Henrik Stenson ($12,600): I’ll admit it is kind of hard to pay up for Stenson’s enormous salary this week, especially when fellow Swede Alex Noren has been playing just as well as Henrik recently and is nearly $2k cheaper. However, Stenson has simply dominated this week’s venue, winning here in 2008 and finishing no worse than fourth in five other attempts. The Open champion has the long irons and accuracy off the tee to dominate this longer style of setup and is coming off a solid week in China two weeks ago, when he finished runner-up to Hideki Matsuyama. It will make the rest of your lineup tough to fill out, but I’d still consider paying up for Stenson this week.
Rafa Cabrera-Bello ($9,600): Cabrera-Bello really has done everything but win this year. The Spaniard is coming off another two solid finishes coming into this week: A 19th-place showing at the WGC China and a 10th place at the CIMB Classic. Like Stenson, Bello is one of the most solid ball-strikers on Tour but can run into trouble around the greens at times. Given the success that Stenson has had at this course, however, I think Cabrera-Bello can put up a big week here after resting the first week of the playoffs. It will be his first time visiting the venue but that didn’t stop the past two winners of this event from huge weeks, and it shouldn’t matter much for Bello either.
Ross Fisher ($9,300): Fisher has been on fire in the latter stages of 2016, posting two runner-up finishes and a sixth place at the WGC-China, in his last four starts. A solid driver of the golf ball, Fisher has also taken to this course over the years with finishes of fifth, third and second here in four starts. Given his recent form and history, I don’t think it’s a stretch to see Fisher as one of the main favorites to win this week (behind Stenson), so as only the seventh-most expensive player on DK he looks like great value and someone I’d want in all formats.
Chris Wood ($8,600): Wood again makes my list and again looks to be relatively underpriced compared to the field and his own accomplishments. Unlike a handful of the players ranked in front of Wood in salary this week, Wood actually won on Tour this year and is also ranked well inside the top-50 players in the world. Last year he also posted a solid third-place finish at this venue and should be looking to build on that after two straight finishes of 22nd in his most recent two starts. At $8,600, he looks like the best pure value play among the big names to me.
George Coetzee ($7,600): Coetzee has been battling back from injuries over the past couple of months but finally looks to have shaken off the rust after posting a solid fifth place in Turkey last week. The South African will obviously be playing in a semi-home game here and should be eager to make up for lost weeks now that he is back. He’s won in Africa numerous times over his career as well, so comfort won’t be an issue, even if he’s not finished better than 12th at this event in two tries. A strong driver of the ball when he’s playing well, Coetzee has more upside for me than most at his range, and I’d label him as a savvy tournament play this week.
David Horsey ($8,200): Horsey has been money of late, and if you’ve been following this column you know I’ve been following him during the ride. His streak is now up to five finishes of 11th or better in his last seven starts. Last week he ended up finishing runner-up and probably would have had a great shot at winning if not for a crazy week of play and putting by Thorbjorn Olesen (another person I recommended last week). I know Horsey hasn’t played at this venue before, but it shouldn’t matter as the Englishman is now the hottest player on Tour and should be in the mix again. At $8,200, he’s as close to a must-play this week for me as it gets.
Adrian Otaegui ($7,100): Otaegui is a good young Spanish player who has shown flashes of brilliance this season, but also mixed in some poor weeks as well. Still, after a solid 13th last week I think he’s worth another shot here. Like Stenson, Otaegui is a solid driver of the ball in the sense that he’s accurate and currently ranks 12th this season in Driving Accuracy. As a first timer, he’s not the safest option, but with there being no cut this week I think looking for him to stay hot for one more week makes sense. He seems to have a game that should be suited for the venue.
Nicolas Colsaerts ($6,800): Colsaerts has truly been one of the most consistent players on Tour the entire season, so to see him ranked under $7k in a smaller field makes him a nice value in my eyes. Before settling for a mediocre finish last weekend, Colsaerts had made seven straight cuts on Tour. While his only finish here was a 10th four years ago, I think the big hitting Belgian is simply too cheap and looks like a great play for 50/50s this week given his ability and the relative openness of this field.
Rapheal Jacquelin ($6,500): Jacquelin has had a somewhat up and down year but does have some big results to his name, including a fourth at the BMW PGA event earlier in the season. More importantly it looks like Jacquelin is heating up at the right time as he’s improved his finishing position in each of the past three weeks. Given the nature of the Tour playoffs, and the need for players to get hot in these events, I think Jacquelin looks like a good target. His rise in form should be taken advantage of if you need a player at $6,500 or less.
Renato Paratore ($6,400): Paratore has played well of late but has had trouble putting back-to-back rounds together. He has now made six straight cuts though and finished 25th or better in three of those starts, including a T25 at the first playoff event last week. The bigger hitting Italian ranks inside the top 50 in Driving Distance, which should help at this venue if he keeps it relatively straight. And while he doesn’t carry much name value, he does carry some youthful swagger, which could help at an event where no one expects much from him at. At $6,400, he’s another player who I think is a good stars and scrubs candidate and whose recent form could be a harbinger of better things to come.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is wavegoodbye) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.