PGA Championship 2021: Daily Fantasy Picks and Tips for Thursday

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistMay 20, 2021

PGA Championship 2021: Daily Fantasy Picks and Tips for Thursday

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    Jacob Kupferman/Associated Press

    Much has been made about the conditions and length at the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island. 

    The host course of the 2021 PGA Championship could force golfers into some high totals, especially if the wind whips on the back nine. 

    Even if the weather is calm, the Ocean Course could challenge the field because it is the longest setup in the history of major tournament golf. 

    Some daily fantasy golf players and bettors could look to driving distance as the stat to determine the best options, but in reality, driving accuracy is the total to take a deep dive into. 

    Players like Bryson DeChambeau can hit the ball as far as they want, but if they are not accurate enough, they could struggle to record birdies and pars. 

    Webb Simpson and Abraham Ancer are the only golfers ranked in the top 10 of driving accuracy and the top 30 in first-round scoring on the PGA Tour. 

    Those averages should make Simpson and Ancer two of the most popular targets for Thursday and beyond.   

Put Trust in Webb Simpson's Favorable Numbers

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    Stephen B. Morton/Associated Press

    Simpson is the only golfer on the PGA Tour that is ranked in the top 10 of driving accuracy and first-round scoring average. 

    Simpson is tied for 135th in driving distance at 292.7 yards, but he has hit the fairway on 458 of his 644 tee shots. 

    The driving accuracy helped Simpson remain consistent at the season's first major. He carded three rounds of 70 on his way to a tie for 12th at the Masters. 

    Simpson has six first-round scores in the 60s in the current PGA Tour season that began in October. He went over 72 on a single occasion at the Waste Management Open, when he carded a Thursday 73. 

    In his last eight major appearances, Simpson has put up an average score of 70.625, and he ended up in the top 40 in each event. 

    If Simpson avoids treacherous situations by keeping the ball out of the rough, he could find himself on the first page of the leaderboard on Thursday. 

    Since he has been a model of consistency at majors lately, Simpson could be worth a look in finishing position bets. At DraftKings Sportsbook, Simpson is +163 to finish in the top 20 and +100 to land in the top 30. 

Ride with Abraham Ancer

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    Jacob Kupferman/Associated Press

    Ancer ranks two positions ahead of Simpson on the driving accuracy list. 

    The Mexican golfer does not have the same first-round scoring average as Simpson, but he is not too far down the list in 26th. 

    A strong argument could be made that Ancer is a better option than Simpson to win at Kiawah Island since he is coming off back-to-back top-five finishes at the Valspar Championship and Wells Fargo Championship.

    Since the Players Championship in March, Ancer has seven top-30 placings and has been inside the top 25 on six occasions. 

    Ancer carries a bit more betting value than Simpson at +175 to finish in the top 20 and +100 to land inside the top 30. He is also +5000 to lead after Round 1. 

    He may not lead after 18 holes, but Ancer is expected to be in contention over four rounds, and it would be wise to include him in some capacity, whether you are playing DFS contests, or looking at player props. 

Take a Risk with Cameron Smith

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    Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

    Cameron Smith leads the PGA Tour in first-round scoring average. 

    The 27-year-old Australian has also been very good over the other three rounds recently, as he won the Zurich Classic, took ninth at the RBC Heritage and locked in a top-10 finish at the Masters. 

    Smith does not possess any impressive driving stats. He ranks 89th in distance and 136th in accuracy, but he has made up for that around the green. 

    Smith is eighth in birdie average, 11th in strokes gained around the green and 14th in strokes gained putting. He is 27th in overall strokes gained. 

    If anything, Smith is worth a first-round play because he has been remarkably consistent at majors and has five Thursday rounds in the 60s in his last seven stroke play events. 


    Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

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