It’s finally come, the last major of the season- The PGA Championship at Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, New Jersey. Don’t pack your clubs in the attic yet though since Draftkings will be offering plenty of tournaments and there will be lots of prizes to win throughout the remainder of the season. Among those prizes is a one million dollar payday this week, so below is a list of golfers I love, like and hate for building lineups this week.
Golfers I Love
Dustin Johnson ($11,600) – After having won his first major ever at the U.S. Open, Dustin Johnson continues his string of dominance among the game’s best. Having not finished outside the top ten in almost ten weeks is just the beginning of why I like DJ at the year’s final major. It’s been nearly a year and a half since DJ finished outside the top ten at a major and with how well he’s playing recently, I’m going to continue to get on board.
Phil Mickelson ($10,200) – I truly hope you were watching the Open Championship a few weeks ago because it was one for the ages as Phil battled Henrik Stenson on his way to a fourth round 65 which as it turns out was only good for second place. Phil’s scoring average is good for second on tour behind only Dustin Johnson, and I think Phil’s game is good enough to follow up his second place finish by finding his way back into the winner’s circle at a major.
Sergio Garcia ($9,400) – With 2016 being the year of first time major winners, it feels like Sergio is the next in line. At only $9,400 Sergio packed recent finishes of fifth place or better in five of his last six events. On top of being one of the hottest golfers in the field, Sergio ranks in the top ten in strokes gained tee-to-green, strokes gained approaching the green, birdie or better percentage, scoring average and greens in regulation.
Charl Schwartzel ($7,300) – Charl is very difficult for me because he is so underpriced it’s almost a bad thing. Schwartzel being only $7,300 is going to lead to popularity like you wouldn’t believe and it has me a bit concerned. Schwartzel is ranked top 25 in nearly every relevant stat category and has finished top 25 in every tournament for the last ten weeks, which is going to only increase his popularity.
Kevin Na ($6,700) – This will mark the third straight major I’ve written Kevin Na up, and I am not going to stop until something changes. Na has made the cut in six majors out of seven and seems to continue to be underpriced every single time. While I am not crazy about Na’s upside for something like the Millionaire Maker, he has shown top ten upside in the past and a top fifteen or better is definitely enough to be profitable with Na at only $6,700.
Golfers I Like
Jordan Spieth ($11,100) – I had a really tough time deciding which player in the top price range to put into this section because I don’t feel strongly about Spieth or Day. In the end, either Spieth or Day have the talent to find themselves hoisting a trophy Sunday night but it’s the fact that Spieth will probably be in fewer lineups that led to him as my choice. With how poorly Spieth has played in the last four weeks, I think most people will hesitate to have Spieth in too many lineups and for that reason I think he makes a really interesting GPP play.
Adam Scott ($9,600) – Adam Scott is a multiple winner on tour in 2016 and is a golfer who has improved in every single major statistical category by a large margin. Of these stats, most notable are Proximity which he jumped from 135th ranked on tour to 6th on tour and scoring average which he went from 121st on tour to 5th on tour. Adam Scott is not the same golfer he once was, but he has the ability to win on any course. Don’t get fooled by Adam Scott’s lack of noise recently, he should not be overlooked.
Brooks Koepka ($7,800) – Tread carefully with Koepka since he’s now withdrawn from play in two straight events with an ankle injury, including the Open Championship. It appears as though his ankle injury fits in the minor injury category better than the major injury. That being said, Koepka is one of the highest projected golfers in the field according to my statistical model, and the questions surrounding his injury should keep his ownership low. I’ll be monitoring the news carefully, but if it appears as though Koepka is healthy, I’ll be taking him everywhere I can.
Jason Dufner ($7,100) – Jason Dufner has won a PGA championship in the past, so he certainly has the ability to win amongst the best golfers in the world, but more recently it was his 22nd and eighth place finishes at the two most recent majors that leaves me thinking long and hard about Dufner as a GPP play. I will most likely side with rostering Dufner but I won’t be going overboard.
Gary Woodland ($6,700) – Woodland has been a feature in my cash lineup more than a handful of times throughout the season this year, but it seems he’s turned a corner in the upside department having finished in the top twenty five in six of his last eight appearances including a twelfth place finish at the Open. My only concern with Woodland is that I’m not sure he fits the bill as a player who can actually win this tournament.
Golfers I Hate
Rory McIlroy ($11,400) – McIlroy has become something of a back-door top ten specialist as of late despite having once been the type of player known for dominating the field by multiple strokes. It may surprise you to know that Rory has not won on the PGA tour in over a year, and despite having several top five and top ten finishes recently he has not really been in serious contention for some time. In fact, it’s been nearly two full years since Rory has played in a PGA tour event without shooting over seventy in at least one round. While there is a chance that Rory shoots a Sunday 63 to climb the leaderboard into the top ten, I’ll take my chances that he digs himself a hole too big to get out of before then.
Matt Kuchar ($8,600) – Kuchar, like Schwartzel, is going to be an extremely popular pick as we head into the week of the PGA championship, unlike Schwartzel, I will not be rostering Kuchar in my GPP lineups because of Kuchar’s lack of production in majors. Kuchar has one of the highest floors in all of golf from week-to-week, however in majors it seems that his finish positions tend to drop significantly. At $8,600 and high ownership I don’t think Kuchar has the goods I’m looking for to realistically contend for the trophy in a field this tough.
Matthew Fitzpatrick ($7,600) – I can’t seem to pinpoint what’s going on with Matthew Fitzpatrick as his price jumps all over the place from week to week. At $7,600 he is nearly $1,000 more expensive than he was in the RBC Canadian Open pricing which was a weaker field. Fitzpatrick’s price is too high for me to consider him.
Charley Hoffman ($6,000) – Hoffman is going to seriously raise some eyebrows at only $6,000 but I am going to cross his name off my list to keep me from resisting the temptation of rostering him. Despite having a long string of a lot of made cuts, it’s been almost ten weeks since Hoffman has finished better than 33rd meaning he doesn’t have anywhere near the upside we’re looking for in GPPs.
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
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is IthinkIcan1) 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.