Aloha, Degens! I know it has been too long since we were able to sweat some golf, but finally we are back for the next 40ish weeks. For those who are regulars to this website and my articles, welcome back. For those who are new to PGA DFS or to SD, welcome. PGA is one of the best, if not the best, sweat available to us DFS players. I have been writing for SD since Spring 2016. During this time 72% of my picks have made the cut and 37% of the time I have had the winner somewhere in there. For the fall swing 69% (nice) made the cut and 57% of the articles had the winner. I am super excited for this golf season. @Bdentrek, @BPSnow11 and I will continue to bring you weekly pods through @AlwaysPressDFS (Always Pressing PGA DFS POD on itunes).
As we begin another PGA season I wanted to go over some of my strategy that I try to live by in the DFS world. I’ve been playing full time (I’m not a DFS Pro, I still work) since January 2015 and have learned a lot of lessons. These may or may not apply to you and are meant to help. I am not saying that you must do these things, but they help me.
Number 1 will always be to trust my gut/instinct. If I like a guy, then I’m going to play him no matter what noise may be out there in the twitter world or elsewhere. One of the biggest issues with PGA is we have a lot of time, relatively speaking, between tournaments. Monday through Wednesday can be a blessing or a curse. Use it as a blessing by doing your own research and trusting your instincts.
Which brings me to rule number 2 and wraps up rule number 1, don’t effing tinker. Unless there is some drastic new info late then don’t mess with your lineups. For that reason, I tend to not set lineups until Wednesday morning. Often, I will reserve whatever contests I want to be in on DK then I will take Monday off besides watching what is being said about the new course and field on twitter. Once the salaries come out I usually check them to see if anything stands out as a very bad price and I might make a lineup to plug in a low $ GPP, but I won’t make my main lineups until usually Wednesday morning. This allows much less time for me to “tinker” with lineups.
Rule number 3, have a short-term memory. I often hear about guys having a do not roster list, which is fine, but quite often we can eliminate guys from our mind and lineups who could potentially make us quite a bit of money. Last year Jason Dufner was the chalk darling of the Dean & Deluca where he missed the cut. The next week I was able to roster him at around 5% and proceeded to win the Memorial. I use him as an example because he was playing so well coming in to the D&D and whatever happened to him that week was just an anomaly as evidenced by his win the next week. If we stay open minded, then we will be much more successful at picking the right guys at the right time.
Rule number 4, don’t beat yourself up. Golf is hard, maybe the hardest sport, to predict. Golf is an individual sport over 4 days per tournament, so a lot can happen in that 72 hour period. If you play golf then you know it is a very mental game. Not everyone can stand the pressure or can overcome a hangover for an 8 AM tee time. If you have a horrible weekend in DFS move on to the next.
Rule number 5, have fun. In my opinion Golf is one of the greatest sports ever invented. Don’t get too mad when your guys 4 jack the 18th to miss the cut, but do rejoice when they make that birdie to get through. The golf season is long and can be taxing if you don’t keep this in the forefront of your mind.
With that said let’s get into this week. For those unfamiliar, this tournament is a NO CUT event, which means I will scale back the amount of money I have in play and I will steer clear of cash games (large entry GPPs only for me). It is easy to get over excited about golf being back and I’ve over extended myself in the past. Only about 34 players, all of whom had to win a tournament in 2017, will start. The edge this week will be very minimal as the field is small, most of the golfers have had a long layoff and there is no cut, so I highly recommend playing only a small amount of bankroll.
The Plantation Course at Kapalua is the venue. It is set on the side of a mountain and is wide open and traditionally easy. It is an odd par 73 course. Last year Justin Thomas used this tourney as a spring board into his breakout season by shooting -22 for the week, which was good enough to beat Hideki by 3 shots. In 2016 Jordan Spieth beat the field by 9 shots, firing -30 for the 4 days. Wind will be a factor as the course is right on the coast and it is in the middle of the world’s biggest ocean. However, since the field will tee off in about a 2-hour time span it really doesn’t matter for our purposes picking players, unless you think a guy is a good wind player.
On to the picks. Since only 34 golfers will start I am going to keep it short this week, but will be back next with the usual list of 12-16 golfers.
Jon Rahm $9,500 – I really believe that guys who have played semi recently have a bit of an advantage. Rahm was super active in the fall swing and last played on the Euro Tour in November, where he won. I’ll take that form as my top pick this week.
Marc Leishman $9,000 – Another guy who hasn’t taken much time off. He played in Austrailia in December and finished 4th. He has also played this tourney in the past (2013, finished 23rd).
Patrick Cantlay $8,600 – He is top of my model, so I can’t ignore him, but I will be under weight as I anticipate he will be one of the highest owned golfers. He is mid pack on Fanshare right now, but I think he will rise as articles and conversations are made/had this week. If he doesn’t then he might be my highest owned golfer this week.
Xander Schauffele $8,500 – This is his first time here, but it was also his first time at East Lake and we all know how that turned out. Keep an eye on Fanshare tags and if they stay low then he could be a relatively low owned play with super high upside.
Dustin Johnson $10,500 – He has very good course history and is also the number 1 golfer in the world currently. I can’t totally fade him. We also get a sharp discount on him this week as he is 4th highest priced golfer. He has the most tags currently, so he will be popular, but I still like him.
Brendan Steele $7,400 – He finished 6th here last year, which catapulted him to his best PGA season probably ever. I’ll continue to back him through this year a lot.
Other cheap guys I like and will roster some most likely: Kyle Stanley ($6,800) and Hudson Swafford ($6,900).
That is all for this week. I’m going to look at a more balanced approach in lineup construction with the emphasis on leaving money on the table. Stars and scrubs will be popular, as will using over $49,500 in salary, therefore, leaving at least $500 on the table and balanced will give us a better chance at a semi unique lineup. Per the usual hit me up if you have questions or need help.