What’s up everyone. Alex here, and I am back with my DraftKings PGA Sleeper Picks for The Honda Classic. I am coming off a disappointing week, with only one of my three main sleeper picks making the cut at The Genesis Open. Both Brian Harman and Brooks Koepka let me down, but Brendan Steele was solid finishing with a T49. This week we head to The PGA National (7,140 yards) course in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida for The 2017 Honda Classic. PGA National has been the home of this event for the last ten years. Adam Scott won last season, beating Sergio Garcia by one stroke, finishing at -9 for the week. The past three winners have shot an average of 7.6 strokes under par and I am expecting similar scores this time around with the winning score being between -8 and -10. PGA National is a very tough track that favors accurate ball strikers. Distance isn’t a huge factor with players clubbing down on most of these holes. Being accurate off the tee here can be an advantage, but it isn’t a must, it is more important to be accurate approaching these greens to avoid all the sand and water hazards.
There are 12 par fours and only two par fives on this course. Par four scoring is key with the past three winners; shooting -5 on the par fours, compared to + 0.6 on the four par threes, and -3.3 on the two par fives. These greens are Bermuda type greens and the last three winners have had an average putts per round of 28.2. Also, PGA National is home to one of the most difficult three hole stretches in golf, holes 15, 16, and 17, also known as “The Bear Trap”. Overall this is one of the tougher non-major courses on The Tour, and we need to target strong iron players who don’t make many mistakes. So the main stats I will be looking for this week are greens in regulation percentage, driving accuracy, strokes gained tee to green, strokes gained approaching the green, ball striking, bogey avoidance, strokes gained putting, birdie or better percentage, and par four scoring. Wind can also play a role here so be sure to watch the weather up until Wednesday night. If you want more PGA picks for this week be sure to check out Geoff’s DraftKings picks through this link and Keegan’s betting picks through this link. As always if any of these picks help you win or if you need any advice let me know on Twitter. Hunta512.
If you want help with PGA research for DraftKings check out the best fantasy tools out there at FantasyLabs.com
Trey Mullinax: (7,000) The 24 year old out of Alabama is coming off the best finish of his young career, with a T14 two weeks ago at The Pebble Beach Pro Am. He has now made four consecutive cuts and is 7/9 for the season. He ranks 39th in strokes gained putting, 140th in GIR percentage (67.5%), 40th par four scoring, 100th in bogey avoidance, 116th in ball striking, and 44thin birdie or better percentage. Mullinax is one of the longest hitters on The Tour, ranking 9th in driving distance, but I think he can still have success on a course like PGA National that will require him to club down.
Just last month in The Sony Open at Waialae Country Club, which is a very similar course in that most players don’t always hit their driver off the tee, he finished with a respectable T57. This is his first time playing here at PGA National, which is a concern, but it should keep his ownership very low. (0-1% via Fantasy Labs) There is risk in rostering Mullinax, but there is obviously upside at this price, with the skills he has showed us this season.
John Huh: (6,800) Huh has been very consistent this season making three straight cuts and 9/10 overall including his fall events. He has been great at The Honda Classic in the past, making 3/4 cuts, with a T14 last season, and a T17 in 2015. His skill set is ideal for this track, ranking 59th in strokes gained tee to green, 80th in strokes gained putting, 45th in strokes gained approaching the green, 47th in GIR percentage (71.4%), 48th in driving accuracy percentage (64.4%), 46th in par four scoring, 33rd in bogey avoidance, and 34th in ball striking.
He manages this course well with his short game off the tee, hitting 67.75% of these fairways in his four times playing here at PGA National. Huh isn’t the most exciting player, but he is clearly too cheap with his current form and course history. This could obviously change but right now Fantasy Labs is only projecting him to be owned between 0-1%. At $6,800 he is a nice bet to make the cut with top 25 upside this weekend.
Anirban Lahari: (6,600) Lahari is 0/1 in made cuts at PGA National, missing the cut here last season, but, in my opinion, he is the most talented player under $7,000 this week. He is 5/6 in made cuts this season, with three top 25s, one top ten, and a T3 at The CIMB Classic back in October. His stats are solid so far this season, ranking 88th in strokes gained tee to green, 71st in strokes gained approaching the green, 92nd in GIR percentage (69.7%), 23rd in par four scoring, and 3rd in birdie or better percentage.
Even though he hasn’t had any high finishes in the new year, he is still in decent form making two straight cuts, with a T25 at The Career Builder, and a T64 last week at The Genesis Open. It’s hard to say how highly owned he will be (5-8% via Fantasy Labs), but hopefully people back off him after seeing his missed cut here last season. Based on his overall talent as the 81st ranked golfer in the world, he is underpriced at only $6,600 and is one of my favorite GPP targets of the week.
Also Consider: Daniel Summerhays (4 straight made cuts here), Robert Streb, Hudson Swafford, Tim Wilkinson, Michael Kim, Seung-yul Noh, Alex Cejka (has made three straight cuts and is 5/6 here with a T21 last season), Will Mackenzie (6/8 at PGA National), and Martin Flores.