WATCH: VALUE ALERT – CHRIS KIRK
The PGA Tour heads south of the border this weekend to El Camaleon GC in Playa del Carmen, Mexico for the OHL Classic at Mayakoba. While most of the very best golfers in the world won’t be on hand for this one, there actually is a relatively deep field, with plenty of talent. Let’s get to the targets at every price range!
Jon Rahm ($10,700) – My pick to win this weekend, I think El Camaleon will be the site of his breakthrough first victory on Tour. On a course that yields plenty of birdies, one of the best scorers on Tour since he joined mid-season last year should be able to score fantasy points in bunches and will improve on the T10 he had here last season.
Keegan Bradley ($10,000) – A player who, despite some ups and downs, finished 12th on Tour in GIR % last season, consistently puts himself in a position off the tee to finds greens, and that can mean very good things on a course that features relatively small greens as one of the primary defenses against low scores. He finished T8 here last year in his first ever appearance, and coming off back-to-back top-10 finishes, he should be playing with a lot of confidence.
Tony Finau ($9,400) – On all courses, par-5 scoring can take you a long way, which makes Finau someone you can always consider. And that is because Finau has elite length that gives him an actual decided advantage over these fields that don’t include the elite talent in the world, especially because he isn’t just a big hitter. He is perfectly capable of taking those bombs and converting them into scoring chances, and while he only finished T41 last weekend, you look at the 65-65 he shot on Friday and Saturday and know he is capable of contending on any given weekend.
Graeme McDowell ($9,100) – A quick mention of the 2015 winner, he is back to defend his title after missing the cut last weekend. But he had consecutive top-15 showings in October in Europe, and will look to build on that with a repeat of something like last year’s performance, when he finished with 27 birdies basically on the back of a red-hot putter.
Si Woo Kim ($8,900) – He finished inside of the top-20 here last year, and has been playing even better recently than he was then. He was near the top of the field in fairways hit last year, but right now, he is looking more like a player who will be able to convert on more of those opportunities. He ended 2016 with a T10 at Eastlake and kicked off this season with another T10 at the CIMB Classic, and I think he should be a good option in any format contest this weekend.
Johnson Wagner ($8,400) – Another one of my very favorite options this weekend, it’s obvious to see why: he has been inside the top-16 here three times, including one win, and that past performance is intersecting with recent success in a way that means he could be a popular option. He made it as far as the Deutsche Bank Championship in the FedEx Cup playoffs, and then opened up this season with a T3 at the Safeway Open before missing the cut last weekend. However, he has been putting well of late (37.8 percent Birdie or Better Conversion Percent) and that could make the difference this weekend.
Cameron Smith ($8,100) – Maybe not quite to the level of Rahm, but Smith is a player recently off the Web.com Tour that we should be paying attention to, as he has not finished T35-T11-T10 in his three appearances, and he has totaled 56 birdies and eagles over that span, allowing him to average just about 90 fantasy points a showing.
Luke List ($7,800) – He has finished T26-T2-T15 so far this fall, with 63 birdies and eagles in those 16 rounds. He finished with a 64 last weekend to shoot back up the leaderboard to claim that T15 despite a 73 on Saturday. If it weren’t for that one round, he would have 16 straight at par or better, including four rounds of 66 or better in his last eight. He is playing too well to ignore, and has been both avoiding trouble and finishing off scoring chances at rates that make him a consideration in either cash games or larger tourneys this weekend.
Hudson Swafford ($7,500) – Looking like a solid cash-game option this weekend, he has made 13 straight cuts, with 60 or more fantasy points in all 13 of those appearances. He can do enough of everything to perform solidly well on any type of course. His ball striking might be enough by itself to get him into the top-30 or so, and if he drains a few putts he could give you even a bit more upside than that.
Shawn Stefani ($7,300) – He has played well here in the past, with a T25 last season and a T2 back in 2014, so he should be comfortable. He shot three rounds in the 60s+ last weekend including a 66 on Sunday, and he has been doing his damage around and on the greens. You’d imagine someone with a good history on the course will at least be able to navigate it well, giving himself chances to shoot at greens. With the way he has been playing of late, it’s easy to imagine him capitalizing enough to be useful.
Adam Hadwin ($6,900) – An option more for cash game lineups, Hadwin has two straight top-30 finishes to start the year, and I think you’re looking at someone who could be right in that top-25 range again pretty safely this weekend as well, without breaking the bank. He ended up last weekend with five bogeys on Sunday, or he would likely be a much more popular choice right now. But, with four rounds in the 60s over the last two weeks, he has shown an ability to be consistent enough to make cuts, with the ability to put up fantasy points for you while he’s out there.
Tyrone Van Aswegen ($5,900) – He’s definitely not a safe option, and he is the kind of guy I might plug into the bottom of my lineup in a bigger tournament looking for a replay of something like the T7 he carded at the CIMB Classic a couple of weeks ago. He managed 24 holes under par that weekend and is someone who can string together birdies when he is playing well – enough to finish inside the top-20 on a scorer’s track if he can avoid the bigger problem holes.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theasquad) 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.