3 DP World Tour Players most likely to win PGA Championship

Every year, the PGA Championship has the strongest field in golf. No amateurs are invited to play, nor do they have the chance to qualify.

Instead, the PGA of America invites professionals from all over the world to compete in their championship.

As such, the DP World Tour (formerly known as the European Tour), like the other major golf tours worldwide, turns its attention to Oak Hill Country Club in Western New York.

Here are three DP World Tour players that could win the PGA Championship.

1. Adrian Meronk – Poland

Adrian Meronk, the first Polish player to ever earn his DP World Tour card, has had a solid season.

Two weeks ago, at Marco Simone Golf Club in Rome, Italy, Meronk fired a 2-under par 71 to win the DS Automobiles Italian Open. He finished at 13-under par overall, one stroke ahead of Frenchman Romain Langasque.

2023 PGA Championship - Preview Day Two

ROCHESTER, NY – Adrian Meronk of Poland plays his shot from the 13th tee during a practice round prior to the 2023 PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club on May 16, 2023, in Rochester, New York.
Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images

His victory in Italy marked his third title over the past two seasons. He won the 2022 ISPS Honda Australian Open last December and the 2022 Horizon Irish Open last July.

Meronk’s game sets up for him to succeed at Oak Hill, as the East Course puts a premium on both driving accuracy and ball striking.

The man from Poland is not long off the tee, ranking 122nd on the DP World Tour in driving distance, but he does a solid job of getting himself in position. Meronk ranks 21st on tour in driving accuracy at 67.7%. The tour average is a shade over 60%.

Meronk ranks first in strokes gained off the tee and fourth in strokes gained overall.

This helps explain why he ranks 6th on the DP World Tour in scoring average per round (69.59) this season.

Along with his accurate drives, Meronk hits a ton of greens, which makes sense, considering accurate tee shots provide easier approach shots.

To succeed at Oak Hill, players need to find the putting the surface often. This course penalizes green-side misses, especially those that go long.

Meronk has hit almost 75% of his greens this year, ranking fifth. He should have plenty of birdie opportunities this week.

If he can get hot with the putter, which admittedly he has struggled with this year, watch out for Meronk this weekend.

Nonetheless, a good showing at Oak Hill should slide Meronk up the European Ryder Cup Standings. After all, Meronk won at the course where the 2023 Ryder Cup will be held this fall.

2. Thorbjørn Olesen – Denmark

Thorbjøorn Olesen has tons of major championship experience. His best finish came at the 2013 Masters, where he tied for sixth.

With that said, Olesen has not made a cut at a major since the 2019 Open Championship.

Despite that, the Dane ranks first in total strokes gained on the DP World Tour this season. He also ranks first in scoring average at 68.89.

Moreover, in seven starts this season on tour, Olesen has finished in the Top 20 six times.

2023 PGA Championship - Preview Day Two

ROCHESTER, NY – Thorbjørn Olesen of Denmark stands on the 14th green during a practice round prior to the 2023 PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club on May 16, 2023, in Rochester, New York.
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Statistically, nothing jumps off the page for Olesen for him to do well at Oak Hill. However, he ranks 5th in strokes gained: tee to green and has a phenomenal short game.

Players will need to get up and down this week at Oak Hill, and Olesen’s scrambling abilities are among the best in the world.

Plus, he has a good feel with his putter. He ranks 24th in strokes gained: putting and 21st in putts per green-in-regulation.

Another reason to like Olesen this week is that he has played Oak Hill before.

The course has changed dramatically since the 2013 PGA Championship, but the sightlines remain the same. The targets off the tees are similar. So are the elevation changes, which Andrew Green did not alter in his 2019 restoration.

Olesen finished tied for 40th the last time he played at Oak Hill.

Nonetheless, his game is in as good of a place as it has ever been. Perhaps he will become the first Danish player to win a major championship.

3. Victor Perez – France

Victor Perez, the French birdie machine, kicked off his 2023 with a brilliant win in the Middle East, winning the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship in January.

Perez, who ranks first in birdies made on the DP World Tour this season, most recently finished tied for ninth at the DS Automobiles Italian Open two weeks ago.

He has split his time between the DP World Tour and the PGA Tour, but rest assured that he will be a viable candidate for the European Ryder Cup team in the fall.

He is also a viable dark horse candidate for the 2023 PGA Championship.

2023 PGA Championship - Preview Day One

ROCHESTER, NY – Victor Perez of France plays his shot from the eighth tee during a practice round prior to the 2023 PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club on May 15, 2023 in Rochester, New York.
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Perez ranks seventh on the DP World Tour in greens-in-regulation at 74.0%. He also ranks seventh in strokes gained off-the-tee.

His driving accuracy is somewhat of a concern, which could hinder his ability to compete at Oak Hill—a course that puts a premium on hitting the fairway.

But his misses are not too penalizing. He still manages to get on the green-in-regulation, and ultimately, Oak Hill is a ball-strikers golf course.

(Note: To meet this criteria, players had to have played a DP World Tour event within the last month and played at least five DP World Tour events this season.)

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