Welcome back once again for another weekly PGA DFS preview with @DFSduncan. We are back in the U.S. for this week’s Honda Classic at PGA National. This week’s event comes on the heels of DJ’s dominant performance at the WGC Mexico Championship. DJ finished 10 strokes ahead of everyone in the field not named Rory McIlroy, and McIlroy could only muster a 5 shot deficit to DJ. DJ is now knocking on Justin Rose’s door looking to regain the #1 ranking in the Official World Golf Rankings coming off what was one of the most dominant performances in recent memory. DJ will be sitting out this week’s Honda Classic, but we still have a strong field for the start of the Florida swing in Palm Beach Gardens.
Course Preview and Key Stats
PGA National is one of the most difficult tracks on the schedule and is home to the infamous Bear Trap which is made up of holes 15-17. The course is a par 70 that plays around 7,100 yards. It has some of the narrowest fairways on tour and water is in play all over the place. This will put a premium on driving accuracy as guys will want to be playing out of the fairway not only to give themselves easier looks at the greens but also to avoid the penalty areas and fairway bunkers all over the course. With a course this difficult we will also be looking at bogey avoidance, as there is definitely a possibility for some big numbers out there. Many players will be pleased to get back to Bermuda greens after playing on the mainly Poa greens of the west coast. Let’s look at the key stats I’ll be suing this week to develop my models.• SG: Approach• Bogey Avoidance• Fairways Gained• Scrambling Gained
Justin Thomas ($11,900)
Simply put JT is the strongest play in the field this week. The price is high but he is the defending champ coming in to this tournament in elite form. He has 4 top 10’s in his 5 starts this calendar year, with his other start being a T16. He’s gained strokes on approach in all 5 of these events and is coming in hot to his hometown course. There’s something to be said about being able to sleep in your own bed for the week.
Brooks Koepka ($10,700)
Brooks is another hometown guy in the field this week. I think he might fly a bit under the radar this week as he finished T27 in Mexico last week. If you look a little deeper into his performance in Mexico you’ll see that he lost 5.7 strokes putting but gained 8.1 T2G. Given that we’re moving to Bermuda greens from the Poa in Mexico, I think it’s safe to expect a bounce back for Brooks on the greens. Brooks does come with a bit of risk, as he’s known as a big game hunter with 3 of his 5 tour wins coming in majors. The Honda Classic certainly isn’t classified as a big game tournament. However, I think he’ll be looking to gain some momentum heading into the Players and will be looking for a strong finish this week.
Billy Horschel ($9,300)
Horschel ranks first in my model over his last 50 rounds. He’s another guy who I think will fly a bit under the radar with guys like Webb Simpson, Cam Smith, and Luke List (T2 last year). I think there will definitely be some ownership leverage here and prior to being cut here last here he had a T4 and a T8 finish. Horschel has historically been a solid Bermuda putter and he’ll be looking to start his Florida string strong this year.
Lucas Glover ($8,800)
Glover has been in great form this year outside of a MC at the Waste Management. His other 2 starts this calendar year are both top 12’s and his ball striking has been strong. He’s also been solid at this event the last 2 years with both finished coming inside the top 21. There’re not too many guys I’m crazy about in this price range but I think Glover is as strong a play as any.
Sungjae Im ($7,300)
Im finally took a week off last week and I think it will help his game immensely. He played 6 weeks in a row to kick off the calendar year and I think it wore on him as he missed his last 2 cuts. Prior to those 2 weeks he made 4 straight cuts and gained strokes on approach in all those tournaments. This will be his first start at the Honda Classic, but I like this as a bounce back start for him.
Jason Kokrak ($7,300)
Kokrak ranks very high in my model coming in the top 10 over his last 24, 12, and 8 rounds. He’s on a run of great form as of late making his last 5 cuts and gaining on approach in all but 1 of those events. He doesn’t have the best tournament history here, but his game seems to be in a much better place than it has been in previous years coming into the Honda Classic.
Carlos Ortiz ($6,600)
Ortiz is coming off a 9th place finish at the Genesis open and has made 4 of 5 cuts this calendar year. He’s gained over 2 strokes on approach in each of his last 2 events. Another guy that doesn’t have good course history, but his recent form makes him a solid dart throw at his price.
Brian Stuard ($6,500)
Another sold cut maker here who has made all 5 cuts in his events this calendar year. He’s gained on approach in 4 of these events and has historically been a much better putter on Bermuda than he has been on Poa. For his price a made cut will be great value and will allow you to pay up for some of the studs up top.
This brings us to the end of my Draftkings preview for the Honda Classic. This event certainly has some inherent risk for all players as the course can produce some big scores. Try not to get too high or low based on Thursday results as there can be major swings here every day. As always feel free to reach out to me on twitter @DFSduncan. You can also find me in the Fantasy Sports Degenerates slack chat.