This article is part of our Nightery Gaming series.
As most of you saw last week, RotoWire has partnered with Nightery Gaming to host contests for each PGA Tour event over the next couple months.
This week's event certainly won't lack intrigue, and the PGA Championship at Southern Hills is primed to be one for the ages. You can bet I'll be scanning the leaderboard on Nightery to see how I'm faring while I watch the tournament on TV.
The contest this week is limited to 500 entries at $20 per entry. In order to join, follow these simple steps:
- Download the Nightery App and create an account: RotoWire on Nightery
- Search invitations for: RotoWire
Think you can beat me? There's only one way to find out, so secure your entries now!
Southern Hills is about to play host to its eighth major and record fifth PGA. The most recent one was in 2007, when Tiger Woods – who is set to play again this week – won at 8-under-par, two strokes better than Woody Austin. Only five golfers finished under par and the cut line was 5-over. The track is very different now, thanks to a 2019 Gil Hanse renovation.
For one, the course is about 400 yards longer, and it now checks in at 7,556 yards on the scorecard. But it's still a par-70. The fairways have been widened and trees removed, making driving the golf ball somewhat easier. But the golfers will still have to put the ball in the right place, as there are 10 doglegs of varying degrees at Southern Hills.
The tournament could really be decided on and around the greens – that according to Hanse himself. The greens are small, averaging around 5,000 square feet. That's hard enough as it is on a super-long track, but Hanse also removed rough around the greens, leaving short grass. With the preferred landing areas on the greens so tiny, misses will roll down that short grass to perhaps 30 yards away. And there will be plenty of misses, especially if the wind gets going as expected. The only golf balls that won't run off are those that land in bunkers, and there are plenty of them guarding the Southern Hills greens.
The course is very long, and that always helps the longer hitters, but there's enough going on at Southern Hills to bring shorter hitters into the equation.
We mentioned the 10 doglegs that will blunt distance. There are also only two par-5s. Counterintuitively, they are both SO long – one more than 630 yards, the other more than 650 – that it helps the shorter hitters because they are three-shot holes for the entire field.
The par-3s are long, with three of the four sitting at 220-plus yards. There are seven par-4s of at least 440 yards, including the 491-yard 18th that Hanse described as "the quintessential American championship finishing hole." At the 2021 Senior PGA Championship contested at Southern Hills, that was the hardest hole on the course.
As for a sleeper, keep an eye on Harold Varner III, whose betting odds are north of 100-1. He has ran into trouble at majors with rounds in the 80s at the 2019 PGA and at the Masters just last month, but he still tied for 23rd at Augusta. Turn that 80 into even a 75 and it's a far different tournament.
The construct for the RotoWire game on Nightery is simple: Select 10 golfers from the field, which is grouped into different tiers. The best five golfers in your lineup add up to create your total score, with the remaining five counting as tiebreakers.
To enter, take the following steps.
- Download the Nightery mobile app: RotoWire on Nightery
- Open the app and create an account
- Search Invitations: RotoWire
- Deposit funds and purchase a $20 entry
- Make your picks prior to the first tee time Thursday
- Invite your friends to play too!
Lineups are available to be selected once the full field is announced, which is typically Tuesdays around lunchtime.
Anyone can host a game. To purchase an entry, you must be 18 years or older and physically located in one of the following states: AK, CA, CO, DC, FL, GA, IL, KS, MD, ME, MI, MN, NC, ND, NM, NY, OH, OK, OR, RI, SC, SD, TX, UT, WI, WV, WY.