PGA Championship DFS Core Plays: Xander Schauffele Season!

Our PGA DFS series continues with our PGA Championship DFS Core Plays, which includes a look at Xander Schauffele among others.

Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky plays host this week to the 106th PGA Championship. In the current environment of professional golf, it’s rare that we get a full field event that truly features all of the best players in the world.

This week is one of those occurrences, and I couldn’t be more excited to watch how it all unfolds. I’m not going to go too deeply into the course setup in this article, as a did a deep dive in my preview article that I released earlier this week. I highly recommend taking a look at it, as it will give you a great overview of the course and what makes it such a great setup for this event.

In short, the course is an absolute monster. Measuring in at 7,600 yards playing as a par 71, it was tailor made to host a major championship. The shear length of the course will favor the longer hitters, but shorter hitters can compete through accuracy off the tee and proficiency with their long irons. My core plays will all fit into this mold.

I intentionally leave Scottie Scheffler off of these PGA Championship DFS core play articles because you never need me to tell you he’s a good play. He’s the best in the world, and is the favorite to win every time he tees it up. The perceived certainly surrounding him always brings with it a high price tag and ownership. How you handle him is a strategic preference, and not something I’m going to dive into in this article.

React App

Outside of Scheffler, let’s dive into my favorite plays of the week that I’ve identified using the Stokastic PGA Sims tool. Our hole by hole simulation technology allows me to take every golfer in the field’s range of outcomes into consideration, along with what I project the competition’s lineups to look like. By simulating the lineups against each other tens of thousands of times, the cream rises to the top.

The players that appear most in the highest ROI lineups are the ones I want to build my portfolio around. Our sim tool is the core of my weekly DFS process, and something I highly recommend for those looking to take the next step in DFS. Here’s a quick preview of my top 10 highest exposed players through my early simulations runs:

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Below are the players I’ll be building around as my core plays for PGA Championship. If you’d like to build around these players or your own core plays, another option to consider is our PGA lineup generator, which is the perfect PGA DFS tool. Right now, readers can try it out for a week for just $1 using promo code ‘BERRYMANLG‘.

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2024 PGA Championship DFS Core Plays 

Xander Schauffele – $10,900

While he’s been disappointing those with outright win tickets this season due to an inability to close out tournaments, Xander has been an absolute beast for DFS in 2024. Through 11 starts this year, he has eight top 10 finishes including five finishes inside the top 5. That sort of consistency is only possible through elite shot making ability and rock solid short game, both of which he’s displayed all year.

Over the last 24 rounds, he ranks top 15 in strokes gained off the tee, strokes gained approach, and strokes gained putting – the ONLY player in the field to do so. He averages 305 yards off the tee, hits around 60% of his fairways, and ranks 2nd in proximity to the pin on approach shots from over 200 yards out over his last 50 rounds. He checks all the boxes for me this week.

Ludvig Aberg – $10,500

This week will be Aberg’s 27th start on the PGA Tour. In this short stint to start his career, he’s been nothing less than exceptional amassing 17 top 25 finishes, nine top 10 finishes, and one win. Through this run, Ludvig has cemented himself as one of the game’s elite ball strikers as one of only three players to rank inside the top 10 in both strokes gained off the tee and on approach in this field over the last 24 rounds.

With an average driving distance north of 315 yards, a driving accuracy north of 65%, and an above average short game he fits this course perfectly. The only potential knock on him is the lingering concern surrounding his injured knee, which forced a WD from last week’s Wells Fargo Championship. This concern appears to be keeping his ownership in check this week, which I’m planning to take full advantage of. All reports of out Valhalla is last week’s WD was a precautionary move, and his knee is feeling fine. If he is indeed healthy, there’s no reason he shouldn’t compete again this week.

Byeong Hun-An – $7,800

Benny An has put together quite the impressive 2024 campaign to this point. Through 13 starts he’s managed to make 11 cuts, and has four finishes inside the top 5. Two of which have came in back to back starts at Byron Nelson and Wells Fargo leading into this event. A big reason for his resurgence this year has been the vast improvement in his putting. He ranks 65th in that department over the last 24 rounds, which may not seem like much, but is a drastic improvement over prior years where he consistently finished near the bottom of the tour.

He also ranks inside the top 30 in both strokes gained off the tee and on approach, along with a top 5 ranking in this field in driving distance this season. The last and final piece that stands out to me is his proficiency with his long irons, where he ranks inside the top 15 in proximity to the pin in the 175-200 and 200+ yard buckets. He’s a great course fit this week.

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GPP Flier: Kurt Kitayama – $6,500

Kitayama is one of my favorite salary saver options this week, and I believe he possesses the upside to be a differentiator in GPP’s at single digit ownership. While he may not be the first name you think of when considering the game’s elite players, he has quietly had a really nice season to date. Through 11 starts in 2024, he’s only missed one cut. Every other finish has been inside the top 40, and he’s been doing it through his ball striking. He ranks inside the top 40 in both strokes gained off the tee and on approach over the last 24 rounds.

He’s also shown the ability to perform his best in the ‘bigger’ events the Tour has to offer. To go along with his breakthrough win at last years Arnold Palmer Invitational (a long and tough course), he finished 4th in last year’s PGA Championship(!) and 19th in this year’s PLAYERS Championship. He seems to thrive on tougher golf courses. The setup at Valhalla should suit him nicely, so I’m willing to take a shot on Kitayama at low ownership this week.

These are a few of the key players who will make up my player pool for the 2024 PGA Championship DFS lineups (not just including Xander Schauffele). I’ll favor them significantly when I build lineups using the PGA Sims. In addition, don’t forget to take advantage of the odds boosts sportsbooks are offering.

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