The PGA Tour just finished their first two “elevated events” and most of the top golfers were required to show up (they can only miss one elevated event without a medical exemption). It was great to see the top golfers show up at the WMPO and last week at the Genesis Invitational, but now that means most of the top golfers will be skipping the Honda Classic this week. The top golfers in the field this week include Sungjae Im (he plays every week) and Shane Lowery. That is it. Those are the only golfers ranked in the top-50 in the World Golf Rankings. It is not the best tournament to spend hours watching on TV, but maybe we can win some cash this week.
PGA National plays 7,140-yards in length and is a par-70. If this course had a water slide it could officially be considered a water park. There is that much water to deal with. What made PGA National incredibly difficult in the past were the small greens. The Nicklaus Design Company decided to add 14,000 square feet of putting surface to the course (Roughly 800 square feet per hole). That should make the approach shots a little easier but the golfers will still need to be accurate this week.
The drinking game word of the week will be “Bear Trap.” This consists of holes 15, 16 and 17. These three holes rank as some of the toughest on tour. Do not get too excited about your DFS lineups until your golfers are in the clubhouse. These three holes could destroy your lineups.
Click here to see the course: PGA National (Champions Course)
KEY STATS FOR HONDA CLASSIC
– Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green
– Strokes Gained Putting (Bermuda)
– Bogie Avoidance
TOP 30 GOLFER RANKINGS
HONDA CLASSIC STRATEGY
My strategy will be to play a lot of “stars and scrubs” lineups this week. Sungjae Im and Shane Lowery are cleary the class of the field and I want a lot of exposure to them. The entire $7K price range is filled with risky golfers. There really is no difference in taking a chance with a golfer in the upper $7K range vs. the lower $7K range. I will pair a lot of the higher priced golfers with the players from the lower $7K price range. I do not plan to play too many golfers from the $6K range this week.
CORE GOLFERS FOR HONDA CLASSIC
DRAFTKINGS CASH CONTEST LINEUP
SUNGJAE IM ($10,700): I will pay up for Sungjae Im and make the field beat me without him. He is clearly the class of the field. Brandel Chamblee said on the Golf Channel Golf Central this week, “Sungjae is this week’s Jon Rahm.” Would you pay $10,700 for Rahm. I plan to have more shares of Im than the rest of the players in my contests.
DENNY MCCARTHY ($9,100): Could this be the week when McCarthy wins? He is the golfer I like the most behind Sungjae Im and Shane Lowery. We all know McCarthy is the best putter on tour. His iron game is starting to come around too. McCarthy finished 4th at Pebble Beach and 14th last week at Riviera Country Club. He finished 3rd in this tournament in 2021 and he will have a good chance for a top-10 finish Sunday.
ROBBY SHELTON ($7,800): Shelton is a good value pick for $7,800. He leads the field in Shots Gained Approach, ranks 11th in Ball-Striking and 11th in Shots-Gained Tee-to-Green. The only downside for Shelton is his putter. This tournament is not going to be a Birdie Fest, so Shelton should be able to stay in contention this weekend. He finished 11th at the Honda Classic in 2020.
BYEOUNG HUN AN ($7,600): Byeong Hun An is a horse for the course. He finished 5th in the Honda Classic in 2018 and 4th in 2020. He ranks 2nd in the field in course history and 4th in comparable courses. His recent form is decent too. B-H An has made his last four cuts on tour and he ranks 25th in the key stats this week. He is a good value pick to plug and play into the Cash Contest lineups.
SEONGHYEON KIM ($7,400): Our goal in the Cash Contest lineup construction should be to find golfers who can make the cut. They key to making the cut is to get off to a hot start. S-H Kim ranks No. 4 in this field in first round scoring. He has made 4 of his 5 cuts this year, but he does not have any course history. S-H Kim ranks 6th in the key stats this week because he does everything well. S-H Kim should make the cut and finish in the top-30.
DANNY WILLETT ($7,400): I rarely play Danny Willett. It is not because he is a good golfer, but because of the way he and his brother talked trash about American golfers after he won The Masters in 2016. I guess I hold a grudge… LOL. He should be a good play this week. Willett is in good form after 41st-place finish at Pebble Beach and an 18th-place finish last week at the Genesis Invitational. The winds could pick up this week (they usually do at PGA National) and Willett is one of the best golfers in windy conditions. I will take a chance with Willett, even though I do not like cheering for him.
DRAFTKINGS TOURNAMENT CONTEST LINEUP
MATT KUCHAR ($9,300): I will be playing Sungjae Im and Shane Lowery in many of the lineups I posted in the Multi-Entry Tournament File (posted below), so I want to build a more balanced lineup for this contest (I like this lineup for Single-Entry Tournament Contests). I will start with Matt Kuchar. We have seen the clock turn back to 2014 with Justin Rose winning at Pebble Beach and Rickie Fowler and Jason Day returning to form. Could Kuchar be the next former top golfer to win a tournament? I think so. Kuchar ranks No. 2 in the Key Stats this week. His form is really good too. Kuchar finished 7th at the Sony and 8th last week at the Genesis. It has been a while since he played the Honda Classic, but his game fits this course perfectly.
JONATTAN VEGAS ($8,600): Every week I do my research and every week a golf pops and I think, “Wow, I did not expect his name to be on the list.” Johnny Vegas ranks No. 1 in my Key Stats this week. He ranks No.1 in Shots Gained Tee-to-Green, No. 2 in Ball-Striking, No. 2 in Shots Gained Off-the-Tee and No. 15 in Scrambling. He has made 3 cuts in a row on tour and 6 cuts in a row at the Honda Classic. The stats suggest Vegas will be your winner Sunday.
HARRIS ENGLISH ($8,400): English has a lot of good course history at PGA National. He has made his last 4 cuts in the Honda Classic and I trust him more now that he finished 12th last week at the Genesis Invitational. English would be priced in the $9K range if his form was a bit better. I will take the discount and play English this week.
BEZUIDENHOUTS ($8,200): The key to winning at PGA National has been to avoid “the big number.” It is easy to go from the lead to three strokes back after the golfer finishes “The Bear Trap.” Bezendenhouts ranks No. 3 in the field in Bogey Avoidance. He just does not post large numbers on the scorecard and that should help him climb to the top of the leader board. I haven’t played C-Bez in a while, but I think this tournament fits his game well.
BEN GRIFFIN ($7,900): Ben Griffin is another golfer who popped during my research. Griffin ranks 11th in Ball-Striking, 13th in Shots Gained Tee-to-Green, 18th in Shots Gained Putting (Bermuda) and No. 7 overall in the Key Stats. His form is not too bad. Griffin has made 9 of his last 10 cuts on tour. He does not have any course history at PGA National, but his game fits the course well.
HAYDEN BUCKLEY ($7,600): The last golfer in my lineup will be Hayden Buckley. I really like this young golfer this year. He ranks No. 1 in Shots Gained Off-the-Tee, No. 8 in Ball-Striking, No. 16 in Shots Gained Tee-to-Green and No. 13 in the Key Stats. Buckley has been hit or miss on tour this year and hit of miss in this tournament. He finished 2nd at the Sony and 29th at the WMPO. He then missed the cut at the Farmers and the Genesis. Buckley has played the Honda Classic twice with one made cut and one missed cut. I will take a chance and hope we get the good Buckley this week. (Byeong Hun An is a much safer pick but he will have more ownership_
Here are my lineups for Multi-Entry Tournament Contest: (FantasyRacingztips)
FANDUEL CASH CONTEST LINEUP
FANDUEL TOURNAMENT CONTEST LINEUP
PGATOUR.COM FANTASY PICKS
* This is the eighth tournament of Segment 2. There are 10 tournaments included in Segment 2, including THE PLAYERS Championship in March.
FANTASY GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP ONE & DONE PICK: MATT KUCHAR (Honda Classic)
Players in Fantasy Golf Championship One & Done so far: Tony Finau (20), Xander Schauffele (10th), Seamus Power (15th), Max Homa (1st), Brian Harman (MC), and Corey Conners (12th)
SEASON LONG ONE & DONE PICK: SUNGJAE IM (Honda Classic)
Players Used This Season in One & Done: Max Homa (2), Xander Schauffele (10th), Jordan Spieth (63rd), Jon Rahm (7th), Taylor Montgomery (5th), Russell Henley (32nd), Seamus Power (25th), Brian Harman (2nd), Maverick McNealy (27th), Emiliano Grillo (42nd), Nick Hardy (28th), Terrell Hatton (13TH) Christian Bezuidenhout (29th), Cameron Davis (37th), Denny McCarthy (39th), Brendon Steele (CUT)
BEST BETS HONDA CLASSIC
Denny McCarthy (25-1)
Matt Kuchar (28-1)
Thomas Detry (40-1)
Harris English (40-1)
Christian Bezuidenhout (55-1)
LOG SHOT SPECIAL: Dylan Frittelli (110-1)
* Each of the last seven winners of the Honda Classic posted a top-15 finish on the “West Coast Swing.” We need to bet golfers who are in decent form, because PGA National is not a course where a golfer can find his game.
Good Luck This Week!!!!
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