4 Potential Picks Among PGA Championship Longshots

Written By John Haslbauer on May 15, 2023
PGA Championship Longshots

Major season is back in full swing, as a loaded field of 156 of the world’s best will clash in Rochester, N.Y. for the 2023 PGA Championship. Of the four Majors, the event at Oak Hill and its diverse cast of venues has offered the best opportunity for PGA Championship longshots to contend. Phil Mickelson and Jimmy Walker have each won this event at 150-1 odds or longer dating back to 2016.

Mito Pereira and Cameron Young each offered a “nice” sweat beyond 80-1 outright odds on my outright card at Southern Hills last year. There’s no reason to dismiss the chances of several in-form, top talents at the end of the odds board yet again this year.

Keep in mind, the field at large gets to see a revamped Oak Hill for the very first time. We’ll look to dig for some diamonds in the rough for PGA Championship longshots — among the best online betting sites.

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Oak Hill Country Club has undergone a significant facelift since last hosting the PGA Championship in 2013. At that time, the course was densely treelined and sub-7,200 yards, serving as a hyper-positional test and almost completely mitigating any distance advantage. A decade later, over 600 trees have been removed from the property, opening the course up to a more driver-heavy approach off the tee.

Andrew Green’s 2019 Restoration efforts also included lengthening the course to around 7,400 yards, overhauling the greens to pure Bentgrass, upgrading the drainage systems to create faster greens, and redesigning the greenside hazards to be more penal.

With all these changes, the goal was simply to restore Oak Hill to Donald Ross’ original intent. That was meant to test the best players in the world in all facets of the game from tee-to-green.

Great shots will be rewarded at Oak Hill — just as any misfires will be penalized. Typically a thorough tee-to-green test removes surprise contenders from the equation. However with such a loaded field in store, we’re still able to find quality, in-form players with proven results at Majors at a discounted price.

For a deeper dive into the course, read my PGA Championship preview. Let’s get to our picks for 2023 PGA Championship longshots, with a focus on longshots and PGA TOUR golf sleepers for your DFS lineups.


From a golf betting perspective, we’ve seen it all at the PGA Championship. Mito Pereira was one hole away from winning at Southern Hills at 300-1 odds last year. The year before, Phil Mickelson shocked the world by winning at Kiawah Island at 250-1 odds.

In theory, Oak Hill is a test that should reward the most complete all-around players — like Jon Rahm and Scottie Scheffler. But history has shown it’s worth taking a chance on a few longshots in this event.

In terms of DFS, a deep field means more resistance for longshots to make the cut. It also pushes plenty of in-form players to a discounted price. There aren’t a ton of options I love in the $6K range on Draft Kings this week. Nevertheless, it will be crucial to land on the right salary savers to balance out your Rahm and Scheffler lineups.

Below, find my favorite value PGA golf sleepers and longshots for the 2023 PGA Championship. Stats pulled across Last 36 Rounds unless otherwise noted.

Rickie Fowler (, $7,600)

From a DFS perspective, Fowler’s place in the mid-$7K range was the most jarring price to me. Consider that he can be found at shorter outright odds than Shane Lowry and Sahith Theegala who are priced in the low $8K range.

Fowler has been a model of consistency in this rejuvenated 2023 season, currently riding a streak of 11 consecutive cuts made and nine top-20 finishes over his first 13 starts of the season. That includes a stretch of four consecutive top-20 finishes leading into this week.

The veteran’s decorated career notoriously lacks a major victory. But that omission from his resume may distract from how strong Fowler has looked in Majors over the totality of his career. He ranks No. 8 in SG: TOT at majors over the last five years with seven top-12 finishes in majors during that span.

On top of that, Fowler has made it through the cut in 20 out of 22 appearances across the four majors since 2016.

His combination of steady recent form and poise in the game’s biggest stages are good for a No. 17 ranking in my model this week. He presents to be one of the safest floor plays in the $7K range.

Gary Woodland (, $7,100)

It could be a banner week for Puma if both of their headlining stars live up to their potential at Oak Hill. Woodland’s name will always be associated with winning the 2019 U.S. Open, but he’ll be motivated to prove that was more than just a one-week wonder. His ball striking has been Major-champion caliber this year, placing No. 3 in SG: Ball Striking in 2023.

That ball striking form has continued to translate to success in Major championships recently. He’s tallied a pair of top-15 finishes over the last calendar year between the The Masters and U.S. Open.

Of course, any decision to back Woodland is a roll of the dice on his putting. However, the ball striking is elite enough to still vie for a top-30 finish while losing a stroke or two on the greens.

If there’s room for optimism from a putting perspective, Woodland gained three strokes putting at Augusta National, the only other example of pure Bentgrass greens to date in 2023. Hence, a return to pure Bentgrass may be the missing link for Woodland to finally piece everything together.

With ample demanding tee shots in store, he is essentially starting on first base, as he’s gained 1+ stroke OTT in 15 consecutive starts dating back to the Sanderson Farms in October. Ranking No. 13 in Driving Distance and No. 2 in Proximity 200+, Woodland is the ideal profile of player to attack Oak Hill from tee-to-green.

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Chris Kirk (, $7,000)

It’s not a sexy play, and not a bet I intend to make in the outright market. But when we get this far down the board in a major championship week, it’s important to land on elite specialists with safe floors to make it through the weekend.

At $7,000 on Draftkings, Kirk brings a level of consistent form — both recently and via long-term success in majors — I’m looking for in a salary-saving cut-maker.

Picking up his first PGA TOUR victory since 2015 in challenging scoring conditions at the Honda Classic, Kirk should enter this major season with more confidence than ever before. He put that confidence on display with a solid T23 showing at the 2023 Masters, and has strung along four top-40 finishes in six starts since winning the Honda Classic.

In major championships, I always look to whittle down my player pool by identifying the most well-rounded players. Averaging over a half-stroke gained across all four SG categories over his last five and 10 events player, Kirk is one of just 12 players to rank above-average to the field in SG: OTT, SG: APP, SG ARG, and SG: P.

Sitting at No. 20 overall in my model, Kirk has all the tools needed to contend on a difficult scoring test. He’ll look to improve on upon his T5 showing at Southern Hills last year.

Harold Varner III (, $6,600)

I was already committed to playing HVIII at this price before his Sunday charge for a solo fourth-place finish at LIV Tulsa.

While I was initially concerned that his late surge would dramatically inflate his Draft Kings ownership, it’s possible not everyone will notice. That’s because The CW bumped its covered of the end of LIV Tulsa for re-runs of Black-Ish.

In truth, there should be no drastic over-reactions to any results last week — whether at the AT&T Byron Nelson or LIV Tulsa. Both events were played in polar opposite conditions to what’s in store at Oak Hill. Still, the fact he showed any quality form is confirmation bias for this price.

Varner III has played some of the best golf of his career in the northeast. He’s delivered finishes of T3 at the 2019 Northern Trust at Liberty National and T5 at the 2018 Greenbrier (two of his five career PGA TOUR top-five finishes).

His T36 at the 2019 PGA Championship is also misleading. Don’t forget, Varner III played himself into the final Sunday pairing with Brooks Koepka at Bethpage Black before posting a horrific score of 81 in the final round.

Given the question marks behind how form on the LIV Tour compares to the PGA TOUR, I still believe Varner will carry less ownership than expected. With top-30 finishes in each of his last two major appearances, he’s shown the upside to hang around with the best players in the world.

Best of luck if you choose to bet these PGA Championship longshots!


Shop the best odds for PGA TOUR golf sleepers and more highly-touted players across sportsbooks here. That includes top-10 and top-20 betting odds.

John Haslbauer Avatar
Written by
John Haslbauer

John Haslbauer writes about golf betting and advanced golf metrics for TheLines.com. He is a passionate golf fan, golf writer, and (casual) golfer. A graduate at Syracuse University, John works out of Jersey City as a Director of Media Strategy for HBO and HBO Max. He created the website thepgatout.com at the start of 2021 and is active on Twitter (@PGATout). No, he is not a tout. The Twitter handle is a joke. Touts are lame. We hate touts.

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