2023 PGA Championship: Under-the-Radar Picks Include Taylor Moore, Keith Mitchell, More
Photo by Orlando Ramirez/Getty Images. Pictured: Keith Mitchell.
PITTSFORD, N.Y. – Over the years, I’ve often tried to remember that some people watch golf the same way I watch tennis.
Maybe this sounds familiar: I don’t watch regular ATP Tour stops and I couldn’t name any up-and-coming talents, but if Roger Federer was ever playing Rafa Nadal in a Wimbledon final, I’d be all-in.
Thinking about tennis in these terms has helped remind me that not every golf “fan” is spending a Friday morning analyzing the early round draw at the Corales Puntacana Championship. Some fans aren’t necessarily fanatics, only tuning in for the majors or when the biggest names are in contention.
Nothing wrong with that, of course.
If you’re one of these people, the type who hasn’t seen a single golf shot since the Masters concluded last month, but you’re planning on parachuting into this week’s PGA Championship at Oak Hill CC and firing some wagers, this piece is for you.
Here are six lesser-known longshots who could have an impact on your investments. I like each one for top-20/40 props, back-of-the-lineup DFS plays or final-group picks in pools which separate players into different sections.
Taylor Moore +16000 (FanDuel)
A winner at the Valspar Championship two months ago, Moore hasn’t taken his foot off the gas pedal yet, with three top-40 results in three starts since and nine made cuts in his last 10 starts overall, including five top-15 finishes.
He does everything pretty well, but he has really done most of his damage with the flatstick, ranking 12th this season in strokes gained putting.
Pick: Taylor Moore +16000
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Cameron Davis +16000 (FanDuel)
Earlier this year, Davis missed the cut in five consecutive starts. Those who didn’t know the story behind his poor play were presuming that he might be in an extended funk. As it turns out, the Aussie had been sick, which inhibited his practice regimen and had a domino effect on his performance.
He returned to relevance in a big way at The Players, finishing T-6, and he has the tee-to-green game to climb the leaderboard at Oak Hill.
Pick: Cameron Davis +16000
Keith Mitchell +18000 (DraftKings)
When we speak of the game’s best drivers of the golf ball, the names Rory McIlroy, Patrick Cantlay, Scottie Scheffler and Dustin Johnson are often mentioned, but Mitchell deserves to be in the conversation as well.
He currently ranks fifth in strokes gained tee to green, but first in total driving, with a combined distance/accuracy ranking of 40. For comparison’s sake, only Cantlay and Scheffler also have numbers lower than 70.
Pick: Keith Mitchell +16000
Tom Hoge +25000 (DraftKings)
Depending on your perspective – and what time of day it is – the greater Rochester area will either be a bit chilly or downright pleasant this week. Don’t expect this North Dakota native to be too worried about it.
This is more than a geographical play, though. Hoge just this week slipped from first to second in iron play this season, but he’s still among the best second-shot golfers around right now. If he gets hot with the putter, as he did on the weekend at The Players, watch out.
Adrian Meronk +25000 (DraftKings)
Most U.S. fans probably don’t know much about this 6-foot-6 native of Poland who looks like he’d be just as comfortable playing on the wing for an NBA team.
He’s made a habit of not just winning, but winning national championships lately, taking the Irish Open, Australian Open and French Open over the past year, the last of which came just two weeks ago. This is your chance to get in early on a guy who very likely will be on the European Ryder Cup team this fall.
Thomas Pieters +35000 (DraftKings)
There are 18 full-time LIV Golf players in this week’s field, and while it can be argued that those near the top of the odds board – Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Cameron Smith – have been priced too short, there are massive bargains to be had elsewhere.
I don’t mind taking a chance on this big-hitting Belgian who owns a ton of offensive firepower and has finished top 30 in eight of his 18 career major championship appearances.
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