Let’s get to the golfers I love, like and hate ahead of this week’s FedEx St. Jude Classic.
Golfers I Love
Brooks Koepka ($11,100) – Brooks Koepka continues to be one of the most well rounded players on Tour, and this week he is priced as such. In his two most recent top tens the difference has been his putting with over 1.2 strokes gained butting in both appearances. We know putting is a stat that has a lot of variability but can also be very streaky. With a solid showing in his last event, look for Brooks to show up again in a big way this week.
Ryan Palmer ($10,800) – Ryan Palmer is one of my favorite plays in the field this week for several reasons. Palmer presents a unique opportunity to roster a golfer who has a combination of a really good projection, great course history and elite recent form all of which have been good predictors historically of performance.
Colt Knost ($9,700) – TPC Southwind is a course that has been difficult to hit fairways and is a course where birdies are very hard to come by. Colt Knost, however, has the highest Birdie or Better Percentage from the rough in the field to go along with his 16 of 17 made cuts this season. Knost is better suited for GPPs with a course history that has been very volatile, but he has been consistent enough this year that I couldn’t fault anyone for considering him in cash game formats either.
Russell Henley ($8,500) – This isn’t the first time I’ve written up Russell Henley, and it certainly won’t be the last. Statistically Russell Henley sets up very well for this course despite his poor recent for and course history. While he definitely won’t find his way into any of my cash game lineups, Henley has upside and the talent to break off a top ten at any time.
Golfers I Like
Dustin Johnson ($12,800) – There is no question that Dustin Johnson stands out in a big way in the field this week which contains much less talent than usual with the U.S. Open next week. With top 10s in 4 of his last 6 events and top 30 or better finishes in the past 11 weeks Dustin Johnson feels like a near lock for a top 10. However, his ownership is going to be incredibly high this week, and last year he withdrew after 9 holes due to a poor start. If Dustin Johnson goes 4 rounds I expect him to be in contention but tread carefully as he may not go the distance this week.
Harris English ($9,900) – English is a past champion here and is coming off a 2nd place finish only 2 weeks ago. While I don’t love English’s consistency I definitely think he is worth rostering in GPPs with a game that suits this course well and his ability to exhibit top 5 upside.
David Hearn ($8,400) – David Hearn comes with a bit of sticker shock this week all the way up at $8,400 in salary, but Hearn has quietly rattled off 5 top 30s in 6 events. With his ownership never having breached 15% this season he makes a great GPP option that could be enough to differentiate your lineups if he winds up in the top 20 as has been the case on Sundays recently.
Bobby Wyatt ($7,300) – While I don’t have as many stats on Bobby Wyatt to feel completely comfortable, I think Wyatt makes an interesting GPP option this week. Wyatt is a former All-American with Alabama and captured 2 team national championships. Despite all this he hasn’t earned his Tour card and has only limited starts on Tour. With his 4th place finish at Zurich, I like Wyatt as a possible sleeper in GPPs this week.
“Blayne Barber really stands out in my projections this week”
Blayne Barber ($6,600) – Blayne Barber really stands out in my projections this week, but I won’t necessarily be going overboard by rostering too much Barber. However, his course fit is too good to ignore. He will only be making my GPP lineups and is just a flyer, but he’s a flyer that I will definitely be taking at what I expect to be extremely low ownership.
Golfers I Hate
Gary Woodland ($10,400) – Despite Woodland having finished 4th last week and 6 straight made cuts, I don’t think this course suits Woodland’s game all that well. It’s going to be hard to completely ignore Woodland with his consistency and form, but I find myself dropping to Knost rather than taking a similar Woodland at a much higher price.
Wesley Bryan ($9,000) – Many folks will be wondering who Wesley Bryan is and why he is priced at $9,000. Bryan is the money leader on the Web.com tour and has 2 wins this season on the Web.com tour which means he is a virtual lock for a PGA Tour card next year. I don’t like Bryan at this price at all, but he is definitely worth monitoring since I expect him to be low priced in the swing season next year. We’ve seen the likes of Emiliano Grillo and Smylie Kaufman, both rookies on Tour, earning their first PGA tour wins in the swing season and Wesley Bryan could be in the same shoes come next fall.
Jon Curran ($8,300) – Even with Curran’s 2nd place finish last week, and 6 straight made cuts I don’t expect his performance to continue. Curran’s price has continued to rise week to week and has peaked at $8,300 this week which is just too high for me to consider rostering Curran even in this weak field.
“David Toms is not the golfer he once was, so don’t be tempted…”
David Toms ($7,600) – David Toms has really great course history at this event prior to 2010. However, it’s been some time since Toms has been able to crack anything better than a 56th place finish and has missed 3 of 5 cuts in this event in the last five years. David Toms is not the golfer he once was, so don’t be tempted by the 5 top 10s he has at this event.
Brendon Todd ($6,500) – I can’t exactly tell you why this is the case, but Brendon Todd has missed 10 straight missed cuts. Even with his deflated price, don’t be tempted by Brendon Todd until we’ve seen him start to perform in some way.
Do you have questions about golfers who aren’t in this article? Get more weekly analysis and answers to any of your questions by following me on Twitter @BradMessersmith