2023 PGA Championship PrizePicks: Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy Among Third-Round Plays
Pictured: Jon Rahm. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
With the first two rounds of the 2023 PGA Championship in the books, we now head to the weekend. The second major of the season, the PGA Championship, takes place at Oak Hill Country Club, which has proven to be an absolute beast of a course.
Oak Hill is a par-70, 7,394-yard track that requires precise shooting and rewards accuracy due to the thin fairways, thick rough and abundance of hazards. Two key stats to look for this week are fairways in regulation percentage (FIR%) and greens in regulation percentage (GIR%).
Below, I give out my three Round 3 PrizePicks plays for the 2023 PGA Championship.
PGA Championship PrizePicks Plays
Jon Rahm: Round 3 Less Than 70 Strokes
Absolutely the squarest/chalkiest play on the board, and everyone will likely be on this. However, sometimes, you just have to trust the best of the best.
After shooting a 76 on Thursday, Jon Rahm rebounded with a 68 in the second round, avoiding the cut. If history is any indicator, Rahm is only going to continue to improve his play as the weekend progresses.
In his last tournament, the Mexico Open, Rahm shot a 135 over the first two rounds before climbing the leaderboard over the weekend and posting a 128 en route to his second-place finish. Mounting a comeback all the way to the top is highly unlikely, but if anyone in the world could do it, it’s Rahm.
His putting is the main reason for his current placement on the leaderboard. The rest of his game has been solid as he ranks in the top 31 among the remaining field in SG (Strokes Gained): Approach, SG: Off-the-Tee, SG: Tee-to-Green and FIR%.
Even with his ice-cold putter, Rahm fired a 68 on Friday, and I wouldn’t be shocked if he scores even better than that Saturday. Part of the reason for the line sitting at 70 is the forecast is 60/40 on rain hitting the course. However, the weather has been windy and cold all week so I’m not too concerned.
Patrick Cantlay: Round 3 Less Than 71 Strokes
Patrick Cantlay also rebounded nicely with a 67 on Friday after posting a 74 in the opening round.
Ranked fourth in the Official World Golf Rankings and ninth in the FedEx Cup Standings, Cantlay is looking to mount a comeback and claim his first win of 2023, and his seventh win over the past three seasons. Despite the troubling opening round, Oak Hill is a course that sets up nicely for Cantlay, one of the more accurate ball strikers on TOUR.
This season, he ranks 18th in FIR% and eighth in GIR%. Additionally, Cantlay has shot below 70 in 11 of his past 13 rounds.
While Oak Hill is obviously a different beast to conquer, Cantlay’s underlying metrics through the first two rounds are strong.
Scottie Scheffler More Birdies Than Rory McIlroy
Scottie Scheffler and Rory McIlroy are in completely opposite spaces right now, both mentally and in terms of ability. That is not necessarily a knock on McIlroy, who sits T10 at even-par.
However, that is still five strokes behind Scheffler.
When he is on his game, McIlroy is undoubtedly a top-tier golfer. However, he hasn’t finished above 47th place in any of his three previous tournaments.
But, more importantly, I’m not sure McIlroy’s 10th place positioning is sustainable over the weekend. On TOUR this year, he ranks 172nd and 193rd in GIR% and FIR%, respectively.
On the other hand, Scheffler ranks first and 22nd in those two categories. Among the remaining field, Scheffler ranks 21 spots higher than McIlroy in SG: Putting, eight spots higher in SG: Around-the-Green, one spot higher in SG: Approach, 43 spots higher in SG: Off-the-Tee and 12 spots higher in SG: Tee-to-Green.
Scheffler is outpacing McIlroy in every single underlying metric, so there is no reason to believe Scheffler won’t record more birdies than McIlroy on Saturday.
How would you rate this article?
This site contains commercial content. We may be compensated for the links provided on this page. The content on this page is for informational purposes only. Action Network makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information given or the outcome of any game or event.