2024 PGA Championship PrizePicks: First-Round Plays for Thursday

2024 PGA Championship PrizePicks: First-Round Plays for Thursday article feature image

Via Alex Slitz/Getty Images. Pictured: John Daly of the United States drive his golf cart from second tee during the third round of the Regions Tradition at Greystone Golf and Country Club on May 11, 2024 in Birmingham, Alabama.

Here's everything you need to know about the PGA Championship PrizePicks 2024: First-round plays for Thursday's major championship in Louisville, Kentucky.

Valhalla Golf Club is a par-71, 7,609-yard track designed by Jack Nicklaus that benefits bit hitters but also features the third-smallest greens on the PGA Tour thus far this season.

Find my 2024 PGA Championship PrizePicks for Thursday below.

2024 PGA Championship PrizePicks

Bryson DeChambeau More Than 4 Birdies or Better

Bryson DeChambeau is the first golfer to target on Thursday. Valhalla is an absolute monster of a golf course that is now playing north of 7,600 yards as a par-71, so big hitters will naturally benefit.

That is a profile that immediately made me look for DeChambeau's squares on PrizePicks. He is obviously one of the longest hitters in the world, but his accuracy has also improved as he has been more accurate off the tee than the field average in three of his past four tournaments.

Yes, three of those tournaments were LIV events, but the fourth was the Masters. DeChambeau finished sixth at Augusta and recorded eight birdies throughout Thursday's opening round.

Considering that Valhalla profiles more strongly for DeChambeau because of its combination of length and thick rough, I believe he can replicate that performance this Thursday.

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John Daly More Than 77 Strokes

John Daly golfing on any level in 2024 is already a tough go, but John Daly golfing at a 7,600-yard major championship venue in 2024? That is just a recipe for disaster.

Daly is struggling on PGA Tour Champions, failing to finish higher than 65th in eight consecutive tournaments. Therefore, you won't be shocked to read that Daly has failed to make a cut at a major championship in over a decade.

That is 14 straight missed cuts at major championships, including at the 2014 PGA Championship, which was also contested at Valhalla. Daly shot a 76 in the opening round that week, and he is nowhere near the level of golfer now than he was 10 years ago.

His driving distance is completely gone, and that will be his undoing this week. The 58-year-old has only played in two events since October 2022 where his driving distance was tracked on the PGA Tour (the 2023 Open Championship and 2022 Butterfield Bermuda Championship), and he was at least 33 yards shorter than the average driving distance in each of those fields.

Rory McIlroy Less Than 69.5 Strokes

This PrizePicks square is arguably the squarest (sorry, had to) play you can make this week, but I am going to take the bait. Rory McIlroy won at Valhalla in 2014 by shooting a 68 or lower in all four rounds.

This is bomber's course, so it makes sense that McIlroy profiles so well here because he is one of the best drivers of the golf ball in the history of the game. He is also in great form as he enters this week following two consecutive victories at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans and the Wells Fargo Championship.

We knew his driver was going to be key last week, but what was most impressive was the well-roundedness of his game as he gained true strokes against the field in every single category across the board. He also shot a 68 or lower in all four rounds at Quail Hollow.

If has a similar performance on Thursday, then McIlroy should have no issue breaking 70 at Valhalla once again. I also imagine the first round will be a nice distraction for McIlroy from his off-course life right now.

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