Welcome back everyone. Alex here, and I am back with my DraftKings PGA Sleeper Picks for The Memorial Tournament. Before I get into to everything about this week, I first want to recap my picks at The Dean & DeLuca. It was a very successful week as I got all three of my featured golfers through the cut. Nick Taylor wasn’t great finishing at T61st, but Charley Hoffman had a good weekend finishing with a T24, and Steve Stricker was excellent shooting a 63 on Sunday, resulting in a great T7 finish. This week we get another invitational type event in The Memorial, which means a larger percentage of golfers will make the cut again because this is a smaller sized field of players. (125) This tournament takes place at Murfiled Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, which is a par 72 designed by Jack Nicklaus that is 7,392 yards long. William McGirt is the defending champ, shooting -15 last season.
The most important thing at this courses is sticking as many of these greens as possible. That obviously is very important at any course, but these fairways are very wide and friendly, so approaching the green will be the key to success on this track. This has shown over the years as the last five winners have averaged a high greens in regulation percentage of 71.4%. Also you need to be accurate with your approaches to avoid these difficult bunkers that surround most of these greens. Both long and short players can play well here, but if juggling two golfers, I would give a slight edge to the longer player off the tee just because these fairways aren’t that difficult to hit. Lastly if you want to contend here, you must shoot low numbers on these long par fours and shorter par fives.
This is one of the strongest non major fields of the year and DraftKings’ soft pricing has made it a very interesting week for DFS golf. Since there is a higher percentage of players who will make the cut, it makes sense to take more risks on cheaper players this week. The main goal will always be to get 6/6 through the cut, but I think it is a very good week to use the “stars and scrubs” approach when building your lineups. So good luck everyone and if you want more DraftKings picks, be sure to check out Geoff’s post through this link, and as always, if these picks help you win or if you need any advice, let me know on Twitter. @Hunta512.
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Pat Perez: (6,800) Perez struggled playing in the windy conditions last week at The Colonial and his missed cut really hurt a bunch of my lineups, but I think we have to forget about this rare missed cut because Perez is just simply underpriced this week. Before last week, he was playing some of the best golf of his career, not missing a cut all season, with 10 top 25s, five top tens, and a win back at The OHL Classic in November. His stats have also been very impressive, as he ranks 52nd in strokes gained tee to green, 75th in strokes gained approaching the green, 54th in GIR percentage (67.5%), 37th in strokes gained putting, 89th in driving distance, 40th in scrambling, 28th in par four scoring, 5th in par five scoring, and 15th in birdie or better percentage.
For his career, Perez is 7/12 here at Murfield Village, but the five missed cuts all came in his first five tries at the course. Since 2008, he has made seven consecutive cuts, including three top 30s, one top 20, and a T13 back in 2013. I am expecting him to shake off his performance last week and make the cut this weekend with top 20 upside. He was a very popular play at The Dean & DeLuca and I am sure there a bunch of DFS players that are still bitter about how he played, which should keep his ownership somewhat low. (5-8% projected ownership via Fantasy Labs) This is a great opportunity to hop back on Perez at this discounted price and I am comfortable with him in both cash games and GPPs this week.
Steve Stricker: (6,900) Old man Stricker was one of my best GPP plays of last week and I am going right back to him again this week at The Memorial. As I said earlier, he had a great showing last week at Colonial that was capped off by a very impressive 63 on Sunday. He was interviewed after the stellar round and he told the media that he decided to play in The Dean & Deluca instead of the PGA Senior Championship because he “needed more starts” as he is trying to qualify for this year’s second major The U.S. Open, which is being held in his home state of Wisconsin two weeks from this Thursday. “I’m trying to get in that U.S. Open.,” Stricker said. “That’s what’s motivating me right now.” (via The Star Telegram) He is currently the 85th ranked player in the world after jumping 13 spots this past week and he knows he needs to have another high finish this week if he wants to keep his U.S. Open hopes alive, as the top 60 ranked players in the world all receive an invite to the major.
His stats aren’t eye popping, but over his last two events, he is averaging an adjusted round score of 67.9, a GIR percentage of 62.5%, a low 27.8 average putts per round, and a scrambling percentage of 61.9%. By no means is he a long hitter off the tee (278.6 average drive), but I think his strong par four scoring (T4 in par four scoring last week) and putting combined with his extra motivation right now, should help him compete on this course that he is very familiar with. He didn’t tee it up here last season, but overall for his whole career, Stricker is 14/15 in made cuts at The Memorial, with a win in 2011. He will probably be higher owned than he was last week, but I still think he gets slightly overlooked, due to the plethora of value in his price range. (9-12% projected ownership via Fantasy Labs) I think he is a pretty safe bet to make the cut and at only $6,900 Stricker is one of my favorite value plays of this event.
Kevin Tway: (6,500) Tway’s improved play continued last week with a very respectable T18 finish at The Dean & Deluca. The 28 year old has been playing terrific golf over the last two months, and he has now made five straight cuts, including two top 20s, and two top 5s. He has been absolute beast with his driver ranking 5th in driving distance this season and actually led the field in driving last week at an average drive of 318.9 yards. He has slightly improved with his irons in his last five starts (65.5% GIR) and he has also has been a birdie machine over his last four events, ranking 2nd in average birdies per tournament for players who have competed in the last six weeks.
The birdies and high finishes have been huge for him on DraftKings and he is now averaging a terrific 80.8 DK points since The Puerto Rice Open. This is going to be his first time playing at Murflield Village and I understand the logic of pricing a first timer cheap, but there is no way Tway’s salary should be this low after the way he has played recently. There is always going to be a risk in rostering a player with no course history, but the reward definitely outweighs the risk with Tway in this current form and he is the perfect GPP target this week at only $6,500. (5-8% projected ownership via Fantasy Labs)
Also Consider: Byeong-Hun An, Billy Horschel, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Nick Taylor, Ryan Moore (10/11 here), Kyle Stanley (3/4 in this tournament and should be low owned after his disappointing missed cut last week), Smylie Kaufman (he has looked much better lately and finished T20 here last season), Sung Kang, and Charley Hoffman.