Scottie Returns for Golf's Second Major

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Finally, it's time to get face-first into the 2nd major of the year!

The fun part about the non-Georgia based majors is always figuring out how the course will play.

We often have some idea based on previous uses or even cases where it’s a track that's normally in the regular tour rotation, like Quail Hollow or Torrey Pines. But obviously, courses change over the years, and the organizers can certainly do some things to jack up the difficulty level.

In the case of Valhalla, it’s been a minute. When Rory triumphed here in 2014, we also saw Ernie Els, Steve Stricker, and Jim Furyk in the top 10.

The main change is replacing the bentgrass fairways with Zoysia. The agronomy nerds were quick to point out that this sort of turf would play firmer and faster, which could be interesting considering how tight some of the landing areas are off the tee and where the fairway bunkers are positioned.

The funny part was the insistence that it was done in the name of sustainability, but everything I’ve found about the grass says it’s actually more susceptible to disease, which means costly fungicides or other treatments when the humid summer months roll in. Maybe the new strains are improved, and they aren’t just blowing smoke up my ass on this.

Ron and Ryan got into this and more Monday morning in the First Look Show:

Betting Show: Watch Here

Full Course Preview: Read Here

DFS Live Stream: Tomorrow afternoon

So again, back to figuring out the course on the way to figuring out if anyone can beat Scottie, I’ve been taking in anything I can, and for the most part, what I’ve found hasn’t been good news for “the field”

  1. The Zoysia grass change to the fairways isn’t making as big of a difference as some expected. This is second hand and maybe we’ll see a difference this weekend, but for the most part not seeing many reports lamenting the turf change.

  2. It should just be a test of ball-striking, with lots of players hitting from similar spots. It sounds like a course where distance will certainly be an advantage, with quotes about holding these greens and how much that will matter.

  3. It sucks, but this sets up so nice for Scheffler. I know “they’re all Scottie courses”, but if this place will play into the hands of long hitters with good iron play who can stay out of trouble with great course management, the field might be dead on arrival. Sure, other guys have that skill set, but they’re just playing for 2nd place.

  4. The rough should be fairly nasty. Not getting mowed anymore this week and will be at least 4” high by the weekend with higher cuts further from the fairway.

Tuesday Trivia: Of the 156 in the field, HOW MANY PLAYED AT VALHALLA IN 2014 when the PGA Championship was last contested here? I will accept any guess within five as a winner since this is very hard. (answer at the bottom)

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I’ll spend more time looking at the weather on Wednesday when we’re closer, but it’s already causing issues with today’s rains pushing everyone off the course early on and keeping folks from getting more practice rounds in.

Coupled with the fact that a ton of the field was playing a full four days last week a tthe Wells Fargo, it’s probably fair to say that some won’t be as prepared as they had hoped to be by Thursday.


I’ll be putting another together later today, but this is what we settled on today on the betting stream. Noonan took the reigns, and we built rankings based on the following:

  • SG: TOT at comp courses the past 5 years

  • SG: TOT with long courses, difficult scoring, and strong fields

  • SG: BS on courses that played “driver heavy” with a high penalty from the rough

  • Driving distance

  • Short Game, last 12 months

I was a little surprised we were able to get Rory ahead of Scottie without trying to do it, but the gap is very small. It looks like another week of top-10 bets on Xander and Tommy!

New Partner!

Excited to be partnered with Underdog going forward, and we’ll likely have a special "free leg” in the pick’em games for tomorrow.

If you sign up for a new Underdog account using our promo code BETSPERTSGOLF, we’ll send you a code for a free 90-day premium membership to Betsperts Golf. That included the Rabbit Hole, the Discord, and all the other premium written content and DFS tools.

I’ll check back in tomorrow with some bets to be made and some angles to be shot; until then, do me a favor and:

Trivia Answer: 34 Golfers. Bonus fun fact: John Daly and Phil Mickelson will have played in all four PGAs held here: 1996, 2000, 2014, & 2024.