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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...
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!
Sign up NOW for WIN DAILY Premium Gold right here! Projections, wagering info, 24/7 expert chats and more!
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)
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
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)
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
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.
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)
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
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)
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
We’re giving you some top PGA DFS picks and looking for green screens at the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands!
Dustin Johnson (DK $11,400) – DJ’s game doesn’t look too bad heading into the Travelers, where he’s the defending champ and one of the betting favorites at 12-1. Last year’s title was helped tremendously by a second round 64 and a scorching-hot 61 on Saturday, but it took him a bit to warm up and he closed the deal with a solid 67 on Sunday. That’s just how he could win again this year – with his talent shining through in a couple of low rounds and solid ball-striking carrying him through when his mojo ain’t working.
Patrick Cantlay (DK $10,400) – His projected ownership will probably be the highest in this tier for the consistency he’s shown in PGA DFS events, excluding the poor stretch of MCs from the Players to the Wells Fargo during the spring. Believe it or not, Cantlay is actually the current FedExCup points leader with three top 15s at the Travelers since 2018. I won’t have as many shares as I will of DJ, but I feel like some exposure is warranted.
Paul Casey (DK $9,900) – Casey is my favorite play under $10K and has a great course history at TPC River Highlands, where he’s 6-for-6 with four top five finishes. He also finished among the top 10 in his last three starts (EURO and PGA combined) and is coming off a very respectable T7 at the U.S. Open. Sia is on board and so is Stix, so I’m buying some Casey this week and hoping for another Top 10 finish.
Scottie Scheffler (DK $9,600) – Scheffler missed the cut in his Travelers debut last year, but he was amid a bad stretch of golf during the beginning of the spectator-free COVID tournaments. An opening round 70 sealed his fate, but he’s playing solid golf right now (T7 at the U.S. Open) and checks all the boxes this week.
Also consider: Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka (GPP), Patrick Reed
Kevin Streelman (DK $9,400) – He’s a solid play in all formats, and he’s probably worth using in single-entry builds for his galling consistency. Nick talked a little bit in The Breakdown about how he’s a near-lock for the Top 40 every week and we just saw him play some marvelous golf at the U.S. Open. “Streels” is one of those guys who just seems to show up every week.
Tony Finau (DK $9,200) – The jury is still out on when we’ll see Finau get his next win, but the price seems fair this week for a guy who just needs the putter to show up to realize his Top 10 upside. He’s missed his last two cuts here but had a T25 and T17 in 2016 and 2017. I’d steer clear in cash games, but he’s worth of consideration for GPPs.
Bubba Watson (DK $8,900) – He’s very popular this week and seems to be everywhere in the “experts” picks on plenty of sites, but he’s not nearly as safe a play as that would dictate. It’s been a while since I’ve seen him play his true “A” game, and the birdie runs are coming less frequently than a few years ago, when he won this tournament in 2018. I’ll have minimal exposure, and he’s not in my player pool for single-entry or cash games.
Brian Harman (DK $8,800) – Harman typically plays about a half-stroke better on Dye courses, and he’s an accurate driver who just closed out a solid week with a one-over 72 on Sunday at the U.S. Open, finishing T19. He’s got a couple of Top 10 finishes at the Travelers in his last three tries (MC in the tumultuous 2020) and has now placed among the top 20 in seven of eight starts going back to his T3 at the Players.
Si Woo Kim (DK $8,500) –Another “Dye desirable,” Kim has made three of his last four cuts at the Travelers with a T11 in 2020 and solid finishes in 2016 and 2018. His form isn’t bad either, with a T9 at the Memorial and T40 last week at a grueling U.S. Open on a course that didn’t; necessarily fit his strengths. He’s a fine GPP play this week.
Keegan Bradley (DK $7,900) – Bradley likes Pete Dye courses and this is the first of two “home games” for the underpriced golfer, who has had a really strong 2021. He finished T2 in 2019 and makes sense for all kinds of builds this week.
Francesco Molinari, (DK $7,700) – Molinari is rounding into form and while he doesn’t play a lot of events, he always has a shot at winning because he can get ridiculously hot with the putter. I think the T13 finish at the U.S. Open should give him the confidence necessary to capitalize on his opportunities this week and make a splash on the weekend.
Doc Redman (DK $7,600) – After a stretch of spotty play earlier this season, Redman has turned in some solid performances in recent weeks, posting a T9 at the AT&T Byron Nelson and a T2 at the Palmetto Championship at Congaree. He also debuted here last season with a T11 and he’s usually a decent leverage play that’s a little off-the-radar.
Also consider: Abraham Ancer (GPP), Joaquin Niemann, Cameron Smith (GPP), Harris English, Sam Burns (GPP), Max Homa (GPP), Jason Day (GPP)
Lanto Griffin (DK $7,400) – Griffin’s ball-striking was good at the U.S. Open and while he didn’t miss the cut, I was hoping for a better finish than T35. There’s a bunch of high-upside/high-risk golfers in this price range, and Lanto fits the bill for GPPs and as a 100-1 longshot to win.
Rickie Fowler (DK $7,300) – I’m a huge Fowler fan and the disappointment of missing the U.S. Open this year has to be weighing on the veteran golfer. Rickie’s game has had its ups and downs but has shown improvement over his last two events. There’s not much recent history at the Travelers to go form, but he had a T13 in 2014, closing with a 64 on Sunday. A return to New England and a course that fits his game could be just what he needs as he and Allison Stokke await the birth of their first child.
Mackenzie Hughes (DK $7,100) – He might get chalky after three days of brilliance at the U.S. Open (but not a fourth), because the price is very nice. The Canadian is 4-for-4 at the Travelers with an impressive scoring average (68.19) and a T3 last year. He’s in play for all formats.
Carlos Ortiz (DK $7,100) – If you need a pivot from Hughes with just as much upside but a lot more risk, look no further than Ortiz. He’s missed the cut here in his last two Travelers appearances but finished T17 in 2016 and has the chops to post some low scores here.
Chez Reavie (DK $7,000) – The $7K range is loaded with players who we’d like to play when they’re in good form, and Reavie makes for a wonderful GPP play this week as he’s coming off a T14 at the Palmetto and T40 at the U.S. Open. Reavie doesn’t typically play well on Dye courses, but we an make an exception this week because it’s a good spot.
Kyle Stanley (DK $7,000) – Stanley isn’t a very good putter, but his iron play is consistently strong and he’s once again underpriced for what he offers in PGA DFS. His course history is good and he’s a real bargain this week given his Top 20 upside.
Adam Long (DK $6,800) – Long has finished T20-T26 in his last two tournaments and is a solid ball-striker who’s accurate off the tee – an important factor in creating opportunities here. If he can keep form having the one blowup round that usually mars his chances, he’ll be in good shape for the weekend.
More value golfers to consider: Kevin Na (GPP), Aaron Wise, Brendan Steele (GPP), Stewart Cink, Patton Kizzire (GPP), Will Gordon (GPP), Ryan Moore (GPP), Scott Stallings (GPP), Henrik Norlander (GPP), Hank Lebioda (GPP), Wyndham Clark (GPP), Austin Eckroat (GPP)
Brian Stuard (DK $6,400) – A lot of folks will look to Satoshi Kodaira and the very consistent Vincent Whaley, but I like Stuard’s chances of rebounding after missed cuts at the Palmetto and U.S. Open. He has an extensive course history with spotty results, but something clicked last year en route to a T20, a finish I think he could duplicate here in 2021.
Tyler Duncan (DK $6,300) – He’s a total longshot (and hasn’t posted a Top 10 since he won the RSM in 2019), but he’s accurate off the tee and has made three straight cuts at this event. If you need a final piece and only have $6,300 to spend, he’s worth throwing in one or two out of 20 GPPs.
Additional GPP punts: Satoshi Kodaira, Tom Lewis, Vincent Whaley
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!
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 currentMasters 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)
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
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
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
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!
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)
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)
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)
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
The second major of the year in PGA DFS provides an opportunity for you to dominate with our winning picks and analysis at the PGA Championship.
Rory McIlroy (DK $11,500) – Fresh off a one-stroke win at the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow, McIlroy is the betting favorite this week and the top-priced golfer on the board. While there’s no way I’m fading him completely this week, he’s bound to be popular, so I’m okay coming a little underweight on the field. The course – where he won the 2012 PGA Championship by a decisive eight shots – fits his game well. The eventual Hall of Famer from Northern Ireland is averaging 318 yards per drive this year, good for second on the PGA Tour, but his driving accuracy ranks just 175th – a stat that still scares me a little bit. He missed the cut at both the Players and the Masters, so he’ll be out to prove he’s truly back this week – right along with the cadre of fans he draws so much energy from.
Justin Thomas (DK $11,300) – JT’s win at the Players’ Championship on the Pete Dye design at TPC Sawgrass convinced me his game is in fine enough shape to contend at the coastal test of Kiawah Island – which earned the moniker “Looney Dunes” when it was played at the 1991 Ryder Cup. Thomas already has one PGA Championship under his belt (2017) on a course that provided a tough test for its competitors, and I like his ability to bounce back from bad bounces, bad holes and bad stretches a lot more than the sometimes erratic Bryson DeChambeau and Jon Rahm, who may currently lack the killer instinct and unflappable mindset to perform at his best this week. JT’s game is a complete one – and if he can continue to gain strokes around the green and get hot with the putter, the sky’s the limit.
Jordan Spieth (DK $10,100) – Spieth has played excellent golf in 2021, and his ball-striking is finally coming around the match his epic short game. We did see Spieth chunk a few chips and pitches last week, but I’ll chalk that up to anecdotal errors and assume the empirical brilliance he’s demonstrated under pressure around the greens throughout his career will take precedence over a few minor flubs. Golf Digest ranked the Ocean Course the toughest in the country, and Tiger Woods has compared the Ocean Course’s long, links-like layout to Whistling Straits, where Spieth contended against eventual winner Jason Day in 2015. He’s a fine play in all formats, and since he’s healthy now, I like him a little better than the more expensive Dustin Johnson, who WD last week due to a knee injury.
Xander Schauffele (DK $9,600) – Xander’s my favorite play in the lower half of the elite tier, although he’s still waiting to hoist his first major trophy after several close calls. Schauffele’s performance in majors during his brief career has been quite impressive – with top 25s in 11 of his 15 major events to date, including eight top 10s, six top 5s and a T3 just two starts ago at the Masters in April. Since then, he’s finished T11 at the Zurich alongside teammate Patrick Cantlay and T14 at the Wells Fargo. His time is coming, and this week might very well be it.
Also consider: Dustin Johnson (GPP), Collin Morikawa
Viktor Hovland (DK $9,300) – Hovland’s consistent play in 2021 includes just one MC and an incredible six finishes inside the Top 6 in his last 10 starts. He’s been a free square in cash games and provides ample GPP value despite his popularity in PGA DFS. He’s probably the least contrarian you can go if your goal is to build a safe lineup with some upside, and while he’s yet to win a major (or even crack a Top 10) in his young career, he’s not very far from greatness. His demeanor, his ball-striking and his positive attitude should go a long way this week in all formats.
Cameron Smith (DK $8,900) – Smith is my favorite pick in the $8-9K range and I’ll be pinning a lot of my GPP hopes on him posting a Top 10 finish. He’s lodged somewhere in the top 15 or 20 power rankings for a lot of sharps this week, and his dominance on par 3s and par 5s over the past few months points to an ability to capitalize on scoring opportunities. That, combined with his ability to avoid three-putts (third overall heading into this week) usually helps him get it done regardless of the venue.
Will Zalatoris (DK $8,800) – Zalatoris seems to save his best golf for the biggest moments and the toughest golf courses, so he’s definitely one to watch this week at the Ocean Course. His seemingly effortless combination of power off the tee and precision on his approaches took a week off at the Wells Fargo, but he’s a very good bet for a Top 25 at Kiawah Island amid a strong field and a slew of big names who’ve already sealed the deal with multiple major wins. I’m not quite ready to go all-in just yet, but I’ll gladly get ahead of the field in my GPP ownership this week and see where it all shakes out.
Tony Finau (DK $8,600) – I’ve said “never again” too many times to count with Finau, but he’s talking confidently about his ability to win a major (despite just one career PGA Tour win to his credit) and he’s so damn good off the tee. I’ve thrown out a lot of the usual models I’ve been relying on for “lesser” tournaments since attitude and form go a long way in determining performance at a major championship venue this challenging, but Finau is one of the golfers who usually fares well on paper and just seems to lack the fortitude to finish tournaments. He’s flying under the radar this week and the team is off him, but for me there’s some leverage as a GPP pivot in the Will Z/Cam Smith range.
Matthew Fitzpatrick (DK $8,400) – Fitzpatrick killed a lot of PGA DFS lineups this past week but scoring fests like the Byron Nelson are not where the wispy Englishman plays his best golf. His overall short game and precise ball-striking are his biggest strengths, and while he’s not insanely long (No. 168 on tour in Driving Distance), he ranks 16th on tour in SG:OTT – a huge stat this week since missing the fairway won’t be an easy fix on most of these holes. Fitzpatrick is having his best season on the PGA tour in 2020-21, and I can’t advocate leaving him out of your player pool.
Tyrrell Hatton (DK $8,000) – Hatton ranks ninth on the PGA Tour in SG:APP and is in the top 20 for SG:OTT – the top two stats this week. While his performance around the greens remains his biggest bugaboo, he seems to step up and avoid three putts just enough on tough golf courses. He also should be recovered from the positive COVID test that forced him to withdraw from the Valspar in late April. The price is tempting, but I’ll be limiting my ownership levels to around 10% in GPPs since he’s yet to post a Top 15 finish on the PGA Tour in 2021.
Abraham Ancer (DK $7,900) – Ancer is a cut-making and ball-striking machine who’s yet to post a Top 10 major championship finish, but he’s coming in extremely hot: solo fifth at the Valspar, solo second at the Wells Fargo – performances which came on the heels of five straight finishes in the Top 26. He’s always among the leaders in SG:APP and Bogey Avoidance, and the only thing that could keep him from posting another Top 25 this week is his short game. Still – he’ll be a GPP staple and is a fine play in just about any format.
Paul Casey (DK $7,700) – Playing a chalky Casey could end up burning me, but I don’t care. The pedigree and price are just too good to pass up this week. The missed cut at the RBC Heritage is just about the only blemish on his 2021 record, and he’s notched five top 10 finishes this year, including a win at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, which took place at a course grassed with – you guessed it – Paspalum. There are a lot of Euro Tour regulars I like this week, and Casey has proven to have winning upside on the International stage, even if he’s yet to notch a major win.
Marc Leishman (DK $7,600) – Please don’t forget about Leishman this week. He finished T5 at the Masters, and he’s had a slew of good performances in wind, something that he and fellow Aussie Cameron Smith know a lot about from the gusty tracks “down under.” He’s coming off a breezy T21 at TPC Craig Ranch and he finished T27 at Kiawah island in the 2012 PGA Championship. If he’s not mega-popular, I’ll be on board in GPPs and will consider him for a balanced single-entry build.
Also consider: Hideki Matsuyama, Webb Simpson, Patrick Reed (GPP), Daniel Berger, Scottie Scheffler (GPP), Louis Oosthuizen, Corey Conners (Cash)
Sam Burns (DK $7,500) – The price is way too low for his current form and ability with the driver and flat stick; his putting numbers have shown marked improvement in 2021 and are the main reason he’s been so good lately. His irons haven’t been awful either, and Burns will be a tough fade if you’re looking for balanced builds. The timing for him playing the best golf of his young career couldn’t be better, and he’s really easy to root for.
Keegan Bradley (DK $7,300) – The 34-year-old has loads of experience on Paspalum, and the way he’s been driving the ball and striking it, he’s going to be a core play of mine in single-entry, GPP and cash. I’ll be approaching 40 percent overall ownership and taking the big plunge. Bradley already has a PGA Championship under his belt – his lone major victory – and he’s playing the best golf of his career since that zenith, which came when he was just a young man of 25.
Charley Hoffman (DK $7,300) – I don’t go overweight on Hoffman, but he plays his best golf in tough competition on long and challenging golf courses. He’s made eight straight cuts and finished outside the top 35 only once (a T52 at the Genesis Invitational) during that stretch – which includes a solo second at the Valero Texas open and consecutive T18s in his last two events.
Jason Kokrak (DK $7,100) – He’s just about the best value on the board, along with veterans Stewart Cink and Charl Schwartzel, and he’s yet to miss a cut in 2021 – a season that’s seen the tour veteran post a T9 at the Players and three more Top 15 finishes. It’s debatable whether or not his breakthrough win in 2020 has given him the confidence to finally contend at a major – where his performance over the past few years has been spotty at best – but this golf course seems to play to his strengths.
Stewart Cink (DK $6,900) – One of the most surprising stats about the 47-year-old PGA Tour stalwart’s recent resurgence is his Driving Distance (No. 23 on tour). That length should help him tackle these long par 4s and his No. 9 rank in Bogey Avoidance will hopefully get him another solid finish in the PGA Championship – a major he hasn’t played since 2018 when he finished T4 at Bellerive Country Club.
Charl Schwartzel (DK $6,800) – The Win Daily team has given you Schwartzel’s name week after week, and I’ve had him covered even before his T26 at the Masters and subsequent T21-T14-T3, a progression that’s been impressive considering the dynamic differences among the courses during that stretch. He’s one of a handful of golfers under $7K who I’ll be rostering in more than 15% of my GPP lineups, and he’s brimming with confidence heading into a major where he’s made the cut six straight times since a missed cut in 2013. Over the course of his career, Schwartzel has 18 Top 25s in the 52 major championships he’s played in a professional career that started when he was just 18 years old in 2002.
Christian Bezuidenhout (DK $6,800) – CBZ, as I like to call him for brevity’s sake, is my off-the-wall value play. He’s piqued my interest for his dominance around the greens, where he ranks second on the PGA tour in SG:ARG behind just Fabian Gomez. His ball-striking is a concern, but on a course that plays this difficult for everybody, I’m willing to take a chance and include him in a few of my 20-max GPPs.
Thomas Pieters (DK $6,800) – On the other end of the spectrum, we have a Belgian EURO golfer who strikes the ball well and is long enough off the tee to contend on this course. There’s not a lot of PGA Tour data, but his ranks put him among the Top 65 in plenty of key categories, and his form is decent. Before his missed cut at the Byron Nelson, he posted four straight Top 15s in tournaments here and abroad.
More value golfers to consider: Gary Woodland (GPP), Lee Westwood, Matt Wallace, Brian Harman, Garrick Higgo, Max Homa (GPP), Matt Jones, Cameron Tringale, Rickie Fowler (GPP), Chris Kirk, Talor Gooch (GPP), Thomas Detry
Dean Burmester (DK $6,300) –I love the form (Win-T4-T6 in his last three EURO events), and while he’s a huge risk playing inside the United States, where he’s only played two majors – both U.S. Opens (T56-MC). I won’t go into too much detail about the South African because I don’t have a lot – but in this price range I’m willing to use him a bit and hope he sneaks into the weekend and gets on a decent run.
J.T. Poston (DK $6,100) – There’s not a lot of golfers to seriously consider in this price range, but Poston’s putter (fourth on tour in SG:P) and distance off the tee (300+) gets him into the conversation. He doesn’t three-putt too much and while his ball-striking is a concern, once in a while he shines. For this price in GPPs, he can’t hurt you too much if you keep him under 10%.
Additional GPP punts: Brendan Steele (GPP), Tom Lewis, Lanto Griffin, Erik van Rooyen, Harry Higgs, Andy Sullivan
Our comprehensive PGA DFS picks and analysis is back this week, helping you construct some winning teams for the AT&T Byron Nelson at a new PGA tour stop.
Bryson DeChambeau (DK $11,200) – Pricing is pretty tight this week, so finding value is going to be important – but with Dustin Johnson’s withdrawal we are left with just two golfers in the elite $11K range. Bryson’s form and his putting stats make him a little better choice than Rahm, but it was a very bizarre week for the reigning U.S. Open champ. Length is a significant advantage this week and we know Bryson has that in spades.
Jon Rahm (DK $11,000) – Rahm’s overall game (with an emphasis on tee game and putting) make him an obvious favorite this week, and your exposure will most likely be dictated by what value range you settle on with the rest of your builds. The missed cut at the Wells Fargo will keep some folks off him, but he’s still notched seven top 10 finishes in his last 10 tournaments.
Will Zalatoris (DK $9,700) – The streak of events without a missed cut ended abruptly last week, but it’s a home game for Willie Z, who said he’s been playing here for half his life. I expect a huge bounce back for him and I really like his game off the tee and on the greens. Zalatoris has excellent metrics in the focus stat categories and is on the short list of players in this field that rank (over the last 36 rounds) inside the top 25 of both key proximity ranges 175-200 (fourth) and 200-plus (21st).
Matthew Fitzpatrick (DK $9,500) – I almost always have some shares of Fitzpatrick in PGA DFS, and while he’s okay tee-to-green, he really excels on the greens – which could be a huge factor on a course where guys will need to get hot with the flat stick to win. I tend to go heavier on Fitzy ownership when he’s playing Florida venues, but there’s no reason to think his debut win couldn’t come n Dallas. He’ll be a staple of my GPPs, especially the lineups where I fade that pricey $10-11K+ range.
Also consider: Jordan Spieth, Hideki Matsuyama (GPP), Daniel Berger (GPP), Brooks Koepka (GPP)
Scottie Scheffler (DK $9,400) – Just like his buddy Will, Scheffler is on home turf looking for another Top 10 finish – something he’s been searching for since February when he notched a solo fifth at the WGC-Workday. He struggled on the greens at the Valspar, but his T2G game is solid and the price is fair.
Marc Leishman (DK $9,200) – It’s easy to forget about Leishman if you didn’t watch his win at the Zurich Classic alongside fellow Aussie Cameron Smith, because he hasn’t played in a standard PGA Tour event since the Masters, when he finished T5. A fine GPP play but far from safe since he missed the cut at both the Players and API.
Sergio Garcia (DK $9,000) – His numbers putting on Bentgrass are pretty atrocious, but as Joel and Sia mentioned in the breakdown, a hot putter could have him holding a trophy come Sunday. I won’t go overboard in GPPs and will probably leave him off my single-entry builds but staying ahead of the field makes sense for his upside.
Si Woo Kim (DK $8,800) – He’s 35-1 to win the tournament outright, and I agree with Joel and Sia that it’s a good price. I like Kim for basically all formats this week as he’s shown some consistency since a string of missed cuts around February (MC at Farmers, AT&T Pebble Beach, Genesis, API). Ownership shouldn’t get too high, and he checks most of the boxes this week.
Luke List (DK $8,400) – Like Garcia, List’s biggest unknown from week-to-week is his putting, so there’s plenty of risk in rostering him. The T6 at the Wells Fargo points to a start of one of the hot stretches he’s known for, so I’ll have plenty of shares in GPPs and will consider him for single-entry.
Charl Schwartzel (DK $8,100) – I’ve been writing up Schwartzel for a few weeks in a row now (since his inclusion in my Masters picks, when he finished T26), and while I’m not quite as high on him to win outright as Sia and Joel (he’s 55-1), I think he’s a solid bet for a Top 25 and there’s nothing to hate about his game right now.
Talor Gooch (DK $7,900) – Gooch’s irons have been on fire over the last few tournaments he’s played, and while his putting had been bad the week he missed the cut at the Valspar, he bounced back win a T26 at the Well Fargo and seems poised for a solid finish this week in Texas. I like the price and the Top 15 upside.
Also consider: Sam Burns, Ryan Palmer, Keith Mitchell, Carlos Ortiz (GPP), Russell Knox
Camilo Villegas (DK $7,500) – Don’t look now, but in Villegas’s quest to regain his tour card, he’s put together four Top 25 finishes in his last five tournaments, including a T8 at the Honda Classic and T11 at the recent Valspar Championship. He’s striking and putting it well, and while he did withdraw form the Wells Fargo, that may just have been to prepare for this tournament on a course where he felt he might have an advantage.
Update: Villegas has withdrawn from the tournament.
Brandt Snedeker (DK $7,400) – Sneds heads into the week in solid form, and the veteran grinder with the signature pop-stroke putter has made four of his past five cuts, including a T6 at the Valero and a T11 at the Valspar. Normally his ball-striking is horrendous, but he’s notched positive strokes T2G in three consecutive starts and he’s a birdie-maker – especially on Bentgrass. I normally don’t look his way on courses that require elite SG: BS numbers, but this week he fits the bill.
Patton Kizzire (DK $7,300) – I like long hitters who can make lots of birdies, and Kizzire (though not the best on approach or with his irons) fills out that mold. When there’s little talk about hard-to-hit fairways and punishing rough, that’s my cue to include Kizzire in my player pool. His last impressive finish was T9 at the Valero Texas Open, but I’m counting on a Top 25 this week from the 6-foot-5 tour veteran.
James Hahn (DK $7,100) – This price range isn’t filled with too many sure things, and Hahn is far from a cash game play considering his three straight MCs. But it’s possible he’ still recovering from a rib injury and the week he feels better might be the week he starts a stretch of made cuts and decent finishes. Hahn is always a guy I look to for value in GPPs, and the fact that he finished second in a Korn Ferry championship on this golf course in 2012 means it’s a great place to get on the good foot and retrieve some of the confidence that’s essential to his game.
Wyndham Clark (DK $7,000) – I’m not the only one who think Clark is a solid play at the Byron Nelson this week, but there’s plenty of reason to think he’ll still stay under the radar as a fine GPP play. Clark is insanely long off the tee and is just the kind of golfer who can get hot on a course where there’s no real history to speak of. Giddyup!
Andrew Putnam (DK $6,700) – He’s a putting demon on Bentgrass, and nobody is going to be on him this week. He’s one of about five or six players under $7K who I wouldn’t play in over 10% of GPPs, but who you can comfortably roster in the 5-10% range and not risk tanking too many lineups.
Chesson Hadley (DK $6,700) – There’s been plenty of chatter about the $7,000-7,500 guys including Vincent Whaley, Patrick Rodgers (after that scorching Thursday-Friday last week) and even Jhonattan Vegas, who everybody but me seems to be on this week, but Hadley seems to be the forgotten man in a value range that could be crucial if you’re rostering guys like DeChambeau and Rahm.
More value golfers to consider: Doug Ghim, Sepp Straka, Jhonattan Vegas, Scott Piercy, Patrick Rodgers, Vincent Whaley, Brice Garnett, Josh Teator, Bronson Burgoon (GPP)
Beau Hossler (DK $6,500) – Hossler is a pretty good putter (T31 in SG:P heading into last week), and he’s an even better putter on Bentgrass, where he’s gained .458 strokes on average over his past 69 rounds. It’s a tough price range this week but Hossler could find his way into some of my GPPs.
Sung Kang (DK $6,500) – TPC Craig Ranch is his home course (he’s a member), and he actually won the Byron Nelson at its old venue. Kang also loves Bentgrass, where he gains over a half stroke on average. There are wore narratives to hang your hat on.
Kristoffer Ventura (DK $6,400) – I’m not certain just how popular he’ll get this week, but I really love Ventura as a punt play in this severely discounted price range. He’s one of the best putters around and some projections have him squarely in the Top 50 this week – which means he’s a perfect final piece for all kinds of roster builds.
Additional GPP punts: Tyler McCumber (GPP), Mark Hubbard (GPP)
In this PGA DFS picks column, we’re looking for all the right team at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans and helping you navigate this team event!
Xander Schauffele/Patrick Cantlay (DK $11,700) – I doubt these golfers will find much trouble off the tee and they look like the best combo of ball-striking and ability to capitalize on opportunities. Cantlay hasn’t played well recently, but in a team event, it’s easy to throw that out and look at the fact that both of these players are in the OWGR Top 10, and have the most combined talent in the field.
John Rahm/Ryan Palmer (DK $11,700) – They mastered this format last year, and Ryan Palmer lines up as a good proximity golfer from outside 200 yards (he ranks fourth on the PGA Tour). Combine their past success with Rahm’s overall talent and ability and you could have another winning combo in New Orleans. They’re a solid play in all formats.
Marc Leishman/Cameron Smith (DK $11,100) – These two were President’s Cup teammates and they both play the same ball – which is a bonus when they get to alternate stroke team play. Smith has shown an affinity for Pete Dye course and ranks fifth in the field for SG:APP at TPC Louisiana, where he was a part of the winning team in 2017 alongside Jonas Blixt. There should be plenty of scoring opportunities every day for this team, which has a shot at winning.
Also consider: Collin Morikawa/Matthew Wolff (GPP)
Scottie Scheffler/Bubba Watson (DK $10,900) – I have no doubts about the team chemistry with these two birdie-makers, and while Watson has struggled in recent weeks, he’s a team player who seems to be more at ease when he’s outside his head. Scheffler’s ability to provide ample scoring opportunities will be a welcome sight for Bubba.
Tyrrell Hatton/Danny Willett (DK $10,300) – The English pair complement each other’s games quite well, with Hatton’s ball-striking and Willett’s putting possibly providing a winning combination of skill sets. I may not be overweight on the field if they get popular, but I’ll have shares.
Chris Kirk/Brendan Todd (DK $10,100) – A team that might end up making my single entry GPP lineups, Kirk/Todd (we can call them the UGA connection as former Georgia Bulldogs) should make the cut and give us some possible upside if they can get hot with the putters. They’ll be in play on these holes and we know Todd likes the small Bermuda greens and these types of “short-game forward” setups.
Max Homa/Talor Gooch (DK $9,900) – Both players can make birdies in bunches and that’s a good thing in team play. It’ll be easier to avoid big numbers that plague these golfers occasionally, and the sub-$10K tag is alluring in such a tight pricing format. The team fares well in combined models and I’ll have plenty of shares in GPPs.
Victor Hovland/Kristoffer Ventura (DK $9,700) – They played together at Oklahoma State and a quick review of the metrics indicates another complementary pairing here. Hovland ranks at or near the top of the field in SG:OTT, Opps Gained and BoB%, while Ventura is one of the better putters on tour, ranking well overall and on Bermuda. This could be a sneaky team.
Also consider: Tony Finau/Cameron Champ, Billy Horschel/Sam Burns
Brendan Steele/Keegan Bradley (DK $9,300) – Steele is the better putter and longer driver, and Bradley the better ball-striker, and Steele had a Top 10 at this event in 2018. It’s not an exciting team, but one that might be lingering come Sunday and make a run at a Top 5.
Thomas Pieters/Tom Lewis (DK $9,200) –Another EURO connection that combines experience and form (Pieters) with birdie-making and motivation (Lewis). Lewis wants his PGA Tour card and Pieters is motivated in his own right – looking for a spot on the Ryder Cup team. Sia had them in his initial picks and I’m firmly aboard this pairing as well.
Lucas Glover/Chez Reavie (DK $8,800) – I’m most worried about this group’s putting statistics, which lag far behind the ball-striking metrics, but that tends to get mitigated a bit in team events, when two heads are usually better than one of reading putts and bouncing back from the bad holes.
Jason Kokrak/Pat Perez (DK $8,300) – Both of these golfers are PGA Tour “nice guys” who have had mixed results in 2020-21, with Perez hitting a bit of a plateau and Kokrak breaking through with his