When filling out a DraftKings lineup (use the promo code SGP), 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 for the 2019 Safeway Open (values courtesy of DraftKings).
Golfers Valued $8,000-$8,900
- Lucas Glover – $8,900
- Emiliano Grillo – $8,800
- Abraham Ancer – $8,700
- Scott Piercy – $8,600
- Sebastian Munoz – $8,500
- Corey Conners – $8,400
- Kevin Streelman – $8,300
- Phil Mickelson – $8,200
- Charles Howell III – $8,100
- Bronson Burgoon – $8,000
The same exact things can be said about Emiliano Grillo and Corey Conners, so I’ll lump both into one paragraph. Both are extraordinary ball strikers tee to green, and both come into the Safeway Open in prime form in those departments. The problem with both, however, is that they are absolutely dreadful on the greens and show no form with that. On a golf course that rewards great ball striking, one of them is bound to overcome a bad week with the putter for a good finish on the leaderboard. Pick your poison with which one it’ll be between the two.
A rough FedEx Cup playoff stalled a lot of Scott Piercy’s momentum, but he posted a solid performance a few weeks back at the Greenbrier with a good week tee-to-green. A dodgy putting performance held him back from a better finish, but that had been an area of strength and could rebound quick. Despite solid form over the last few months, he hasn’t posted a Top 10 finish since the Byron Nelson. I think regression will take over and we’ll see him in the mix this weekend.
On overall pedigree, Bronson Burgoon‘s name doesn’t belong with this group of players. But he’s probably the hottest player coming in from this tier ever since winning his card back through the Korn Ferry Playoffs. Since finding new life on the PGA Tour, Burgoon has a pair of Top 20 finishes and excellent strokes gained performances with his irons and putter. That’s exactly what will be needed for a good finish at Silverado North this week, and if that form continues another good finish is in the works for him.
Golfers Valued $7,500-$7,900
- Dylan Frittelli – $7,900
- Harris English – $7,900
- Harold Varner III – $7,800
- Bud Cauley – $7,800
- Troy Merritt – $7,700
- Kevin Tway – $7,700
- Vaughn Taylor – $7,600
- Nate Lashley – $7,600
- Joel Dahmen – $7,500
- Adam Hadwin – $87500
- Daniel Berger – $7,500
- Carlos Ortiz – $7,500
Is Harris English back? Believe it or not, English was once a popular sleeper pick to win the Masters, as he was a Georgia boy with prestigious ball striking and great touch on the greens. But over the last few years his ball striking has seriously fallen off, and not only was he banished to Korn Ferry Tour playoffs to try and keep his card, he was unable to do so. Now with low priority status, he has come out on fire over the first two PGA Tour events with a pair of Top 10 finishes. Most encouraging is the manner in which he’s done it, as he gained over 1.7 strokes per round tee-to-green in doing so. If his resurgence is legit, he has a big ceiling.
Bud Cauley is my poor man’s version of Hideki Matsuyama in that I’m always touting his good ball striking and hoping his putting heats up, only to be continually disappointed in the results at the end of each tournament. But he finally came through for me at the Greenbrier with a solid Top 20 finish, and that was in spite of a poor ball striking week. That should regress to the mean this week and if the putter stays hot, another good finish is in the works.
Vaughn Taylor isn’t the sexiest name in a DFS lineup and is coming off a poor performance at the Sanderson Farms. But before that he had been red hot, posting five Top 20 finishes in his last 10 starts on the strength of his putting and iron play. That’s a solid recipe to play well at Silverado North this week, and if he can shake off the poor finish last week a rebound is in order.
Bottom of the Barrel (Golfers <$7,500)
Jim Furyk – $7,400: Another boring yet useful name for a DFS lineup this week. A small ballpark that places a premium on precise wedge play is a great golf course for Jim Furyk. His form has cooled off a bit since the beginning of this year, but his iron play has remained solid in his comeback season. He’ll need to be better with his putter than he has of late, but I expect him to quietly have a solid finish on the leaderboard this week.
Lanto Grifin ($7,400) & Robby Shelton ($7,100): Most of the talk about recent Korn Ferry Tour graduates having success on the PGA Tour has fixated on Scottie Scheffler, but Lanto Griffin and Robby Shelton have been equally impressive in their debuts. Griffin has been red hot with his putting over his first two tournaments, while Robby Shelton has been superb tee-to-green. Both should be in line for another good finish and be useful in DFS this weekend.
Others To Consider – Cameron Tringale ($7,200), Doc Redman ($7,200), Adam Schenk ($7,000), Sam Ryder ($6,800)