This part of the PGA Tour is a lot of fun, with big tournaments coming every week. We are a week out from the PGA Championship and the next Millionaire Maker, and all of the best golfers in the world are collected in Akron, Ohio for the World Golf Championship – Bridgestone Invitational. Here are some golfers for you to target to help you wade through all the amazing choices you’ll be facing as you build your DFS lineups. Good luck.
Jordan Spieth ($12,500) – He’s expensive, so here is the argument that the price doesn’t matter: this course is tough. You try to look at previous winners (like Rory last year) to see what they did well, and the answer is “everything.” McIlroy was top-ten in literally almost everything here last year, from driving to putting to scrambling and everything in between, and he only won by two strokes. And if you’re going to try to convince me there is a golfer out there who is just going to stay consistently near the top in every category against a field like this, it has to be Spieth, right? There is no other answer.
Justin Rose ($10,500) – He has finished inside the top five here at the Bridgestone Invitational four times, including last year (T4). He also has three top-6 performances in his last four attempts. In those three, he has ten rounds under par, and none over – and don’t worry, talking about “three of four” isn’t glossing over his one dud, as those three performances were bracketed around a very respectable T27 at the U.S. Open.
Adam Scott ($10,200) – In the last four editions of this tournament, Scott has been in the top ten twice, including a win in 2011. That alone doesn’t make him a recommended play, but you do know he’ll be comfortable. If that means he can continue to build on his recent success (back to back top-ten showings), he could easily be the guy who wins you a GPP. We are talking about someone who was pushing for the world’s #1 as recently as last year.
Sergio Garcia ($9,700) – So, yeah, he kind of fell apart on Sunday here last year (a 71 cost him the win), but he did set the course record on Friday with a 61. And that’s the thing about Sergio – he might have ended up second on the leaderboard, but he was also the best fantasy performer of the weekend. He just holes so many birdies, he’s always worth considering.
Jim Furyk ($8,900) – He hits fairways, can recover when he doesn’t, and can scrape out pars even if one part of his game isn’t at 100%. He finished with just over 100 fantasy points on the back of seventeen birdies last weekend, but he had 17 and 19 birdies in his two previous as well (excluding the US Open, when he scored right around 50 fantasy points, like everyone else).
Phil Mickelson ($8,500) – Well-rounded, that’s the word. You want to look for well-rounded golfers this weekend, because at times this course will test every part of your game. Mickelson might not consistently be the best in the field anymore, but well-rounded? He’s got that covered. If he can string together four good rounds, he can compete with anyone, because he does everything well. But even if he can’t, at least we know he’ll make the cut this week – and he will continue make enough shots to rack up fantasy points for you in every round.
Martin Kaymer ($8,000) – Kaymer let everyone know he was back in form with a T12 at the Open Championship, but that was also on the heels of a solo 4th at the Open de France. This is a guy who had four top tens and two wins in 2014 – he has the all-around game to compete for the very top of the leaderboard in a tournament like this one.
Marc Leishman ($8,000) – This is a little paint-by-numbers, looking at his recent performance at St. Andrews and the fact that he shot 268 (-12) here last year to finish third. But the fact is that his game should suit this course well, with enough distance and accuracy off the tee and enough accuracy from his fairway and enough ability to get up and down from different conditions – even if he is not the best in any of those individual categories.
Billy Horschel ($7,900) – He’s a continuation of the theme I’ve been looking for through this entire list – all-around players who are competitive in every aspect of their games. And in all honesty, this price does not suggest that he is less good than the guys above him – he’s just not as good as often (maybe I should just say “consistency”?). When he is at the top of his game, he can compete with everyone on this list. Prior to the T30 he carded at St. Andrews, he had five straight top-25 performances (including three in the top-15). He has had a grand total of three rounds over par since missing the cut at the Masters back four months ago. There is a good chance you’re not wasting your money with this pick.
Kevin Kisner ($7,700) – Again, he has exhibited exactly the ability I am searching for – and the price is certainly right. Currently 15th in the FedEx Cup rankings for the year, he got that way by being inside the top-50 in both strokes gained: tee-to-green and strokes gained: putting, as well as total driving, ball striking, sand saves and scrambling. He’s doing everything well right now, as evidenced by nine straight made cuts prior to the Open Championship. That span included five top-tens, not to mention the proof he can hang with a field like this one: his T12 at the US Open.
Lee Westwood ($7,500) – He closed this tournament with a 63 on Sunday last year to shoot up the leaderboard and finish at T19 (-4). He’s the kind of player who comes by his 64 fantasy-point scoring average by almost always finishing somewhere between 60-75 – he’s probably not going to drop 100, but for $7,500, sixty-something fantasy points is valuable.
Kevin Na ($7,400) – Even more of a solid play in a cash tournament, because he feels much less likely than other guys at this point or lower to leave you completely high and dry. He’s been known to compete in fields like this one before (like, for instance, his T23 here in this tournament last year). He’s been going through a down stretch lately, but he’s still made three of four cuts and averaged 60+ fantasy points in those three. And before that he had been in the top-20 six straight times.