Ten minutes until roster lock and there is no major news to report. Justin Thomas made headlines with an early week withdrawal, so if for some reason he is still in your builds please remove him. Good luck this week. ResultsDB will be up and running within 15 minutes of roster lock. Make sure to check out how your lineups stack up against the field.
Not many tour players will respond to questions of health via social media platforms, but late Wednesday evening Byeong-Hun An did just that. After pulling out of the Wells Fargo Championship during Sunday’s final round there was a bit of uncertainty to An’s health status ahead of the year’s second major. Via his twitter page, An states that while he is not quite 100% in terms of distance he should be fine this week and is ready to go. Already considered a dart throw for the week due to his injury, a healthy An could be a steal in his price range. Having gone 11 for 12 in cuts made this year including 4 top 25 or better finishes, An is known for a great tee to green game that has the ability to shine on a hard course like Bethpage Black. By no means is he a safe bet, the willingness by An to post on social media about his health gives us some hope that he is in fact healthy.
For the second straight week, it looks like there could be a potential edge to be gained in stacking tee times due to weather. Last week’s Byron Nelson saw a 36 hole split of 2.49 shots in favor of the early Thursday/ late Friday wave. It’s worth noting that 2.02 of that edge occurred in Thursday’s round making Friday almost an even split. With the eventual winner coming out of the late Thursday/ early Friday wave it’s worth taking stock in the fact that even though weather provided a clear advantage on Thursday the weather was not bad enough to completely eliminate one side of the draw. That being said we can look to use the forecast again this week. Rain and wind will be the two biggest factors in play for the week. With wet and cold weather already having an impact on the first few days of prep work, the reports of how long and hard Bethpage Black will play are growing larger by the minute. Thursday could start with early showers that should hopefully move out before the first tee times. The early morning draw will face cooler temperatures with the wind blowing steady near 10mph throughout the day. Friday morning golfers will face similar conditions to Thursday late with winds between 5 and 10mph. With a chance of isolated storms moving through the area on Friday, afternoon golfers could see wind gust near 20mph at times. For now, it appears the late/ early has a better draw, but as we saw last week you can have players from the worst draw still play well. Stacking tee time waves can be a something you look to do in GPP’s for the week, but with only a small predicted edge to be had the use of weather in roster choices might be better served as a tie-breaking method in a close call situation.
The weight of the best player in the world to have never won a major championship is something that Sergio Garcia carried with him for a long time. With his 2017 Masters win, Garcia was able to finally shed that label. Many in the golf world thought that such a win would propel Garcia to perhaps contend and challenge for more major wins in the future. Unfortunately for Garcia that has not been the case, entering this week, he has missed six consecutive cuts in majors. Still, a very talented player, Garcia comes into this week at a great discount and has the skill set needed to play well at Bethpage Black. With a 4th and a 10th place finish at the two previous majors held at Bethpage Black, Garcia plays the style of golf needed to succeed this week. Total driving will be key this week, and Garcia is both accurate and long off the tee. Always known as an elite ball striker, Garica hits his long irons as well as anyone in the game, and it appears that even the longest of hitters will have plenty of long approaches this week. Priced down due to his poor recent play in Major Championships, the talent and course history that Garcia brings to the table makes him a great value option this week.
Within in an hour of roster lock last week, Marc Leishman sent shock waves to many DFS players by announcing that he would not play in The Byron Nelson due to a sore back. Leishman said his back flared up a bit on Monday night and he had hoped that it would be ready to go by Thursday. The combination of the timing of his news and the lack of information regarding his injury made his choice to withdraw look very bad to many in the community. With The PGA Championship, only a week away and with a tournament forecasted to have a ton of rain, Leishman and his sore back made the right choice to rest up for this very important week. Leishman seems on track to play this week, and as expected his projected ownership is very low. For a tournament like the Millionaire Maker, Leishman is the type of low owned roster spot that could make a difference by weeks’ end. Leishman is the only player in this field to have played in the last 12 major championships without missing a cut. WIth four top 20 or better finishes during this time, Leishman has the talent to pay off his price for the year’s second major. Again we don’t know the true status of Leishman, but if he is healthy and ready to go then the allure of a player of his caliber at this low ownership makes sense in terms of a game theory play for the week.
Like some other American golfers before him, Julian Suri has chosen to take the path less traveled in hopes of making it on the PGA Tour. Suri a former standout at Duke who turned pro some five years ago currently plays the majority of his golf on The European Tour. During the 2016 season, Suri went through all three stages of European qualifying school, but in the end, missed earning his card by one shot. A win in May of 2017 on the challenge tour was soon followed by his first European Tour later that summer propelling Suri to full-time status on The European Tour. Playing in his 4th career major and looking to improve on a very respectable T19 at last year’s PGA, Suri is a value player worth looking at this week. Still searching for his chance to make a name in America, Suri has stats that line up well for Bethpage Black. Priced well below many other players of similar talent, a made cut and a top 20 or better finish would mean a big week for those who choose to take a chance on Suri.
PGA Tour players make numerous changes throughout each and every season. From equipment modifications to even small swing changes the nature of this game promotes players looking to gain every edge possible. More times than not the general public hears very little about these types of changes. One such player looking to improve a weak spot in his game is a former major champion, Webb Simpson. Looking to gain distance in order to compete in what is becoming more and more of a bombers game Simpson sought out the advice of long drive legend Art Sellinger. The two worked together prior to Quail Hollow with hopes of figuring out how to gain a few extra yards off the tee. According to Simpson, the changes are not really in his overall technique but instead, the focus is on trying to figure out how to get the extra yards when needed. Much like last year’s Open Champion Francesco Molinari, a few extra yards off the tee could go a long way for a player of Simpson’s caliber.
The early release of pricing for a major championship usually creates a few obvious spots to attack. Fresh off a bogey-free tournament and a second place finish at last week’s Byron Nelson Scott Piercy should end up being one of the higher owned value options this week. In addition to his runner up finish at The Nelson, Piercy posted a third-place finish at The RBC and a 13th place finish at the two-man event in New Orleans. Priced down due to both the talent in this field and a less than desirable record in major championships, a red hot Piercy stands out as the top play in our model for The PGA Championship.
Past PGA Champion Vijay Singh is the latest golfer to withdraw from this year’s tournament. He will be replaced in the field by J.T. Poston. Due to the timing of this move, it remains to be seen if Poston will get added to DFS pricing pools. Kelly Kraft gained entry into the event yesterday when Justin Thomas withdrew and has been added to DFS pricing pools.
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