Last week’s winner Daniel Berger has decided to take a pass on this week’s Genisis Invitational. There will not be a replacement for Berger and the field, for now, sits at 120 players. Berger’s win last week probably factored into skipping an event where he has lacked much in terms of previous success.
Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar headline what has already been a busy list of names deciding to take a pass on this week’s AT&T Pro-Am. Jonathan Byrd and Rickie Barnes have gained entry into the field and should be added to pricing pools on Tuesday. At this time there is no injury news associated with either Kuchar or Johnson’s choice to not play this week. Johnson is coming off a big win last week and could have opted out after a long travel plan back to the states.
Sean O’Hair has pulled out of this week’s Waste Management Phoenix Open. Kelly Kraft will take his place in the field. At this time there is no injury news associated with O’Hair’s decision to opt-out this week. Kraft will be added to round 2 showdown player pools.
After a poor first round on Thursday, Matthew Wolff has decided to withdraw from The Farmers Insurance Open. Citing a lingering hand injury Wolff is opting for rest in order to prevent further injury. Wolff had the harder course draw on Thursday at the South Course played almost 4 shots harder than the North. If you are loading up showdown lineups for round 2 keep in mind that historically The South Course will play harder than The North once again today. There are some low rounds on The South Course, but they are few and far between.
With just a little under an hour until roster lock, there is no injury or player movement to report. Kevin Roth’s weather report is up on the site and it looks like we could have some liquid sunshine in play this week. According to Roth, Friday could be a somewhat wet day with chances increased more during the early part of the day. In terms of trying to gain an advantage for the first two rounds and or any showdown slates, there is not enough overall wind or weather to push you or onto one player in order to get a better draw. I would however pay attention to what players you chose in terms of the course rotation when building showdown lineups. The South Course historically plays as one of the harder courses on Tour. Targeting golfers on the North Course will give you access to players with a better chance of low rounds due to how much harder the South typically plays.
D.J. Trahan joined Branden Grace and Ryan Brehm in announcing removal from this week’s American Express field. Trahan will not play this week due to a positive COVID test. Michael Gellerman, John Senden, and Rafael Campos have all gained entry into this week’s field. Due to the timing of this move players might not get added to the week-long contests, but will be available for showdown contests.
Henrik Norlander and Kramer Hickok have both tested positive for COVID and will miss this week’s RSM Classic. They will be replaced in the field by Ryan Brehm and Rhein Gibson. I would not either player to get added to the full week pricing pool, but we should see them available for round 2 showdown slates. Sam Burns and Bill Haas are the other two names to remove themselves from the field this week.
The excitement of Masters week could be delayed by a series of storms headed towards Georgia. According to Roth rain could arrive as early as Wednesday night and linger throughout the day on Thursday. As the DFS community fidgets and makes adjustments to rosters due to the threat of rain, Roth is quick to remind us that wind has more of an impact on golf and that for the most part, we should look to lesson the edge gained by trying to stack a wave due to a perceived edge. The timing of the rain could be a big deal that possibly makes golfers in the late wave play more holes on Friday. That being said we could wake up on Thursday morning and see all tee times delayed. The unpredictability of how the rain will play out makes it hard to make a strong call in terms of predicting a tee time wave draw this week.
Narratives are often stronger than actual facts. The current popular view on Matt Kuchar by many in the world of DFS golf is that he is a player on the downward trend of his career. Heading into an event that Kuchar plays extremely well there is very little interest in adding Kuchar ( under 4% POW) to roster builds for the week. In his last seven starts at The Masters Kuchar is 7 for 7 in cuts made with 5 top 25 or better finishes highlighted by 3 top ten or better performances. Despite his low price there does not seem to be many takers in the idea that course history matters in the case of Kuchar for the week. If you are looking to take a risk and add Kuchar to your roster pool then a top 30 or better finish is all you need in order to crush expectations. Kuchar has only finished outside of the top 30 three times in his previous 13 starts at the Masters.
Augusta National took to Twitter this morning to announce a change to the cut rule for The Masters. Starting this year top 50 plus ties will play the weekend, golfers within 10 shots who are not inside the top 50 will no longer make the cut.
Sergio Garcia will miss this week’s Masters due to a positive COVID test this morning. Garcia took to social media this morning to announce that he tested positive. Garcia will miss his first major championship in 21 years. There are no field replacements for the Masters.
Last week’s surprise winner Brain Gay has decided to skip out on this week’s Houston Open. Gay has been replaced by Fabián Gómez. Due to the timing of this move, we should not see Gomez added to the full week pricing pool, but he will show up in round two showdown slates.
If you are the type of player that likes to bet on the long term talent of a golfer, then this is a good week to bet on Rickie Fowler. The one-time darling of DFS golf has not exactly played his best golf over the last few months. Since the tour’s restart, Fowler is 5 for 10 in made cuts with 0 top ten or better finishes. Looking to turn the tide this week, Fowler is both cheap ( relative to long term talent) and somewhat low owned ( less than 7%). The difficulty of trying to navigate a no-cut event is magnified by the fact that this week’s venue ( Shadow Creek), will host its first tour event. Shadow Creek is a venue created and built by Vegas mogul Steve Wynn. No expense is spared in the building and or upkeep of this course and early reports have the greens being extremely on the fast side. Fowler has always been a historically good putter, and if you feel like there is a strong chance that he will turn it around sooner than later, then this is a good week to take a shot on his long term talent at low ownership.
Limited fields with no cuts are always an interesting riddle to solve. Trying to handicap motivation for players is never an easy thing. For a player like Joel Dahmen, this week should mean more than others. A chance to play in a strong field no-cut event gives Dahmen a chance to improve his standing on tour. In order to fit in some of the top-priced golfers, you will have to look at adding a few cheaper golfers into your player pool for the week. Normally we like guys at a discount to just make the cut, this week however we have to look at trying to target golfers with more upside due to the lack of a cut. Dahmen is an elite ball-striker who has shown flashes of upside over the last twelve months. From a motivation standpoint, this week should mean more to Dahmen than other established players, so there will be a bit more emphasis on grinding out four rounds regardless of where he stands after day one. With a top 10 at this year’s PGA Dahmen has shown he can excel in strong field events and will look to get his 2021 season off to a strong start with a good showing this week.