This week the tour is in San Francisco for the WGC World Matchplay championships. This unfortunately means no daily fantasy golf for DraftKing’ers. But with a week off I thought it might be a good idea to take a look ahead at the next few weeks on tour and what daily fantasy players will have to look forward too until the US Open on June 18th (also the date of DraftKings 2.5 million guaranteed “Millionaire Maker” tournament.)
The Road to the US Open
The Player’s Championship: May 7-11
Defending Champion: Martin Kaymer
Maybe the best non-major event on the calendar the Player’s Championship features a stacked field every year and one of the largest price purses in golf. The Player’s takes place at TPC Sawgrass, a Stadium styled course that features the infamous 17th hole, a small but extremely hard to hit island style par 3 which sees a ton of water balls every year. This event will be well attended by the game’s elite and most years all of the top 50 players in the world golf rankings compete. DraftKings has already released their 3-teired Pressure Putt tournament series with buy-ins ranging from $100.00 to $3.00 in size. From a fantasy perspective this is one of the deepest fields of the year and an event that always features a ton of drama. It’s a great event and it seems taylor-made for fantasy golf.
The Wells Fargo Championship: May 14-17
Defending Champion: JB Holmes
A great regular tour event that often features many big names. The Wells Fargo is played at Quail Hollow a course that has hosted major championships and is well established as one of the best on tour. This is generally a good week to look at driving distance as the course plays long and many long hitters have dominated in the past. This was the site of Rory McIlroy’s first win on the PGA tour.
Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial: May 21-24
Defending Champion: Adam Scott
A well-established event that features a somewhat pared down field of 120 golfers due to the fact the event is an “invitational” and has more subjective qualifying procedures. The course (Colonial) is the complete opposite of what players will have encountered the previous week. Colonial is a par 70 and plays much shorter than the average tour course, as such accuracy is generally preferred here over power. This was the spot that Annika Sorenstam famously made her debut on the PGA tour and competed against men.
AT&T Byron Nelson Championship: May 28-31
Defending Champion: Brendon Todd
This event pays homage to one of the great legends of the game and keeps the tour in Texas for the second week in a row. Even though it is named after the Lord Byron, this event is stuck between a couple more high profile events and has become more of a hot spot for up and coming players to make their mark. Jordan Spieth famously debuted here as a 16 year old amateur and made the cut. It’s been a more wide open event in years past and could see some exciting new faces compete for the win.
The Memorial: June 4-7
Defending Champion: Hideki Matsuyama
The Memorial is an event hosted by Jack Nicklaus that also features “invitational status” meaning it has a reduced field of 120. It’s one of the more marquee non-major events on tour. The event is staged at Muirfield Village which was designed after Augusta National, the course which hosts the Masters yearly. This will truly be the final gathering of elite players before the US Open a good barometer of the state of certain player’s games. With the added prestige of this event and its proximity to the US Open it will be a great week for fantasy golf.
FedEx St. Jude Classic: June 11-14
Defending Champion: Ben Crane
The St. Jude Classic is the last real stop before the second major of the year, the US Open. This is always an interesting event as many players will not only be competing for a spot in the US Open, but also be playing in US Open qualifying events in the days preceding as well. Some elite players will use this event as a tune up before Chamber’s Bay but the real intrigue will be watching if anyone can vault themselves up the world rankings to qualify for the Open.
The US Open: June 18-21
Defending Champion: Martin Kaymer
This year the US Open takes place at the very new and very mysterious Chamber’s Bay. Almost none of the player’s will have any experience playing competitively at Chamber’s Bay. Set off of Puget Sound and near the ocean Chamber’s Bay may actually play more like a British Open given its unique link style setup. Additionally, long hitters may have an advantage with the course set to play as a par 70 at well over 7200 yards. As with all US Open’s patience will be a huge key as overall scores of even par have often been enough to win the title. Expect lower scores but twice the drama and intrigue from a fantasy perspective!
This week also marks the return of DraftKings Millionaire Maker tournament which features a prize pool of 2.5 million dollars. Entry in this event is only $20.00 and you can compete to win the top prize of 1 million dollars.
The second major of the year, and the second PGA Millionaire Maker, is fast approaching. Make sure you’re ready for both by preparing your fantasy game in the weeks that precede it.