Golf Channel's game has a new look in 2019.
This year in addition to picking a tournament winner we’re also shifting the focus to head-to-head matchups, with both the Golf Pick ‘Em game and an additional Sunday-only contest that focuses on the final round. Both contests can be found in the NBC Sports Predictor app, which fantasy players can download to make their selections each week.
Players can compete for weekly cash prizes, with the best scores during the season qualifying for the season-ending FJ $100,000 Championship, where cash and prizes will be awarded to top finishers.
The contests continues this week with the PGA Championship on the Black Course at Bethpage State Park. Here’s a look at some of the top players you should consider when making picks, as Brooks Koepka heads to Long Island to defend the title he won a year ago at Bellerive:
1. Brooks Koepka: There will be no perceived slight of the defending champ around these parts. Koepka plays best with a chip on his shoulder, including last year in St. Louis when he won his second major of the year. Coming off a fourth-place finish last week in Texas and a runner-up finish last month at the Masters, there's no better place to start this list.
2. Dustin Johnson: The world No. 1 joined Koepka with a runner-up at Augusta National, and now he'll look to do one better at the tournament he nearly won nine years ago. Johnson has a pair of worldwide wins to his credit this season, might have added to that total were it not for some rough Sundays in Tampa and Hilton Head, and has the length to handle a brutal Black Course.
3. Rory McIlroy: McIlroy has been quiet since his victory at TPC Sawgrass in March, but this is the major where he has done the most damage. The Ulsterman lifted the Wanamaker in 2012 and 2014, and his Bethpage track record includes a T-10 finish at the 2009 U.S. Open. When he's on, he's still among the best - if not the best - on major layouts.
4. Tiger Woods: The Masters champ will begin his quest for a 16th major title at the place where he won major No. 8 back in 2002. Woods hasn't played competitively since leaving Augusta National, and he won't have the same margin for error off the tee that he enjoyed at the Masters. But he's again imbued with confidence that he can top the best players in the world - and for good reason.
5. Francesco Molinari: All he's done over the last three majors is hold off Woods to win the claret jug, tie for sixth at Bellerive and hold the lead at the Masters until the 12th hole on Sunday. Molinari continues to play the best golf of his career, and his form over the last year indicates that he only gets better when a major trophy is on the line.
6. Rickie Fowler: The wait for a breakthrough major continues, but there are plenty of signs to believe this could be his week. Fowler was in the final group the last time a Tour event was held at Bethpage back in 2016, and he's coming off top-10 finishes in each of his last two starts at the Masters (T-9) and Quail Hollow (T-4).
7. Justin Rose: Rose remains one of the most consistent players in the world, although he's looking to bounce back from a surprising missed cut at the Masters. The Englishman finished alone in third two weeks ago at Quail Hollow to show that his Augusta result was more an exception than a rule, and now his elite ball-striking should find a home on a difficult layout.
8. Jon Rahm: The Spaniard will be seeing Bethpage for the first time in competition, but he's got the game to win a major on just about any course. Rahm finished T-9 at the Masters and followed that with a team win at Zurich alongside Ryan Palmer, adding some confidence to form that's clearly still performing at a high level.
9. Lucas Glover: Glover left with the trophy the last time a major was held at Bethpage, claiming the 2009 U.S. Open for the biggest victory of his career. While his form fell off in recent years, he's had a renaissance this year while piling up one top-15 finish after another. Don't be surprised if a return to the Black Course leads to Glover's return to the leaderboard.
10. Xander Schauffele: He may not be flashy, but he gets results. Schauffele has won twice this season and was a runner-up at the Masters, continuing his trend of contending in majors that also includes a T-2 finish at The Open and top-6 finishes at the U.S. Open each of the last two years.