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By Alex Lauzon from the “Course of Life” podcast
The Second Major of 2023 is Here
It just means more this week. You can realign and reformat and designate events all you want, but the golf world has forever known that the calendar revolves around four weeks of play…and this week is one of them. It’s a major week and it’s time for us to score another major win in 2023. In an age where player purses and bonuses are through the roof and money is seemingly growing on PGA Tour and LIV Golf Trees, the one prize that can’t be diminished is a major championship.
Major Champions live in glory forever, and we correctly forecasted a Jon Rahm victory that was in the cards all spring. This week, it’s a uniquely difficult event that presents a lot more like your traditional country club track as opposed to Augusta National. Thick rough, demanding tee shots and slick greens are the verbiages of the week and what has to be navigated to come out with a winning roster this week.
Finale Fireworks Forecasted
If this week’s meeting of the stars at Oak Hill is anything like last year’s PGA at Southern Hills, boy are we in for a treat. The furious seven-shot comeback from Justin Thomas was a record breaker, and he won a nerve-wracking playoff over Will Zalatoris to capture his second major and second PGA Championship at Southern Hills. Regarding the course in Rochester, NY – I’m here to report that the East Course at Oak Hill Country Club is also a brute of a track that should weed out anybody who is NOT ready to win.
Predictably it’s a loaded field of the world’s best, highlighted by the Rahm/Rory/Scheffler duo that has amassed about half of the PGA Tour wins in the last 12-18 months. As for Jordan Spieth, he missed last week with a wrist injury but is on the board and in the field at a 28-1 win. After the three favorites sit Patrick Cantlay (18-1) along with the first LIV Golfer on the board in Brooks Koepka, who nearly did the unthinkable and won at Augusta to return to major glory. Defending champion Justin Thomas and last week’s LIV Tour winner Dustin Johnson round out the lead pack at 20-1 odds to hoist the trophy.
Forecasting the PGA
Oak Hill and the PGA are going to whip out every trick in their sleeves to keep the winner in single digits under par. The upstate New York weather in May could be cooler than normal but doesn’t look to be too torrential, so it’ll lay on the grounds crew to see just how firm, fast, and ruthless the setup is for tournament play. The player who wins this week will be hitting lots of fairways, great on short putts, and completely unaware of the surrounding carnage that will haunt most of the field.
1. Who’s hot and trending – recent high finishes, top-10 streaks, and consistent play are never a bad thing.
2. Horses for courses – players love certain courses and course familiarity and experience are invaluable in a field of the world’s best.
3. What the numbers tell you this week – while I’m far from analytical, there’s always a tournament darling or two scattered across the golf talk stratosphere that stuns on paper.
4. Intangibles – while this allows for theater of the mind, there’s a mysterious optimism surrounding that feels “due” or if the price looks just right for buying.
At the AT&T Byron Nelson, picks were decent, with Scottie lurking around the lead all week and Adam Scott continuing decent form. It was a weekend full of made cuts and not much more…not my finest effort. Still, I’ve taken down one major this year and I don’t plan to end that streak – we’re due to peak after that B- week.
(Wanna start a Pick-X pool with your friends? Learn more here! Or, if you’re looking to start your own PGA One-and-Done pool, check those out here) (Hint: the main difference between the two is how many players you’ll pick each week)
1: Rory McIlroy – He seems to like these lush, green rough-filled Northeast US tracks and has a good history at similar venues. Overdue for a big major week.
2: Brooks Koepka – He thrives on brutal tracks where par is your friend, and relishes these types of weeks. Definitely looking to avenge the poor finish at Augusta but needs to show 72 holes of durability.
3: Max Homa – The first major breakthrough does tend to happen at a PGA, so why not Homa who’s playing the best golf of his life?
4: Talor Gooch – Hard to ignore the hottest player on the LIV Tour. Say what you want about the tracks or competition but two weeks of winning golf with the scores he’s shooting should translate to lots of confidence at Oak Hill.
5: Tommy Fleetwood – Still blows my mind he’s never won formally on the PGA Tour. Regardless, coming off of a top five at Wells Fargo he’s a good course fit to play well here.
6: Billy Horschel – A longshot that likes the battle on tracks like this. Could be a good spot for a top 5 or top 10 bet as well.
RYP One and Done Pick: Rory McIlroy
Where to watch: Golf Channel and CBS all week, and I’m very interested to see what mid-may in Rochester, NY brings for weather in a major championship setting. Prep for rain delays!?
Why to watch: The second major is here, with a stacked field and the continuation of LIV vs. PGA Tour storylines on full display.
What to eat: Rochester is close enough to Buffalo for me to make wings excusable. I’m a bone-in guy.
Purse: $15 million
Winner’s Share: $2.7 million
How do PGA Golf Majors Pools work?
In PGA Golf Majors Pools, member select six golfers to compete on a roster over the course of an event. The member with the best combined score from the six golfers wins.
Can you include all four majors into one pool?
Yes, but your commissioner can also customize these setting with RunYourPool. Pools can include up to all four majors, repicking golfers each time or adding bonus points for finishing positions
How do I assemble a roster?
Golfers are broken up in to six tiers, as members select one golfer per tier to be on their Major roster.
What happens to golfers who miss the cut?
Any PGA Player who does not make the cut will be given the highest score of Round 3 and Round 4, respectively.
What are the four golf majors?
The Masters is the first major of the season, in April. The PGA Championship and the U.S. Open follow, with the British Open ending as the final major.
How do PGA One and Dones work?
Members in a pool select one golfer to win a tournament, but can't pick that golfer again for the rest of the season. The member with the best score at the end of the season wins.
What is a PGA One and Done pool?
A PGA One-and-Done Pool is a contest similar to Survivor Pools, in which members can only select a golfer one time per season for events.
Which tournaments are played for PGA One and Dones?
Pool commissioners can set up the season for as many or as few tournaments as desired. Go crazy and do all of them! Or dial it back for the major events. As commissioner of a RunYourPool contest, you decide which events to play in!
How to run a weekly golf pool?
In order to run a golf pool, you must first crown yourself as Pool Commissioner. Begin by picking a game type like One and Done or Pick-X Pools. You'll want to establish rules before inviting friends, family, and colleagues to join. As commissioner, you make the rules and also need to enforce them equally and fairly.
How do golf Pick-X Pools work?
Members select a certain number of golfers per tournament, set by the pool commissioner. The member earns the total winnings that their selected golfer won for the tournament. Whichever member earns the most winnings over the duration of the season wins.
What is a golf Pick-X Pool?
A Pick-X Golf Pool calculates tournament winnings rather than strokes gained when deciding a winner. This amplifies the big name events that feature a higher prize purse.
How to run a golf pool?
How you decide to run a golf pool varies greatly depending on the game type. In each case, however, you'll want to determine the rules and settings before you begin inviting members to join you. You'll want to clearly establish how score will be kept, how tiebreakers work, and how winners are decided before anything else.
What is a prop bet?
Prop bets are any sort of pick or wager on a game that has nothing to do with the score or the final score outcome. Props can range from game types, to team types and even player types - such as who will score the game's first and last touchdowns? Other props, such as novelty or exotic, feature bets on things such as the coin flip or the Super Bowl Halftime Show.
How do Masters Prop Bets Pools work?
Pool members simply fill out a wide range of prop questions, each question worth a different value. Commissioners decide on the point value for each question, along with the amount of questions. Whichever member earns the most points based on corret answers wins the pool.
When is the Masters?
The Masters is typically in April and the first major of the golf season. The 2023 Masters is set for Thursday, April 6 and will run until Sunday, April 9.
Where is the Masters played?
The Masters is annually held at the Augusta National Golf Club located in Augusta, Georgia, USA.