After an excellent showing at TPC Boston, Marc Leishman remained hot, capturing his biggest career win yet, at The BMW Championship. I talked about how Leishman was still a great value in last week’s post and my three featured golfers in Charl Schwartzel (82 DK points), Phil Mickelson (84.5 DK points), and Kevin Na (65.5 DK points) all produced value at their respective salaries. The PGA season now comes to a close, with The Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club located in Atlanta, Georgia. (Par 70, 7,385 yards) The Tour Championship has been held here since 2004 and Rory McIlroy is the defending champ, taking down Ryan Moore and Kevin Chappell in a three man playoff last season.
First off, just like with all Par 70s, strong Par four scoring is a must at this track. Over the last ten Tour Championships in Atlanta, nine of the last ten winners have ranked inside the top ten in par four scoring during their given weeks. Bombers can play well at East Lake, but avoiding the rough and finding the best spots to set yourself up with the best look at these greens is far more important than distance off the tee. It’s true with any course, but the more greens these golfers hit, the better they will do this week. Since 2006, all the winners have ranked inside the top ten in greens hit for the week, at a 72.8% average GIR. (via Fantasy Golf Metrics) If these players can find the fairway they will have a clear advantage, but the bottom line is these fairways are tough to hit consistently. In fact, all of the top ten finishers since 2006, only hit an average of 55.6% of these fairways (via Fantasy Golf Metrics), showing you that we should put a primary focus on approach games over strokes gained off the tee.
If you didn’t already know by now, with this being the finale of The FedEx Cup Playoffs, the final 30 players will be competing in this no cut event for The Tour Championship, but also The FedEx Cup and the ten million dollar prize that will be awarded to the leader of The FedEx cup standings after this tournament. Just like with any other no cut event, I think it is a smart move to hold back how much of your bankroll you use, especially with this field only being 30 players total. Every golfer’s ownership will naturally be inflated and setting yourself apart from the field in GPPs will be a much more difficult task than a usual week of DFS Golf. For sure, I still recommend playing, I just wouldn’t go over the top with how much money you put on line just because this is the last event of the year. Finally, I just want to thank everyone who read my PGA articles this season! It was a fun and profitable year, and I look forward to bringing you guys more picks once the fall season starts. @Hunta512.
If you want help with PGA research for DraftKings check out the best fantasy tools out there at FantasyLabs.com
Pat Perez: (6,400) This will be Perez’s first appearance at East Lake, but his current form is just too good to pass up on at this cheap of a salary. He is coming off two very impressive starts, with a T6 at The Dell Technologies Championship and a T12 at The BMW Championship. His stats really stood out in these two playoff events, ranking 6th in strokes gained total, 2nd in strokes gained putting, 19th in strokes gained approaching the green, 9th in greens hit, 2nd in bogeys avoided, and 14th in DraftKings scoring. (via Fantasy National)
Furthermore he has been one of the best Par four players during these playoffs, ranking 6th in strokes gained on Par fours, and 7th in Par four efficiency of holes between 450-500 yards, which is the range of six of the Par fours he will see at East Lake. (via Fantasy National) In this small of a tournament his ownership will certainly be higher than it was the last two weeks (0.9% at The Dell, 5.1% at The BMW), but I still think Perez may end up being a name that gets slightly overlooked, because he has no course history, and is simply just never a popular play when the field is this strong. (13-16% projected ownership via Fantasy Labs)
Gary Woodland: (6,400) Woodland has been absolutely on fire with irons, sticking a high 78.5% of his greens, and ranking first in strokes gained approaching the green over the last two weeks. During this stretch, he finished T18 at The Dell Technologies Championship and T27th at The BMW Championship, also rating as the 2nd best ball striker, 8th in strokes gained tee to green, 11th in DraftKings points, 9th in birdies gained, and 9th in strokes gained on Par fours. (via Fantasy National)
After just squeezing into this field (28th in FedEx Cup points), Woodland now heads to East Lake for the fifth time in his career. He has played well here in the past, finishing inside the top 15 in three of his four starts in Atlanta, including a T10 last season. If he can mix in some solid putting with his tremendous ball striking, Woodland has a chance at posting his highest finish yet at this track. At only $6,400, he is my favorite play under $7,000 this week.
Adam Hadwin: (6,200) In these last two playoff stops, Hadwin has finally started to look like the player who we saw make 15 straight cuts and pick up his first career win earlier this year. Just less than a month ago, the Canadian player was on his way to not qualifying for The Tour Championship, after missing five straight cuts. He clearly knew he had to step up his game, following these missed cuts, with a T13 at TPC Boston, and a decent T40 last week at The BMW.
The part of his game that he desperately needed back was his putting. He struggled on the greens during his recent slump, but has started to roll it very well again, putting a low 27 average putts per round and ranking 3rd in strokes gained putting over these last two starts. To no one’s surprise, the improved putting has helped him shoot lower numbers, and he is now averaging 17.5 birdies and an excellent 83.5 DK points during these last two tournaments. (9th best DK point average over the last two events) There is risk here with this being his first Tour Championship, but at the lowest price tag in the field, Hadwin is absolutely worth a shot in GPPs. (2-4% projected ownership via Fantasy Labs)
Also Consider: Charley Hoffman (1st in strokes gained approaching the green at The BMW), Webb Simpson (two top tens here at East Lake), Kevin Chappell, Tony Finau, Xander Schauffele, and Patrick Cantlay.