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.
Currently ranked in the 27th spot in this year’s FedEx Cup race, Byeong-Hun An will look to take advantage of the benefits that come with playing in a WGC event. In addition to a guaranteed paycheck, An will also receive valuable FedEx cup points for just showing up and playing four rounds. Still searching for his first win on Tour, An is a player that has plenty of experience when it comes to playing in the bigger events on tour. With 10 career starts in WGC stroke-play events, An understands the importance of this week and would like nothing more than to have the type of performance that would take his career to the next level. Priced-down in this very strong field An is a player that stands out in our projection model for the week. With one of his five top 15 or better finishes coming at this year’s WGC-HSBC An has shown both the ability to play well in a big event and the upside to crush his price for the week.
Making a WGC event in your first full year as a rookie on the PGA Tour is not an easy task. Currently ranked just outside the top 50 in the world and looking to build on what has been a successful start to the season Scottie Scheffler will make his WGC debut this week. Priced-down in this very strong field, Scheffler stands out as a great source of value for the first WGC event of the 2020 calendar year. Prior to missing two out of the last three cuts, Scheffler started out the 2020 season off on a hot streak by posting six top 20 or better finishes in his first eight starts. With more than enough upside to payoff his low price for the week, Scheffler’s value rises due to the fact that this is a non-cut event.
For the second straight week, Paul Casey is projected to be one of the highest owned players. For last week’s Genisis Open the price was just too low for a player of Casey’s talent level. This week the ownership will bunch towards Casey due to his strong course history. In three starts at Club de Golf Chapultepec Casey is a combined 26 under par with three top 16 or better finishes. Coming off what was an ok week in terms of price-performance at Rivera, Casey did not scare away the DFS crowd ahead of this week’s WGC event.
Even though there were a few low rounds on Thursday, Riviera Country Club held it’s own by days end with a first-round scoring average of 71.41. Justin Thomas found himself on the wrong side of the scoring spectrum as he struggled to find form en route to an opening round of 74. If you are looking for a player to bounce back in round one then one would have to expect Thomas to have an improvement off Thursday’s performance. From a glass half full perspective Thomas did manage three birdies in the five greens he hit on Thursday. Assuming a player of his caliber figures out a few things heading into Friday Thomas has the firepower to take it low on any course at any time. Playing from the outside of the cut line on Friday, Thomas will have to hit it better today if he has hopes of making it through to the weekend.
With the total wins on tour record firmly in his grasp, Tiger Woods will tee up at Rivera this week looking to make history at the course where he played his first PGA Tour event. Woods missed the cut here as an amateur in 1992 at Rivera shooting scores of 72 and 75. Rivera is one of the few courses that has eluded Woods in terms of PGA Tour victories. There is a strong sense that California born golfer struggles with this course and low ownership numbers reflect the overall lack of interest Woods this week. Twice a runner up at Rivera, Woods went many seasons in his prime skipping this event. Now the host for The Genisis Open, Woods enters this week healthy and should always be regarded as a threat to win. Always a flair for the narrative Woods would love nothing more than to win number 83 at the course where he first played on the tour.
Throughout the week the theme of this being a strong field is something that continues to gain steam. This type of narrative continues to have a strong effect on how ownership numbers trend prior to roster lock. Even with last week’s strong performance, Jason Day is one of those players who is going largely unnoticed by the masses. Lots of other great players in the same price range have made it easy for most in the DFS world to cross out Day from roster consideration. Day’s poor track record at this event has also added to the appeal of making him a fade this week. Despite those factors, Day has the game to play well at Rivera. The combination of length and one of the highest ball flights on tour makes Day a player who can perform well at a track like Rivera. Looking to put two strong weeks together Day makes for a great low owned GPP addition for those who don’t mind a little gamble.
Via his twitter page today, Tim Mickelson announced that he will not be on his brother’s bag this week as he takes some time off to rest his body. Andrew Getson ( Phil’s swing coach) will take over the duties as Phil looks to continue a push to make it to this year’s U.S. Open via a top 50 spot in the world. Coming off a somewhat disappointing third-place finish at last week’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, Mickelson finds himself currently in the 53rd position in the OWGR. This former two time Genisis Open Champion comes into the week in good form and will look to build on a very solid course history at Rivera. While the switch of a caddie is a bit newsworthy, the real impact should be very little this week as Mickelson knows this course very well.
The book on Charles Howell is that you want to play him early and often during the season as he tends to play his best golf early and fade late. Entering this week a rested Howell is somewhat going overlooked as a solid source of value for the week. As a past winner of this event, Howell has a great track record at Rivera including five straight made cuts. Priced-down in this strong field, Howell represents a great way to grab both stability and upside for the week. In addition to his win, Howell has 4 top 15 or better finishes at this event and has gained almost 14 shots tee to green in his last five starts at The Genisis Open. With current low projected ownership, Howell makes for a great pivot off other popular value-priced golfers.
Typically at this point in the season, we start to see players who split time between the European Tour and The PGA Tour spend more time in the states. With both WGC events and Major Championships starting to itch closer and closer on the schedule, the strength of field for events like this week’s Genisis Open really starts to sand out with the addition of players like Sergio Garcia. Playing in his first event of the 2020 season, Garcia stands out as one of the better value-priced golfers on the slate. Historically a great ball striker, Rivera is the type of course that Garcia has played well in the past ( 3 career top six or better finishes). Garica is never really a popular option for DFS and even with a low price, you can expect to gain some ownership leverage as well as potential upside by rostering this former major champion this week. With a handful of strong finishes on the European Tour over the last few months, Garica comes into this week in good form.
FantasyDraft strives to put players first, with a mission to “provide a fun and fair experience for all.” To this end, the site has a well-built, easy-to-use interface and a the first of its kind in offering “Rake-Free” fantasy contests.Learn More