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 WGC-HSBC Champions (values courtesy of DraftKings).
Golfers Valued $8,000-$8,900
- Billy Horschel – $8,900
- Shane Lowry – $8,800
- Matt Wallace – $8,700
- Tyrrell Hatton – $8,600
- Rafa Cabrera Bello – $8,500
- Francesco Molinari – $8,400
- Matthew Fitzpatrick – $8,300
- Corey Conners – $8,200
- Danny Willett – $8,100
- Sergio Garcia – $8,000
Matt Wallace has spent most of this time on the European Tour of late but he’s racking up quality results week after week. He comes into the WGC with back-to-back Top 10’s and has demonstrated quality ball striking in each of those finishes. While it’s a step up in competition this week, Wallace is very good off the tee (though he can be a little inaccurate at times) and has proven himself against strong fields in the past. I suspect he’ll be a popular play in this price range, but I like using him in a no-cut limited field event this week anyways.
Though he won at Bay Hill back in February, it’s been a fairly disappointing year for Francesco Molinari. He hasn’t really recovered after choking away the Masters back in April, and none of his ball striking numbers are trending up to suggest his form is on point at the moment either. But despite some of the struggles, he’s one of the straightest strikers both off the tee and with his irons in the game, and with all the trouble lurking around Sheshan International that should help elevate him a bit. If he can find some magic with the putter too, that should culminate into a very good finish.
I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop for Corey Conners, but he keeps stringing together strong finishes week after week against some very good fields. Conners once again displayed solid ball striking and above average putting en route to a Top 10 finish last week at the ZOZO. I think this is about his ceiling, but anything inside the Top 20 for him on the leaderboard is useful to a DFS lineup. Keep riding him until he lets you down.
Golfers Valued $7,500-$7,900
- Charles Howell III – $7,900
- Andrew Putnam – $7,800
- Ian Poulter – $7,700
- Louis Oosthuizen – $7,600
- Erik van Rooyen – $7,500
- Adam Hadwin – $7,500
There’s no strokes gained statistics to confirm it, but on the surface it appears Louis Oosthuizen’s ball-striking is in great form. He finished T13 in driving accuracy and T20 in greens in regulation % at the ZOZO Championshp last week, and considering this was done on a narrow, tree-lined golf course it’s safe to assume this was a legitimately good performance. But he only managed a paltry T46 finish because he was dreadful on the greens, where he finished T68 in putts per round. All it takes is for that to regress a bit to the mean for him to post a much better performance.
I don’t like looking at who other people are picking as I sit down to write my column and fill out lineups, but I have a sneaky suspicion I’m not alone touting Erik van Rooyen this week. This tier overall is a little uninspiring and van Rooyen is a sexy name that appears to be under the radar but eventually becomes way too trendy. Nevertheless, I like him because he has the pedigree as a great driver off the tee, shines in events that are very driver heavy and has a very high ceiling (although a very low floor too). I also like him because we’re on the eve of the finalizing the rosters for the President’s Cup. The candidates for the final four slots for the International Team are really weak, so there’s a chance with a good finish that he can convince Ernie Els to send him down to Melbourne. That could mean he rises to the occasion or buckles to pressure, but I’ll bet on the former of these two scenarios in DFS this week.
Bottom of the Barrel (Golfers <$7,500)
Robert MacIntyre – $7,300: If you aren’t familiar with this guy yet, you will very soon. MacIntyre has enjoyed a tremendous rookie year on the European Tour and is a fantastic ball striker for a guy just coming into his own. He comes into the event with three straight Top 30’s and ranks 20th on the European Tour in Strokes Gained- Tee-to-Green. He’s not some hot shot who feasts on weak fields either, and he has the chops to hang with the world’s best at this week’s WGC.
Keegan Bradley – $7,000: I worry a little about some regression with him as he’s so up and down week to week, so buyer beware for anyone interested in using him. But Bradley typically fares better on golf courses that are more heavily reliant on the use of the driver, and he managed a T13 finish last week despite poor putting. He’s a guy I like using on golf courses that places a premium on ball striking, so despite the worries he’ll be in lineups for me this week.
Bubba Watson – $6,800: Anyone who has followed Bubba’s career knows you only really use him on a select few golf courses. These include Augusta National, Riviera, TPC Highlands and the Greenbrier. Sheshan International is another one of these golf courses he rises to the occasion to no matter what form he has coming in. Bubba won this tournament back in 2015 and has gained 1.33 strokes per round on the field in his career there. It makes sense given it’s a driver heavy course with fast bentgrass greens – which are the types of places he’s had tremendous success at in his career. Ignore the recent form and stick him in your lineups this week.
Others To Consider: Lucas Glover ($7,100), Xinjun Zhang ($6,900), Jason Kokrak ($6,700), Mike Lorenzo Vera ($6,600), Justin Harding ($6,600)