Howdy folks? Another week, another golf tournament! The 4 majors might be done, but there is still plenty of excitement ahead in the PGA season with the FedEx playoffs starting next week. This week is a really important one for those golfers on the cusp of the top 125 in the FedEx rankings as they try to sneak into the playoffs. It should be another fun one.
Before previewing the Wyndham Championship, let’s quickly recap the PGA Championship. It was great to see another of golf’s young guns, Justin Thomas, win a major. I had very little Thomas in my lineups, but still ended up right around even, including cashing my only Millionaire Maker entry on DraftKings. It was not my best week in this space, as 10 of the 15 golfers that I recommended made the cut. My one gem was Francesco Molinari, who finished in a tie for 2nd at a low price and low ownership. If you took my advice on that one, you probably made yourself a little coin. I also had good recommendations with Matsuyama, Fowler and Woodland.
On to this week and the Wyndham Championship. This tournament is played at Sedgefield Country Club in North Carolina which is not too far from Quail Hollow, the site of the PGA Championship. The course is a short par 70, measuring only about 7,150 yards. Players often play less than driver off the tee, and I will not be focusing on the grip it and rip it kind of players. It should definitely be noted that this is a weak field event, with most of the star players resting up for the FedEx Cup Playoffs. Stats I am focused on are strokes gained approach, GIR and par 4 scoring. Let’s see what we came up with.
If you have any questions – don’t hesitate to hit me up on Twitter at @AssemblyNeil.
Kevin Kisner ($11,300 DraftKings/$9,600 FanDuel) – It is interesting that I am leading off with Kisner, because I am slightly on the fence with him. His stats certainly line up for this course as he ranks 2nd in the field in strokes gained approach, 6th in par 4 scoring and 18th in GIR gained. He also has two straight top 10 finishes on this course. That having been said, after being in contention for the first time in a major last week, I do wonder whether Kisner has some mental fatigue. I will probably have about 25% exposure.
Jason Dufner ($10,400 DraftKings/$9,200 FanDuel) – Dufner sets up really well for this course as he is ranked 4th in the field in strokes gained approach and 4th in proximity from 175-200 yards, another stat that I looked at. The Duff-man has made three straight cuts at this event, including a top ten finish in 2012. I have a feeling this will be a good week for him.
Upper Middle Class
Bud Cauley ($9,200 DraftKings/$7,900 FanDuel) – First off, I love Cauley’s price on FanDuel. Vegas pegs Cauley as the 7th highest favorite to win the event, but he is not priced accordingly on FanDuel. Bud is kind of hit or miss at this event as he has two missed cuts and two top 10s in his last 4 appearances. But I love that he ranks 9th in GIRs gained and 24th in strokes gained approach in the field. He also ranks 12th in proximity which I think will be a key. I will be heavy on Bud this week.
James Hahn ($9,000 DraftKings/$6,900 FanDuel) – Hahn has quietly been in excellent form recently, making 7 of his last 8 cuts, with 3 top 10s and two other top 20s among those finishes. He is also a great course fit, ranking 10th in par 4 scoring and 29th in the field in strokes gained approach. I think Hahn might win this event this week.
Kevin Streelman ($8,300 DraftKings/$6,700 FanDuel) – Streelman is another guy who is in good form, having made his last 6 cuts, with 4 top 20s among those finishes. I love his fit on this course as he ranks 3rd in par 4 scoring and 17th in strokes gained approach. Streelman is priced properly so that he can be fit into many lineups. I will be playing him a bunch.
Chez Reavie ($8,100 DraftKings/$7,500 FanDuel) – Chez has a spotty course history, though he does have two top 10 finishes in the past, but if it was not for that, he sets up perfectly for this course. Reavie is a second shot kind of golfer, who leads the field, and in fact the PGA Tour in proximity. While this might be crazy to say, DraftKings has a big reward for aces, and Reavie can take dead aim from 175 yards, which is the measurement of two of the par 3s on this course. Reavie is also 3rd in the field in strokes gained approach. I am going to chalk up the poor course history to variance and play plenty of Reavie.
Bang for your Buck
Chad Campbell ($7,900 DraftKings/$6,800 FanDuel) – Campbell is another player who is in excellent form. He has made 7 of 8 cuts, with 5 top 20 finishes among those made cuts. Like Reavie, Campbell has an up and down course history, as he has missed 2 of his last 5 cuts here, but also has finished in 4th place in the past. I love how Campbell is playing and think he will be a rock star this week.
Nick Watney ($7,200 DraftKings/$6,500 FanDuel) – A bit of narrative street, but Watney needs a good finish to secure his spot in the top 125 in the FedEx Cup rankings. On top of that, Watney has made 3 of 4 cuts at this event, including a top 10 finish. I like that he is 6th in the field in strokes gained approach. I will have plenty of Watney this week.
Nick Taylor ($7,000 DraftKings/$5,700 FanDuel) – Taylor is the Rodney Dangerfield of golf, as he continues to get no respect, even in these terrible field events, despite having a rock solid season. Taylor has made 7 of his last 10 cuts, with 3 top 10 finishes, though he has missed his last two cuts. He also does not have great course history. But be that as it may, he has been a different player this season and ranks 15th in strokes gained approach. I think Taylor will be low owned and he might be the key to my lineups.
Trey Mullinax ($6,900 DraftKings/$6,200 FanDuel) – Mullinax does not fit the profile of most of the guys that I am playing this week, since he is a really big hitter. But this course is always among the easiest on tour, and Mullinax is a straight-up birdie maker. On top of that, Mullinax sits right outside the top 125 this week, and will need to play well to get into the playoffs. I am banking on him to play well.
OTHERS OF NOTE:
Here are some other guys that will make their way into my lineups:
Chesson Hadley ($7,900 DraftKings/$5,200 FanDuel) will be in exactly zero of my DraftKings lineups, but I love his price on FanDuel. This former PGA Tour rookie of the year is playing well on the web.com Tour this year, including making 4 of his last 5 cuts with a win and a 3rd place finish sprinkled in.
Smylie Kaufman ($7,400 DraftKings/$6,100 FanDuel) is a guy who was being mentioned in the same breath as guys like Daniel Berger and Justin Thomas last year. But he has gone backwards while they have moved forwards. Nonetheless, I like that Kaufman ranks 11th in my par 4 scoring metric.
Byeung-Hun An ($8,900 DraftKings/$8,200 FanDuel) is not a guy I usually play, but I like how he played last week. On top of that, he is 11th in the field in GIRs gained.
Ryan Palmer ($7,300 DraftKings/$6,900 FanDuel) has had a bad year, but he is still very talented and is priced right on DraftKings. Vegas has him at 71/1 to win, which is on par with guys $500-800 higher in price.
Harold Varner III ($7,300 DraftKings/$5,900 FanDuel) is a birdie maker who needs a great finish. He could either win this event or finish in dead last. I like him in GPPs.
Good luck to all of you this week!