This week the PGA tour will be headed to Doral, Florida for the WGC – Cadillac Championship. As is the case with WGC events there will be a shorter list of the names in the field at only 70 golfers this week and there will be no cut. With even less players to choose from we’ll have to be extremely careful with which golfers we put in our lineups. Below is a list of the golfers that I love, like, and hate as targets or fades heading into this weekend. Let’s get to it!
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Golfers I Love
Bubba Watson ($11,400) – Bubba Watson is coming off a convincing win at the Northern Trust open two weeks ago, and has an exceptional event history at Doral which tends to favor long hitters. Bubba is my top projected golfer this week and will be a staple in nearly all my lineups.
J.B. Holmes ($9,400) – J.B. Holmes is quietly having a phenomenal season having been in the T25 in every tournament played in the last 8 weeks, and finished 2nd in this event last year. He presents some really great value at only $9,400 and ranks 3rd in driving through 2016 which will suit him well this week.
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Matt Kuchar ($8,400) – The other statistic that really stands out for me this week is sand saves from 10-30 yards, meaning green side bunkers and Kuchar is among the best in scrambling from the sand at this distance. As the 28th ranked golfer in the official world golf rankings I believe his price is too low this week particularly when you take into account his three top ten finishes here.
David Lingmerth ($7,300) – Lingmerth was in my hate section last week, but that’s no reason to stay off of him this week. He made the cut at the Honda Classic but finished poorly at 53rd and has missed two previous cuts. This week is a completely different story, by rostering Lingmerth we risk very little to find out if his game will be where it was a month ago and his ownership should be way down with a lack of history at this event. If Lingmerth does find his game this week, it will lead to a very profitable situation and I’m planning on having exposure to him.
Steven Bowditch ($6,000) – Steven Bowditch is severely underpriced this week because of the WGC style event, but in 2015 he ranked in the top 20 in driving distance, scrambling, One-putt percentage, overall putting average, Total birdies, and total eagles. In a week where there is no cut, I’m more than happy to roster Bowditch at $6,000 based on his stats on paper and his propensity to score.
Golfers I Like
Jason Day ($11,100) – At only $11,100 I am concerned about Jason Day being owned at a high percentage, but with a similar price tag as Dustin Johnson, who will be very popular, I think most people will jump on DJ rather than Day. Day projects fifth in my model and ranks well in nearly all the relevant stats this week, and always has a chance to win as one of the best golfers in the world.
Brooks Koepka ($9,200) – Koepka has been in very solid recent form and has the makeup of a golfer who should do extremely well at this course. Brooks is a golfer with good distance off the tee as well as the ability to putt consistently and should be under owned because of having only played this event a single time. That being said he is a very popular golfer and his ownership will still be too high for me to want to go all in.
Justin Thomas ($8,800) – Justin Thomas is hitting his stride at just the right time coming into a WGC event with some of the top golfers in the world coming off a 3rd place finish last week. Despite his somewhat rocky start to this season, Justin Thomas is someone who has the ability to win here.
Danny Lee ($7,000) – Danny Lee is coming off his first missed cut in some time and I’m hoping his ownership is effected this week. My only concern with Lee is that he isn’t a very long hitter off the tee and in difficult fields most likely won’t have a good shot at winning. That doesn’t mean he isn’t a viable option to meet value at his price though.
Smylie Kaufman ($6,500) – Kaufman is going to be the chalk of the week at this bargain price, having made 9 of 11 cuts this season. His stats set up nicely for this course and he should have a good shot to meet value with how inexpensive he is, but tread lightly knowing that he is going to be in a large percentage of lineups this week.
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Golfers I Hate
Adam Scott ($11,600) – You’ll recognize Scott from my love column last week which turned out to be a great call as he won the tournament, which is part of why I am going to be fading him this week. Typically following a win there are two things that tend to occur, a golfer is much higher owned (particularly if the tournament is the following week as is the case here) and the golfer tends to underperform. While this isn’t a sure thing and is a general trend, I will be zigging while most casual DFS players are zagging and hoping the trends will hold true. The fact that Adam Scott is far and away the lowest projected golfer I have in this range is merely the icing on the cake.
Hideki Matsuyama ($9,300) – Hideki Matsuyama does not project poorly for me for this event, however it’s important to remember that stats may help tell a story but may not provide a perfect answer as to who should be in our lineups. In Hideki’s case, his risk does not outweigh his reward in my opinion after having withdrawn from last week’s event and complained of illness prior to the even two weeks ago. In an event where there is no cut, a scratch on your lineups will prove detrimental and as such is not worth the upside of rostering a player with questions surrounding his health.
Charl Schwartzel ($8,500) – I am at a bit of a fork in the road with Charl Schwartzel because I have him projected as the worst golfer in this price range, yet he has a solid tournament history with a 9th, 4th, and 2nd place finishes. However, the casual fan may not realize that Charl, despite his popular name recognition, is one of the worst sand players from 10-30 yards and as such will be out of most of my lineups.
Russell Knox ($7,600) – Russell Knox is back where he belongs salary wise this week, but he is still going to make my hate list as one of the lowest projected golfers in my model. He ranks outside the top 120 in driving average and sand saves which makes him a poor fit for this course, and as a result will not make any of my lineups.
Daniel Berger ($6,600) – This shouldn’t be much of a surprise given his performance of late, but I have been slow to adjust to the fact that last year’s rookie of the year has not appeared to be the same player in his sophomore season. High inconsistency and my inability to trust that he will bounce back to his former glory in the near future means I will be wanting to see Berger do something consistently before I roster him again.