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In this edition of PGA DFS picks, we’re looking for a big payday at the Shriners Children’s Open 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:Some big names in this full field of 156+ GolfersCut: Top 65 and ties play the weekendDefending Champ and former winners:2020 – Martin Laird (-23, beat Matthew Wolff and Austin Cook in playoff))2019 – Kevin Na (-23, beat Patrick Cantlay in playoff)2018 – DeChambeau (-21, another Cantlay second place)2017 – Cantlay (-9 in windy conditions, beat Whee Kim in playoff)Patrick Cantlay NOT in field this year (he’s obviously too cool for school now)The course: TPC Summerlin (Las Vegas, NV)Par 71: 7,255+ yardsBentgrass greensPlayed at altitude, helping shorter hittersEasier setup with shorter Par 4s and three reachable par fivesFocus Stat Categories: Strokes Gained: Approach, SG: Tee-to-Green. SG: Putting (Bentgrass), Birdie ...
In this edition of PGA DFS picks, we’re looking for a big payday at the Sanderson Farms Championship 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:Relatively weak field of 144 golfersCut: Top 65 and tiesDefending Champ: Sergio Garcia (-19 over Peter Malnati’s 18)2019 champ: Sebastian Munoz (-18)The course: CC of Jackson (Jackson, MS)Par 72: 7,460 yardsParkland course with trees lining tough-to-hit fairwaysRough not too penal, but approach angles are importantWider, open Bermuda greens that run pureCourse should remain soft without much mind, and scoring could go lowSix of last seven winners have all been first time winners on the PGA TOURNew guys (last year’s part-timers) have a shotFocus Stat Categories: Strokes Gained: Approach, Par 5s Gained, SG: OTT, Opportunities Gained, Birdie or Better%, SG: Putting (Bermuda)The Picks:Elite PGA DFS (DK $9,500 and up)...
It’s the start of a new PGA TOUR season and our PGA DFS picks will help us find you some winning teams at the Fortinet Championship!
Sign up NOW for WIN DAILY Premium Gold right here! Projections, wagering info, 24/7 expert chats and more!
Jon Rahm (DK $12,100) – Rahm is the best and most expensive golfer in the field, a historic 3-1 favorite to win, the top golfer in my model, and a must-own DFS play this week. When I really like a player to run away with a tournament despite him being the obvious chalk, my goal is to double the field’s projected PGA DFS ownership. So I’ll probably come in around 50% or more with my Rahmbo exposure this week.
Hideki Matsuyama (DK $11,000) – I may not have big shares of Matsuyama (second overall on my model) this week, simply because it’ll be hard to fit both him and Rahm without going stars-and-scrubs, but he’ll be a staple of my non-Rahm lineups and should fare well based on his elite performance in the focus stat categories (SG: APP, Bob%, Par 5s: 550-600).
Also consider: Webb Simpson, Will Zalatoris, Kevin Na (GPP)
Sebastian Munoz (DK $9,200) – I’m intrigued by the excellent SG: OTT numbers for Munoz, both here at Silverado and over his past 36 rounds, and getting it in good position off the tee should yield some good scoring opportunities for the Colombian pro and PGS DFS standout. He’s played steady golf in his last four tournaments and will be a staple of my builds in all formats.
Cameron Champ (DK $9,000) – Champ won here in 2019 after missing the cut in 2017 and finishing T25 in 2018. It’s a venue he likes and for that reason we can throw out the poor SG:APP rating (112th in the field over his past 36 rounds) a bit. He ranks third in SG: OTT (and first in the field in that category at this venue) and should have an easy time with these par 5s.
Charley Hoffman (DK 8,800) – Hoffman could be a great play this week, as he’s third overall on my mixed model despite a spotty course history. We’ve seen Hoffman surprise before, and he’s almost never popular even when he’s striking it well. I’d probably limit my ownership in this event to GPPs, but there’s plenty of birdie-making upside with the Hoff.
Emiliano Grillo (DK $8,900) – Grillo makes a lot of sense as a high-upside, somewhat risky PGA DFS play considering how badly his putter can let him down. He’s No. 1 overall in the field in SG:APP over his last 36 rounds and fifth overall in my mixed model. I’ll be overweight with my exposure in GPPs.
Maverick McNealy (DK $8,600) – Both Sia and I are fans of how McNealy can make birdies in bunches, and while the ball-striking numbers – both recently and on this golf course – have been lacking, this could be the year he breaks through at Silverado with a Top 15 finish. He’s No. 21 overall in my mixed model, even accounting for the relatively poor course history.
Doug Ghim (DK $7,900) – Ghim debuted here last season with a T14, and he’s certainly got the game to play well at Silverado again. He pounds it off the tee and is eighth overall in my mixed model. While he does have some accuracy issues and is far from the tour’s best putter, he’s one of my favorite PGA DFS GPP plays this week.
Also consider: Harold Varner (Cash), Chez Reavie (Cash), Phil Mickelson (GPP), Mito Pereira, Taylor Moore (GPP), Adam Hadwin (GPP), Sepp Straka, Brian Stuard, Harry Higgs (GPP)
Patton Kizzire (DK $7,500) – Kizzire is another hit-or-miss PGA DFS GPP play with a dynamic game and erratic tee ball game. He’s long enough that he can occasionally hit less-than-driver and still be fine, but he’s had some difficulty at Silverado in his last three tries (all MCs) after finishing second to Brendan Steele in 2016. I’ll have some exposure in large-field GPPs, but I don’t think I can take the plunge in single-entry or cash.
Ryan Moore (DK $7,500) – I’d normally be pretty averse to Ryan Moore because he’s burned me a few times before, but he’s had some solid finishes at Silverado (including a T2 in 2018) and could be a decent low-owned play in GPPs. He’s No. 10 overall in my mixed model and his numbers across this week’s focus stats don’t show any glaring weaknesses.
Brendan Steele (DK $7,400) – Steele won this event two years in a row (2016-17) and will likely be more popular than usual because of it. But he’s a consistent player who hits it straight off the tee, thrives in the California venues and doesn’t miss cuts here (seven in a row).
Adam Schenk (DK $7,300) – This is where things start to get a little bit risky, so I’d steer clear of Schenk and the next few guys in cash games. He’s another player that Sia and I both like this week, and he ranks 16th on my model behind some decent putting and birdie numbers. Hitting good drives at this venue has historically ben a struggle, but his SG:OTT numbers have been better lately and he’s got a T14 to his credit here in 2018.
Hank Lebioda (DK $7,100) – Hammerin’ Hank comes in at No. 23 in my model and is a huge risk since he’s missed the cut twice in three attempts at Silverado. But I’m willing to give him a shot in a few GPPs based on his ability to make birdies and the T44 he notched here in 2019.
Luke List (DK $7,100) – Sia wrote up newcomer Chad Ramey (and not Lebioda or List – two guys he normally loves), so I’ll take up the mantle and tout them. List can really stink it up with his putter, but he’s No. 11 on my model this week and seems to have a decent handle on this venue, with a T4 in 2018 and two other Top 40s in previous appearances. His ball-striking and Par 5 dominance are quite attractive in this field.
Chesson Hadley (DK $7,000) – He can’t be the Bargain Blowout Baby (BBB) again because he’s not under $7K, but he’s exactly the type of golfer we target in GPPs for his upside when he’s hitting it good off the tee, a huge advantage on this course, where he’s played very well (T14, T23, T87, T3 in his last four tries at Silverado).
Cameron Percy (DK $6,800) – Percy has a T23 and T7 in his last two starts in Napa and just eats up the par 5s here. He’s going to be a huge piece of my stars-and-scrubs builds and could end up being my BBB if he lands under 5% ownership.
More value golfers to consider: Dylan Frittelli, Lanto Griffin, Doc Redman, Hudson Swafford, Adam Svensson, Russell Knox (GPP), Patrick Rodgers, Bo Hoag, Sam Ryder, Kyle Stanley, Adam Long (GPP)
Mark Hubbard (DK $6,500) – Hubbard is No. 25 in my model and probably the best PGA DFS golfer you can roster at $6,500 or under this week based on his BoB% and putting numbers, when combined with relatively decent ball-striking. His SG: OTT numbers are his biggest weakness, but at this price there’s always a weakness.
Danny Lee (DK $6,400) – I don’t have a ton of interest in the punts this week, but Lee is worth a look in large-field GPPS and in your “scrubs” pieces based on decent overall numbers and some excellent finishes here (T10 in 2018). Don’t go overboard with your exposure to this risky but dynamic player.
Paul Barjon (DK $6,200) – Barjon is popping at No. 22 in my mixed model – the only golfer under $6,500 in my top 25. The biggest knock is his lack of PGA Tour experience and course history at this venue, where he’s making his debut. But I like PGA DFS guys who hit it solid off the tee and have putters that come alive and make birdies.
Additional GPP punts: Michael Gligic, Dylan Wu, Beau Hossler, Curtis Thompson
In this edition of PGA DFS picks, we’re aiming for a big payday at the Wyndham Championship – helping you find some winning teams in your contests!
Louis Oosthuizen (DK $10,700) – Coming off a disappointing T17 at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, Louis still has to be considered as one of the best ball strikers and putters in the field. Sedgefield isn’t one of his normal tour stops, so there’s also some concern if he can get into a birdie-making rhythm right away as he feels out this course. But he’s got the best 2021 numbers of anybody in the field and there’s no reason he can’t thrive here in the Carolina suburbs.
Update: Louis withdrew today, so we can pivot to Hideki Matsuyama in GPPs and/or eat the Webb chalk. But we can’t play Mr. Major Runner Up this week.
Webb Simpson (DK $10,600) – Webb is actually $600 cheaper than last year, which is great considering he’s rounding back into form with Top 20 finishes in his last two events – both against much stiffer competition. He finished T9 at the RBC Heritage and most importantly is a course horse and perennial threat to win here with top 3 finishes in his last four Wyndham championships. He’ll be chalky – so many contrarian-forward builders may opt for leverage by fading him in large-field GPPs – but he’s fine for cash and single-entry.
Jason Kokrak (DK $10,000) – I love Kokrak this week. He’s performed well here before with three Top 20s in his last four tries (including a T6 in 2019 and T15 last year), and 2021 has given him the confidence to win – not just place. His stat profile checks a few boxes this week too, as he’s 28th in GIR and fifth in SG:Putting this week.
Sungjae Im (DK $9,600) – It was great to hear Bettor Golf Podcast metrics guru Spencer Aguiar (@TeeOffSports) talk up Sungjae and his affinity for “short Bermuda tracks” on The Breakdown with Sia and Joel last night. Im is one of the first golfers I wrote down to cover this week and he’s at a solid price point for his accuracy and overall PGA DFS upside.
Also consider: Hideki Matsuyama, Will Zalatoris (GPP), Brian Harman
Russell Henley (DK $9,400) – Henley isn’t knighting the world on fire lately, but he’s played well enough to notch top 20 finishes in the three tournaments bookended by MCs at the Memorial and Open Championship. Sia mentions in his Initial Picks article that Henley has solid accuracy numbers and elite SG:APP metrics, so we can definitely look his way in all formats.
Robert MacIntyre (DK $8,900) – MacIntyre is making his first appearance at the Wyndham Championship this year, and he does an excellent job of staying out of trouble and giving himself opportunities to make birdies. At TPC Southwind, he posted four consecutive round in the 60s, and a second consecutive week on fats Bermuda greens could be a huge help.
Kevin Na (DK $8,800) – We haven’t heard his name much lately, and that’s usually when Na pounces for a top 5 finish – which he had the last time he played here in 2017 (T4). The WinDaily crew is mostly united in considering Na a sneaky GPP play this week, and while his viability in cash games leaves a lot to be desired, I may consider him for a low-cost, larger-field single-entry tournament and a bunch of lottery-ticket GPPs.
Rickie Fowler (DK $8,600) – He’s made three straight cuts and he should be able to make plenty of birdies on this golf course if he doesn’t force things off the tee and clubs down when appropriate. I’m not in love with the $8,000-8,500 range this week, so I’ll be paying up for Fowler on plenty of my GPP builds.
Mito Pereira (DK $7,900) – We’ve spoken ad nauseum about course history at this venue, but while there’s no course history to speak of with the swashbuckling Chilean, he just seems to handle whatever course designers have been throwing at him. Pereira is a huge bargain under $8K considering his talent and form, so we should get some exposure in GPPs at this price.
J.T. Poston (DK $7,800) – Poston missed the cut last year after dismantling this golf course when he won here in 2019. He’s playing well, with a solo second at the Barbasol and a T28 at the 3M Open. J.T. could be a solid GPP option if we can keep him around 20% ownership to stay well ahead of the field without going all in.
Talor Gooch (DK $7,700) – Gooch is good on birdie fests and he’s made seven straight cuts – an encouraging sign considering he’s traditionally not the most consistent golfer. The shorter course should help him hit less than driver and find more fairways this week, and he’s solid on approach and with his ball-striking T2G.
Harold Varner III (DK $7,500) – Varner is always comfortable returning to the Carolinas, is a solid ball-striker and was one of my favorite plays last year when he finished T7. This season he’s alternated good performances with bad, but I like his chances for another top 10 or 15 at Sedgefield.
Also consider: Matthew Wolff (GPP), Si Woo Kim, Seamus Power (GPP), Kevin Kisner (GPP), Kevin Streelman (GPP), Justin Rose (GPP), Lucas Glover, Patton Kizzire (GPP), Hank Lebioda (GPP)
C.T. Pan (DK $7,400) – I’m all over Pan in GPPs this week despite the occasional three-putt and missed opportunity that continues to plague his game. Watching him charge back into contention and finishing on the podium in Tokyo was a proud moment as I touted him quite a bit that week in my article and on Discord.
Rory Sabbatini (DK $7,300) – There’s plenty of favorable course history (two of Sabbatini’s last nine top 10s came on this course in 2017 and 2019).and he’s the reigning Olympic silver medalists – so we know he can go low here. Sabbatini needs a decent finish here as he’s just 141st in the FedExCup standings, and the price is great for his upside.
Brendan Todd (DK $7,100) – Todd was $8,900 here last year when he was in the middle of a little heater, and while the game isn’t quite where it was last year, he remains a good fit for this golf course and could be a guy who benefits from the shorter layout and accessible greens. I’ll have some exposure in GPPs.
Ryan Armour (DK $7,000) – Joel’s BFF is streaky player who I wouldn’t touch in cash games, but has had lots of success at Sedgefield. Armour posted a T4 in 2017, T8 in 2018, T22 in 2019 and T25 last year. He was T5 at the Barbasol and T6 at the 3M before his MC at the Barracuda last week. I’m not nearly as excited to roster him as Mr. Shreck is, but perhaps maybe I should be.
Brian Stuard (DK$6,900) – The MC last week belies some stellar iron play over the past 12 sounds, and Stuard is checking the SG:APP and SG: OTT boxes this week because of his burgeoning accuracy. If his putter behaves this week on these fast Bermuda greens, he should be able to post some good scores on this shorter-than-usual PGA course.
Jim Herman (DK $6,900) – The veteran is a great course fit and coming off a week where he had some early success before faltering on the weekend. He’s also the defending champ at Sedgefield, so I’ll swallow hard and grab some exposure in GPPs. I don’t love playing him, but he’s a birdie-maker with upside who loves the track.
More value golfers to consider: Ryan Moore, Lanto Griffin, Chez Reavie, Patrick Rodgers (single-day and GPP), Chris Kirk, Matt Jones, Joel Dahmen, Bo Hoag, Mark Hubbard (GPP), Brice Garnett (GPP), Kramer Hickok (GPP), Francesco Molinari (GPP), Adam Long (GPP), Roger Sloan (GPP), Henrik Norlander (GPP), Chesson Hadley (GPP)
Denny McCarthy (DK $6,400) – His form is awful but he plays well at this venue, with T9-T22-T36 in his three appearances here. That’s enough for 2 or 3 lineups in my 20-max builds.
Vincent Whaley (DK $6,400) – Whaley was playing super consistent golf until a six-event stretch where he missed four cuts in six tournaments. Last week he finished T9 and there’s something to be said for getting back on this consistent horse who debuted with a T37 at this course last year.
Tyler Duncan (DK $6,200) – Last year I had Duncan in my punts to consider and he finished T13, so I’ll give the wayward ball striker another shot this year in 1/20 GPPs.
Additional GPP punts: Fabian Gomez, Rob Oppenheim, Chris Baker, Brian Gay, Michael Gellerman
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!
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
The Win Daily team has content galore this week, including this edition of PGA DFS picks to help you dominate your contests at the Rocket Mortgage Classic!
Bryson DeChambeau (DK $11,400) – He’s the defending champion, largely on the performance of his putter, so we must consider Bryson this week, especially in cash games. And despite some poor course management choices and subsequent meltdowns, he’s still made 10 straight cut and should be in the conversation come Sunday.
Webb Simpson (DK $10,600) – Given the fact that he’s missed two cuts in his last five tourneys, we can’t say Simpson’s form is great, but he does have a couple Top 15s in there (T12 at the Masters and T9 at the RBC Heritage). Strangely enough, three of the last four appearances he’s made have been at majors. That tells me he likes playing here, and his T8 last year in Detroit piques my interest even more.
Will Zalatoris (DK $10,000) – Willie Z used to make a lot of hay on courses like this on the Korn Ferry Tour, even if his PGA identity has been more of a “tough course” grinder. He’s not cheap this week, but he’s clearly among the top five in the talent category that’s heading to Detroit. I’m most worried about his putting, so I’ll limit my ownership to GPPs.
Jason Kokrak (DK $9,500) – Kokrak should be popular even at this elevated price, but his game should translate well to this course, where he finished T29 in 2019 before his career added the maiden victory and follow-up win at the 2021 Charles Schwab, played at Colonial. This venue comps well to that course, he’s number one on Sia’s model, and I’ll be overweight on the field regardless of ownership.
Also consider: Patrick Reed, Hideki Matsuyama
Sungjae Im (DK $9,300) – He’s off the DFS radar, for the most part, and that’s when I like to give him a shot in GPPs. But the price is entirely too much for cash game builds and he may fare well as a sneaky Top 10 bet.
Matthew Wolff (DK $9,100) – Again – I can’t trust Wolff in cash games and will steer clear in single-entry, but the leverage and upside in large field GPPs should warrant some exposure to this dynamic but risky play. Joel likes him in GPPs and that’s enough for me.
Kevin Kisner (DK $8,500) – Kisner finished third last year and his coming off a T5 at the Travelers, an event where he wasn’t much part of the DFS conversation in the leadup. Aside from that, he hasn’t been very successful in 2021, though the courses have played tough and he prefers venues like this where he can make some birdies.
Max Homa (DK $8,400) – Homa – who is a combined +28 in his last four missed cuts – is not getting the love he deserves this week because of the form, even if he’s been a popular topic in the WinDaily golf writers’ message thread. I know that Isaiah is intrigued by Homa this week and I’m on board too.
Garrick Higgo (DK $8,300) – I’m interested in seeing what Higgo can do at a birdie fest considering he shot 66-63-64-64 in his win at the Canary Islands Championship in May on the EURO tour. Higgo is long, he’s a good putter, and he’s a bargain at this price – so he really stood out to me in this range – just like he did for Sia in his Initial Picks.
Doc Redman (DK $7,900) – Redman has a T21 here in 2020 and notched a solo second in 2019, so he’s clearly a course horse. Normally considered a volatile performer and high-risk/big-reward type of play, Redman has made five straight cuts and could be trending up toward another Top 10.
Maverick McNealy (DK $7,700) – I love McNealy and his ability to make birdies in bunches, and his T8 last season in Detroit is encouraging for another Top 20 finish. He finished T4 at the last birdie-forward event (RBC Heritage), and when he goes low, he goes really low. A fine play in all formats and one of favorites for “low round” bets.
Sepp Straka (DK $7,700) – I missed out on Straka and his T10 last week and will probably never recover from that – it’s like how I’ll feel if I fade Matthew Fitzpatrick the week of his first PGA Tour win. I’ll have some minimal shares just so I don’t have that feeling again.
Also consider: Rickie Fowler (GPP), Gary Woodland, Cameron Tringale, Si Woo Kim (GPP), Lucas Glover (GPP), Harold Varner, Kyle Stanley, Lanto Griffin
Adam Hadwin (DK $7,500) – Hadwin is solid T2G, and while I have a hard time seeing him post crazy low scores and reaching the -20 that might be necessary to win, he’s got the chops to finish in the Top 20.
Mark Hubbard (DK $7,300) – Don’t look now, but Hubbard has made five straight cuts and is playing really good golf, his T13 last week being his best finish since his T12 at last year’s Rocket Mortgage Classic. He’s still a little risky for cash games, but he’s fine for GPPs and could be a bargain single-entry if you’re willing to assume a little extra risk.
Brian Stuard (DK $7,000) – Stuard is a couple years removed form his T5 finish here in what was a very weak field, but he notched a T30 in 2020 in Detroit as well and is among the best bargains in this $7K range for his brilliant putting and ability to make birdies in bunches.
Nate Lashley (DK $6,900) – Lashley is a former Rocket Mortgage champion (he won in 2019) but the form is somewhat concerning. I’ll limit my exposure to low-cost, large-field GPPs. He’s easy to root for and should make the cut this week.
Patrick Rodgers (DK $6,900) – If Rodgers could get in the habit of putting together four rounds of his A game, he’d be one of the best golfers on tour, but his one-day brilliance is usually bracketed by a stinker or two. He’s in the conversation for first-day leader, but I’ll steer clear in most formats.
Henrik Norlander (DK $6,800) – Norlander has made three cuts in his last five tournaments, which for him is a hot streak. I’m banking on another solid finish this week and he makes sense for the last piece in some GPP lineups.
More value golfers to consider: Seamus Power, Pat Perez (GPP), Danny Willett, Tom Lewis, Mackenzie Hughes, Beau Hossler, Scott Piercy, Richy Werenski, Cameron Champ (GPP), Danny Lee (GPP)
Adam Schenk (DK $6,500) – I won’t be dabbling too much in the $6,500 and under range this week, but Schenk checks a few boxes and could spike a Top 35 finish if he manages to make the cut – which he’s done in seven of his last 10 events.
Kristoffer Ventura (DK $6,200) – Ventura is a hard nut to crack, because the ball-striking falls well behind the putter and there’s usually something in the course history I like (T21 here in 2020). This course sets up much better for him, and if the putter does its thing he could finally notch a Top 25, which he hasn’t done in a normal PGA tour event sine his T6 at Sanderson Farms.
Additional GPP punts: Jimmy Walker, J.J. Spaun, Ted Potter, Austin Cook
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
The next event for PGA DFS takes us to “Hogan’s Alley” for the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club – where we’re giving you the winning picks!
Jordan Spieth (DK $11,200) – A Texas kid born in the Dallas-Fort Worth golf mecca, Spieth is a former winner here (2016), has never missed a cut at Colonial, and has a host of Top 10s, even in recent years when his game has struggled to find some consistency. With his putter always in form and his ball-striking ranking much better in 2021, Spieth can’t be avoided when discussing the favorites this week.
Justin Thomas (DK $10,300) – JT makes for a great GPP play after a missed cut at the PGA Championship, but he’s still a bit risky given his spotty play recently. PGA DFS can be very frustrating when you’re on a guy (and an expensive guy to boot) and he breaks your heart by missing out on the weekend points and killing your lineup. But there’s nothing worse than fading that same guy the next week and watching him win. For that reason, it’s important to run it back one in a while and I’ll be doing that with JT at Colonial.
Collin Morikawa (DK $10,500) – Morikawa checks all the boxes this week except the putting stats, but the greens are small enough that if he’s doing his thing with his irons he should be close enough to make some putts. One of the best ball strikers in the world, Morikawa hits a smooth fade, doesn’t need length off the tee to win here and that’s a huge plus in giving him the nod over the others in this elite range. Sia, Joel and Nick are all on board, so I feel comfortable using him in my single-entry lineup and GPP core.
Abraham Ancer (DK $9,700) – Ancer has three consecutive Top 10s and while he will be chalky as hell, he’s hard for me to get away from in my builds. I’ll be using him in all formats, and he’ll be a core play for me in stars and scrubs lineups as well. If his putter goes cold he could have problems justifying this price, but he’s been so good with his irons he’s almost always in play.
Also consider: Patrick Reed, Will Zalatoris, Scottie Scheffler (GPP)
Corey Conners (DK $9,400) – It may still be wise to steer clear of Conners in GPPs until we see more Top 10 finishes, but he’s a cutmaker who’s 3-for-3 at Colonial and had a T8 in his 2018 debut at this venue. Again – Conners is mostly a cash game play with projected ownership creeping up.
Sungjae Im (DK $9,100) – Im missed the cut here in his 2019 Charles Schwab debut but improved to a T10 (with Spieth and Thomas) in 2020. We know he doesn’t tire easily, so the four grueling rounds he played steadily last week (70-72-73-73) don’t get me off him. The price is fine, and he won’t see massively high ownership.
Justin Rose (DK $8,900) –Maybe Rose will be inspired by Phil’s epic win at Kiawah Island last week, and we know the former winner at Colonial can play elite golf when he’s striking it well. Rose makes for a sneaky GPP play in a week where he won’t be highly owned.
Ryan Palmer (DK $8,600) –Palmer missed the cut last week andhas a vested interest in playing well at his home course. He loves the place, knows the greens really well, wants desperately to win at the venue commonly known as “Hogan’s Alley” and should stand out as a solid GPP play with his history of mixing MCs with Top 10s here.
Cameron Tringale (DK $8,100) – Let’s start with the bad. During round 2 last week, Tringale was -1 when he stepped on the No. 14 tee (he started on the back) and was +11 just four holes later. Then a little alligator walked across the fairway in front of him. That horrific stretch aside, Tringale played well and has the chops to rebound with a soldi finish this week.
Brian Harman (DK $8,000) – Harman looks like more of a cash game play this week, as he’s projected to be very popular (>25%). I won’t be using him too much more than 10-15% in my 20 max builds, but there’s a case to be made for using him and his five straight made cuts at Colonial.
Brandt Snedeker (DK $7,900) – Mr. Pop Stroke is one of the craftiest putters on tour, and the relatively poor ball striking and lack of length off the tee shouldn’t hurt him too much here. Sneds is super risky and shouldn’t be used in cash games but makes sense for large-field GPPs.
Chris Kirk (DK $7,600) – He’s missed two straight cuts, but people haven’t forgotten how good of a golfer he’s been in 2021, because he’s very popular again. I’ll throw out his performance last week because of the course difficulty, and trust he got an early start on getting his T2G and putting under control heading into an event where he’s had two Top 15s in his last four tries.
Also consider: Joaquin Niemann, Gary Woodland (GPP), Jason Kokrak (GPP), Charley Hoffman (Cash), Kevin Na (GPP), Kevin Streelman, Emiliano Grillo (GPP)
Peter Uihlein (DK $7,500) – I’m not super excited about the $7-8K price range this week, and the fact that Uihlein is popping so much for his form could mean he breaks my heart this week. I don’t normally play him, but it’s his fourth appearance here and he has top 15s in his last two tries and is playing some of the best golf right now.
Patton Kizzire (DK $7,400) – He’s an awesome putter and his best finishes and have come in Texas. I’m not super excited about him this week because if he’s missing fairways there could be problems, but I think he can hit less-than-driver and be long enough to be in fine shape to contend. Not a cash game play, but usable in GPPs.
Harold Varner III (DK $7,400) – Another GPP extraordinaire who mixes missed cuts with solid finishes, Varner had a T2 at the RBC Heritage and T49 last week. He also finished T19 at the Honda Classic, which is similar in the focus stats that tend to drive success here.
Russell Knox, (DK $7,300) – Sia loves him for first-round leader, and it’s very tempting to consider him for single-entry this week given the price point and solid performances over his last three events (T21-T18-T39), He finished T8 here in 2019 but we can throw out the MC in 2020 amid the uncertainty of golf’s fanless return at the time.
J.T. Poston (DK $6,900) – I liked him heading into last week but the course and some bad timing on Friday 78 got the better of him. This week, he’s cheap and playing a venue where he’s 3-for-4 with a T10 last year and a T20 in 2018. GPP only.
Maverick McNealy (DK $6,900) – I use McNealy in GPPs once in a while and this seems like a good spot to go back to him. He’s 2-for-2 and while he’s a feast-or-famine type of golfer (he’s mixed in a solo second, a T4 and a T49 among six missed cuts in his last nine tournaments), this course seems to suit his strengths.
Patrick Rodgers (DK $6,700) – I wish Rodgers could put together four good rounds, because he’s got Top 25 upside. A third round 79 killed his chances at the Well Fargo, but he’s made his last two cuts after a poor April stretch. Worth a look in GPPs.
More value golfers to consider: Cameron Davis, Joel Dahmen, Talor Gooch, Doc Redman (GPP), C.T. Pan (GPP), Rory Sabbatini, Henrik Stenson, Mackenzie Hughes, Andrew Putnam
Adam Long (DK $6,200) – I’ll only be using these guys in large-field GPP lineups that focus on stars and scrubs. If you’re trying to cram some combo of Spieth and/or JT with Morikawa/Ancer/Zalatoris in your first three spots, you’re forced to use the next three on guys like Long, who finished T19 here in 2019 and could post another Top 20.
Brian Gay (DK $6,100) – Gay has a T13 and T34 two of his last three appearances at Colonial, and I’m sure he was one of the first golfers my buddy Spades inserted into his lineup this week. The veteran golfer loves small greens (just like C.T. Pan does) and he’s in play as a longshot with Top 25 upside.
Mark Hubbard (DK $6,100) – Hubbard’s name also draws my attention because he an get rally hot with the putter, which is one of the things that could help guys break through this week. He’s much better for single-day lineups but I’m fine using him in 5% of GPPs hoping for a made cut and hot streak with that flat stick.
Additional GPP punts: Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Anirban Lahiri
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 p