Welcome back for another Draftkings PGA preview with @DFSduncan. We have finally arrived at the unofficial 5thmajor at TPC Sawgrass. The Tour arrives here on the heels of Francesco Molinari’s exciting victory at Bay Hill. Molinari put on a ball striking clinic coupled with some timely putting en route to a Sunday 64 to claim the title after starting the day 5 shots back of the lead. He had to sweat things out in the club house for a few hours as he finished much earlier than the final pairings. Bay Hill proved to be an excellent appetizer for the Players Championship, which is taking place in March after several years of being played in May.
The Course and Key Stats
TPC Sawgrass is a Pete Dye design that is a par 72 layout and plays about 7,200 yards. The March tournament date should bring some winds into effect that we haven’t seen since the tournament was moved to May. This will provide some interesting challenges to the players and make things interesting for viewers given the amount of hazards that are out on the course. Historically the course doesn’t favor any one type of golfer. Bombers and short hitters have both found success here and it will simply come down to which player performs the best for the week. Players will need to score on the par 5’s and be accurate off the tee along with their irons to be successful this week. The greens are smaller than tour average and the rough around them can be very troublesome. With all this being said here are the stats I will be focusing on this week…
- SG: Approach
- SG: Par 5’s
- BoB Gained
- Scrambling Gained
- DK Points
Rory McIlroy ($10,800)
Rory has to close the deal one of these weeks, right? His form is absolutely ridiculous right now and he’s done everything besides close out a win on a Sunday. He checks all the boxes this week with a dialed in approach game and great track record of scoring on par 5’s. His 6thplace finish last week was somehow his worst finish thus far in 2019. I like Rory to close out his first win of the year here this weekend.
Brooks Koepka ($10,000)
Brooks burned quite a few people in last week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational and that makes this week a perfect time to get back to him in GPP’s. The field is loaded and I predict that most will shy away from Brooks at his price tag. I expect this tournament to play similar to the Honda Classic in which Brooks gained 7.9 strokes on the field tee to green. He’s made the cut here his last 3 starts with last year’s T11 being one of his first starts back after his injury. I think there will be lot of ownership leverage to be had with Brooks this week.
Sergio Garcia ($9,100)
If you’re looking for someone with locked in irons this week Sergio is your man. He gained a ridiculous 7 strokes on approach during his last 2 starts (WGC Mexico and Honda). He also boasts a 1st, 2nd, and 3rdplace finish at the Players in the past. If his putting is even field average this week he’ll contend for the victory.
Xander Schauffele ($9,100)
Xander shows at the top of my model for his last 24 rounds. He’s placed in the top 25 in all of his starts this calendar year, and he came in 2ndhere last year in his first start at the course. The most interesting part of his performance last year is he came in 2ndwhile losing 1.2 strokes putting. You don’t see that every day. He’s a strong play in both cash and GPP’s this week.
Gary Woodland ($7,700)
I had to do a double take when I saw Woodland at this price. He’s been incredibly consistent thus far this year and actually has the longest made cut streak on tour. He gained 7.8 shots on approach at the Honda Classic and while he doesn’t have the best course history here, I don’t think his form has ever been at the level it’s been at this year. He’s going to be chalky but I’d feel comfortable locking him into every cash lineup I make.
Lucas Glover ($7,100)
Another guy that will be popular but his form is too good to ignore at this price. He’s 12thin my model over his last 24 rounds and aside from a MC at Waste Management he’s placed top 12 in all of his other starts this calendar year including top 10’s in his last 3. Another guy I would feel great locking into my cash lineups.
Ben An ($6,800)
An comes in at 23rdin my model and at this price point that is a great value. His putting struggles have been well documented but he gained 10.2 strokes tee to green at Bay Hill and only lost 1.9 putting. That is a major improvement over the 5.6 and 4.1 strokes he lost in his 2 previous starts. If he starts getting a feel for the putter he’s going to make some noise this week.
Trey Mullinax ($6,000)
Simply put Mullinax is mispriced this week. He comes in at 30thin my model over his last 24 rounds and the savings here will allow you to load up on the guys up top. He’s made his last 7 cuts including 3 top 25’s. For $6k that is ridiculous value even if he doesn’t quite get to the top 25 in this week’s loaded field.
This week will definitely be fun with a course that can produce some big numbers and unpredictable results. The Draftkings contests are as large as they’ve been all year and there will hopefully be some green screens out there for readers this week. This brings us to the end of this week’s preview. Feel free to contact me on twitter @DFSduncan or you can find me in the Fantasy Degens Slack Chat.