No major news to report ahead of the first round of The Honda Classic. It’s the first early lock of the season, so please double check you lineups prior to the start of round one. ResultsDB will be up and running a few minutes after lock. Good luck this week Grinders!!!
Weather is always something you have to pay attention to at PGA National. The already hard course layout often is made much harder when the wind blows. Kevin Roth’s weather report is up in the main forum, and it appears that we could have a slight weather draw over the first two rounds of play. Thursday morning golfers will have to deal with potential sustained wind speeds of 15 mph. Golfers who tee off later on Thursday will still have some wind to deal with but as players get later in the day the winds could decrease to as little as 5mph. Both waves could have strong gusts, but for now, it looks like there is a slight predicted edge to the golfers who play later on Thursday. Friday looks to have the same weather pattern, but according to Roth the difference between the two waves will be very small or even the same. While it does not sound like you should avoid any gofers from either wave, it’s not a bad idea to stack some lineups with players in the same wave in case of a strong weather draw on Thursday.
While he is not quite a household name yet on the PGA Tour, Matthew NeSmith is quietly proving he belongs on the best tour in golf. Currently ranked 4th in the FedEx Cup standings for rookies ( 62nd overall), NeSmith comes into this week looking to build on his first career top 10 at last week’s Puerto Rico Open. In 12 starts this season NeSmith has made 8 cuts including 5 top 25 or better finishes. With the potential wind in play this week and the overall tough nature of PGA National the need to target excellent ball strikers increases significantly. Through 20 plus starts last season on the Korn Ferry Tour ( 1 ranked in Gir) and his limited starts on the PGA Tour( 13th ranked in GIR), NeSmith looks to have the makeup of a player leans on accurate iron play. Priced-down in this field NeSmith is a young player worth taking a look at this week for both salary relief and upside in large field GPP’s.
After missing nearly two years of professional golf with a shoulder injury, Camilo Villegas made a return to competitive golf earlier this year. Villegas played three times this season on the Korn Ferry Tour, highlighted by a 4th place finish earlier this month at The Country Club de Bogota Championship. Playing in his first PGA Tour start since the 2018 Houston Open, Villegas will look to continue his comeback at a course that he has played well in the past. This former top 10 player in the world has 4 career victories to his name including the 2010 Honda Classic. Currently projected at a very low ownership number, Villegas is a player that not many have an interest in playing for the week. The stigma of injury is something that most take a wait and see approach on, so for those who are max multi entering GPP’s and or are a bit more risk tolerance Villegas is a player worth exploring as he continues to return to the world of competitive golf.
Last year at this point of the season Lucas Glover had already played his way near the top of the FedEx Cup standings. Glover’s 16 top 25 or better finishes earned him a spot in the tour championship for first time in ten years. Currently ranked outside the top 125 in this year’s race, Glover has struggled to play his best golf to this point in the season. Priced-down on a course that fit’s his style of golf, Glover stands out as one of the top golfers in our projection model for the week. PGA National rewards great ball strikers, and Glover has always excelled in his ability to control the golf ball. Glover has three consecutive top 25 or better finishes at this event. On a course where big numbers will be very common Glover has posted 9 of his last 12 rounds at 70 or better. Looking to build a little momentum as the tour heads East, Glover will look to build on past success at PGA National.
Jason Kokrak withdrew today from The Honda Classic and will be replaced by Chris Baker. Due to the timing of this move, we should not expect to see Baker added to the player pool.
Just shortly after DFS prices were released today news surfaced of some early player movement for The Honda Classic. Both Charles Howell and J.J. Spaun are no longer in the field this week. Brandon Hagy and Michael Gligic have gained entry into the field this week and should get added to the DFS pricing pool within the next day.
After a less than satisfying finish at Rivera, Rory McIlroy decided to make a putter switch ahead of this week’s WGC Mexico Championship. McIlroy put his old putter back in the bag this week, and for now, it looks like he made the right choice. McIlroy gained almost 4 shots putting in round 1 and will head into Friday’s round with a two-shot lead. One of the bigger disappointments of day one was the performance of the defending champion Dustin Johnson. His round one showdown score of 12.5 was by far his lowest output on this course. Prior to yesterday’s poor performance, Johnson had averaged almost 49 showdown points per round over his last 12 starts at this course. Looking to bounce back from what looks to be an outlier performance Johnson could come in much lower in ownership than that of McIlroy in the round two slate.
All is quiet in terms of news prior to the start of The WGC Mexico Championship. Weather looks perfect for the week and with a limited field and condensed tee times, there is almost no need to worry about tee time wave splits. ResultsDB will be up and running after lock, and will also have a few contests for The Puerto Rico Open. Good luck this week grinders.
With his current count of six WGC wins, Dustin Johnson is only an unthinkable thirteen wins away from passing Tiger Woods for the overall lead career WGC wins. To have six PGA tour wins alone is an impressive task, so Johnson’s six wins in WGC events only points to how dominant of a player he can be on one of golf’s biggest stages. With three of those wins coming at this event, two at this course, Johnson has a proven track record of high performance at this event. Johnson is 12 for 12 in rounds under par at Club de Golf Chapultepec with 7 of those rounds at an impressive 66 or better. Johnson was close to winning last week at Rivera ( another course he plays well) and should have plenty of momentum to build on as he prepares to defend his win from last year.
When Tyrrell Hatton tee’s it up on Thursday it will be his first competitive round in almost three months. Hatton has been sidelined due to a wrist injury/surgery and will make his return this week. Injuries are always a scary thing and whenever you see a golfer with a wrist injury it makes it harder to put a ton of blind faith that they will return at 100%. Our projected ownership numbers on Hatton reflect this lack of trust. With just a few hours before lock Hatton is one of the top projected ownership movers of the week. For those who like to go against such a move, Hatton does play well at this course. In his 3 starts at Club de Golf Chapultepec Hatton has 3 top 20 or better finishes gaining almost 25 shots tee to green.
Hideki Matsuyama was able to overcome a poor start at last week’s Genisis Open to post his third top-five or better finish this season. A birdie on the last hole secured a spot to play on the weekend, and with rounds of 64 and 69 Matsuyama showed just how deadly he can be when his game is at full force. At this point in his career, Matsuyama is regarded as one of the better T2G players in the game, and if he can build on his fantastic play over the weekend at Rivera, then all signs point towards a win sooner than later. Looking to become the fourth player to have 3 career WGC titles, Matsuyama is not cheap this week but certainly has both the record and form worthy of a top-end spend.
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