When filling out a DraftKings lineup, picking among the favorites is a fairly safe proposition. It’s when you have to choose between a pool of golfers down the line is where you make or break your chance to win big.
Here’s the critical decisions you’ll face as you fill out your lineup this weekend (with values courtesy of DraftKings).
Golfers Valued $8,000-$8,900
- Billy Horschel – $8,900
- Jason Kokrak – $8,800
- Charles Howell III – 8,700
- Ian Poulter – $8,600
- Matthew Fitzpatrick – $8,500
- Sungjae Im – $8,400
- Branden Grace – $8,300
- Byeong Hun An – $8,200
- Ryan Moore – $8,100
- Marc Leishman – $8,000
Jason Kokrak wouldn’t strike someone that would fare well at Harbour Town given he historically has gained most of his strokes on the field off the tee. And looking at his recent history at Harbour Town that includes two consecutive missed cuts, he likely will get overlooked at this price given the other more chalk picks around him. But from 2014-2016 Kokrak finished no worse than T18 at the RBC Heritage, and even including his two missed cuts there he averaged 1.44 Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green per round over the field. The difference between a good finish and a missed cut for Kokrak is his putting – in each of his MC’s he lost almost three strokes on average to the field, while in three appearances on the weekend he finished the week with positive Strokes Gained – Putting. His ball-striking heading into the event is strong and he’s currently riding a hot putter, so if he can continue to show well on the greens he should be in for another nice weekend.
Matthew Fitzpatrick finished strong at Augusta and heads to a golf course he enjoys with momentum. He likes the golf course so much that he even has a Harbour Town head cover on his driver! He also fits mold of a precise tactician that should fare well at the course – he’s 32nd in Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green, 52nd in Strokes Gained – Approach and 73rd in Driving Accuracy (just good .enough to avoid trouble around the course, especially using less-than-driver all week). With tight fairways and a very European style to the golf course, Matthew Fitzpatrick should feel right at home this week.
Ryan Moore is another golfer who fits the mold of one that should perform well at Harbour Town. Moore is on a roll with his ball-striking of late, averaging 1.20 Strokes Gained – Tee-to-Green on the field over his last five tournaments. It’s been on the strength of his iron play as he’s averaged just under a stroke gained on his approach shots over that stretch, and he’s 7th in driving accuracy on the year. While his putting can be hot and cold, he’s held it together on the greens quite nicely of late and if he keeps that up he should have a very solid tournament.
Golfers Valued $7,500-$7,900
- Cameron Smith – $7,900
- Justin Harding – $7,900
- Lucas Glover – $7,800
- Charley Hoffman – $7,800
- Russell Knox – $7,700
- Luke List – $7,700
- Aaron Baddeley – $7,600
- Rafa Cabrera Bello – $7,600
- Abraham Ancer – $7,600
- Graeme McDowell – $7,500
- Zach Johnson – $7,500
- Brandt Snedeker – $7,500
Cameron Smith certainly did not have the ending he would have liked at Augusta. Smith was hanging around the Top 20 all weekend before a final round 77 saw him fall to a disappointing T51 finish. On the surface, he doesn’t look like a guy who would fare well at Harbour Town as he ranks 150th in driving accuracy on the PGA Tour. I suspect that number is a little misleading given he won’t be asked to use driver quite as much at Harbour Town. At a golf course he can dial it back off the tee, he can lean on his strengths as a tremendous ball-striker with his irons and his good short game. I see a bounce back for the young Australian this weekend.
Lucas Glover is in a similar boat that Jason Kokrak is. All his ball-striking statistics suggest he’s a great candidate to contend at Harbour Town. Over his last six tournaments he’s averaged 1.16 Strokes Gained – Tee-to-Green, and throughout his career has been both a good scrambler and very accurate off the tee (two critical skills needed this week with the tight fairways and small greens). But what determines whether he’s a contender or a pretender is with his putting, which is a club that has both greatly rewarded and punished him over his career. Of late, it’s been a little streaky. But he’s made four consecutive cuts at Harbour Town and given where his ball-striking is coming in, that should be enough to at least make the weekend. And if the putter shows up, he should linger around the Top 15 on the leaderboard.
Russell Knox is a combination of a player coming into the tournament in good form and a guy who has a great track record at Harbour Town. Over his last three events he’s averaged 1.43 Strokes Gained – Tee-to-Green and over 1.5 strokes gained on his approach shots over the field. In his career at Harbour Town he’s averaged 1.93 total Strokes Gained on the field and has never missed a cut in five tries. He’ll probably be a popular choice in DraftKings this week, but as long as you go contrarian in other parts of your lineup it’s OK to be chalk here.
Bottom of the Barrel (Golfers <$7,500)
Corey Conners – $7,300: His ownership will likely be higher this week, but there’s not a lot of reasons to think he can’t continue his streak of good play. The winner of the Valero Texas Open followed up with a solid first time performance at the Masters on the strength of his ball-striking. Conners has tremendously improved in that area in his second on year on tour, and with his accuracy off the tee he should be in store for another solid performance.
Brian Stuard – $6,700: Stuard has made his last four cuts at the RBC Heritage. He’s also a player who gets d the course on the strength of his iron play and accuracy, and he’s improved his putting over the last few years on tour. In his last four tournaments he’s alternated between a solid finish and a missed cut, but expect him to be around for the weekend at Harbour Town for another chance at good performance.
Others To Consider – Emiliano Grillo ($7,400), Michael Thompson ($6,500), D.J. Trahan ($6,300)