WATCH: CHASE OR FADE – JOHN RAHM
The PGA Tour moves south of the border this weekend for the World Golf Classic Mexico Championship. Club de Golf Chapultepec in Mexico City welcomes some the best golfers in the world, so here are my favorite building blocks from every price range.
Dustin Johnson ($12,500) – Playing for the first time as the new world #1, DJ is entering this weekend at the top of his game. On a short course, currently cut with short rough, it should be a ball-strikers paradise. And the way the best ball strikers most often lose is to a red-hot putter, which could be hard to find on a course where the players will have relatively little experience. DJ is #1 in the world in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green, and that formula should give him a decent shot at a position somewhere near the top of this leaderboard.
Hideki Matsuyama ($10,700) – A missed cut at the Genesis Open may keep some away and make Matsuyama under-owned. Just a couple of days past his 25th birthday, he still has his best golf in front of him, impressive for someone with two wins already this season. On a course where there should be plenty of scoring opportunities for everyone, Par 5 Scoring could be a key stat this weekend (a category Matsuyama is currently leading), because players will need to make the most of those chances.
Henrik Stenson ($10,300) – It’s too bad that he still seems to be experiencing some pain in his knee, remnants of an injury that has impacted him over the past half-year or so, because it started for him right when he was finally taking his game to the next level after his first major win last year. Despite the pain, he was still able to finish second in Dubai in his last start, and will be looking for a repeat of his T2 performance at his last World Golf Classic event, the HSBC Classic back in October.
Jon Rahm ($9,000) – He is now up to 36th in the world despite not even being around a whole season yet, and he has shown the composure to compete down the stretch in extremely strong fields. So far, his career Birdie or Better is 26.10, better than the 25.81% Dustin Johnson ended up with at the end of the 2016 season. Not only is he learning to compete for these titles, but he is doing it as an elite fantasy option, racking up enough birdies that he is one of those rare players who can outscore – from a fantasy perspective – people above him on the leaderboard.
Gary Woodland ($8,400) – He is my top option in any format. His price is completely reasonable, leaving you room to go in any direction you want from here, and he has shown the recent form that makes him easy to trust. He has four top 20 showings, including three at T6 or better, in his last five appearances. He earned his T2 at the Honda Classic with rounds of 66 on both Friday and Saturday, playing the kind of golf that has him competing with the top options on the board.
Tyrrell Hatton ($8,300) – I recommended him last week coming off two solid performances on the Euro Tour, and he responded with a T4 at PGA National. He managed that finish despite a 72 on Sunday, shooting -9 over the first three days of the tournament on the par 70 course. He has been T13 or better in every tournament he has competed in in 2017 so far, a run he’ll be looking to continue with a repeat of the performance he showed over the first three days of last weekend.
Brendan Steele ($7,900) – He has yet to miss a cut in 2017 in six tries, and he’s actually finished inside the top 20 in five of those six appearances. He is currently tied for third in Par 5 scoring, and sits at 10th in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green, two very important metrics for me this weekend.
Pat Perez ($7,400) – He has had some decent finishes this season, with his hopes of actually grabbing a win or coming close usually dashed by one unfortunate high round. But in his made cuts this year, he is averaging just over 16 birdies per weekend, enough to finish with some very solid fantasy totals even if there is a Saturday 74 mixed in that keeps him from cracking the top 20.
Alexander Noren ($7,200) – His GIR% on the Euro Tour this season is 78.47%, which would be good for #1 on on the PGA Tour right now (Spieth currently leading with 77.22%). He opened the year with a T13 and a T21 on the Euro Tour, but he has also shown the ability to close out tournaments, evidenced by his six wins last season.
Bernd Wiesberger ($7,100) – The Austrian has been playing well on the Euro Tour, with four made cuts and two top ten finishes so far since the beginning of January. He is coming off a solo 3rd at the Maybank Championship two weeks ago which was highlighted by a low round of 63 on Friday that helped propel him through the weekend. He’ll need his A-game for four straight days to compete for a title this weekend, but if he brings it just once or twice, that could be enough to make him a useful fantasy option.
Kevin Na ($7,100) – He had a T16 at the WMPO and a T4 two weeks ago at the Genesis Open, without a single round over 70 in either of them. Always comfortably inside the top 50 in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green, he should be able to put himself in a position to take advantage of every scoring chance this weekend. As long as his short game and putting stroke don’t let him down, he should be well worth the price in a cash-game contest.
J.B. Holmes ($6,800) – Someone who has managed to keep making cuts, he has finished somewhere between 23rd and 34th in each of his last four attempts on Tour, which, if he repeats it this weekend, you would happily take at this price. Inside the top 30 this year in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green and Birdie or Better %, he will look to translate those skills into his best finish of the year to date.
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.