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PGA DFS Picks: Mayakoba Golf Classic



In this edition of PGA DFS picks, we’re finding you some prime selections for the Mayakoba Golf Classic in Mexico, especially when it comes to winning GPPs!

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PGA DFS Course Notes:

  • Course: El Camaleón Golf Club in Playa del Carmen, Mexico (Par: 71 – Yardage: 6,987 – Grass: Seashore Paspalum)
  • Greg Norman designed this fascinating semi-coastal layout, which features three different ecosystems, including some thicket and jungle in the upper areas, and more swampy wetlands with minimal undulation on the Mexican-Caribbean coastline
  • Cut: The field is at 132 golfers this week with the top 65 and ties playing the weekend.
  • The winning score is typically in the minus-17-to-22 range
  • Previous winners: Matt Kuchar, Pat Perez, Graeme McDowell, John Huh, Mark Wilson, Brian Gay, and Fred Funk.
  • Higher winds could always complicate play and prep, but the course plays to a field average of roughly 70.2 (-0.8 RTP) on the par-71 layout.
  • Focus Stat Categories are Driving Accuracy, SG: Approach, GIR, Bogey Avoidance

The Picks:

Elite PGA DFS (DK $9,000 and up):

Matt Kuchar (DK $11,400, FD $11,800) – I doubt El Tucan will be on his bag this year, but Kuchar seems to be ready to defend his title and take his lumps on social media because of last year’s controversy. It’s his season debut, but he’s one of the favorites and will make plenty of my builds.

Tony Finau (DK $10,600, FD $11,500) – Finau is an excellent driver of the golf ball, even with that abbreviated backswing, but sometimes struggles with accuracy – so this is a GPP pick only. If he can keep it in play and make some putts, there’s no reason he can’t win.

Charles Howell, III (DK $9,600, FD $11,000) – A long and accurate hitter, Howell checks all the boxes for this course and is coming here in decent form. He’s 8-for-10 making the cut at Mayakoba with three top-10s and another four top-20s and is an impressive 5-for-5 this season with two top-10s and another top-20. Fine for both cash and GPP despite the MC last time around here.

Abraham Ancer (DK $9,200, FD $10,900) – Ancer is Mexico’s top golf talent, and he would love for this to be his first career win. The driving accuracy is there, and his form is solid, as he placed T4 in his WGC-HSBC Champions debut.

Scottie Scheffler (DK $9,100, FD $10,700) – Scheffler is a top talent who led after an opening 62 before finishing T3 in Bermuda. He’s an excellent ball-striker who hits solid approaches, but I won’t be 100 percent as he’s making his El Camaleón debut.

Lanto Griffin (DK $9,000, FD $10,300) – He’s the current FedEx Cup points leader, and he’s finished no worse than a pair of T18s this season. I worry a bit about his accuracy off the tee and the better fields he’ll be encountering, but he’s a GPP play you shouldn’t fade completely.

Also consider: Victor Hovland, Jason Day, Joaquin Niemann, Aaron Wise, Russell Knox

Mid-Range PGA DFS (DK $7,500 to $8,900):

Emiliano Grillo (DK $8,900, FD $10,500) – My friends get on my case for playing him too much in the majors, but he’s a popular DFS target for his elite ball-striking. He’s got some good course history with finishes of T10, T9, and solo 15th in three tries at El Camaleón. More of a GPP play, though he could get chalky on DK.

Chez Reavie (DK $8,500, FD $10,000) – The form hasn’t been great, but he’s 4-for-4 here with a 4th and a 14th, so I’m buying his skillset of accuracy and precision over power and loading up in GPPs. Plus, he’s a personal favorite and a cool who likes to tell gambling stories about Phil.

Pat Perez (DK $8,100, FD $9,600) – He likes the course, as one of his three career wins came here when he triumphed in 2016 by two strokes over Gary Woodland at 21-under, featuring a third-round 62. Mix in three other top 20s at El Camaleón (in seven total starts). A recent solo third at the Shriners and an affinity for Paspalum (he won at TPC Kuala Lumpur when it was Paspalum), and you’ve got yourself an option.

Brian Gay (DK $7,900, FD $9,400) – He was excellent in Bermuda with a T3 – his third top 25 of the new season – and this is where he had his first win in 2008. Overall, he’s 9-for-9 here with four top-25s, and I just can’t fade the guy despite him being a chalky pick.

Brice Garnett (DK $7,600, FD $9,300) – The veteran ball striker has a great record here (he’s 4-for-4 since 2014 with three top 10s, a T25 and a scoring average of 67.81) and he’s won on Paspalum at the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship in 2018. I like the discount on DK and will be using him in a handful of builds.

Harry Higgs (DK $7,500, FD $9,000) – The exciting young rookie got close at Bermuda, sharing the 36-hole lead and sitting by himself at the top of the 54-hole before finishing solo second, possibly because of too much napping. There’s a lot of reasons to roster him this week, his affinity for coastal tracks coming in along with solid form and upside.

Also consider: Scott Piercy, Harold Varner III, Harris English, Keegan Bradley, Carlos Ortiz

Value PGA DFS (DK Under $7,500):

Ryan Armour (DK $7,200, FD $8,800) – A short hitter but one of the most accurate off the tee on tour, Armour hits fairways and finished solo 4th as a rookie here in 2007. Since then, he’s played well here, with a T21 last year, and he arrives in good form with a T23 in Houston and a T8 in Bermuda. The price is fair and Armour is a great course fit for cash or GPP.

J.J. Spaun (DK $6,700, FD $8,300) – Despite his solid course history, I don’t know if Spaun will be super popular this week because he usually isn’t very highly owned. In his first appearance as a rookie in 2016, he finished T28, and he’s added a T14 and a T3 since them posting a scoring average over his 12 rounds of 67.75. His form is poor, but this course can be an elixir for the wayward.

Calum Hill (DK $6,600, FD $8,100) – There’s plenty to like about this young Scottish lad, who finished 2nd in the Road to Mallorca standings that rank Euro Tour hopefuls. The 25-year-old’s game worked out well on the Euro Tour with three top 30s in each of his last three starts. The price makes him a solid value option in a week without too many of them.

Si Woo Kim (DK $7,400, FD $9,200) – Kim is 3-for-3 here with a T17 in 2015, a third place in 2017, and T26 (with Chez Reavie) last season. He hasn’t flashed much brilliance this season, but I like this layout as a springboard to some better form.

Brendan Todd (DK $7,200, FD $8,500) – Todd won at Bermuda and has an excellent record here. He’ll be chalky value pick because of his recent win, but I’ll have some shares given his penchant for low rounds. Let’s just hope he makes the cut!

Sepp Straka (DK $6,800, FD $8,000) – I’ve fared well using Straka in DFS and his price remains relatively low. He’s making his debut at his event, but that hasn’t stopped folks before. Straka is accurate off the tee and has strong SG: T2G numbers, so I’ll give him a look at this price point.

More value golfers for GPPs:  Patton Kizzire, Brian Stuard, Martin Laird, Xinjun Zhang, Scott Brown, C.T. Pan

The PGA DFS Fades:

Danny Lee (DK $8,300, FD $9,800) – Lee could popular this week since he finished second here last year and nabbed a second-place finish at the CJ CUP, so I’m not going to castigate DFS fans who check out game logs and course history – heck, I do it myself. I may have one or two shares of the Korean-born New Zealander in GPPs, but I’ll definitely be underweight on the field; Lee is an inconsistent [player who misses a lot of cuts and missed cut equity says that if he’s chalky, it might help to fade him.

Cameron Champ (DK $8,700, FD $10,000) – An incredibly long hitter but one who’s not particularly accurate off the tee, his game isn’t suited well for the layout, and the price is still too high for me to use. Sorry, Champ.

Spades’ Fade of the Week:

Billy Horschel (DK $10,200, FD $11,300) – “He performs better as a sleeper than a top play, and when you really need him to play well, he lets you down.” – Mark “Spades” Spada

Spades is really mellowing out with his rhetoric! I expected a lot of nasty remarks, but I agree with what he’s saying. Add in the fact that Billy Ho is the fifth most expensive player in the field on both sites and listed as No. 1 on the PGA Tour’s power rankings this week, and we have a fade I can get behind! I’ve had Horschel burn me multiple times when he’s getting lots of chalky action, and when I have no shares, he seems to explode. I’ll commit to exactly ONE lineup with Horschel to stay underweight and that’ll be it.

PGA DFS — Sample DK GPP lineup:

Abraham Ancer ($9,200)

Scottie Scheffler ($9,100)

Emiliano Grillo ($8,900)

Chez Reavie ($8,500)

Si Woo Kim ($7,400)

Sepp Straka ($6,800)

PGA DFS – Sample DK GPP lineup #2:

Jason Day ($11,000)

Lanto Griffin ($9,000)

Brian Gay ($7,900)

Harry Higgs ($7,500)

Brendan Todd ($7,200)

Ryan Armour ($7,200)

PGA DFS – Sample DK GPP lineup #3:

Charles Howell III ($9,600)

Aaron Wise ($9,400)

Emiliano Grillo ($8,900)

Harold Varner III ($7,900)

Xinjun Zhang ($7,300)

Calum Hill ($6,600)

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I'm a writer from upstate NY in a cool little Hudson River town called Coxsackie. Too many interests to list, but the films of David Lynch, the books of Kurt Vonnegut, the music of Jack White and the maddening sport of golf are near the top of my list. Big into DFS, specializing in baseball, football, golf and hoops. I've written for, RotoExperts and Baseball America, to name a few.

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