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

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PGA DFS Course Notes:

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

The Picks:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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PGA DFS Course Notes:

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

The Picks:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PGA DFS Course Notes:

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

The Picks:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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We’re giving you some top PGA DFS picks and looking for green screens at the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands!

PGA DFS Course Notes:

  • Full, deep field of 156 golfers
  • 36-hole Cut: Top 65 and ties play the weekend
  • Defending champion: Dustin Johnson (19 over Kevin Streelman’s -18)
  • The course: TPC River Highlands (Cromwell, CT)
    • 6,841 yards, Par 70 – Old 1928 design reworked by Pete Dye in 1982
    • Varied types of holes on a short course that can produce low scoring (site of Jim Furyk’s 58 in 2016)
    • Small Bentgrass/Poa Greens
    • Just two par 5s, but one is short and yields lots of birdies and eagles; and two driveable par 4s around 300 yards
    • Experience with Pete Dye layouts can help, and there’s plenty of course history at TPC River Highlands
    • Distance not an issue here as scoring clubs more important
  • Focus Stat Categories: SG: Approach, Par 4s: 400-450, Opportunities Gained, SG: OTT, SG: Tee to Green, SG: Putting (Bentgrass and Poa), SG: Around the Green, Birdie or Better %

The Picks:

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

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

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

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)

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

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)

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

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

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

PGA DFS Course Notes:

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

The Picks:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PGA DFS Course Notes:

  • Full but weak field (because of U.S. Open next week at Torrey Pines) of 156 golfers
  • 36-hole Cut: Top 65 and ties play the weekend
  • First-time (and one-time) PGA Tour stop – replacing Canadian Open this year due to COVID restrictions
  • The course: Congaree Golf Club (Ridgeland, SC)
    • > 7,600 yards, Par 71 – Tom Fazio design (2018)
    • New course in lower SC near Georgia border
    • Bermuda Greens with runoff areas and tight chipping lies, wider fairways that could help longer hitters a bit
    • Flat course with natural hazards and sandy areas, not many trees or heavy rough
    • Long but playable, so low scores are possible
    • Layout resembles Ross’s Pinehurst No. 2 but some Fazio course comps can be found (Seaside Course at Sea Island, Conway Farms)
  • Focus Stat Categories (with no data to draw from, standard areas of ball-striking focus make sense): SG: Approach, SG: OTT, SG: Tee to Green, SG: Putting (Bermuda), SG: Around the Green, Par 4s: 450-500,

The Picks:

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

Dustin Johnson (DK $11,400) – While DJ has not played his best golf lately, he’s a South Carolina guy on a course down near the Cackalacka/Georgia border, he’s playing a new course with coastal/links characteristics that he seems to prefer, and he’s the most talented golfer in the field (with Brooks Koepka a close second). His SG:APP and SG:OTT numbers are still in the Top 30 on the tour and he’s No. 13 in SG: T2G. If DJ can keep the putter going on what should be a fast course, there’s no reason he can’t lap the field and run away with this tournament.

Brooks Koepka (DK $11,100) – Koepka seems to be recovered from most of his knee woes and is having a great time playfully feuding with Bryson DeChambeau, but I still can’t trust him at this price in cash games. He’s totally fine for GPPs, but without too many quality value options below the $7K mark (don’t worry – we’ve got a couple in there for you), he might not make as many rosters as you’d anticipate with such a dramatic difference in ability between the top two and the rest of the field. I’d steer clear of overexposure with him, but he’ll be mixed into a few of my GPP lineups for sure.

Matt Fitzpatrick (DK $10,400) – It’s going to be tough to find anybody we feel safe rostering in the $9K to $10K range, but Fitzpatrick makes for a fine GPP play on a course where he should feel at home despite the lack of history. He likes these putting surfaces and these speeds, and he’s one of several English golfers who should be in contention this week. His SG: OTT and putting numbers are excellent, and like Joel and Sia, I feel like there’s progression coming in his SG: APP metrics.

Tommy Fleetwood (DK $9,500) – Fleetwood is a risky play this week, and he’s not a guy I’d normally consider given his current mediocre form. His best 2021 result so far is a T5 at the WGC Match Play event, with his best stroke play finish a T10 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. With no PGA tour victories to his credit in his young career, he shouldn’t be too popular. That said, he’s going to win on the PGA Tour eventually (just like Fitzpatrick will), and a weak field event on a links-style course like this could be the breakthrough.

Also consider: Tyrrell Hatton, Harris English (GPP)

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

Ian Poulter (DK $9,200) – Sharps are loving Poulter’s recent form and while he’s proven to be maddeningly inconsistent from week-to-week in the past, there’s not a lot of competition in this range. The fourth English golfer I’ve mentioned (and that doesn’t even count the guy actually named English), he’s the best in that group with the putter (7th on the PGA Tour in SG: Putting) and riding a hot streak heading into an unknown venue – a good sign when we don’t have a lot of data to work from.

Patton Kizzire (DK $9,100) – I don’t mind paying a premium for Kizzire on a course where he should play really well. I love playing the big galoot on courses with wider fairways where he doesn’t have as much trouble keeping it in the short stuff, and he’s made significant improvements in his approach game to match his elite putting metrics. I’ll be overweight on Kizzire in all formats and he’ll be a core play on my single-entry builds.

Lucas Glover (DK $8,600) – He’ll likely be chalky, as the former Clemson Tiger is actually one of Congaree’s “Professional Ambassadors” – and someone with intimate knowledge of the course and its pitfalls. This course is also seemingly tailor-made to fit his strengths. The price is okay and for that reason, I’ll likely be ahead of the field in GPPs and he’ll be a core play on my single-entry builds.

Harold Varner (DK $8,500) – Once again, I’m with Sia in hating when Varner gets chalky, because that’s precisely when he seems to disappoint. Still, he’s from SC and shouldn’t have too many problems scoring well at Congaree. His T2 at the RBC Heritage points to an ability to notch a top 5 when his game comes together, and the price seems fair considering his upside in a field of this lesser quality.

Brandt Snedeker (DK $8,400) –He’s not the best ball-striker (or even a good one), but Sneds is a putting demon and the pressure could be off a bit with his driver since it’ll be easier for him to hit fairways. The tour veteran has made every cut since the Players Championship (with three Top 20s), and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him threatening the lead this weekend. He’s always a bit risky, but that risk is mitigated a bit at Congaree.

Martin Laird (DK $7,800) – Laird isn’t a super exciting play, but he grades out well for this golf course (at least for what we think we know about this golf course) and he’s made seven of his last eight cuts. The wily Scot was T23 at the PGA Championship, and has a solid all-around game T2G, but does struggle with the putter. That might not be as much of a problem on these fast surfaces and green complexes. He’s worth a look in GPPs.

Vincent Whaley (DK $7,700) – Whaley makes sense in all PGA DFS formats, and he’s one of the safer plays once we get under $8K. Since a missed cut at the Waste Management Open, Whaley has put together a pretty impressive string of made cuts (T50-T15-T36-T28-T34-T29-T26-T26-T20). While he didn’t appear at either of 2021’s major championships, he’s not tanking anybody’s PGA DFS lineups at this price point if he continues to grind out Sunday paychecks for himself.

Ben Martin (DK $7,600) – Martin has sloughed off the nagging back problems that stymied his career in 2017-18, when he was forced to take a leave of absence from the PGA Tour, and he’s another Clemson alum from South Carolina who’s seen a resurgence in 2021. He missed the cut at the RBC Heritage but has posted four top 35 finishes (including a T11 at the Wells Fargo and a T9 at the Corales Puntacana) among his last five tour starts.

Also consider: Garrick Higgo, Alex Noren, Kevin Kisner, Jhonattan Vegas (GPP), Scott Stallings (Cash) Luke List (GPP), Pat Perez (GPP), Sepp Straka, Rory Sabbatini

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

Bo Hoag (DK $7,500) – Hoag missed six straight cuts in March and April before squeezing into the weekend at the birdie-forward AT&T Byron Nelson and finishing T13 at the Memorial last week. Still – that’s a good trend going into a golf course that plays to his strengths and where there are no sure things. That uncertainty should keep the masses off him at this elevated price, and he’s a perfectly sound risk-reward upside play at the Palmetto Championship.

Bronson Burgoon (DK $7,200) – I love deploying Burgoon on venues that could turn into birdie fests, and he’s a bigger hitter who may have been waiting to play this course, since his last start was a T13 at the Byron Nelson. He’s got plenty of PGA DFS bust potential as well, but the looming latent boom is what I’m focusing on, as he’ll come in at low ownership and be a fine value play in GPPs.

Joseph Bramlett (DK $7,100)Bramlett collected the second top 10 of his PGA Tour career at the Byron Nelson, racking up 20 total birdies and two eagles. He’s probably not safe for cash games or single-entry, but I love the value in large-field GPPs and I’ll be coming in around 20% ownership in my 20-max entries.

Hank Lebioda (DK $6,900) – Hammerin’ Hank checks a lot of the SG:APP boxes this week and fared well (T13) at the Byron Nelson, his most PGA Tour recent appearance. His last two starts before that yielded a T13 (Valspar) and a T51 (Wells Fargo), but he’s a volatile golfer who might be hard to trust in single-entry. Sia likes the sneakiness and I don’t disagree; I’ll have plenty of shares in large-field and 20-max GPPs, though.

John Pak (DK $6,900) – The 22-year-old Pak is playing in his first event as a pro, and it’s a debut where the field doesn’t have any advantage in terms of course history. That puts him squarely on my radar as a solid unknown bargain GPP play and a guy I’ll have lots of exposure to. He’s got plenty of game and the college accolades that go along with it, and we’ve seen players of his pedigree make the switch to professional golf without much of a learning curve. Giddyup.

Chesson Hadley (DK $6,700) – Hadley is an excellent putter who takes advantage of scoring opportunities – which really interests me at this price point. He’s had his struggles in 2021 but seems like a poor man’s Snedeker who can get hot with the flastick and get in the mix. At such a huge discount on a venue where he could easily find his game and make a run on the weekend, I’m buying.

More value golfers to consider: Seamus Power (GPP), Erik van Rooyen, Richy Werenski, Jason Dufner, Scott Piercy, Tom Lewis, Henrik Norlander, Roger Sloan, Cole Hammer, Chez Reavie, Will Gordon

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

Aaron Baddeley (DK $6,500) – The $6,500 and under range at a weak-field event is usually bad, but this group doesn’t have a whole lot of upside. Baddeley, however, with his solid putter and grinder mindset, seems like a viable punt play. Nobody down here is worth more than 5-10% exposure in GPPs, but I’m hitching my wagon to the Aussie as one of the guys I’ll use at that limited rate.

Kristoffer Ventura (DK $6,400) – Once again, I’ll include Ventura considering just how good he is with the putter, a factor that could weigh more heavily this week on a course that not too many of these guys have played. I’ll stay south of 10% in my GPP exposure, but I do like his upside this week.

Additional GPP punts: Hudson Swafford, Brian Gay, Chris Baker, Bo Van Pelt, William McGirt

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

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PGA DFS Course Notes:

  • Stronger field than normal for this venue, 156 golfers total
  • 36-hole Cut: Top 65 and ties
  • Last year: Tyler Duncan (-19: Beat Webb Simpson in playoff)
  • The course: Sea Island Golf Club (St. Simons island, GA)
  • Seaside: Par 70 (7,005 yards); Plantation: Par 72 (7,060)
  • Lots of scoring – rough isn’t penal and winners post low scores
  • Bermuda greens on resort-style courses
  • Rotation: one round at Plantation and the other at Seaside course
  • “Sea Island Mafia” golfers tend to fare well on their home course
  • Focus Stat Categories: Strokes Gained: Approach, SG: Putting (Bermuda), Birdie or Better %, SG: Off the Tee, Fairways Gained, Bogey Avoidance, SG: Ball-Striking

The Picks:

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

Webb Simpson (DK $11,200) – I’m still interested in massive shares of Webb (the runaway #1 in my models) for GPPs – even though he’s bound to get popular. I made that mistake last week with DJ (where I ended up fading instead of doubling the field ownership) and I’m not doing it this week at a tournament where he’s dominated. Simpson has been playing well, and we can differentiate our lineups elsewhere with salary surplus and other more low-owned golfers. I’m locking him in in all formats.

Russell Henley (DK $10,100) – It’s easy to forget about Henley (I almost just did) even though he’s had success at Sea Island (with three straight top 10s) and has played well since the restart (9-for-9 with four top 10). He’s also tops in the field for SG:APP, our No. 1 focus stat.

Matthew Fitzpatrick (DK $9,900) – This course seems to be well suited for Fitzpatrick’s game, though it’s the first time he’s played here. He’s going to hit fairways, make putts and score in the 60s in all four rounds. Maybe he’ll even win and then join the Sea Island Mafia.

Also consider: Tyrrell Hatton, Sungjae Im, Tommy Fleetwood, Harris English

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

Brian Harman (DK $8,500) – I like how Harman is trending from a safety perspective (top 30 finishes ion four straight, and 11 straight made cuts) and he’s a Sea Island resident with a T4 and a T14 at the RSM Classic. At this price, he’s got excellent top 10 upside.

Sebastian Munoz (DK $9,100) – Munoz, who finished third at the RSM last year, is playing pretty sharp golf right now. After finishing T8 in the 2020 FedExCup, he’s only made six straight cuts with four top 25s and a T19 at the Masters last week.

Kevin Kisner (DK $8,600) – He loves the venue and feels like an excellent value in this mid-range. He could be a solid core player in cash games or even single- entry GPP.

Mackenzie Hughes (DK $8,100) – Hughes is a little riskier than some of the other guys at this price point, but he won the RSM in 2016 and we know how hot this birdie-maker can get with the flatstick.

Talor Gooch (DK $7,900) – Based on the models, Gooch doesn’t do one thing particularly well, but he’s excellent across the board and finished T23 here last season, so he’ll make some of my GPP builds.

C.T. Pan (DK $7,900) – Perhaps the ultimate GPP play, Pan finished T7 at the Masters last week and has mixed in a T6 with a T13 (in 2016 & ’17) and a MC (2018) at the RSM. Driver isn’t a huge factor here and the price is very affordable.

Denny McCarthy (DK $7,700) – Don’t look his way in cash games, but feel free to deploy one of the tour’s best putters in tournaments. He stumbled out of the gate last year with a 71 on the Plantation course (but led the field in SG: P) en route to a T8 finish.

Also consider: Louis Oosthuizen, Corey Conners, Jason Kokrak (GPP), Ian Poulter, Doc Redman (GPP), Zach Johnson, Matthew Wallace, Alex Noren (GPP)

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

Austin Cook (DK $7,500) – I love this $7-8K price range and Cook headlines the value group right in the middle of it. He’s won here (2017), he’s 3-for-3 in made cuts and the podcast guys love him.

Chez Reavie (DK $7,500) – Reavie hits fairways and peppers flagsticks, though his scoring has been a little lackluster since a T3 at the Safeway in September. The T29 at Augusta should give him confidence.

Harold Varner III (DK $7,400) – Varner is on the short list of guys under $7,500 who could notch a win here, and he’ll be out to prove something after not qualifying for the Masters last week.

J.T. Poston (DK $7,300) – After three straight missed cuts at the RSM, Poston finished T14 last season and could be a low-owned GPP play with enough upside to make 2/10 of my linueps.

Henrik Norlander (DK $7,100) – Norlander will be off most people’s radar, but he’s popping in my mixed models (second overall) and I’m going to have massive shares compared to the field. Norlander withdrew on Wednesday after testing positive for COVID-19.

Matthew NeSmith (DK $7,000) – He’s generating chatter among the WinDaily staff, is third in SG:APP in the field and finished T14 in his debut here last season. Good enough for me to use him in GPPs.

Patton Kizzire (DK $6,800) – A brilliant putter who I rode to some solid finishes in the Shriners and at the Houston Open, Kizzire is still very cheap and has struck the ball well lately.

Lucas Glover (DK $6,800) – He let me down at the Masters and cost me a decent chunk of change by relegating a few of my would be 6/6 lineups into also-rans, but I’ll try again since he’s 3-for-3 at the RSM with a T6 in 2015 and T11 in 2018.

More value golfers to consider: Joel Dahmen, Matt Kuchar, Cameron Tringale, Emiliano Grillo, Tyler Duncan, Harry Higgs, Patrick Rodgers (GPP), Tom Hoge (GPP), David Hearn

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

Hudson Swafford (DK $6,400) – Swafford is a member of the Sea Island Mafia and won as recently as the Corales in September. He’s just the type of sub-$7K player I want to target in GPPs to leave a few bucks on the table when I have a little over $7K to spend.

Vaughn Taylor (DK $6,400) –He’s notched two Top 10s in three years at the RSM but missed cuts in eight of his last nine tournaments will scare off the masses. A punt play for sure, but not without a “course horse” narrative.

Additional punts: Nick Watney, Chase Seifert, Jonathan Byrd, Jamie Lovemark

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In this edition of PGA DFS picks, we’re looking for a big payday at the CJ Cup @ Shadow Creek and helping you find some winning teams!

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PGA DFS Course Notes:

  • Strong field of 78 golfers replete with big names
  • No cut
  • The course: Shadow Creek Golf Course (North Las Vegas, NV)
    • Par 72: 7,500+ yards (Tom Fazio design)
    • Bentgrass greens
    • One-time venue (it’s usually held in South Korea)
    • Tough course (record is just a modest 66)
    • Shorter Par 5s (except one at 600+ yards)
  • Not really a desert venue, as Fazio “manipulated” the  redesign to add rolling hills, trees and more
  • Distance control will be important, high-upside golfers preferred
  • Focus Stat Categories: Strokes Gained: Tee to Green, SG: Approach, Birdie or Better%, Par 4s (450-500) SG: Putting (Bentgrass)

The Picks:

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

Jon Rahm (DK $11,300) – While we don’t have any real course history to look at, we do know that Rahm is the type of golfer who performs well in no-cut events, and he’s the betting favorite this week with Dustin Johnson withdrawing after a positive COVID test. He could get chalky, but he’s a fine cash game play and should be near the top of the leaderboard come Sunday.

Justin Thomas (DK $10,800) – It’s easy to forget how much of a complete golfer JT is, especially since he has been overshadowed by some of the game’s other (younger) stars. But this PGA tour veteran remains an elite ball striker who excels in approach shots from all distances. That’s going to help this week.

Xander Schauffele (DK $11,400) – Fading Xander seems like a bad idea this week. The X-Man has an impressive record in no-cut events and is capable of dominating from start to finish, even in tough fields like this.

Matthew Wolff (DK $10,000) – Is there a hotter golfer than Wolff? His form and makeup suggest that rostering him is a priority, and there’s reason to believe this T2G monster might come in at low enough ownership to make him a tourney-breaking large-field GPP option. It’s a second-shot golf course, and nobody’s more dialed in than him right now.

Collin Morikawa (DK $9,500) – Recency bias could keep the masses off Morikawa, but he’s a great value golfer and high-upside player who belongs in the top tier. He’s 30-1 to win at the CJ Cup, but there’s no reason to believe he can’t take down this field and emerge victorious in Vegas.

Also consider: Rory McIlroy (GPP), Tyrrell Hatton

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

Daniel Berger (DK $9,300) – Berger is another talented performer who’s elevated his game over the past calendar year, and I’ll have massive shares of him in lineups that use only one of the elite-tier golfers above. Roster construction is going to be tricky this week, but Berger offers some salary relief in all formats – without sacrificing too much upside.

Matthew Fitzpatrick (DK $8,900) – Can he back up his smack-talking comments criticizing Beefy Bryson now that he’ll get some extra distance from elevation? It’s a 7,500-yard course, and since I’m a massive fan of his T2G and short game, I’ll give him a look in GPPs.

Scottie Scheffler (DK $8,800) – The PGA Tour’s Rookie of the Year is one of the best values in the field, and he ranks inside the top 25 in par 5 scoring since the restart. He’s a birdie maker with plenty of GPP upside, even though his past couple of events (withdrew due to COVID, MC) haven’t gone all that well.

Sungjae Im (DK $8,700) – Speaking of upside, I’m intrigued by Im’s recent play and think this could be the week he breaks through with a Top 5 finish. The ball-striking and approach game has improved over the past few events and the South Korean offers massive value at this depressed price.

Harris English (DK $8,600) – Another solid golfer who continues to perform at a high level but hasn’t seen a huge price jump, English makes plenty of sense for cash game builds here. He’s not super exciting to roster, but he gets it done in all types of fields and events.

Louis Oosthuizen (DK $8,500) – Outside of a third-place finish at a remarkably tough Winged Foot at the U.S. Open and a T6 at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude, his upside has been lacking a bit. But there’s still a really dynamic golfer in there who loves to shine at big events, and the no-cut format should help him stay birdie-focused. Worth a look in all formats.  

Also consider: Rickie Fowler (GPP), Paul Casey, Brendan Todd, Gary Woodland

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

Joaquin Niemann (DK $7,500) – Niemann misses a cut once in a while, but that isn’t a problem this week, and his form suggests he could be the best value within the $7-8K range. He’s a wonderful player T2G, and his confidence is building.

Si Woo Kim (DK $7,100) – Kim is way too cheap for how well he handles the slings and arrows that different golf courses will throw at him, and he offers a steady combination of solid approaches and serviceable short game. With three top-15 finishes in his past seven starts, I’ll have plenty of shares at this low price.

Corey Conners (DK $6,900) – The first of three Canadians in this price range we have to discuss, Conners is a longshot to win (100-1) but possesses the game to do well here and should have a good chance at making the Top 20. I’ll have some shares in GPPs.

Mackenzie Hughes (DK $6,800) – Canadian number two has a little more upside because of his birdie-making ability and recent form (four Top-15s in his last five starts). The price works, too.

Cameron Smith (DK $6,800) – Smith doesn’t seem to be intimidated by strong fields and he’s had success at this event in the past – albeit at a different venue. He’s also posted four Top-25s in his past five events and has soaring GPP upside under $7K.

Adam Hadwin (DK $6,700) – Another Canadian who could benefit from the extra distance from elevation at this course, Hadwin is a textbook second-shot golfer who sometimes struggles with the flat stick. He does, however, offer plenty of safety for cash game builds in this price range.

More value golfers to consider: Ian Poulter, Alex Noren, Bubba Watson (GPP), Brian Harman, Jason Kokrak (GPP), Marc Leishman (GPP), Ryan Palmer, Kevin Na, Dylan Frittelli

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

Kevin Streelman (DK $6,500) – He’s solid T2G and excels in his approaches, and this might be just the venue for him to sneak in a Top 10 under the radar. Not a sexy pick, but worth a look in all formats.

Cameron Champ (DK $6,400) – Champ occasionally struggles with his putter but the complete game has rounded into better form in the past calendar year. He’s no longer just a bomb-and-gouge player with little to offer outside massive length, and he’ll have no problem tackling the longer holes here.

Lanto Griffin (DK $6,300) – Griffin had a couple of Top 20s heading into the U.S. Open, and while he missed the cut last week, he made seven straight before that. With those concerns off the table, we can safely consider him as a viable punt option with Top 20 upside.

Additional punts: Harry Higgs, Talor Gooch, Tom Hoge, Tyler Duncan

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In this edition of PGA DFS picks, we’re looking for a big payday at the 2020 U.S Open at Winged Foot and helping you find some winning teams!

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PGA DFS Course Notes:

  • Major tournament field of 144 Golfers
  • Cut: Top 60 and ties
  • No Brooks Koepka
  • The course: Winged Foot Golf Club (Mamaroneck, NY)
    • Par 70: 7,469 yards – A.W. Tillinghast design (1923)
    • Poa Annua Greens
    • Brutal rough, tight fairways, oppressive length and scary greens – the bloodbath superfecta
    • The course has hosted some memorable U.S. Opens, including “The Massacre” in 1974 (won by Hale Irwin at +7) and Phil Mickelson’s epic collapse in 2006 (I was right on the 18th fairway watching it) where Geoff Ogilvy prevailed with a +5 tournament score
  • Focus Stat Categories: Strokes Gained: Ball Striking, Par 4s Gained (450-500), Fairways Gained, Proximity (200+ yards), Bogey Avoidance

Before we get into the picks this week, let’s talk a little about how this is not your typical tournament. Taking into account the season change, the conditions, the unfamiliarity with the course for the majority of field, and the history of U.S. Opens at this storied venue, we could see the winning score in the +5 to +8 range.

That means we don’t necessarily need a slew of birdie makers; the course has only one hole that’s considered a “birdie hole” by the players – the 321-yard Par 4 6th hole. We certainly want talented golfers who can hit fairways, fly in some under-the-wind approaches like D.J., scramble with the best of them and make some putts, but we don’t need to emphasize things like Birdie or Better% and Opportunities Gained.

I think exceedingly poor putters are out, and really awesome putters might be too because it’s nearly impossible to gain a lot of strokes with the flat stick this week given the terrifying green complexes.

The Picks:

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

Dustin Johnson (DK $11,500) – DJ is the hottest golfer on tour and has the exact set of skills to dominate here. We’ve learned a lot about his mettle the past several weeks and he’s ranked No. 7 overall in my model, with Fairways Gained being the only stat category where he’s outside the Top 10.

Jon Rahm (DK $11,000) – We’ve watched Rahm (who’s No. 3 in my model) wrap up the season with of the best values in the “All-around Ranking” in tour history, and he continues to be a presence on the leaderboard in the toughest tournaments. The possibility of a meltdown scares me a bit, but I do think he’s one of the top three to watch.

Rory McIlroy (DK $10,500) – Rory will be in a bunch of my GPPs along with alternating combos of DJ, Morikawa and Webb Simpson, but that approach means I’ll have to roster some punts, which is fine. I’m incredibly excited about the prospect of seeing this man play this course under these conditions, because he could lap the field.

Collin Morikawa (DK $10,000) – The sticker shock could keep some folks off his DFS coattails, and his elite ball-striking could carry him into position on Sunday. He’s going to be tough to fit with some of the other studs, but I’m making it a priority.

Also consider: Justin Thomas (large-field GPP only), Xander Schauffele, Bryson DeChambeau (GPP), Webb Simpson

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

Daniel Berger (DK $9,200) – Berger actually finishes second in my mixed model (Webb is first), and he’s really been playing well since the reopening, when he notched a win at Colonial, added a T2 and a pair of third place finishes.

Tiger Woods (DK $8,600) – It’s a little crazy that Tiger – who knows how to make pars on tough golf courses and grind out Top 10s – isn’t getting more love this week. His 2006 MC at Winged Foot following the death of his father looms large as a narrative, and I’ll be rooting for him.

Patrick Reed (DK $8,500) – On the other end of the feel-good spectrum, we have Reed,who will undoubtedly call upon the Prince of Darkness to keep him out of the rough and summon another U.S. Open Top 15 finish. I don’t know if he can win, but he can contend.

Matthew Fitzpatrick (DK $8,000) – Fitzpatrick (No. 10 overall in my mixed model this week) is famous for keeping his ball in play and his elite short game, which he’ll need to save par on some of these tough Par 4s. The wispy Englishman finished second on tour in SG: Putting, and while he’s been inconsistent at times, he seems to show up for majors.

Harris English (DK $7,900) – A shoo-in for Comeback Player of the Year, English is elite when it comes to avoiding bogeys and three-putts, he’s Top 15 in both Prox. 200+ and P4: 450-500, and he’s sixth in my overall model. I’ll be at like 50 percent, and he’s my favorite player looming around $8K.

Matthew Wolff (DK $7,700) – What Wolff lacks in experience he makes up for with talent and a flair for the dramatic. I’ll only be using him in my balanced GPP builds and without high expectations, but I like the price and it’s a tournament where the X-factor could come into play.

Also consider: Tony Finau (GPP), Viktor Hovland, Tyrrell Hatton, Paul Casey, Shane Lowry (GPP), Kevin Kisner, Louis Oosthuizen (cash)

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

Brendan Todd (DK $7,400) – I honestly think Todd could be the best golfer in this price range considering his steady play this past year and his growing confidence at tougher venues. A good bet for a Top 20 and a guy who could surprise on Sunday.

Ian Poulter (DK $7,300) – Poulty finished in the top 10 here in 2006, but my model is unkind to him. I’ll emphasize experience over the data for him, because he’s a survivor – and just the type of golfer I want rounding out some of my GPPs.

Erik Van Rooyen (DK $6,900) – Van Rooyen doesn’t normally get a lot of press, and when he has, he’s disappointed with some less-than-stellar play and some ill-timed MCs. But this might be the spot to roll him out, where his strengths (SG:BS and approaches from 200+ out) will help tremendously.

Chez Reavie (DK $6,800) – I’ve run a few different models emphasizing higher percentages among the stat categories we discussed, and Chez finished among the Top 10 in all of them. He’s a sneaky good player and he won’t be intimidated by the venue or the carnage he sees along the way.

Kevin Streelman (DK $6,700) – Another darling of my models, Streelman’s form has been pedestrian at best lately. But he’s No. 16 overall in my model and I trust his ability to hit fairways, avoid the majority of trouble and post some decent scores.

Mark Hubbard (DK $6,700) – Hubbard is also among the Top 20 in my model this week, and I’ve been impressed by his game in 2020. He’s made the cut in nine of his last ten tournaments and he’s pretty cheap.

More value golfers to consider: Billy Horschel, Sergio Garcia, Henrik Stenson, Ryan Palmer, Rasmus Hojgaard, Brandon Wu

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

Christiaan Bezuidenhout (DK $6,500) – His MC at the PGA will keep the masses from rostering him, but this is talented golfer who could easily finish among the Top 25.

Max Homa (DK $6,400) – Homa gets love from my mixed model (No. 14 overall) with solid ball-striking numbers and excellent ranks in avoiding bogeys and navigating long par 4s. He’ll be in 20-25% of my GPPs.

Joel Dahmen (DK $6,400) – Dahmen has the overall game to finish in the Top 20 and he’s done that a lot in 2020. Plus, he’s just too cheap given his upside.

Additional punts: Mike Lorenzo-Vera (GPP), Lanto Griffin (GPP), Robert Macintyre, Romain Langasque, Andy Sullivan

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