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2013 PGA Championship Preview 

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Where: Held by Oak Hill Country Club’s East Course in Rochester New York

When: August 8-11

This Thursday morning will mark the 95th PGA Championship. Even though it feels like four years ago, last year’s tournament saw Rory McIlroy run away with this title by eight strokes. This year the former world’s #1, is 30-1 to win and that feels extremely light. Of course he isn’t the news heading into the final major, of course that would be Tiger’s stellar play from this past weekend. He’s a 3-1 favorite to win and is obviously playing well enough to do so.

Tournament Rules:

Following the first 36 holes the field of 156 will be reduced to the low 70 including ties. If there happens to be a playoff holes number 16-17-18 will be played with the best overall score winning. If there is still a tie then there will be a sudden death playoff the 18th hole will be repeated and if necessary then on to the 10th, 17th and 18th repeated until a winner prevails.

TV Schedule


Golf Channel 7am-1pm

TNT 1pm-7pm


Golf Channel 9am-1pm

TNT 1pm-7pm


Golf Channel 9am-11am

TNT 11am-2pm

CBS 2pm-7pm


Golf Channel 9am-11am

TNT 11am-2pm

CBS 2pm-7pm

Notable Tee Times (local time)

Starting on the front nine Thursday / back nine Friday:

12:55pm/7:45am Nicolas Colsaerts, Jason Day, Brandt Snedeker

1:05pm/7:55am Tim Clark, Lee Westwood, Bubba Watson

1:15pm/8:05am Miguel Angel Jimenez, Webb Simpson, Angel Cabrera

1:25pm/8:15am Rory McIlroy, Vijay Singh, Martin Kaymer

1:45pm/8:35am Adam Scott, Justin Rose, Phil Mickelson

1:55pm/8:45am Lucas Glover, Ian Poulter, Zach Johnson

Starting on the back nine Thursday / front nine Friday:

7:35am/12:45pm Hunter Mahan, Paul Casey, Billy Horschel

7:45am/12:55pm Hideki Matsuyama, Steve Stricker, Jason Dufner

7:55am/1:05pm Sergio Garcia, Matt Kuchar, Rickie Fowler

8:05am/1:15pm Graeme McDowell, Ernie Els, Bill Haas

8:25am/1:35pm Henrik Stenson, Dustin Johnson, Charl Schwartzel

8:35am/1:45pm Davis Love III, Keegan Bradley, Tiger Woods

There’s quite a few loaded threesomes playing together this weekend. Especially the major champions group of Scott, Rose, and Mickelson.

Before getting to how to make some money take a look at the course to figure out what kind of golfer has the best chance of winning.


Front Nine

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Hole 1 Par 4 460 yards

A relatively easy opening hole for the most part. However, with the downslope around the 260 yard mark, of the fairway, a drive of that distance will carry the ball another 30-40 yards. Most of these guys will be taking aim for that marker. The problem is that will lead to a longer club than is actually needed and with such a tight fairway, with a slight dogleg to the left, a draw will be the shot needed. The biggest problem is the out of bounds on the right. If that ball does not turn over the second shot will either be a drop or out of some thick rough. With too much turnover the ball will find the woods or at the very least some deep rough. However a tee shot that finds the fairway should make for a birdie and a confidence builder on the opening hole.

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Hole 2 Par 4 401 yards

This short par 4 should provide a lot of long iron shots off the tee to avoid the narrowing fairway and the surrounding bunkers in the landing zone of a driver. The approach shot is the tricky part as the mouth of the green is very narrow with trees and bunkers on both sides. The green slopes from back to front so any approach shot past the hole will leave a tricky putt. Expect to see a lot of shots that land past the hole and zip up a little too much down the slope.

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Hole 3 Par 3 214 yards

This is the most difficult par 3 on the course. This hole will require a mid to long iron off the tee  into a green surrounded by danger. There are bunkers that guard shots short on either side as well as one long and left. This is a tight landing spot for such a long iron. A miss to the right will lead to either a tough bunker shot or a shot out of rough thicker than Kelly Preston’s bush.

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Hole 4 Par 5 570 yards

This is a scoring hole. Expect a lot of birdies and more than a few eagles. In order to drop down and get your eagle on the tee shot will need to be placed just over some long bunkers on the right side. From there a long draw shot will be needed to find the green. It sounds tough but these guys crush the ball, there will be more than a few eagles on this one. This will be a great confidence builder for anyone that struggled on the first three holes, or a confidence wrecker since scoring a par will likely drop a shot to the field. Even an errant tee shot with a layup down the fairway will leave a short third shot into a relatively easy to manage green.

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Hole 5 Par 4 428 yards

This may just be the most fun hole to watch of any major all year. The tee shot must thread the needle on this fairway through trees on both sides. If the ball happens to find it’s way through the trees it will need to manage to not go right or it will find the creek running very tight to the right side of the landing area. If the ball finds the left rough, or even worse the bunker, it will leave perhaps the most intimidating approach shot on the course. If that was not tough enough expect to see more than a few balls land on the actual green and spin 30 yards backwards into the creek.

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Hole 6 Par 3 175 yards

Here is another superb hole to watch. This time, for positive or maybe negative scoring purposes. Luckily this is a big green because there are threats surrounding it. Luckily it is only playing 175 yards so a 7 iron will probably be the longest iron you see off this tee from anyone this weekend. Anything left off the tee, whether it be short or long will either find the creek or the thick rough. When the pin is placed on the right it will be really scary to go at it despite the fact that this is a relatively easy hole. When they put the pin just over that bunker it requires a really challenging/accurate shot just over a bunker onto a green that actually slopes from front to back... and behind the green is water. There should be a lot of birdies here but any wayward tee shots could result in a two shot swing.

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Hole 7 Par 4 461 yards

This hole will provide some interesting strategy from different golfers. This longer par four requires such a precise tee shot that it will likely force most players to hit less than driver. Being that the driver landing zone is only about 16 yards wide with trees on both sides and with the creek tightly hugging the right side, the smart play is a long iron or hybrid off the tee and then a mid to long iron approach shot that lands past the flag and spins back leaving an uphill putt. Easier said than done obviously, but with two bunkers protecting the front of this green that is the best way to attack it.

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Hole 8 Par 4 428 yards

This might as well be the longest drive hole. Despite the landing zone being only 24 yards wide, roughly, a nice easy swing should result in a shot that rolls into the tight area, not lands in it, thus taking away the deep left bunkers and the short right one. However when a tee shot finds one of these things it’s basically a one shot penalty because of how deep they are. Depending on the lie, a shot into one of them will likely require a layup resulting in par being a great score.

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Hole 9 Par 4 452 yards

Another narrow fairway that gets even more narrow the further the tee shot travels. On this particular hole any drive that misses to the right will find “Death Valley”, which includes either being in the forest or at least rough thick enough to force a layup. Any tee shot to the left side of the fairway will feed into the left rough leaving a more than difficult approach shot. The green itself will provide one of the toughest challenges on the course. A three putt will be quite common here. While most greens on courses in the US are protected by bunkers short and widen to the rear with a slope from back to front, this one is the shape of an upside down diamond. The green basically has three tiers. The narrow back of the green will slope back down but a shot with too much zip could roll down the second slope and then down the third off the green a good 30 yards away from the pin. With this style of green most approach shots should be short ones that roll up to the flagstick however with such a narrow mouth and two greenside bunkers protecting the opening to the green that will be nearly impossible. As if the uphill dogleg right with a ton of protection wasn’t tough enough the approach shot will require an exceptional amount of precision and ball control. However even an accurate approach shot could lead to a far more than difficult putt. Par is a great score on this hole and birdie could ignite some players heading into the back nine, as well as create a two shot swing.

Back Nine

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Hole 10 Par 4 429 yards

As per usual with this course the longer the tee shot the more narrow the landing area. Thick rough and trees protect the right while the same rough and a deep bunker protect the left side of the fairway. The trickiest part to this hole is the green. Right on par with the majority of this course, it would be wise to leave the driver in the bag and take out something a bit shorter, yet more accurate. A tee shot in the fairway will leave a short iron into a green that rolls off on all sides, making a close approach shot even more difficult. When capitalized upon, this hole could result in a two shot swing. If the approach shot manages to find and stay on the putting surface, instead of rolling off into some treacherous shit, a difficult putt will be left. Par is a great score on this hole.

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Hole 11 Par 3 226 yards

The par 3 11th has traditionally been one of the easier holes on this course. However an additional 30 yards has been added to the tee shot forcing the players to hit a long iron off the tee. This hole, while already long, will almost certainly be played into the wind making it play more like a 240 yard par 3. Not to mention that the green itself is incredibly difficult to navigate/read.

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Hole 12 Par 4 372 yards

This short par 4 should provide more than a few birdie attempts. Over the course of the weekend we should see a variety of strategies off this tee. Given the thick rough in between the green and fairway it is virtually impossible to drive yet quite a few guys will make the attempt at it while the majority will try to create an approach shot from about 50 yards out, creating a close birdie attempt.

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Hole 13 Par 5 598 yards

What a beautiful hole. This one is set up just perfectly... it’s a work of art. According to the PGA Tour’s website and Craig Harmon this green has never been reached, in competition, in just two shots. That would be mostly because of the creek that cuts this hole in half. However, I’m guessing we will see at least one person do it this week even if it requires a lucky bounce, but that is asking a lot. Either an accurate drive that travels 310+ yards in the air or a fading 310+ yard approach shot will be required not to mention the other half of those two shots need to be either an accurate, fading 300 yard approach shot or a 300 yard drive. By the way the creek happens to also run alongside the fairway on the right, in the landing zone short of where it cuts across the fairway, meaning anything right, off the tee, will result in a score above par. If that does not sound difficult enough the mouth of this green is about seven yards wide guarded by rough and bunkers. The smart play is to lay up and hope that the worst case scenario means a second shot that lands in a greenside bunker. This hole should surrender more than it’s fair share in birdies but it could also ruin a few golfer’s weeks/hopes at winning a major this year.


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Hole 14 Par 4 323 yards

A wonderful hole to camp out at if you happen to be attending this event. This hole’s entertainment will be provided with just about every golfer trying to reach this green off the tee. However with the fact that it is uphill and guarded by a thick patch a rough surrounding some bunkers, very few will actually accomplish the feat. A few of the shorter golfers off the tee may choose to just lay up to a comfortable distance and knock one close for a birdie putt. As long as the shot off the tee doesn’t find the woods this hole should result in a birdie.


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Hole 15: Par 3 186 yards

This Par 3 has so much danger on the outskirts of the green that the best way to play this one is to just put the ball in the center of the green and hope to maybe make a nice putt.

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Hole 16: Par 4 448 yards

While this dogleg can be challenging, with the right weather it also can set up for getting that stroke back from the last hole.

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Hole 17 Par 4 509 yards

Hopefully the guy you bet made birdie on #16 because this hole is tremendously difficult. Expect to see quite a few drives find the left side of the fairway that burn through and find the trees leaving an exceptionally difficult approach shot to this long par 4. Not to mention that the greenside bunkers will provide quite the defense against even the best tee shots. This hole will prove to be rather large come Sunday afternoon. Making par here could secure a major championship, whereas a bogey, which will be common, could choke it away.

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Hole 18 Par 4 497 yards

What a closing couple of holes. This is another long par 4 with trouble defending it. This particular hole will require an accurate drive dodging a massive bunker on the right as well as a possible run through into some trees on the left. Most golfers like to play the right to let draw shot but on this course... and this hole especially.... the opposite will be required. The landing zone with a driver is just 18 yards wide so tee shots in the fairway should result in premium scores. The approach shot is even trickier since it is to an elevated green surrounded by thick rough and big bunkers. Plus this hole will provide one of the bigger false front’s on the course, which should result in more than the occasional short approach shots that roll well away from the green. Along with the 17th, this hole will provide quite the opportunity to see the leaders either choke miserably or rise above their game and earn a major championship.


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Stay Away From:

Tiger Woods 3-1

I hope everyone watched that little flashback to old Tiger last week at Firestone. Perhaps he will carry over some of that momentum but I honestly would have felt much better about his chances if he did not dominate last week. Don’t get me wrong Tiger always has a chance to win but in his quest to regain major championship glory he has gotten into his own head. Which is why I think last week where he was able to coast along playing for par without any competition may not have been as good for him as you may think. Sure he could shoot 61 again and force everyone to play for 2nd from Friday on but in all likelihood he will need to grind this one out. If he was challenged by anyone last week he would have been more up in his head meaning more of a practice for this weekend. By the way him being in his head in these majors is not a good thing. He expects too much of himself at times it seems and he gets frustrated. A golf ball is a lot like a baby, in that it feeds off your vibes. If you are in hysterics trying to nurse it to sleep the baby will result with loud crying regardless how many times you change and/or feed it. But with a calming presence the baby is very calm and manageable. Tiger needs to nurse this baby to sleep not derail himself. All that being said he’s a lock for a top 15 and will be worth talking about come the weekend but 3-1 is just dogshit value. Be smart and stay the eff away.

Henrik Stenson 20-1

Stenson has played so well the last few weeks he has overrated himself. Nobody is betting you at 20-1.

Dustin Johnson 40-1

Bubba Watson 50-1

Both of these guys I have traditionally rooted for but this year they have turned into a couple headcases. Ever since they played together alongside Nicolas Colsaerts at the US Open none of them have been appealing to me. However me saying stay away from betting them is not totally biased it’s mostly based on this is a course that isn’t all too long and doesn’t really fit their games. Plus even if they are in the running for the win they will certainly choke this time around.

Best Value Bets:

Jim Furyk 60-1

I flirted with putting him in the actual Best Bets section but decided he was better off here. While I could picture Furyk leaving as champion I think he will have a great tournament finishing somewhere in the top 25. Either way 60-1 is really nice.

Miguel Angel Jimenez 125-1

This guy is playing stellar golf and despite not having shown the ability to close he is 125-1 and this course suits him well.

Padraig Harrington 150-1

...As it does this guy.

Ryo Ishikawa 400-1

How the hell is Ryo one of twelve guys to have the longest odds on the board? A rather nice set up for this kids game on a big stage with a chance to prove himself. Especially now that Hideki Matsuyama has grabbed best young Japanese golfer status from him (he is 90-1). Ryo should be insulted and playing with a chip on his shoulder this weekend. Most likely he won’t win but 400-1 for a kid who could easily wind up in the top 10 is worth taking a shot on.

Best Bets:

Phil Mickelson 14-1

This is a magnificent course for Phil to take on. The only worry with Phil is that maybe he hasn’t gotten out of the fog after winning the Claret Jug a few short weeks ago. In order to win add the Wanamaker Trophy to the mantle players will need to be accurate off the tee but have the capability to use some length to their advantage. So the best ball strikers will have great tournaments but someone like Phil that can pound it when necessary as well as hit an incredible approach shot will win.

Brandt Snedeker 25-1

As with any golf tournament the guy with the hot putter has an extreme leg up on the field and the capability to go really low. Brandt has been one of the best putters on tour for a few years now. His quick yet calculated play makes him nearly unflappable so if he can get a lead good luck catching him.

Lee Westwood 30-1

Another stud with great odds and without a major championship. He has led in plenty of them including the British Open. One of these times he will break through. I can’t imagine not seeing him win at least one.

Matt Kuchar 30-1

Same goes for Kuchar and most of the other guys on this list. These guys are all rather similar in how well rounded these guys are. They may not do one things that stands out on a stat sheet or anything else but they just grind. They have all had great showings in major championships despite not winning. One of them is going to get it done this weekend, unless Phil has something to say about that.

Hunter Mahan 30-1

Another one of those guys but he has the new daddy mojo working for him. Mahan having a kid may actually be what will win him this tournament. He has had his mind off of golf for the past two weeks which should allow for a much freer game this weekend. Sure he could be rusty but he could also come out and lead this thing from soup to nuts.

Luke Donald 35-1

The most accurate guy on the tour. That fact alone should put him in the top 5 come Sunday.

My Pick:

Jason Dufner 40-1

I actually just changed this last minute but realized he is possesses the exact game I have been speaking of. While he does have some minor blow ups he never loses his cool and he always battles. He’s accurate and smart. He can get hot with the putter and when he needs to he can blast a drive. If you were to ask me what major Dufner would most likely win first, it would be this one the PGA Championship and this course plays right into his hands. He fits all the criteria and is one of th guys that deserves to get off the schneid all while playing great golf leading into the week. Ride that 40-1 waggle all weekend because he is going to win.


Tuesday, August 6, 2013 

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