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In this edition of PGA DFS picks, we’re looking for a big payday at the CJ Cup @ the Summit Club and helping you find some winning teams!Sign up NOW for WIN DAILY Premium Gold right here! Projections, wagering info, 24/7 expert chats and more!PGA DFS Course Notes:Strong field of 78 golfers replete with big namesNo cutThe course: The Summit Club (Las Vegas, NV)Par 72: 7,431 yards (Tom Fazio design)Bentgrass greensNew PGA Tour venueShould be a birdie-festResort-style course where it’s easy to keep it in playBall strikers and birdie-makers should excel hereFocus Stat Categories: SG: Approach, SG: Tee to Green, Opportunities Gained, Birdie or Better %, Eagles GainedThe Picks:Elite PGA DFS (DK $9,500 and up):Justin Thomas (DK $11,100) – JT remains an elite ball striker who excels in approach shots from all distances, which should be the main focus this week. Our boy led the PGA Tour last season in proximity to the hole from the fairway, finishing third in SG: APP and T3 in SG: T2G...

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In this edition of PGA DFS picks, we’re looking for a big payday at the PGA Tour’s Northern Trust helping you find some winning teams in GPPs!

Sign up NOW for WIN DAILY Premium Gold right here! Projections, wagering info, 24/7 expert chats and more!

PGA DFS Course Notes:

  • Smaller tournament field of top 125 golfers in FedEx Cup points
  • Cut: Top 65 and ties after 36 holes
  • Stacked playoff field with lots on the line
  • The course: Liberty National (Rotating venue with Boston)
    • Par 71: 7,410 yards – designed by Robert E. Cupp and Tom Kite
    • Links-style except for greens – and right on the Hudson River in NJ/NY area
    • Smaller but fast A-4 Bentgrass greens that really benefit guys who prefer that surface
    • T2G efficiency required here
    • Form seems to be important based on previous winners
    • Over 31% of approach shots come from 200+ yards, but TOUR average is only around 23%
  • Defending champ: Dustin Johnson (-30 at TPC Boston)
  • 2019 Champ (@ Liberty National): Patrick Reed (-16) over Abraham Ancer (-15)
  • Focus Stat Categories: Strokes Gained: Approach, SG: Off the Tee, SG: Around the Green, SG: Putting (Bentgrass) Par 4s Gained (450-500), Proximity from 200+ yards, Bogey Avoidance

The Picks:

Elite PGA DFS (DK $9,500 and up):

Jon Rahm (DK $11,500) – The No. 1 player in the world hasn’t played much lately since he was forced to withdraw from the Olympics after another positive COVID test. But his win at the U.S. Open and T3 at Royal St. George’s are proof positive he’s the frontrunner in the playoffs, and his complete T2G game and masterful short game combine to check all the boxes here. With pricing up, I like him best for GPP, but if you can find a cash lineup with him that you like, I wouldn’t blow it up.

Dustin Johnson (DK $11,000) – According to the PGA Tour stats, DJ was 23.53 total strokes better than the field average last year at TPC Boston when he ran away with the Northern Trust at -30. It was the third time he had gained 20 or more strokes en route to victory, and the change of venue shouldn’t hurt his game. He’s eighth in this field at Proximity from approaches 200+ yards over his last 36 rounds, he putts better on Bentgrass, and he makes for a great GPP play this week.

Jordan Spieth (DK $10,800) – Only a handful of players have been better at the 450-500 yard Par 4s over the past 36 rounds (solid GPP options Collin Morikawa and Rory McIlroy are a couple of them), and none of them can putt like Spieth can. Normally I wouldn’t look Spieth’s way for a cash game build in a field this good, but Sia really sung his praises in the excellent WinDaily Breakdown video, and Jordan has had such a great 2021 that I think I’m using him in cash and single entry as well as GPP.

Justin Thomas (DK $9,800) – JT hasn’t put it all together in a while (his last win was at the Players and he had lackluster finishes in the most recent majors) but he’s shown an affinity for playoff golf in the past and he’s tops in the field in SG: T2G over his last 24 rounds on courses over 7,400 yards in length. He was T12 here in 2019 and this is a good spot to jump back on the JT wagon in GPPs.

Also consider: Collin Morikawa, Rory McIlroy (GPP), Bryson DeChambeau (Cash), Viktor Hovland

Mid-Range PGA DFS (DK $7,600 to $9,400):

Abraham Ancer (DK $9,400) – The freshly minted PGA Tour winner (WGC-FedEx St. Jude) was runner-up of this event at Liberty National in 2019, and he’s got to be brimming with confidence after the huge breakthrough in Memphis at TPC Southwind. Ancer is fourth overall in my mixed model and I’ll have exposure in my GPPs despite the inflated price this week.

Scottie Scheffler (DK $9,300) – Scheffler could be described as a decent putter, and that’s probably the weakest part of his game these days. He’s posted top 15 finishes in six of his last eight events and he thrives on long golf courses like this. There’s a bunch of golfers to like in this price range, but Scottie could be the sneakiest once again.

Patrick Cantlay (DK $9,200) – While I have an aversion to Cantlay in PGS DFS and he had a really rough stretch earlier this year, there’s no denying that he’s played much better golf since the PGA Championship, when he finished T23 and won in his next start at the Memorial. He prefers these A-24 Bentgrass greens, is third on tour in SG: T2G in 2021 and he finished T12 here in 2019.

Harris English (DK $8,800) – English has been stellar over the past three months, winning the Travelers at TPC River Highlands, finishing solo third at the U.S. Open, and posting top 15s in five of his last seven tournaments. He’s coming off a solo fourth at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude and I can’t find a reason to dislike him at Liberty National, even if he ends up at a really popular play.

Patrick Reed (DK $8,600) – Reed won here in 2019, and in true Captain America form went 3-1-1 when the Presidents Cup was played at this venue in 2017. He missed the cut at the Open Championship and has had some trouble keeping the ball in the fairway lately, but he’s a brilliant playoff competitor and a great GPP pivot from the more popular players in this price range.

Adam Scott (DK $8,400) – Scott missed an easy birdie putt and lost in that epic six-man playoff a week ago after firing a five-under 65 in the final round of the Wyndham Championship, but his ascent up the FedEx cup standings was impressive enough for lots of golf writers to pick him to win this week. He has course history behind him, with a fifth-place finish in 2019 and a win in 2013.

Tony Finau (DK $8,200) – I’ve been burned many times by Finau but I’m adding him to my player pool based on Joel Schreck and Spencer Aguiar’s recommendation in the Breakdown. A closer look at his numbers shows he’s good at avoiding three-putts and his SG ARG numbers have improved. He’s not much of a threat to win, but he could be that value guy who finishes top 10 and helps you secure a GPP win.

Sam Burns (DK $8,000) – I haven’t seen Burns on too many ”top picks” lists this week, but he’s showing up in my mixed model and he’s coming off a blistering 64 in the final round at TPC Southwind that got him int a playoff with Ancer. He’s awesome off the tee, can get really hot with the putter, and the fact that nobody’s talking about him make me love him for large-field GPPs.

Tyrrell Hatton (DK $7.800) – Hatton will be a lot chalkier than Burns, but the price is way too low for what he gives you on courses this length. He’s sprinkled in some bad performances with a few top 20s, and he’s No. 17 on my mixed model, in large part due to how well he handles the 200+ approaches and A-4 Bentgrass. He’s a solid option in all formats.

Jason Kokrak (DK $7,700) – I had lots of Kokrak last week when he missed the cut at the Wyndham Championship, but there wasn’t anything on the line then and I’m going back to the well this week with some exposure in GPPs. I don’t want to be one week off and have no shares, but I’m not going overboard.

Also consider: Daniel Berger (Cash), Webb Simpson, Paul Casey (GPP), Joaquin Niemann, Sungjae Im, Brian Harman, Ian Poulter, Russell Henley

Value PGA DFS (DK $6,600 to 7,500):

Shane Lowry (DK $7,500) – What a great price on Lowry! The 2019 Open champ is 20th overall in my mixed model and checks most if not all of the boxes in our focus stat categories this week. The form is good, he’s solid on all types of golf courses, and he’s got top 5 upside.

Cameron Tringale (DK $7,300) – I’ve been overconfident with Tringale a few times in PGA DFS, but I really like mixing in a few shares of him this week in GPPs based on where he finishes in my mixed model (ninth overall) and his solid numbers on longer approaches.

Seamus Power (DK $7,000) – Power will likely garner some ownership at this price, so if you’re getting skittish you can pivot elsewhere in GPPs – you can follow Sia’s lead and work in a guy like Charley Hoffman. But Power has been playing much better golf lately and works as a low-cost option.

Maverick McNealy (DK $6,900) – He really likes long golf coursesand was one of the first names I noticed under $7K with good SG: T2G numbers in his last 14 rounds. His SG: APP numbers leave a bit to be desired, but he’s really good off the tee and he can make some long putts.

Charl Schwartzel (DK $6,900) – Schwartzel fares well in my model (No. 33 overall) and seems to step up his game in stiffer competition. He also overperforms on long courses and should fare well at Liberty National, as the overall layout seems to favor his game.

C.T. Pan (DK $6,600) – I’ve seen some folks throw out Aaron Wise as another golfer with this price to consider, but if I’m leaning contrarian here, I’d do it with a Bronze medalist who’s coming off four rounds in the 60s. Pan is a sneaky contrarian play on longer courses and I like his chances to make the cut and spike a Top 25.

More value golfers to consider: Kevin Streelman, Bubba Watson (GPP), Jason Day (GPP), Max Homa, Charley Hoffman (GPP), Carlos Ortiz (GPP), Talor Gooch, Brendan Todd, Chris Kirk, Pat Perez, Erik van Rooyen (GPP), Aaron Wise (GPP)

Longshot Punts PGA DFS (DK $6,500 and under):

Matt Wallace (DK $6,500) – He checks a few important boxes this week (450-500 yard Par 4s and overall performance on long courses) and he’s solid around the greens and in wind. Wallace almost cracks the Top 20 in my mixed model this week so I’ll be mixing him into two or three GPPS in my 20 max builds.

Luke List (DK $6,400) – I’m always drawn to List when he’s cheap, but he’s strictly GPP only because he can implode on the greens. He’s scary to roster, so keep your ownership reasonably low (under 10%).

Hank Lebioda (DK $6,300) – Sia’s boy Hammerin’ Hank has a decent overall game and is a good ball striker. He offers plenty of value and should be a staple of stars-and-scrubs builds.

Additional GPP punts: K.H. Lee, Dylan Frittelli, Chez Reavie, Matt Kuchar, Doug Ghim, Harry Higgs

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We’ve got another no-cut event to cover in our PGA DFS contests for the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, and our picks will help you green up those screens!

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PGA DFS Course Notes:

  • Strong field of 66 golfers, including 48 of the OWGR top 50
  • Back to Thursday morning lock
  • No cut event
  • The course: TPC Southwind (Memphis, TN)
    • 7,200+ yards, Par 70
    • Zoysia fairways and small Bermuda greens – both a little harder to hit than most courses
    • Tree-lined course features lots of water in play – in the form of lakes, streams and ponds in a bucolic farm-like setting (there’s even a couple of silos!)
    • Tough Par 3s and difficult finishing hole (Par 4, 461 yards alongside a water hazard)
    • Mostly long Par 4s (450+) with some doglegs, and just two Par 5s – including one “must” birdie hole at No. 16
    • All-around game is rewarded, as winners tend to be good throughout the bag
    • Defending champion: Justin Thomas (-13); 2019 champ: Brooks Koepka (-16); 2018: Dustin Johnson (-19)
    • Comps (similar layout/design): TPC River Highlands (Travelers), Harbour Town GC (RBC Heritage)
  • Course history shows some players tend to fare better here than others
  • Focus Stat Categories: Strokes Gained: Approach; SG: Ball Striking; Birdie or Better %; SG: Off the Tee; SG: Around the Green; SG: Putting (Bermuda); Par 4s Gained (450-500), Opportunities Gained

The Picks:

Elite PGA DFS (DK $9,500 and up):

Collin Morikawa (DK $11,000) – I’ll chalk up last week’s podium no-show to a bad putting week and the leveled playing field of a gettable Olympic course. This week, he’s on faster putting surfaces that seem to help better ball strikers and guys who flourish at majors, and he’ll rely on his game’s all-around brilliance over four days to contend for a WGC title. In this week’s must-see breakdown, Joel talks a little bit about how to pick your top-tier PGA DFS guys and how this is a week where the cream will rise to the top – favoring players like Morikawa.

Brooks Koepka (DK $10,600) Koepka is one of a few golfers who play well at TPC Southwind and could walk away with the trophy this week, so we’ll have to mix in some shares of him in GPPs. I’m never too keen on using him in cash games, but this could be the week that I deploy him there and in a small- and large-field single-entry GPP contests banking on a top 5 finish – something he’s done a lot here. He’s already notched a win (2019), a T2 (2020) and a T2 in 2016 before TPC Southwind was a WGC event – and his form is solid with T4-T5-T6 in his last three tournaments.

Dustin Johnson (DK $10,200) – With lots of ownership going to Koepka, DJ makes for a cheaper pivot in GPPs and certainly has the right skill set to get it done at TPC Southwind. My usual worries about putting are alleviated in the switch to the faster Bermuda greens, since it’s a little easier for him to compete with the better, more aggressive putters when he doesn’t have to worry about slamming in ten-footers.

Justin Thomas (DK $9,900) – Like DJ, he’s a course horse and a fan of these putting surfaces, which – let’s be honest – has been the most glaring issue with JT’s game over the past few tournaments. Both he and JT are guys who like to get the line right and give it a good roll, and that’s rewarded here – as opposed to the bumps and bounces of Bentgrass and “pop-it-in” Poa. He’s another bargain PGA DFS GPP pivot given his upside, though there’s moderate risk if he doesn’t see many putts go in in the first two days.

Louis Oosthuizen (DK $9,600) – Louis is on quite the heater, notching four second-place finishes in his last eight starts worldwide, including a solo second at the U.S. Open and T2 at the PGA Championship. He also finished T3 at the Open Championship and he likes this course – with T20-T6 in his two trips to Memphis. He’s a solid putter on any surface and this may be the best he’s hit the ball in his celebrated career.

Also consider: Xander Schauffele, Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy (GPP), Viktor Hovland (cash)

Mid-Range PGA DFS (DK $7,600 to $9,400):

Daniel Berger (DK $9,200) – Berger has taken advantage of this venue in his four appearances at TPC Southwind, winning the FedEx St. Jude Classic twice and sharing runner-up honors in the WGC last year. He’s among the better PGA DFS values in the field when we consider form, course history and his superiority in target golf. Berger is a solid play in all formats and has winning upside despite the insanely strong field.

Matt Fitzpatrick (DK $8,800) – I’ll be rooting hard for Matty Fitz to get his first PGA Tour victory this week, and this golf course is a good place for that to happen. The English standout seems to thrive at this venue and on courses with similarly small Bermuda greens. With four guaranteed days for him to get hot and make some birdies, he should climb the leaderboard and be in contention come Sunday.

Webb Simpson (DK $8,500) – We have to like this price point for Simpson, who has struggled in 2021 but should benefit from a no-cut event on a Bermuda greens and a recent T19 at the Open Championship. He finished second here in 2019 and T12 in 2020, so it’s as good a place as any for him to get back in the swing of things.

Abraham Ancer (DK $8,300) – Ancer could be downright dangerous this week, as he finished T14 at the Olympics and has logged six top 10s among 15 official top 25s this season. He also plays well at WGC events, notching top 20s in his last six appearances in dating back to the 2019 WGC Match Play. I love getting him for all four rounds and seeing just how hot he can get with his pin-seeking approaches.

Corey Conners (DK $8,100) – Conners isn’t the best putter in the world and there’s always the risk of three-jacks on greens this fast – but he undoubtedly has the T2G chops to avoid the ubiquitous water trouble that threatens both tee balls and approach shot at TPC Southwind. I’d consider him a decent cog in balanced PGA DFS GPP builds but a longshot to win.

Tommy Fleetwood (DK $8,000) – His ball-striking may still be along way from the days when he earned the “Fairway Jesus” sobriquet, but his T16 finish among some excellent competitors at the Olympics and fondness for the switch to Bermuda could mean good things for him in Memphis this week. I’m nowhere near “all-in” status with Tommy, but a  low score on one of the first couple days could help propel him to a top 10 finish this week, so I’ll have some exposure in GPPs.

Will Zalatoris (DK $7,900) – Zalatoris is a relatively high-risk GPP wildcard this week, since there’s really no telling if his back is okay after the withdrawal at the Open Championship, and he hasn’t played this course before. Regardless, he’s a talented ball striker and he’s got four days (if his body holds up) to navigate the hazards and hard-to-hit greens at TPC Southwind. I’d steer clear in cash games and single-entry, but ownership should be low and I’m fine using him in 5-10% of GPPs.

Sungjae Im (DK $7,700) – I love Sungjae on Bermuda greens and I’m not deterred by the hectic schedule that had him competing for a medal in Tokyo just last week. He could be a super sneaky GPP play and possibly a solid staple for single-entry if you’re buying into his upside at this affordable price.

Also consider: Hideki Matsuyama, Scottie Scheffler, Paul Casey, Shane Lowry, Cameron Smith (GPP), Harris English

Value PGA DFS (DK $6,600 to 7,500):

Brian Harman (DK $7,500) – Harman had been getting it done prior to his WD (undisclosed) at the 3M Open after tying for 19th at the Open Championship, earning top 20 finishes in four of his last five starts dating back to the Charles Schwab Challenge. Other than a missed cut at the PGA, his game has flourished in major championships and the tougher-field events in 2021.

Sergio Garcia (DK $7,300) – I like having Sergio on Bermuda for four days, since he’s got the ball-striking prowess to excel at TPC Southwind and avoid some of the water than could swallow up less experienced players. Since a T20 at Colonial, he’s notched four straight top 20s and finished T25 at the 3M Open, so he’s worth a look in all formats at this bargain price.

Billy Horschel (DK $7,100) –It’s been a spell since I’ve considered Horschel, probably because he has only played four tournaments since the start of June, and he wasn’t a PGA DFS factor in any of them (67th at the Memorial, a disappointing MC at U.S. Open, T54 at Scottish Open and T53 at Royal St. George’s). TPC Southwind, on the other hand, favors his game and has historically ben a get-right spot for the native Floridian, who favors Bermuda over the surfaces we’ve seen recently on tour. He’s a fine risk-reward GPP play this week.

Ian Poulter (DK $7,000) – Value like this is sometimes difficult to find in no-cut events, but Poulter offers plenty of upside considering all the factors of pricing and performance in the focus stat categories. If he can stay out of trouble and avoid the big numbers, he’ll be a solid value over four days in Memphis, where he finished in eighth place in 2019 but faltered (T69) in 2020. Whether you need to include a guy like Poulter depends a lot on your roster construction, but I have a feeling I might end up using him a bit.

Kevin Kisner (DK $6,800) – TPC Southwind, on a cursory glance, really seems like another good spot for Kisner to post a Top 20 or better finish. The venue features small Bermuda greens and plenty of doglegs, making it comparable to venues where he’s done some of his best work on the PGA Tour (including Copperhead and Harbour Town). He’s finished T25 and T27 the past two years, and any improvement on that should work for the builds that include “Lil’ Kis” and his positive putting pedigree this year.

Phil Mickelson (DK $6,600) – Getting Phil at $6,600 is just too good to pass up given his record at TPC Southwind and familiarity with the venue. Sure, he may flake out and start three-putting or miss a bunch of fairways and be playing catch-up after a couple days, but he’s good enough to post a low number early and let his talents carry him the rest of the way. I’ll have exposure in GPPs, though I’m not forcing him into my builds as he’s more of a “last piece” flier.

Robert MacIntyre (DK $6,600) – Like Phil, this lefty has the overall game to flourish at this venue, even if he lacks the course history/experience to be a no-brainer value play. Bobby Mac is a risk since he finished T59 in the 2020 WGC-FedEx (his first and only try), but a string of solid finishes in 2021 may have given him added confidence heading back to Memphis this year.

More value golfers to consider: Tyrrell Hatton (GPP), Adam Scott, Marc Leishman, Justin Rose (GPP), Matthew Wolff (GPP), Cameron Champ (GPP)

Longshot Punts PGA DFS (DK $6,500 and under):

Ryan Palmer (DK $6,500) – Let’s start by referring to what Sia said in his Initial Picks article, where he touted Palmer as “the type of player that you simply wouldn’t take in a normal cut event” because of his form and the inherent risk you assume with the possibility of the dreaded “two days and done.” If he can post good scores in one or two rounds, that might be enough to return value in stars-and-scrubs builds.

Stewart Cink (DK $6,500) – It’s nice to see other WinDaily writers on the same punts as me, although that could mean elevated ownership, and some of our leverage could “Cink” if we invest a bit too much in good ol’ Stewie Kablooie this week. This is where I’ll stop having anything more than 15% ownership in my tournament entries and keep the remaining suggestions to one or two entries out of 20 in the big field GPPs.

Additional GPP punts: Kevin Na, Lucas Glover, Garrick Higgo, Matt Jones, Jim Herman

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This week’s PGA DFS picks article should help you find some winning combinations and focus your player pool for the Open Championship at Royal St. George’s.

PGA DFS Course Notes:

  • Field of 156 golfers including the best players in the world
  • 36-hole Cut: Top 70 and ties play the weekend
  • No 2020 tourney; Defending (2019) champion: Shane Lowry (-15)
  • The course: Royal St. George’s Golf Club (Sandwich, England)
    • 7,268 yards, Par 70
    • Traditional seaside venue that can be affected by drastic wind changes and weather
    • Bentgrass greens
    • Tough links style course with deep bunkers and some OB providing a challenge
    • Some blind tee shots and plenty of humps and bumps that can send balls off track
    • Just two par 5s and four Par 3s – so Par 70 specialists could fare well
    • Length not that important, as most par 4s are in the 400-475 range
  • Wind and rain expected, with 20-25 MPH gusts blowing on Saturday and Sunday
  • Focus Stat Categories: SG: Approach, SG: Off the Tee, SG: Around the Green, SG: Tee to Green, Bogey Avoidance, Driving Accuracy, Scrambling, Par 70 (and links) performance

The Picks:

Elite PGA DFS (DK $9,500 and up):

Jon Rahm (DK $11,300) – Despite the lack of a top 10 finish at the Open Championship (his best finish was a T11 at Royal Troon in 2016), Rahm enters the week as the betting favorite and highest priced PGA DFS golfer in the field. There’s no real weakness to his game; he currently leads the PGA TOUR in adjusted scoring – and ranks second in SG: T2G. His ball-striking has been on point this season, he loves links courses and he’s in play for all formats this week.

Rory McIlroy (DK $10,900) – I refuse to give up on Rory and think he’s a good GPP play this week in the wake of the missed cut at the Scottish Open – which he jumped into a little late because his wife and child are still stateside. He may end up being the lowest-owned golfer in the $10K+ range and that’s what we’re looking for since his upside is still in the trophy-hoisting territory. “Rors” is both familiar with this giant-killer venue (T25 here in 2011) and the elements that could stymie a large portion of the PGA DFS field.

Brooks Koepka ($10,700) – Because of his impressive history in majors (four wins in the past five years) and the Open Championship (three top 10s since 2015), Koepka isn’t cheap, but he’s a fine GPP play. The polarizing figure was a 13-year-old spectator in 2003 when Ben Curtis won at Royal St. George’s, and while he said Tuesday morning (in an interview that had the NYT writing about it) that while this isn’t his favorite British Open venue in the venerable rotation, there’s no reason to leave him off your builds with his uncanny ability to compete in the world’s biggest tournaments.

Jordan Spieth (DK $9,700) – The former Open champion (2017 at Royal Birkdale) is impressive on links courses and has the requisite elements to his game is solid form heading into this week’s test. We have plenty of options in the $7,000-7,500 range this week if we’re rostering Rahm-Spieth to start, and if we’re fading Rahm there’s a great route to balanced builds that start with Spieth as the highest spend ($8K+ remining per golfer). I’ll be hoping to land around 25-40% ownership in GPPs.

Also consider: Dustin Johnson, Xander Schauffele, Justin Thomas (GPP)

Mid-Range PGA DFS (DK $7,600 to $9,400):

Louis Oosthuizen (DK $9,300) – There’s not much more to say about the former Open champion than what Sia said in his U.S. Open Initial picks piece and what I covered in the picks column leading into Torrey Pines, when he finished solo second after being edged out by Rahm. He’s not playing in the Olympics, so this tournament has to be an important one for him as he continues playing solid golf in the late summer/early autumn of his fantastic career. He’s a guy I love in basically all the majors for PGA DFS, but I know he’ll be popular this week.

Viktor Hovland (DK $9,100) – Hovland – the No. 14 golfer in the world – became the first Norwegian winner in the history of the European tour when he prevailed at the BMW International Open in Germany a couple weeks ago, and his steady play  and positive attitude should help him navigate the inexorable bounces and bumps of Royal St. George’s. The only drawback is his last of experience, as this will be his Open Championship debut, and it’s one of those things that’s got Sia concerned, as he explains in the breakdown.

Patrick Reed ($8,800) – While I’m a little skeptical that Reed can endure the elements and win the Open Championship, he’s certainly in play at this low price because of his ability to finish in the top 15. The form isn’t great, and his accuracy could be a problem here, but the ironically nicknamed “Captain America” loves to play the villain and he’s a shrewd large-field GPP play with an elite short game.

Paul Casey (DK $8,600) – Casey disappointed with a T54 at this venue in 2011 (a third-round 78 the main culprit), and his Open Championship finishes have left a bit to be desired through the years. But he’s a much more consistent golfer these days and has six top 10 finishes in his last 10 tournaments, so I like his chances for a top 10 this week, especially at this relatively fair price.

Tony Finau (DK $8,400) – I’ve said “never again” after being burned by Terrible Tony many times, but the talent level is off the charts and the price is a reasonable one despite two straight MCs at the U.S. Open and Travelers. Finau has not missed a cut at the Open Championship in four tries, and three of those attempts have yielded Top 20 finishes (solo third in 2019, T9 in 2018, T18 in 2016). He probably circled this on the schedule the minute he trudged off the 18th green at Torrey Pines, and I will be surprised (and angry) if he sabotages my GPP lineups again this week.

Matt Fitzpatrick (DK $7,900) – As you may have noticed if you’re a regular reader of PGA DFS Picks, Fitzpatrick is one of my favorite golfers to roster in single-entry and all types of GPPs, and I’ll continue that approach this week at Royal St. George’s – a venue where he should thrive – despite the disappointment of coming off a playoff loss to Min Woo Lee at the Scottish Open. His best finish in the Open Championship was the most recent iteration in 2019 (T20), and I believe he’s ready to break through with a top 10 (or better) this time around – when distance is not as important (it’s even shorter than it was in 2011) and he can plot his way around the golf course. In fact, Fitzpatrick came here last year (after having been told that he wasn’t going to enjoy it because of the blind shots and uneven lies) shot 67 and loved the course.

Shane Lowry (DK $7,900) – The defending champion is under $8K this week, and that alone puts him in play in all formats, even if he’s exceedingly popular. Lowry performs well in weather and wind, and he was the only player who didn’t collapse in the gale-force gusts that plagued the final round at Royal Portrush Golf Club in 2019. There’s plenty of PGA DFS upside in this price range, and both Fitzpatrick and Lowry make for fine core plays in all kinds of builds.

Sergio Garcia (DK $7,600) – His last Top 5 at a British Open came in 2016, but he finished T9 here in 2011. He’s far from a safe play and I wouldn’t touch him in cash games despite the low price, but he’s a great GPP option given his upside and the dynamic quality of game and ball-striking prowess. He’s had a hard time closing things out this season, with some good rounds giving way to PGA DFS tumbles over the weekend, but he’s in play at this venue in large-field GPPs.

Also consider: Collin Morikawa (GPP), Tyrrell Hatton, Patrick Cantlay, Webb Simpson, Scottie Scheffler (GPP), Jason Day, Joaquin Niemann, Abraham Ancer

Value PGA DFS (DK $6,600 to 7,500):

Francesco Molinari (DK $7,300) The talented Italian won the Open Championship in 2018 and finished T11 in 2019 – impressive finishes that show he can handle links style courses with the best of them. He missed the cut at Royal St. George’s in 2011, but a decade of additional experience in major championships should help him this week.

Harris English (DK $7,300) – English has piled up the top 10 finishes this season (seven), and he’s one of just five golfers to notch two wins on tour this season. In the focus stats/metrics, he checks some crucial boxes for Royal St. George’s, ranking eighth in SG:T2G and seventh in Bogey Avoidance over his past three tournaments. He’s also missed the weekend just once in five Open appearances and has made cuts in 13 consecutive majors – something that makes him a solid play for single-entry and cash games as well as large-field GPPs.

Rickie Fowler (DK $7,300)Fowler is teeing it up in his 11th Open Championship, with only one MC at this event (and three finishes of T6 or better – including a T2 from 2014 and a T5 at Royal St. George’s in 2011. That level of experience is a big help, and he’s finally rounding into form after a rough stretch in late 2020/early 2021. The fan favorite has now secured a weekend pass in three of his last four starts (T8, T11, MC and T32) and the impressive T8 was at the year’s second major – the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island.

Robert MacIntyre (DK $7,300) – MacIntyre is right there with the rest of the high-upside players at this price point, even if PGA Tour golf fans aren’t that familiar with his record. Bobby Mac impressed at the Royal Portrush in 2019 at his Open Championship (and major tournament) debut, concluding in difficult conditions with a final round 68 and eventual T6 finish. He’s now ranked No. 53 in the world, making the cut at five straight majors – a T12 at the Masters this April his best major finish since the 2019 Open. MacIntyre shot under par in all four rounds last week and posted a T18 at the Renaissance Club in the Scottish Open – a links with at least a passing resemblance to Royal St. George’s. Excluding a COVID-related withdrawal at the Irish Open recently, The Scotsman has made a remarkable 25 of his last 26 cuts worldwide and may even be viable in cash games this week.

Branden Grace (DK $7,200)Grace is usually hit-or-miss in major championships, but he arrives sporting some good form due to some sparkling iron play over his last dozen or so rounds. He has a history of going low at the Open, dating back to his 62 in Round three Saturday at Royal Birkdale in 2017 – when he finished T6 with Koepka, Marc Leishman, Alex Noren and Matthew Southgate at -4. The 33-year-old South African also finished inside the top 20 at the Open Championship in 2015, and arrives at this week’s edition on the heels of two consecutive top seven finishes on the PGA Tour, including a T7 at the 2021 U.S. Open.

Ian Poulter (DK $7,200) – Since missing the cut at Royal St. George’s in 2011 (which surely sticks in his craw), Poulter has a spotty history at the Open Championship with five MCs and three top 15s – a testament to his dynamic play and viability as a GPP play. His 2021 record is actually a lot more steady: Since the PGA Championship, he’s 6-for-6 with two top five finishes including T4 at the Scottish open this past week.

Alex Noren (DK $7,200) Noren has a distinguished record at the Open Championship, finishing T11 with Rahm, JT, Molinari and Tom Lewis in 2019 and earning top 10s in 2017 and 2012. He’s also finished among the top 15 (including a T4 at the Rocket Mortgage Classic) in two of the past three starts, sporting excellent T2G numbers in that stretch. I wouldn’t pencil him into all my single-entry lineups, but I’m willing to take as stab in the lower-fee SE and in all types of large-field GPPs.

Matt Kuchar (DK $7,000) – Kuchar is my choice for sneaky veteran bargain play – especially on a course that’s not all about mashing and/or the traditional “target” golf that’s played on a lot of the modern stateside venues. He’s fared well at the open Championship in the past and finished solo second at Royal Birkdale in 2017. In fact, he’s made nine out of his last 10 cuts in this tournament (and eight straight), the only outlier being the 2011 edition at – you guessed it – Royal St. George’s. The revenge narrative is strong this week and Kuchar should be low-owned with Top 10 upside.

Lucas Herbert (DK $6,800) – The woefully mispriced Herbert won at the Irish Open two weeks ago and notched a T4 in Scotland last week, so he’s in fine form heading into the Open. The plucky Australian also finished inside the top 20 at a couple of relatively prestigious PGA Tour events – the Memorial and the Travelers. He’s now won a couple times in his past 23 starts worldwide and should offer plenty of value as you construct your builds this week.

Lucas Glover (DK $6,600) – Hey – it’s another cheap Lucas! Glover is coming off a huge win at the John Deere Classic, snapping a winning drought that lasted over 10 years, and he should be excited about playing a course where he posted his best-ever finish at the Open Championship – a T12 in 2011. Winning two weeks in a row and collecting just his second major championship is a tall order – no doubt – but he’s a risk-reward play that won’t cost you very much to roster.

More value golfers to consider: Phil Mickelson (GPP), Lee Westwood, Daniel Berger (GPP), Thomas Detry, Matt Wallace, Russell Henley (GPP), Min Woo Lee, Corey Conners (GPP), Danny Willett, Erik van Rooyen (GPP), Kevin Kisner, Stewart Cink, Richard Bland, Adam Long (GPP)

Longshot Punts (DK $6,500 and under):

Justin Harding (DK $6,500) – More of a single day (first-round?) showdown longshot, Justin Harding heads into the 2021 The Open Championship at Royal St. George’s Golf Club with insanely long (+35000) odds to win, but he’s in play due to the fact that he made the cut and finished 41st in his last appearance at this event in 2019, and he’s super cheap. I’m targeting him for 1/20 GPP entries.

Chris Kirk (DK $6,400) – Kirk made three of his last five cuts, but he’s 17-for-23 this season – decent for a golfer under $6,500. While he missed the cut during his last British Open appearance in 2016, he’s a much better golfer now and should be up to the challenge personally and professionally. Like Harding, I’ll find a place for him in 1/20 large-field GPP entries.

Johannes Veerman (DK $6,100) – Veerman posted a T3 at the Irish Open two weeks ago and is coming off a T8 at the Scottish Open, so the form is solid. He’s seemingly a fans of links-style courses and while he’s a virtual unknown who could boom or bust this week, the price is dirt cheap and he’s one of the better low-cost options in the $6K range – which we’ll need to peruse if we’re going full-on stars and scrubs. He might be my favorite play under $6,600, so I’m willing to click him into 5-10% of my large-field GPPs (and one or two of my 20-max entries).

Additional GPP punts: Sebastian Munoz, Carlos Ortiz, Marcus Armitage, Jason Scrivener, Sam Burns, Chan Kim

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This week we have a stacked field and find you some winning PGA DFS teams at the highly demanding and difficult Torrey Pines South Course in the U.S. Open!

PGA DFS Course Notes:

  • Star-studded major championship field of 156 golfers that includes amateur and local and international pro qualifiers
  • 36-hole Cut: Top 60 and ties play the weekend (just 38.46% of the field)
  • The course: Torrey Pines South Course (La Jolla, CA)
    • Over 7,700 yards, Par 71 – William Bell, Sr. (1957) with Rees Jones redesign (2001, 2019)
    • Long and brutal seaside/cliffside course
    • Scene of Tiger Woods’s epic 2008 U.S. Open victory over Rocco Mediate
    • Tees and fairways are Kikuyu overseeded with Rye; unpredictable (and often bumpy) Poa annua greens
    • Classic U.S. open layout with long, thick rough that will require punch-outs and cause a few lost balls (and PGA DFS frustration)
    • Putting (and Three-Putt Avoidance) will be key, as 4-8 foots putts drop just below the 2/3 make rate (normally 68-70%) on these complex, tiered greens
    • Long Par 4s require good long iron play from >200 yards
  • Weather should be pleasant this week, but greens could bake and make putting and approaches very difficult
  • Focus Stat Categories: SG: Approach, SG: OTT, SG: Putting (Bentgrass/Poa), SG: Around the Green, SG: Tee to Green, Bogey Avoidance, Three-Putt Avoidance (3PA, for short), Par 4s: 450-500, Driving Distance

The Picks:

Elite PGA DFS (DK $9,500 and up):

Jon Rahm (DK $11,200) – Rahm’s only flaws seem to be mental, but he seemed mature, reflective and generally loose and comfortable during his interview on Tuesday, even when peppered with a lot of questions about the COVID snafu and how that all transpired. Rahmbo is No. 12 on tour in SG: APP this season, and he’s second and third (respectively) in SG: T2G and SG: OTT. He was playing great golf at the Memorial before he had to withdraw, and the 2017 Farmers champion LOVES Torrey Pines (T7-2-T5-T29-WIN in his last five years here). The Spaniard also finished second at the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, so he’s definitely in play – I just worry a bit about his quick backswing and equally quick temper on a course that will play tougher than it usually does.

Dustin Johnson (DK $10,700) – As always, my main concern is putting with DJ, who doesn’t make a whole lot of 5-10 footers, a stat that is crucial at the U.S. Open – and a reason I’m not looking too hard at Hideki Matsuyama this week (despite the current
Masters champ’s amazing long iron play and decent record at Torrey Pines). Of course, because DJ’s PGA DFS ownership should be relatively low this week, his talent and length make him a fine contrarian play for GPPs. If I come in slightly ahead of field ownership, I’ll be happy, because there’s no need to go all-in with this guy, even if he is the OWGR No. 1.

Rory McIlroy (DK $9,900) – Like DJ, I’m interested in Rory because of his projected ownership (even if it creeps up a bit as we approach Thursday morning), and he’s under $10K this week in a tournament he has every intention of winning. I’ll talk more about the likely chalky Xander Schauffele later, but starting off a lineup with McIlroy and X-Man still leaves you with $7,700 per golfer (Phil Mickelson’s price this week), a strategy I’ll be using in several GPP lineups. Rory still kills it off the tee and knows how to grind out even par and one-under rounds in tough conditions, and the baby discount could help us by allowing a roster construction that avoids playing a bomb elsewhere in that dicey low-mid range.

Collin Morikawa (DK $9,500) – Morikawa’s elite ball-striking (he basically gains anywhere from five to ten strokes per round on approach) will probably keep him in any golf tournament at this point, but the difficulty of these Poa annua greens may prevent him from winning another major until the next Masters or PGA Championship. Still, he’s a fine PGA DFS cash game anchor because even on the most difficult surfaces, his spectacular iron play keeps him on the leaderboard.

Also consider: Bryson DeChambeau (GPP), Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas (GPP)

Mid-Range PGA DFS (DK $7,600 to $9,400):

Xander Schauffele (DK $9,300) – Schauffele checks all the boxes this week and makes a lot of 5-10 footers (No. 10 on tour). Currently the No. 6 player in the world, he also finished second here at the Farmers in January during a 2019-2021 run that included nine straight Top 17s and a remarkable 17 straight Top 25s. His missed cuts at the Players and PGA Championship could keep a few folks away, but I like him in all formats this week (cash or tourney) and he’ll be a staple of my single-entry and large-field GPPs.

Patrick Reed (DK $9.000)Reed is No. 1 on tour in 3PA, which is going to be one of those stats that should help weed out similarly priced players in single-entry GPPs. It sounds as if preventing meltdowns on these putting surfaces could be a huge help in making the cut and getting in contention, and while Reed’s extremely spotty off the tee, his putter will keep him in most tournaments. His projected PGA DFS ownership is still pretty high, but again – we can find some leverage elsewhere if we need to.

Tony Finau (DK $8,900) – I may prefer spending the extra few hundred on Schauffele or Cantlay in cash games, but Finau has played sparkling golf at Torrey Pines in the past five years (T2-T6-T13-T6-T4) – albeit under less difficult conditions. And while he’s not electric with the flatstick, he ranks in the top 50 on tour this week in 3PA. Winning a U.S. Open for your second PGA Tour victory is a bit of a stretch, but we know he can finish in the Top 15, which he’s done in all three U.S. opens when he’s made the cut, including a T8 in 2020.

Will Zalatoris (DK $8,600) –A great ball striker who can putt a bit and likes both Poa annua and Torrey Pines, his length will help navigate some of the distance on the long par 4s and he’s already shown an ability to contend on the big stages of major championships. I don’t think his ownership will be oppressively high – at least to the point where he’s a bad play in large-field GPPs, and even if he lands in the 15-20% range, I’m buying.

Louis Oosthuizen (DK $8,100) – I’ll be including Oosty in my PGA DFS player pool for just about every major unless the back injuries that have plagued him in the past flare up – even if it’s hard to tell when that may happen. The swing is still very pure, and he’s an elite putter from 5-10 feet (ranking first on the PGA Tour this season). Sweet Louie is just very hard to get away from when I’m perusing this price range.

Cameron Smith (DK $8,000) – I love how Smith’s game developed in 2021, and while his overall SG numbers are decent, the thing that separates him from a lot of other golfers in this range is his elite putting. He’s solid at getting up and down and he doesn’t three-putt that much because he one-putts 44.15% of the time! Sia talked a bit about him in the Breakdown and I’ll be overweight on the field. While his ball-striking remains the biggest concern, I’m willing to take a stab and play the Aussie in single-entry for some leverage.

Jason Kokrak (DK $7,600) – Aside from Phil and his astounding win at Kiawah Island, Kokrak has probably had the best 2020-21 of anybody in this range, with his first two career wins coming at the CJ CUP in October 2020 and another victory at the Charles Schwab at the end of May. Kokrak has massive upside for a guy who’s easy to roster in all kinds of builds, and he’s made the cut in his last three U.S. Opens, including a T17 at Winged Foot in 2020.

Also consider: Viktor Hovland, Patrick Cantlay, Webb Simpson, Scottie Scheffler (GPP), Tyrrell Hatton (Cash), Matt Fitzpatrick (GPP), Phil Mickelson (GPP), Shane Lowry

Value PGA DFS (DK $6,600 to 7,500):

Marc Leishman (DK $7,400) – Leishman has burned me more times than I can count, but I refuse to give in to the “never again” thinking that keeps DFS pros from winning GPPs. I might not make him a staple of my single-entry builds, but he’s certainly in play in most formats at this price point and has a truly impressive course history at Torrey Pines (T18-WIN-T43-T8-T14 in his last five Farmers Insurance appearances). Leishman is adept at hitting some different shot shapes – a helpful trait this week – and he’s a solid enough putter to post a Top 5 or 10 finish, an attainable goal in this price range.

Harris English (DK $7,300) – His form has come around a bit since a few MCs earlier in 2021, and he’s made the cut at all five U.S. Opens he’s participated in, including a T4 in 2020 at Winged Foot. The downside is that he’s missed three straight cuts at the Farmers after some moderate success in 2017 and 2018 (T8 and T14). He may be flying under the radar a bit, but we can double-check ownership projections before lock and make some adjustments to our exposure in GPPs.

Stewart Cink (DK $7,200) – We’ve talked before about Cink’s resurgence and solid numbers off the tee, but it’s important to point out how much experience he has at this venue. This will be his first U.S. Open appearance since 2017, when he finished T46 at Erin Hills, but there’s still plenty of game left in his old bones. I’ll be using Cink at about a 10-15% rate in my 20-max and large-field GPPs.

Ryan Palmer (DK $7,100) – A course horse with a pair of second-place finishes in the Farmers over the past four years, Palmer has missed his last two U.S. Open cuts but stands to benefit from his familiarity with this popular tour venue. I’m most concerned with how he handles the longer rough this week, but he checks most of the boxes in our focus stat categories (No. 34 on tour in SG:OTT) and seems underpriced given his upside.

Ian Poulter (DK $7,000) – Poulter is coming off a T30 at the PGA Championship, a T3 at the Charles Schwab, and most recently a T25 at Congaree in the Palmetto Championship, and he’s well known for solid numbers on Poa annua greens and from 5-10 feet. The length of Torrey Pines could be an issue this week, but for this bargain price, I consider him worthy of a few GPP entries.

Brendan Todd (DK $6,900) – Another putting specialist who can elevate his game to the next level when he’s striking it well, Todd’s biggest challenge will be overcoming the 20-30 yards of distance he’ll be losing to the longer hitters in the field and hitting approaches from 175-200+. He’s GPP only because of his struggles off the tee and on those longer approach shots, but he’s still in my player pool as of now for his short game prowess.

Lanto Griffin (DK $6,800) – I’m a little surprised Griffin isn’t more than $7K this week based on his metrics and course history, which include a T7 at the Farmers this year and a T12 in 2018. With four MCs over his last five tournaments, the form is pretty ugly, but the venue and his skill set portend a better finish more along the lines of the steady stretch of Top 35 he posted in February and March.

Justin Suh (DK $6,600) – A USC standout who’s often forgotten among all-star crop of 2019 rookies, Suh has yet to make his mark on the PGA Tour but has played Torrey Pines 20+ times in his life. It won’t be playing as easily as it probably did during his junior and collegiate days, but Suh qualified last week to tee it up again here – and he could make for a decent final piece in a few GPP lineups.

More value golfers to consider: Gary Woodland, Adam Scott, Brian Harman (Cash), Charley Hoffman, Max Homa (GPP), Christian Bezuidenhout (GPP), Carlos Ortiz (GPP), Charl Schwartzel (Cash), Kevin Kisner, Mackenzie Hughes (GPP), Jhonattan Vegas (GPP), Adam Hadwin, Wyndham Clark

Longshot Punts (DK $6,500 and under):

Patrick Rodgers (DK $6,500) – He made the cut at the U.S. Opens in 2016 and 2018, and he’s had some special individual rounds this season. He also has two top 10 finishes at Torrey Pines in the past five years and while he’s not known as a guy who can put together four good rounds, if he shines in the first two days he could finish among the Top 25 and make value.

Chan Kim (DK $6,100) – Kim is worth slotting into a few GPP entries based on his near-minimum salary, where he’s basically the only one I’ll be using. Nick “Stix” Bretwisch turned me onto the South Korean’s game, and while he’s yet to make the cut in his previous three U.S Open appearances, he’s got the lowest betting odds in this range and he does have a T11 at the R&A’s Open Championship in 2017.

Additional GPP punts: Brendan Steele, Jimmy Walker, Sam Ryder, J.J. Spaun

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In this edition of PGA DFS picks, we’re looking for a big payday at the Memorial Tournament and helping you find some winning teams!

PGA DFS Course Notes:

  • VERY strong invitational field of 120 golfers
  • 36-hole Cut: Top 65 and ties play the weekend
  • Defending champion: Jon Rahm (-9)
  • 2019 champ: Patrick Cantlay
  • The course: Muirfield Village (Dublin, OH)
    • > 7,500 yards, Par 72 – Jack Nicklaus design (1972)
    • Bentgrass Greens and other features endured massive reconstruction following 2020 tournaments
    • Layout remains roughly the same but trees added to increase difficulty off the tee, possibly hurting some longer hitters
    • Course comps with Firestone and Augusta National
    • Scoring on Par 5s crucial on this difficult track
  • Expect soft conditions late Thursday after Wednesday and Thursday morning rain and some wind, which could cause delays
  • Current advantage seems to be late Thursday times
  • Focus Stat Categories: Strokes Gained: Approach; SG: T2G, SG: Around the Green, SG: Putting (Bentgrass), Par 4s Gained (450-500), Bogey Avoidance, Birdie or Better %, Sand Saves, Proximity (175-200), Scrambling

The Picks:

Elite PGA DFS (DK $9,500 and up):

Jon Rahm (DK $11,100) – Since it’s obvious there’s no real No. 1 player in the world, I’m fine looking to Rahm and his solid all-around game (he ranks third in the field for SG:T2G) – even though he’s had a somewhat spotty 2021. Jordan Spieth is guaranteed to be chalky after another great PGA DFS finish (solo second at the Charles Schwab), but he might be a little drained after three straight weeks of very competitive golf. Rahm’s ownership should be down even though he’s the defending champ, and his T8 finish at the PGA points to him trending upward following a week of rest to defend his title, which was not without controversy.

Rory McIlroy (DK $10,600) – Another golfer who’s been at the top of the mountain, McIlroy broke his slump at the Wells Fargo and returns to the site of one of the courses where he actually hasn’t won before. He’s a contrarian, GPP-only play for me this week, but his ownership should come back down a bit after a disappointing T49 at the PGA Championship. He probably won’t be on my single-entry teams, but I’ll try to be overweight in 20-max and larger field tournaments, where there’s still plenty of leverage in selecting one of the game’s all-time great players.

Justin Thomas (DK $10,200) – Where Bryson DeChambeau tends to force some things (like last year’s quintuple bogey OB meltdown in Round 2 when he ended up missing the cut), Thomas knows to plug away after bad shots on Muirfield. He just missed winning last year in the Workday (also played at Muirfield a week in advance of the 2020 Memorial), and we’re getting a big discount this year as he’s priced below his usual PGA DFS salary in the elite tier. I do like Bryson a bit in GPPs, but Thomas is probably the safer play.

Patrick Cantlay (DK $9,500) – We have a few safe bets for Top 15 finishes in the $9,500-$10K range, including weekly cash game maven Viktor Hovland and Xander Schauffele, who makes for an excellent GPP play after a missed cut at the PGA Championship. As much as I like Xander and his T3 finish at Augusta, Cantlay has shown winning upside on this course. Despite a stretch of poor play that resulted in four straight missed cuts, he could be worth a look given his excellent track record at Muirfield Village.

Also consider: Jordan Spieth (Cash), Bryson DeChambeau (GPP) Viktor Hovland (Cash), Xander Schauffele (GPP)

Mid-Range PGA DFS (DK $7,600 to $9,400):

Hideki Matsuyama (DK $9,400) – He won here in 2014 and his short game confidence is soaring after his win at Augusta, a venue that has some correlations with Muirfield Village. Deki is the best option and priced modestly just after the elite tier, which Sia mentioned in the breakdown that he might avoid altogether. Deki could be the linchpin for your balanced PGA DFS builds that focus on these golfers in this loaded $7-9K range.

Matthew Fitzpatrick (DK $8,700) – Fitzpatrick has played well here in his brief history, making the cut in his 2019 debut and finishing solo third last year in just his second try. I like this short-game specialist’s chances on these small greens even better in 2021, when the course has been made a little more difficult to weed out some of the longer hitters who may not be as accurate off the tee. He made the honorable mention in Isaiah’s picks article, and you all know how much I love the wispy Fitzpatrick in GPPs.

Cameron Smith (DK $8,600) –Smith has putted very well in 2021, and he ranks T6 this week in three-putt avoidance – a key stat this week. In fact, three-putt avoidance is the main reason I’m not including Collin Morikawa in my elite picks and prefer Hovland and JT in that range. His ball-striking isn’t quite on the same level as players like Keegan Bradley and Charley Hoffman, but the all-around game could see him break through this year and makes him interesting for GPPs.

Louis Oosthuizen (DK $8,500) – Both Louis and Hoffman are excellent cash game plays and can be used for single-entry GPPs as well. Oosty is solid with the flat stick (tops in the field for 2021 in SG: Putting) and has three straight made cuts here despite the lack of a Top 10 finish, but he has notched a top 10s in his last two starts and gained over five strokes on approach (SG:APP) in each of his last two tourneys. He’s worth a look in all formats and should stay mostly off the radar.

Charley Hoffman (DK $8,300) –On the flip side, everybody will be on Hoffman again, since he just hasn’t left the leaderboard lately. With Top 20s in five straight events and his best golf seemingly reserved for tougher courses. He’s taken his game to a new level in 2021, and while he will be very popular in all formats, I can’t advocate fading him in cash or single-entry GPP.

Rickie Fowler (DK $8,000) – He’s finally got some good mojo going after a strong PGA Championship, and now that he’s priced above $8K again, he’s fine for GPPs. I wouldn’t be forcing him into single-entry or any cash games, but he’s finally hitting some decent approaches and we know he has the short game (especially on Bentgrass) to finish in the Top 15 here. And unlike Patrick Reed (who I’m fading this week), he’s easy to root for.

Marc Leishman (DK $7,800) – He hasn’t missed a cut here since 2010, and he’s performed quite well with a slew of Top 15s over the past 10 years. Leishman might get forgotten even at this bargain price, so I’m looking to use him in some of my tournaments and just hope he doesn’t burn me – which he almost always does.

Christian Bezuidenhout (DK $7,600) – CBZ might just be the best putter in the world, and he relies heavily on his elite short game to place in events on both sides of the Atlantic. Over the South African’s last 50 rounds, he ranks 20th in Bogey Avoidance, second in SG: Putting and 10th in SG: Around the Green – great stats heading into the Memorial.

Also consider: Tony Finau, Scottie Scheffler (GPP), Shane Lowry, Billy Horschel, Keegan Bradley, Gary Woodland, Adam Scott, Jason Day (GPP), Emiliano Grillo (GPP)

Value PGA DFS (DK $6,600 to 7,500):

Kevin Streelman (DK $7,500) – Before 2015, Streelman was all over the place at the Memorial, but he’s made six straight cuts here and the increase in difficulty may help him stay relevant among the longer hitters. I’m a little worried that he’s burned out from playing a lot of high-stakes golf in the last few weeks, but he’s a tour veteran who’s used to grinding, so that shouldn’t keep you from rostering him in GPPs.

Matt Wallace (DK $7,400) – Wallace makes for a wonderful value play in this price range, especially considering his T4 finish here in 2020 and the decent form he arrives with. The wind blowing harder on Thursday morning and his early tee time doesn’t bother me as much as some of the other guys who don’t strike it as well in the wind.

Patton Kizzire (DK $7,300) – The tightening of the driving demands this year is cause for some concern, but Kizzire is popping in many of the focus stat categories and his putting (Top 10 in both SG: P and 3-putt avoidance) has been awesome in 2021. The big fella hasn’t had much success at the Memorial, but there’s a first time for everything and his game is looking good upon arrival.

Brendan Todd (DK $7,200) – Todd is a straight hitter with an overall game that’s shaping up a bit since a positive COVID test forced him to withdraw from the Wells Fargo, He missed the cut at the PGA Championship but finished T8 last week at Colonial on Bentgrass greens. I’m not planning on being crazy overweight, but the price is good and he finished T22 here last June.

Luke List (DK $6,900) – List finished T10 here last June and while he won’t be popular this week, he seems to be a textbook GPP play considering the price and the dynamic quality his game provides. Far from safe, List often has meltdowns on the green and is biggest problem is the 3-putt, where he ranks near the bottom of the PGA rankings with guys like List as my “problematic play” – a low ownership dart throw who could shine if he avoids the three-jacks with the flatstick this week.

Danny Willett (DK $6,600) – Willett plays well in wind, so the early Thursday time doesn’t throw me off too much, and he’s had a couple of Top 35 finishes here in his only two attempts in 2019 and 2020. I love the price, and while he might not win, he makes for excellent value this week and could make for a pretty cheap “last two spots” filler play in stars-and-scrubs builds, especially alongside some of the guys in the next tier. For instance, rostering Wallace, Willett and a mispriced Kyle Stanley gives you $9,966 for your top three spends.

More value golfers to consider: Si Woo Kim, Chris Kirk, Sebastian Munoz, Aaron Wise, Troy Merritt (GPP), C.T. Pan, Adam Hadwin (GPP), Mackenzie Hughes (GPP)

Longshot Punts (DK $6,500 and under):

Brendan Steele (DK $6,500) – Like many of the golfers priced in this range, Steele’s putter suffers a bit, but he’s made 14 of his last 17 cuts and that’s a nice bonus for any golfer under $7K. He’s not that strong a finisher, so the upside is a little bit lacking as well, but he had a week of rest and checks in as my “gut” punt play in 1/20 large-field GPPs.

Kyle Stanley (DK $6,100) – Stanley’s late addition resulted in a pricing error by DK, but he’s played very well at the Memorial in the past, with a T6 in 2018 and T2 in 2019. The course may play a little tougher than it did then, but Stanley needs to be considered as a core stars-and-scrubs play if you’re spending big money with your first few selections.

Russell Knox (DK $6,100) – Like Sia, I was drawn to the super low price and upside that Knox offers. He’s not nearly as “safe” as Stanley – although both golfers can struggle with the putter – and while the early tee time on Thursday isn’t quite as beneficial, he’s 4-for-4 here since 2016.

Additional GPP punts: Patrick Rodgers, Michael Thompson, Henrik Norlander

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Our comprehensive PGA DFS picks returns for the Honda Classic at PGA National to help find you some great picks and winning teams this week.

Course Notes:

  • Weaker field of 150 golfers (only three of OWGR top 20 playing)
  • Cut: Top 65 and ties after 36 holes
  • 2020 winner: Sungjae Im (-6) over Mackenzie Hughes (-5)
  • The course: PGA National (Champion Course in Palm Beach Gardens, FL; Tom Fazio design)
    • Par 71 (7,125 yards)
    • Water everywhere (again) – in play on 15 holes; just two Par 5 holes
    • Scoring is tough, so course management and making pars important
    • Larger, more receptive Bermudagrass greens
    • Wind will blow hard on Thursday, keep any eye on tee times
    • Correlative courses include TPC Sawgrass & Scottsdale, Quail Hollow
  • Already a bunch of WDs including: Doc Redman (positive COVID test) and Scott Piercy (contact tracing), Gary Woodland (contact tracing), Sam Burns (undisclosed)
  • Focus Stat Categories: Strokes Gained: Approach, Bogey Avoidance, SG: Putting (Bermuda), SG: Off the Tee, SG: Around the Green, Par 4 scoring,

The Picks:

Elite PGA DFS (DK $9,500 and up):

Sungjae Im (DK $11,000) – Since his T5 at the Sentry Tournament of Champions – a no-cut event – Im hasn’t placed better than T12 at the AMEX, though he’s made every cut and hasn’t necessarily hurt you. This week, he’s the top-priced golfer in a thin field and the defending champion — but he’s probably not the best option in cash games if you’re trying to build a balanced lineup. I won’t be overweight on the field, but I’ll have a few shares in GPPs based strictly on his ability to avoid bogeys and get off the tee well. The SG:APP and SG:ARG numbers don’t give me enough confidence to go all-in, even with the shortage of “elite talent in the top tier.

Daniel Berger (DK $10,800) – On Monday, Berger was the betting favorite and recently cited a rib injury following his T9 performance at the Players. He’s supposed to do a pre-tourney press conference, so we should have a better idea of how the ribs are feeling the day before lock. For now, I’m downgrading him slightly; he actually said he was surprised he played four full rounds dealing with the issue. Joel, Michael and Sia discussed Berger on the breakdown, but the fact that he played through the injury last week – and he’s second overall on my model – makes me want to use him in GPPs if he’s good to go. Stay tuned.

UPDATE: Berger has withdrawn from the Honda Classic and has been replaced by Rhein Gibson. Get him out of all your lineups and pivot to Niemann, Westwood or value. Incidentally, because the winds are going to blow so hard this week, it’s not a bad idea to leave some money on the table in a few lineups in large-field GPPs — since we could see the winning lineup not include any of the players over $9,500, and sneak a couple of serious value plays in the top 5.

Joaquin Niemann DK $10,400) – Our process of elimination is being aided by some early WDs and glaring red flags with a few of the other “elite” golfers this week, so forgive me for arriving at Joaquin Niemann chalk and feeling a bit uninspired. He’s viable in all formats, he’s sixth overall on my model and he’s 11/11 on cuts since the start of October. So what’s the downside? We’ll have to keep an eye on ownership for our GPP exposure, but I’m starting to feel like he’s one of the safer plays on the board.

Russell Henley (DK $9,800) – Henley might be the best cash game play of the top group when price, course history and model are all considered, and I’ll have plenty of exposure in GPPs as well, as he’s No. 1 overall on my model and his ownership might be more depressed than it would have been had he made the cut last week and had a finish higher than T11 in his last eight starts. He’s continually improve his finish in this event since 2016, and he won here in 2014. Henley will be the starting point for about 30-40 percent of my GPPs, and he’s shaping up to be an anchor on my single-entry squad.

Also consider: Lee Westwood, Adam Scott (Cash)

Mid-Range PGA DFS (DK $7,600 to $9,400):

Shane Lowry (DK $9,200) – If the wind starts blowing and folks are having a tough time making pars, I’m all the more interested in a guy like Lowry, who’s proven to be a trustworthy golfer even when conditions are dire. He’s in good form and his history at the Honda Classic (through three tries) yielded a T21 in his last go-round. The weaker field, the difficulty of the venue and his increased confidence both here and on correlative and other Florida courses is a combination for prospective success this week.

Cameron Tringale (DK $9,100) – Tringale actually described the Champion course at PGA national himself as a “second-shot golf course” that plays tough because of the wind, the run-offs and the myriad hazards that abound. Tringale has always been decent around the greens and has his most difficulty on correlative courses getting off the tee (he ranks 131st in the field in SG: OTT when adjusted for this course and the others mentioned in the bullets). While it feels weird playing over $9K for Tringale, but he’s No. 18 in my model and if he can keep it in the fairways here, he’ll be in good shape to contend on Sunday.

Chris Kirk (DK $9,000) – In his last two events, Kirk has waited until day 4 to shoot his worst round of the tournament, which may not bode well for his confidence heading into a difficult PGA National course. If he’s anywhere near 15% or more in GPPs, I’ll steer clear, but you have to consider a guy whose ball striking has been this good lately. He’s No. 15 in my model overall and the only thing that’s really held him back form better finishes in his last few tourneys has been his putting.

Brendan Steele (DK $8,700) – This tour grinder has made seven consecutive cuts heading into the Honda this week. Aside from a MC in 2019, Steele’s course history is more than solid (8-for-9 with top 15s in four of last five; 36-hole leader before a T4 last year), and he’s popping (fourth overall) on my model this week. I’m already leaning his way in single-entry and could have big shares across the board in all formats. As a bonus, we’ve seen Steele navigate high winds well before, and Sia likes him this week too, so there are two more reasons to keep him in our builds.

Matt Wallace (DK $8,500) – Wallace is another player who plays well in these types of conditions, and he has one of those names that Sia really likes for its simplicity and understated, boring inflection. Because it doesn’t stand out like Wallace himself, we could see ownership lower than what it should be this week. For that reason, and the important detail that he’s a longshot who just barely missed the cut here last year, we don’t need high ownership to stay ahead of the field. He’s definitely getting mixed into my GPPs (20-max), but I won’t have more than 10 percent shares.

Also consider: Talor Gooch, Rickie Fowler (GPP), Keegan Bradley (GPP), Martin Kaymer, Ian Poulter, Wyndham Clark (GPP), Byeong Hun An, Russell Knox, Erik van Rooyen

Value PGA DFS (DK $6,600 to 7,500):

K.H. Lee (DK $7,500) – Lee missed the cut at Bay Hill and finished a ho-hum T41 last week at the Players, but I’m intrigued by the correlation between success here and at TPC Scottsdale – where he finished T2 in February. The South Korean sensation is adept at avoiding bogeys and is 25th overall in my model this week – making him a solid value play. Because of the wind, I’m looking at tee times and favoring the early Thursday times a bit, so Lee takes a bit of a hit because of that, but I’m still interested.

Luke List (DK $7,500) – He’s let me down a few times with missed cuts, but he can really get off the tee well and that usually bodes well for success at this event, where he finished solo second (between winner JT and Alex Noren) in 2018. Add to that course history another Top 10 and a couple missed cuts and underwhelming performances, and you’ve got a golfer to use in GPPs and stay a bit ahead of the field in ownership.

James Hahn (DK $7,300) – Hahn hasn’t played the Honda Classic in a while, but he’s tied with Lee Westwood for eighth overall in my model, he’s sprinkled three Top 15s in his last 10 tournaments, and his solo 10th place finish at the TPC course Waste Management gives me some confidence in his ability to do well here at this correlated PGA course in South Florida. He’ll be low-owned and makes for a prime target in GPPs.

Ryan Moore (DK $7,300) – Moore has played here just once, but he made the cut, and he’s finished in the Top 35 in his last two tournaments after three straight MCs to start out 2021. He’s No. 14 overall on my model this week and he’s been playing steady enough golf to spike a Top 10 or 15 finish here, which works for me in all formats.

Chez Reavie (DK $7,000) – His proximity stats are second in the field (Vaughn Taylor is actually first and Russell Henley is third), and he’s been off a bit this year with a bunch of missed cuts mixed with a few decent performances. His putting and ARG numbers have bene bad, but if he can find a little magic on the short stuff, he could pay off handsomely in GPPs.

Lucas Glover (DK $7,000) – I really like Glover this week in GPPs given his extensive course history, but I’ve been known to go a little overboard because of the upside he offers at such a cheap price point. He hasn’t had a top 10 finish since the Mayakoba, but there have bene some bright spots, including a 63 in round two of the Waste Management Open and some steady golf last week (in rounds 2-4) despite difficult conditions. His ability to avoid the big number could come in handy this week.

Jim Furyk (DK $6,900) – Full disclosure: I’ll probably have Furyk on way too many teams this week given the venue, the fact that he’s fifth in my model (and #1 in the field in Bogey Avoidance), and the crucial factor that less-than-driver is plenty on a lot of these Par 4s. The veteran golfer (and shoo-in 2021 HOFer) is one of the best ball strikers the game has ever known, and he’s still got it going at over 50 years of age.

Chesson Hadley (DK $6,600) – Hadley (No. 20 overall on my model) typically struggles around the greens, but he likes this putting surface and if he can avoid some of the testy run-offs and navigate the ball well T2G, I think he could be in play in GPPs. He’s in the price range where you don’t need to go overboard or even use him in single-entry, but I’m fine with 10-15% ownership in GPPs if you want some extra leverage for a high-upside guy with two Top 25s at this event.

More value golfers to consider: Patton Kizzire (GPP), Zach Johnson, Henrik Norlander (GPP), Jhonattan Vegas (GPP), Harry Higgs (GPP), Adam Long, Mark Hubbard, Denny McCarthy, John Huh (GPP), Wes Bryan, Charl Schwartzel, Jason Dufner

Longshot Punts PGA DFS (DK $6,500 and under):

Pat Perez (DK $6,500) – It’s easy to root for Perez, who’s No. 10 on my overall model this week but missed the cut last week after 77-69 in the opening two rounds. I’m focused on the 69 – especially since the last two times he missed the cut he bounced back with a finish in the top 36. That’s not a bad trend for a golfer in this price range, and a guy who doesn’t make a lot of big numbers and has the game to put together some low rounds.

Kramer Hickok (DK $6,400) – He performed well in high winds at the Bermuda, and he made the cut last week at the Players after getting in as an alternate with Brooks Koepka’s withdrawal. He’s No. 59 overall on my model, but he’s got some Top 25 upside this week if you need a cheap golfer to mix into 1-2 of your 20max GPPs.

UPDATE: Kramer Hickok has withdrawn his name from the field, and will be replaced by Brandon Hagy, who I have no interest in. Hickok did not cite a reason for his WD.

Kelly Kraft (DK $6,000) – Normally I don’t include players this far down in my model (he’s No. 124 this week), but Kraft finished T8 here in 2018 and he’s known for being a better player in high winds, which could come into play right off the bat this week. He’s a 1/20 max play, but he’s minimum salary and if your five golfers in a GPP build gets you there and you need a guy that’s $6K, I’d pick Kraft.

Additional punts: Stewart Cink, Vaughn Taylor (GPP), Scott Stallings, Sam Ryder, Graeme McDowell, Tyler Duncan (GPP), Chase Seifert (GPP)

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Our weekly edition of PGA DFS picks is digging for gold at the WGC-Workday Championship and helping you find some winning teams!

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PGA DFS Course Notes:

  • Strong field limited to 72 golfers (49 of the Top 50 OWGR in the field)
  • No Cut
  • 2020 winner: Patrick Reed (-14)
  • The course: The Concession Golf Club (Bradenton, FL – Jack Nicklaus design)
    • Par 72 (7,424 yards)
    • New PGA Tour venue with no course history and tough rating (76.7)
    • Lots of water and bunkers in play
    • Bermuda greens and fairways
    • Similar course layouts include Bay Hill, TPC Sawgrass, PGA National, TPC Southwind, Doral and the Nicklaus-designed Muirfield Village GC
  • Wind could play a factor this week
  • Focus Stat Categories: Strokes Gained: Approach, SG: Off the Tee, Birdie or Better %, SG: Putting (Bermuda), Bogey Avoidance

The Picks:

Elite PGA DFS (DK $9,500 and up):

Jon Rahm (DK $11,100) – We’ve got loads of golfers priced above $9,500 this week, and in the $10K+ range I’m most interested in Rahm in all formats. His game translates well to all types of venues and his play is consistent enough that he just doesn’t need much course history to find the leaderboard. He’s tops in my mixed model and with no cut, he should be able to relax a bit more the first couple of days and let his ball-striking and overall game speak for itself.

Xander Schauffele (DK $10,800) – The X-Man excels in no-cut events and checks all the boxes in the focus stat categories. Both Rahm and Schauffele are decent bets for top 10 finishes here and while I will have shares of both Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas, they aren’t my priorities this week. There may not be a better selection for a Top 5 finish than Xander this week, and that should be reflected in his ownership. If not, we can take advantage in large-field GPPs as well.

Rory McIlroy, (DK $10,400) – I’m a little bit concerned about his performance last week at the Genesis, where he lost strokes to the field T2G and on the putting surface. But if there’s a cure to his ills it’s a return to Florida where he dominates these types of venues and seems a lot more comfortable on Bermuda. There’s been talk that longer hitters will have an advantage here, and given his recent struggles McIlroy is a perfect contrarian GPP play at a small discount, since this could be the week he hoists a trophy again.

Bryson DeChambeau (DK $9,900) – While there’s no professional course history at The Concession, Rahm, Schauffele and a much leaner Bryson all competed here in the 2015 NCAA Championship – which DeChambeau won. His game is a little different now but he seems to be fairly confident heading into this WGC event. As long as I don’t get cold feet before lock, I’ll probably have shares of him in large-field GPPs but the price seems fair given the risk.

Tyrrell Hatton (DK $9,600) – If there’s a value play in the top tier, it’s probably Hatton, whose game is strong in just about every focus stat category (he’s No. 11 on my model). He performs well against stiff competition and the relative lack of familiarity with seeing his name every week could keep his ownership low in GPPs.

Also consider: Dustin Johnson (GPP), Justin Thomas (GPP), Tony Finau (GPP)

*UPDATE: I had Patrick Cantlay listed as an option to consider, but he has withdrawn.

Mid-Range PGA DFS (DK $7,600 to $9,400):

Viktor Hovland (DK $9,400) – The course will be a tough test for Hovland, but he should do well on the scoring holes this week and he’s No. 16 on my model. With three straight finishes in the top six, his game looks sharp these days and he doesn’t lose any points for lack of course experience. I’d like to be ahead of the field in big GPPs, and he’s on my short list for cash and single-entry tournaments.

Webb Simpson (DK $9,100) – He’s not an exciting pick, but he doesn’t make a lot of bogeys and this putter is tops in this field both overall and on Bermuda. If you’re looking in the direction of approach, short game and “thinking” your way around this course (over bombers), then Simpson provides decent value given his strengths.

Collin Morikawa (DK $9,000) – Surprisingly, Morikawa fares better on Bermuda and overperforms on difficult courses, and his elite SG: APP numbers (No. 1 in the field) don’t suffer much on the similar courses we identified in the course bullets (No. 6 in the field). We know he struggles on the greens (he, Joaquin Niemann and Hideki Matsuyama are the worst putters in my model’s Top 20), but the lack of a cut (and the surface) might help him relax.

Sungjae Im (DK $8,800) – Im is easily my favorite play between $8,500 and $9K, and he’s No. 10 overall on my mixed model with solid performance at Florida/Nicklaus venues. This should be a course where he flourishes, and he’s undoubtedly rested and ready to post a Top 10 finish among these giants. Even if he’s popular in GPPs, I’m using him in my core.

Matthew Fitzpatrick (DK $8,500) – Fitzpatrick putts well pretty much everywhere, but Bermuda is his preferred surface. The lack of prowess off the tee is bit concerning in this star-studded field, but he could be an under-the-radar play and I’ll have some shares in GPPs.

Joaquin Niemann (DK $8,100) – Like Morikawa, Niemann is an excellent ball striker with solid approach and off-the-tee numbers – even among this stiff competition. His bugaboo is putting, and that may help contribute to a few too many three-putt bogeys and some lost strokes to the field. Still – he finished solo second at the no-cut Sentry Tournament of Champions and T2 at the Sony Open before a T43 last week at the Genesis, so the form is solid.

Will Zalatoris (DK $8,000) – Sia likes Willie Z as your first-round leader, and that’s a pretty good call considering the impressive stamp he’s made so early in his PGA career. The fact that this value-laden rookie has already snuck into the Top 50 in the world and qualified for this event says a lot about his game, and like some of the other youngsters playing here this week, he doesn’t lose any points for lack of experience.

Louis Oosthuizen (DK $7,900) – On the opposite end of the experience spectrum, we have the veteran South African – whose most recent finish was a T11 at the Waste Management Open a few weeks ago. Bermuda isn’t his favorite surface and he doesn’t pop for his performance on Florida or similar courses, but I just can’t count him out at this price point. He’s a competitive golfer in any field and his ownership should be well under 10%.

Also consider: Daniel Berger, Cameron Smith, Scottie Scheffler, Adam Scott, Jason Day (GPP), Justin Rose, Matthew Wolff (GPP)

Value PGA DFS (DK $6,600 to 7,500):

Sergio Garcia (DK $7,500) – The thing that stood out the most about Garcia (apart from the MC last week at the Genesis) is that he absolutely thrives on Florida courses. In fact, when I isolated SG:APP for the similar courses (identified in the preview bullets), he came out tops in the field. We know he’s a great ball striker who posts excellent SG:OTT numbers, and ball striking goes a long way in no-cut events.

Harris English (DK $7,500) – English hasn’t been playing well lately, but the price is just too low and he’s the only sub-$8K golfer who makes the top 20 of my mixed model this week. He won the last no-cut tournament he played (the Sentry) and there’s just no way I won’t have heavy shares of him in all formats. A great value play for both SE and cash, and a guy that will be party of my core for large-field GPPs.

Marc Leishman (DK $7,400) – While we don’t really have course horses this week, Leishman pops in my model for the venue attributes that matter and he really overperforms on Bermuda. He might be popular for GPPs this week, but it’s not terrible chalk given his upside and value.

Ryan Palmer (DK $7,200) – Speaking of value, I’m right there with Sia’s interpretation of a DK misprice for Palmer this week. He’s the 36th most expensive golfer this week (middle of the 72-man pack) but he’s No. 25 on my model and he’s got much shorter odds to win than golfers priced $500 to $1,000 more than him. He’s far from the best putter in the field, but he’s worth a look in all formats.

Kevin Kisner (DK $7,000) – Kisner’s only knock among our focus stats is SG:OTT, but he’s in the top 10 in SG:APP, top five in putting, and ranks No. 23 o my overall model – pretty amazing for a $7K golfer. Like Palmer, I think that he’s mispriced and I’ll be taking full advantage in all formats – even considering him for my single-entry GPP team. Kisner’s last no-cut event saw him finish T24 and while he hasn’t played since mid-January, I’m excited about his prospects in Florida.

Abraham Ancer (DK $6,800) – A T17 finish at the Sentry and T5 at the AMEX stick out as highlights among his last five starts, which included two missed cuts – something we don’t have to worry about this week. He probably won’t be a member of my core build (if I end up having one this week) but Ancer makes lots of sense as a final piece under $7K in GPPs.

Lanto Griffin (DK $6,700) – He’s been striking it well recently and we know he can putt – on just about any surface. I have concerns about how well his game will translate to such a difficult, unknown type of track, and his performance on similar courses isn’t all that exciting (No. 52 in the field). If we’re rostering Lanto, it’s for his talent and ability to get the putter going well over the course of a guaranteed four days.

More value golfers to consider: Bubba Watson (GPP), Carlos Ortiz, Jason Kokrak (GPP), Lee Westwood, Bernd Wiesberger, Rasmus Hojgaard

Longshot Punts PGA DFS (DK $6,500 and under):

Mackenzie Hughes (DK $6,400) – Hughes gets hot with his putter pretty frequently, and he’s another guy who could post a super low score on a difficult course given a few cracks at it. He’s far from a cash game play and I wouldn’t include him in my single-entry builds, but I large-field GPPs where we have to get a little creative, he’s a fine last piece at this price point.

Erik van Rooyen (DK $6,200) – EVR is the only guy under $6,500 who makes my model’s top 30, and if he can stay away from the big number this week and strike the ball well for four days, we could see him threaten the leaderboard by Sunday. We don’t have a cut looming over him, so hopefully he can stay focused and let his sound overall game take flight.

Additional punts: Cameron Champ, Brendan Todd (GPP)

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PGA DFS Course Notes:

  • Reduced, elite invitational field of 120 golfers
  • Cut: 36 holes, Top 65 and ties
  • 2020 winner: Adam Scott (-11)
  • The course: Riviera Country Club (Pacific Palisades, CA)
    • Par 71, 7,300+ yards
    • Redesigned by Tom Fazio in 2008
    • Hard-to-hit fairways and greens, but everybody knows what to expect here
    • Kikuyu fairways and rough can make for tough sledding in bad lies
    • Old, quirky design with doglegs and a driveable but difficult 315-yard Par 4 (Hole #10)
    • FAST Poa annua greens – three putts will abound
  • Sunny but cool weather (course will play longer in the mornings) this week
  • Wind expected around 7-10 MPH first two days, then blowing a bit harder
  • Recent (West Coast) form an important factor at Riviera
  • Focus Stat Categories: Strokes Gained: Tee to Green, SG: Approach, SG: Off the Tee, SG: Around the Green, Bogey Avoidance, Driving Distance

The Picks:

Elite PGA DFS (DK $9,500 and up):

Dustin Johnson (DK $11,300) – DJ has a solid course history (he ran away with the event in 2017 with a -17 score, five strokes clear of Thomas Pieters) and he is the betting favorite with ownership expected around 15-20 percent. One way to approach that in GPPs is by doubling the expected field ownership – a strategy I used last week with Patrick Cantlay.

Justin Thomas (DK $10,700) – Thomas won’t be as popular as usual this week in GPPs, but he’s second in my model and he almost won here in 2019 – choking away his shot at victory with a four-over-par 75 in the final round. JT actually missed the cut here last season, so there are some bad vibes he’d like to exorcise. I’ll definitely have shares, but he’s almost a contrarian play this week.

Rory McIlroy (DK $10,500) – Rory debuted at the Waste Management at TPC Scottsdale with a somewhat disappointing T13 and has nine consecutive top 25s. The troublesome part is that his last win came in November 2019 at the WGC-HSBC, so he’s a risky play at this price point. Perhaps his consecutive Top 5 finishes at Riviera and ability to both avoid bogeys and gain strokes off the tee (tops in the field in both categories) will allow for a breakthrough win.

Jon Rahm (DK $10,400) – Rahmbo drives it well, is a maestro on and around the green, and has been less affected by bad breaks as he matures. Let’s remember – the Spaniard is still just 26 years old, a fact that makes his failure to notch more than one Top 5 (T2 at the ZOZO in October) since September a bit more palatable. What he does have is six straight Top 15 finishes since his T23 at the U.S. Open, and the ability to win at just about any event.

Bryson DeChambeau (DK $10,100) – If there’s a course that favors Bryson the Beefy Big Boy, his aggressive lines, bomb-and-gouge style and arm-lock putting style, it’s Riviera – because he’s still pretty decent around the greens and the ultra-fast Poa Annua could favor his ability to get the ball on the right line. He may not be the best cash game play because he’s still pretty volatile and he can let a few bogeys and bad shots get the better of him but taking a stand with him at 30-40% in GPPs could really pay off this week.

Xander Schauffele (DK $9,900) – Schauffele (No. 10 on my mixed model)  arrives with consecutive T2 finishes at Torrey Pines and TPC Scottsdale and is a California kid playing in an event that favors high-performing West Coast swing golfers. He’s a near lock for cash games and single-entry tournaments and I’ll have plenty of shares (shooting for around 25-30 percent to stay ahead of the field) in large field GPPs.

Also consider: Brooks Koepka (GPP), Patrick Cantlay (Cash), Collin Morikawa

Mid-Range PGA DFS (DK $7,600 to $9,400):

Tony Finau (DK $9,300) – Finau could almost be a better cash game play than GPP this week, because he’s a great course fit who has made three straight cuts at Riviera – including a T2 in 2018 – and he usually sucks in the final round. We know he can burn us, but he’s No. 8 on my model because of his strength T2G, only lacking in the short game components and closing the deal on Sundays.

Adam Scott (DK $9,000) – The Aussie is a relatively safe play in all formats and I won’t talk you off including his in single entry – but he’s struggled to finish in the Top 10 (his T10 at Torrey Pines is his first since his