McIlroy took his time acclimating to TPC Sawgrass, but he’s finally found his groove. After MC in his first three tries, he’s finished inside the top-12 the past four years. That’s the kind of trend I’m looking for when predicting a winner this week. As long as his short game is sharp, Rory should contend this Sunday. He makes birdies and should be able to dominate the par-5s and short par-4s with this massive length off the tee. I’m still waiting for Rory to make his move back towards world #1, and it could start this week.
Each week DraftKings offers a wide selection of games to enter at a variety of price points. You can even get a feel for the game in a freeroll contest. Before you put your cash on the line, I’ll offer my Top Values and Steals in this space every week, specifically geared to help build a winning DraftKings squad. I’ll also give you my Overpriced golfers to avoid, and a couple of “Vegas Says…” tips to help you find those players for GPPs.
Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Thomas, Kevin Kisner & Jimmy Walker – The best scoring average (Min. 8 Rounds) at TPC Sawgrass belongs to Thomas with 70.13. Second best? HIDEKI!!!!! The pair is a combined five-for-five in cuts made in the in careers, which shouldn’t be surprising, as they fit the approach/ball striking/BEASTIN on Par 4s mold perfectly… With the opportunity to pay off approximately 7% of my wedding if Kisner lost in the playoff two weeks ago at the Zurich, I made this proclamation. So, far everything has gone exactly to script. Kiz even opened at 60/1 for THE PLAYERS. He gains most of his strokes on approaches and appears to have the Pete Dye layouts completely figured out. Over the past three seasons, almost all of Kisner’s top finishes have come on Dye designs, including three playoff losses – one each at the Heritage (’15), Zurich (’17) and PLAYERS (’15). Is he going to win? Probably not. But he definitely should be in contention through Sunday… You could swerve on to Ryan Moore here, or eat the chalk with Matt Kuchar, but I’ll be rolling with Walker. A gamble? Most certainly. However, Walker has started to regain form his past few starts. He churned out a pair of T20s at The Masters and Valero by getting his game figured out on the tee box. When he’s not actively sabotaging his tournament off-the-tee, the rest of his skill set is exactly how you’d like it. Taking driver out of his hands on a lot of holes will only boost what he already does well too. Walker hasn’t lost strokes to the field on approach shots since last year’s TOUR Championship, and is sixth best in the field on P4s 450-500 yards over his past 24 rounds. Oh, FYI, Walker was recently diagnosed with Lyme Disease. Based on his latest results, it doesn’t seem to be affecting him all that much. And, who knows, maybe LYME SAWG is a thing.
Ian Poulter The Englishman turned around his fortunes with a strong spring and summer, and now he has a chance to qualify for his first Tour Championship. He’ll likely need a top-4 finish, but getting to Atlanta means more than just the monetary perks.
Rose is coming into The Players with three top 15s in his last three starts including the runner-up at Augusta. He ranks 6th in BoB%, 5th in Par 4 Scoring, and 24th in GIR. He also ranks 5th in our mini stat of Round 1 Scoring. Rose is the perfect play this week as his price allows you to build a more balanced DraftKings lineup at his price point.
Just over four years ago, Kim came over to America to play the final version of PGA Tour’s qualifying school. He earned a card at age 17, but he could not become a PGA Tour member until he turned 18 the following June. That card effectively went to waste, and Kim spent the next two years on the developmental tour until earning his card back to the big leagues.
Since nearly all of the top-50 players in the world are in the field, everyone is chalk. That said, finding the golfers with the fewest drawbacks is key, as certain stars don’t fit the course, despite their lofty OWGR. Don’t be afraid to fade superstars, as there are more superstars waiting for your admiration.
Poulter is an easy person to overlook this week in DFS given the quality of THE PLAYERS field, but at $6,600 he makes for the perfect likely low-owned tournament target. The Englishman recently got some good news as his T11 finish at the RBC Heritage was deemed as just good enough to meet his medical exemption requirement, allowing him to retain his tour-card until at least the end of this season. With that drama now behind him Poulter should be free to “swing freely” at this event, where he’s had some success in the past, including a runner-up finish from 2009. What I like most about Poulter here though is his recent form. While he had a bad missed cut at the Valero, he performed great at the RBC Heritage (on another Pete Dye course) where he ranked eighth in Strokes Gained: Approaches for the week, and also had a nice week at the team event on another Dye design, at the Zurich Classic. While I’m not expecting Poulter to win this week, a top 10 is very possible given his recent form and history at this venue and that sort of upside makes him an exceptional GPP target.