bet: $20 to win $320, $20 to win $38 (+180) to finish top 10 (at DraftKings)
Our take: I don’t love these odds, and normally I wouldn’t place a second outright on a guy on what I don’t consider to be a great value bet. That being said, Schauffele has been so consistent with five consecutive top-10 finishes, including a tie for 10th at The Masters last month.
Logically, he not only seems like a cinch to be in the running coming down the stretch on Sunday, but is a great play for top 10 at +180.
He finished second at the Wells Fargo two weeks ago and should be rested enough to take on this beast. He has won three tournaments outright since the last weekend in June 2022, and he has three top-16 finishes in the PGA in the past four seasons.
Brooks Koepka to finish top 10 and top 20 (+220 and +100 at DraftKings)
The bet: $20 to win $44 top 10; $20 to win $20 top 20
Patrick Cantlay to finish top 10 (+180 at DraftKings)
The bet: $15 to win $27
Bryson DeChambeau to finish top 20 (+360 at DraftKings)
The bet: $10 to win $36
Other players to watch: Dustin Johnson, Tyrell Hatton (love his top 10 at +330), Sungjae Im and Cameron Smith.