PGA Championships is one of the most prestigious and traditional golf tournaments. The tournament hosted by the Professional Golfers Association gathers the world’s best players every year to fight for one of the four majors.
This year, the PGA Championships will be held at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York, from May 18 to 21. It's the sixth time that Oak Hill hosts a major and the fourth time that the PGA Chamionships is played on this famous “northern” course. The last time the competition was played here was in 2013, when Jason Dufner won his first major. Dufner was a surprise winner as well as Shaun Micheel in 2003, when the course also hosted this competition.
Thoughts of the course
Oak Hill is a classic and challenging course that requires players to be accurate, patient and long. The par 70 course, which is about 6,700 meters long, will offer a real challenge in cool weather. Last time there were 600 trees more lining the fairways, but now they have been partially cleared after 2019 Andrew Green’s led course renovation, which also created a new hole and numerous fairways got extra length. These changes emphasize the importance of length of the tee, but the lush rough still punishes crooked shots.
The course is visually stunning with elevated greens, oaks, numerous fairway bunkers and water hazards. The greens are smaller than average and the surfaces are very fast. Typical of Donald Ross’s courses, they often have difficult pin positions, where hitting too long is punished. Oak Hill will not be a birdie fest and a single-digit under par will likely be enough to win.
Oak Hill is known for being one of the most challenging golf tests in the United States. For example, Tiger Woods said the course was “the toughest and fairest course I’ve ever played” after shooting four over par and finishing tied for 40th at the PGA Championship in 2013. The changes made in 2019 should offer the world’s top players an even fairer challenge, where players have more options from the tee. “I think Andrew Green has done a really good job,” Rory McIlroy said recently. “I think the renovation has restored the East Course to its former glory.” In the video below you can get acquainted with the course, its great history and the extensive changes that have been made to it since the last major hosting.
The recipe for success in Oak Hill’s challenges
Strokes gained off the tee or the importance of tee shots will be a key factor for success. Although trees have been cut from the course bringing more options of the tee, it will play a big role. Narrow and bouncy fairways, thick roughs and numerous fairway bunkers and water hazards increase the importance of tee play. Due to its length, approaches will be hit mostly from over 150 yards away, which further emphasizes fairway hits and on the other hand the quality of long shots. Also a high ball flight is beneficial because of elevated and small greens. It is clear that even the best ball strikers will not do well without a good short game, which requires a lot of imagination from the course due to elevations and bumps as well as challenging bunkers. Below you'll find top25 based on the model we like to use. Here's the link to the whole table.
Betting card and thoughts about the market
This is the week that will bring few days of fantastic +EV spots from 3-ball betting and the first days pick is Brendon Todd against Beach and Sihwan Kim - look for it from the bookers that offer 3-ball betting. Olesen is also a interesting play.
But our focus is in the exchange. The new method was used for picking below lines from top20, top10 and winner market. It has worked well for past few weeks and for such a hard test taking longer odds has worked in the past. The winner selections are quite dicy and the main idea is to sell in-play and take today's morning wave before 2nd round if +ev spots arise.
Chairman vs. AI's (section started 13.4.2023)
So starting some weeks back, we thought it would be a fun way to track the advancements in AI (more specifically Bing, powered by GPT 4 and ChatGPT/Personal.AI, powered by GPT 3.5 / copied golf data).
It's a simple exercise of predicting top5 for every tournament and you get 1 point for correct players and 2 points for a winner.
Points after first three weeks:
Chairman: 10 points (Day, Hatton, Scheffler from AT&T)
Bing AI: 6 points
ChatGPT: 4 points
1. Scottie Scheffler 2. Jon Rahm 3. Xander Schauffele 4. Patrick Cantlay 5. Rory McIlroy
1. Jon Rahm 2. Scottie Scheffler 3. Patrick Cantlay 4. Jason Day 5. Xander Schauffele
ChatGPT's picks (excluding players playing in LIV or injured):
1. Jon Rahm 2. Dustin Johnson 3. Rory McIlroy 4. Jordan Spieth 5. Jason Day
Good luck for the week ans enjoy the stunning Oak Hill! Let there be more shots like this: