What’s goin’ on everyone! I sure hope everyone enjoyed the RBC Canadian Open as much as I did! Hopefully some of you saw my Jared du Toit sales pitch and jumped on board. That was fun to watch, especially being since I’m, you know, Canadian…
It’s here!!! The PGA Tour’s “last shot at glory” has arrived. The 2016 PGA Championship will be held at Baltustrol Golf Club, which last played home to this event in 2005. The lack of course history a lot of players will have at this course definitely changes things this week. While the regular DFS player will rely even more on recent form, I’ll do my best to highlight golfers who stand out stat wise to gain an edge on the competition.
I want to quickly discuss my initial reactions’ to seeing the pricing this week. Like every other major, it’s super soft. Softer than Charley Hoffman withdrawing from the RBC Canadian Open with an illness-damn you Charley. Soft pricing means stars and scrubs is an obvious play, where DFSers will have a few cheap guys they love and use in a ton of lineups. Contrarian this week will be balanced. The 7k range is littered with golfers who will be over looked and under owned. For all you million dollar hunters out there, keep this in mind!
Alright enough B.S. – let’s do this, and win someone a million bucks!
Rory McIlroy – $11,400
McIlroy is a two time winner of the PGA Championship putting him in elite company in this field as a multiple winner. He will be much lower owned than Day and Johnson, making him a fantastic pivot play in both GPP and cash. He comes in ranked second in my weighted stat ranks – 15th in Par 4 scoring average, 1st in Par 5 scoring average, 1st in birdie or better percentage, 7th in proximity from 200+ and 7th in total driving – all of which are important stats for me this week. He has four top 5s in his last five events. He fits the bill in all aspects, making him my favorite play of the week.
Sergio Garcia – $9,400
My gut is telling me this is Sergio Garcia’s week. The week he will finally get the giant monkey off his back and claim his first major victory. Every aspect of Sergio’s game points towards that direction, so for me, he is a must play in all formats. His last four events have resulted in a win, then three consecutive 5th place finishes. His strokes gained stats (before he gets on or around the green) all rank inside the top 15. He’s an elite ball striker, hits the green in regulation often and can make birdies with the best of them. At $9,400, he seems like a very cheap option, and my pick to win this week.
Hideki Matsuyama – $8,800
Here is my first GPP staple of the week, and it’s a bold one. Matsuyama has been brutal as of late. He’s missed three out of four cuts, with only a T42 squeezed in the mix. That recent form is a perfect recipe for low ownership in all GPPs. He is also priced just above Matt Kuchar, who will be very chalky. Matsuyama is still an elite ball striker, who just needs to “find it” for four rounds to have winning upside at low ownership. You will only need Hideki in about 10% of your GPP lineups to be overweight compared to the field. He’s worth the risk for me.
Marc Leishman – $7,500
If anyone of you have read my articles in the past, you know I love me some March Leishman. I have been wrong more often than not with Leishman, but I’m telling you, THIS IS THE WEEK! He will finally pan out or I am completely done with Marc. Consider it added pressure. He ranks 29th in Par 4 scoring, and 30th in Par 4 scoring average. Overall he ranks 10th in my weighted rankings. I cannot see any major flaws in his stat line, so one can hope he puts it all together this week and returns value at $7,500. A top 15 should do just that.
Charl Schwartzel – $7,300
Schwartzel was the first guy that popped off the page to me as being extremely undervalued, which will likely lead to high ownership, making him more of a cash game option than GPP. He ranks 9th in strokes gained total for the season, blowing away everyone that is priced around him. He has five straight top 25 finishes, including an 18th at The Open. His high rankings in GIR(18), proximity from 200+(35), par 3 scoring average(16) and birdie or better percentage(16) are extremely encouraging and should put Charl on the leaderboard come Sunday.
Kevin Na – $6,700
Here we go again. What did Kevin Na ever do to you DraftKings?! Na seems to be consistently underpriced, and that’s okay with me! He ranks 4th in Par 4 scoring average, and this course has 12 Par 4s, so it seems like a good fit for Na. His high rank in birdie or better percentage(31), strokes gained total (35) and strokes gained approach(9) all put him up there in my rankings, and stands out in this high 6K price range. I love Kevin Na in cash for some cash relief at the top.
Russell Henley – $6,300
Henley is another GPP play for me because he comes in ranked 17th in my weighted stat rankings. He ranks top 20 in total driving, ball striking, par 4 scoring average and bogey avoidance. He is coming off back to back missed cuts, which will hurt his ownership even more, but for GPP, that’s exactly what you are looking for. I will definitely be overweight on Henley, who is typically a player I avoid, but I have a good feeling about him this week.
Jordan Spieth – $11,100
Yes, it’s Jordan Spieth, who is one year removed from one of the best seasons in professional golf history. But he has not had it this season since The Masters. He won the Dean and DeLuca, sure, but that was fully due to his flat stick. He ranks 115th in strokes gained approach and 165th in GIR. Those are just ugly stats for Spieth and won’t play well this week at a very difficult, almost US Open like, course.
Keegan Bradley – $7,800
I really hate the high 7K range this week, and Keegan Bradley sits right in the middle of it. Sure he won this event in the past, but he is just so damn streaky I cannot justify paying $7,800 for a guy more likely to finish last than first.
Brooks Koepka -$7,800
Injury note here. Koepka has been dealing with an ankle injury and made note that he can’t put all of his weight on his leg. Pretty concerning issue and a withdraw could be in the cards.
Graeme McDowell – $7,700
McDowell is way over priced for me. He is extremely inconsistent and does not fit this course well at all. He ranks 170th in scoring average before the cut, which usually translates to a missed cut. No thanks.
Victor Dubuisson – $7,200
The Frenchman is way overpriced for me. You are paying for his tournament history, which doesn’t mean much since they haven’t been at Baltustrol since 2005. He has no notable high finishes as of late, and there are so many better options than Dubuisson in the low 7K price range. Hard pass.
Well that does it for me and my PGA preview. I hope I highlighted at least one guy you hadn’t thought of! Now it’s up to you to decide if I have an idea of what I am talking about. I’d appreciate a follow on Twitter, and will answer any questions you may have, DFS related or otherwise.
Good luck this week and enjoy the season’s final major!