Ladies and gentlemen, I know you are as excited as I am for the return of your favorite golf column. Last week we had no DFS golf since DraftKings and FanDuel do not offer contests for the Zurich Classic team event. However, we are back with an excellent event this week as the PGA Tour heads over to Quail Hollow near beautiful Charlotte, North Carolina. Quail Hollow features potentially the toughest 16th, 17th and 18th hole stretch on Tour, ominously known as “The Green Mile”. If that were not enough, as many of you golf fans likely remember, Quail Hollow hosted the PGA Championship last year, so the course has been made even tougher. It has been lengthened to 7,554 yards and is a now a par 71 track with 3 par 5s instead of 4. The par 4s are really long so birdies will be hard to come by – fantasy points will be key on the par 5s. My key stats this week are: Strokes Gained Off the Tee, Strokes Gained Approach, Bogey Avoidance, Par 5 Scoring and Strokes Gained Total (as always). I also factored in course history and recent form as I always do.
Alright, let’s do this!
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Justin Thomas ($11,300 DraftKings/$12,400 FanDuel) – You golf fans likely remember Thomas’ virtuoso performance at last year’s PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his first major. I feel like JT will be bringing some good vibes to the golf course this week. Aside from the biggest win of his career, Thomas fits this course like a glove as he ranks 7th on tour in bogey avoidance, 7th in strokes gained approach, 3rd in par 5 scoring and 3rd in strokes gained total. Rickie Fowler and Rory McIlroy will likely garner quite a bit of ownership but I am playing nearly 100% Thomas this week.
Jason Day ($10,200 DraftKings/$11,900 FanDuel) – Day has fared pretty well at Quail Hollow having finished in 9th place in his last two trips to the course, including at last year’s PGA Championship. We can see why Day performs well here as he ranks 36th in strokes gained off the tee and 8th in strokes gained total. This is a tough course and a shot maker’s course. Jason Day fits the bill and should have another solid finish.
Upper Middle Class
Hideki Matsuyama ($9,400 DraftKings/$11,100 FanDuel) – It has not been the best year for Hideki Matsuyama, but this price seems a little bit low for the Japanese star. Matsuyama is another one who has played well on this track, finishing in the top 20 in his last 3 trips to Quail Hollow, including 5th at last year’s PGA Championship. Matsuyama kept popping off the page when I was looking at my stats of the week as he is 13th on Tour in bogey avoidance, 20th in strokes gained approach and 13th in strokes gained total. I think Hideki will finish firmly in the top 10 this week.
Tommy Fleetwood ($9,000 DraftKings/$11,500 FanDuel) – Fleetwood is my first recommendation that does not have a glorious course history at this track as he has played this course only once and finished barely above the cut line. I am not overly concerned as first timers generally struggle at this tough course and I think Fleetwood will be much better the 2nd time around. The talented young Brit ranks 3rd on Tour in strokes gained off the tee, 26th in par 5 scoring and 7th in strokes gained total. I think a strong finish is in order.
Daniel Berger ($8,000 DraftKings/$10,600 FanDuel) – While Berger missed the cut at last year’s PGA championship, he does have a pretty decent course history at Quail Hollow as he finished in 17th and 28th place respectively in his two previous trips. Berger’s form has been middling, but I think he can perform well here as he ranks 35th on Tour in par 5 scoring, 37th in strokes gained total and 50th in strokes gained off the tee. I am not using this play much in cash, but I think Berger is a great risk to take in GPPs.
Brian Harman ($7,900 DraftKings/$10,100 FanDuel) – Harman is such an underrated, rock solid player. His form is probably the worst it has been all season and he still has not missed a cut in months and he has 3 top 25 finishes among his last 5 starts. Harman is also very underrated on par 5s as he ranks 14th on Tour in par 5 scoring and he also ranks 16th in bogey avoidance and 12th in strokes gained total. Harman was 13th at the PGA Championship last year and I think he has a good chance to better that finish this year.
Bang for your Buck
Adam Hadwin ($7,400 DraftKings/$10,400 FanDuel) – This is a great price on DraftKings for another of the PGA’s talented young players. Hadwin has actually struggled at Quail Hollow, missing 2 of 3 cuts here, but while I look at course history, I am not a slave to it. Instead, I look at Hadwin’s cheap price tag and the fact that he is 23rd on Tour in strokes gained approach and 39th in strokes gained total and think that he is due for a great finish here. I think this is the year.
Xander Schauffele ($7,400 DraftKings/$9,400 FanDuel) – Another great young player and another great price. Schauffele missed the cut at last year’s PGA Championship, but much like Tommy Fleetwood, I give players a pass in their first attempt at this very difficult course. Schauffele’s prowess off the tee should serve him well here as he ranks 15th on the PGA in strokes gained off the tee. Schauffele’s all around game is also rock solid as he is an impressive 47th in strokes gained total. Put that together and it looks like it could be a good finish for the X-Man.
Grayson Murray ($6,800 DraftKings/$8,300 FanDuel) – Murray is a bit of an enigma, who flashes enormous talent at times. This is a bit of a hunch play, but Murray is in good recent form, finishing in the top 20 in 3 of his last 4 tournaments. Grayson is a momentum guy and I think his good momentum could continue this week. He did finish 22nd on this course at last year’s PGA Championship. This is a GPP boom or bust play, but I will have 20% Murray exposure this week.
Lucas Glover ($6,800 DraftKings/$8,300 FanDuel) – The erstwhile US Open champ is quietly having a pretty solid year statistically as he ranks 42nd on Tour in bogey avoidance, 25th in strokes gained off the tee and 50th in par 5 scoring. Moreover, Glover has been an absolute wizard at Quail Hollow, finishing in the top 10 in 4 of his last 12 appearances, and in the top 35 on 5 other occasions in the last 12 years. In fact, Glover has only missed the cut twice on this course in 12 tries. At this bargain basement price, I will be firing up Glover.
Good luck to all of you this week!
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