The Cheat Sheet provides DraftKings fantasy golf players with course info, player history and the most noteworthy trends of the week to help them with their roster selections.
Set your DraftKings fantasy golf lineups here: PGA TOUR $700K Pitch + Putt [$200K to 1st] (TOUR)
One of the most unique events of the season returns this week with the Zurich Classic team event. After being canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19, this event returns for the third season in a row and a mid-April date. The field consists of 160 players (80 two-man teams), and this year will mark the sixth year the event has been contested in the team format. With 80 teams in the field, the cut will still take place after Friday — the top 33 teams (plus ties) make the weekend.
The format will lend itself to lots of volatility since Thursday and Saturday will have teams competing in the best ball format. In best ball, each player will play their own ball for the entire hole, and the best score will be taken on each hole.
Friday and Sunday will have teams competing in alternate shot format, which is where teams play one ball per hole, alternating turns.
As you can guess, the scores in best ball tend to be quite a bit lower than in alternate shot. The defending champions of this event are Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele, who are back in the field again this year to defend. While many top players have chosen to take the week off, we still have a few other elite teams in the field like Collin Morikawa/Max Homa, Si Woo Kim/Tom Kim, and Billy Horschel/Sam Burns.
TPC Louisiana — Avondale, Louisiana
Par 72 -7,300-7400 yards depending on the setup
TPC Louisiana is a Pete Dye-designed course that carries a mixed bag of hole designs but does allow for some really low scoring if the weather cooperates. In 2015 — one of the final years it was a regular stroke-play event — Justin Rose ended up winning with a final score of -22, and most winning scores were in the high teens or better during stroke play.
One of the main reasons the scoring is so low is that the par 5s all rate as extremely great birdie opportunities. Only the par-5 18th hole comes in at over 580 yards in length. For most players, at least three of these longer holes are reachable in two shots. There are also some extremely short par 4s on TPC Louisiana, with four of the par 4s coming in at under 400 yards — including the drive-able 16th, which could play a role down the stretch.
The shorter holes this week will be absolute must-birdies for the players during best ball rounds, and you’ll see lots of eagles made as the extra ball in play during that format will encourage aggressive lines.
While the course does have some water and quite a few bunkers on it, accuracy isn’t a huge factor due to the lack of rough and larger fairways. Driving Accuracy stats here are generally higher than the PGA TOUR average, as are GIR%s since the Bermuda greens are typically easier to hold and don’t play firm due to the higher humidity in Louisiana.
Softer greens also mean we see more long-range putts holed. On average, TPC Louisiana sees a larger-than-average number of birdie putts holed from 20 feet and in. Good putters — like Billy Horschel, Kevin Kisner, Cameron Smith, and Jonas Blixt — have dominated the leaderboard at this event since it became a team event.
2023 Weather Outlook: Weather at this event can often be a factor, and it was shortened to 54 holes back in 2016 due to extensive rain and thunderstorms. This season there doesn’t seem to be too much to worry about. Saturday could see a stoppage or two depending on if a thunderstorm rolls through the area or not, but Sunday should see clear skies, so the event will have a shot at finishing up on the weekend if there are delays. The first two days look somewhat identical, with winds growing slightly in the afternoon to around 10-12mph. Friday afternoon could be slightly worse, with thunderstorms possible, but there is really not enough in the forecast to warrant a heavy wave-stacking approach. Expect any rain to really soften up the course and allow players to post low scores in the best ball format.
Last Five winners
2022—Patrick Cantlay/Xander Schauffele - 29 (over Sam Burns/Billy Horschel -27)
2021—Cameron Smith/Marc Leishman -20 (over Louis Oosthuizen/Charl Schwartzel playoff)
2019—Jon Rahm/Ryan Palmer 26-under (over Sergio Garcia/Tommy Fleetwood -21)
2018—Billy Horschel/Scott Piercy 22-under (over Jason Dufner/Pat Perez -21)
2017—Cameron Smith/Jonas Blixt 27-under (over Kevin Kisner/Scott Brown playoff)
Finding Values (DraftKings Sportsbook)
Odds to win are one factor to think about when picking players (but not the only thing, so be careful putting too much weight on them). This section is going to detail a few of the players who have the best fantasy value compared to their DraftKings Sportsbook odds of winning this week.
Matthew Fitzpatrick/Alex Fitzpatrick +2200 and $8,200
- Sahith Theegala/Justin Suh ($10,000)
- Taylor Montgomery/Kurt Kitayama ($9,100)
Thomas Detry/Victor Perez +2800 and $7,900
- Ben Martin/Chesson Hadley ($8,000)
- Brandon Wu/Joseph Bramlett ($8,000)
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
HORSES FOR COURSES
1. Billy Horschel/Sam Burns ($9,500): Horschel is carrying this group in terms of experience since the veteran won at TPC Louisiana (the first of his career) back in 2013 when it was a regular stroke-play event. He also won the team event here in 2018 with Scott Piercy. Burns has played here each of the past four years and grabbed a T4 finish here with Horschel in 2021 and a 2nd place finish last season. Now in their third year playing together, they will be one of the top groups to build around in DFS this week.
2. Patrick Cantlay/Xander Schauffele ($11,100): There is little doubt that Schauffele and Cantlay are the class of the field this week, and the duo also carry some of the most extensive course history in the field. They finished T11 in 2021 before winning the event last season. Cantlay also had a 7th-place finish with Patrick Reed back in 2018.
3. Scott Stallings/Trey Mullinax ($7,400): Stallings and Mullinex have only played together once (2019), but it was a fruitful pairing that saw the team land a 13th-place finish. The two also shot 61 and 62 in best ball that season. Both men have played this event almost every season since it became a team event, and now that they are reunited in 2023 they have lots of course history appeal — as both a placing target in betting and as a value target for DFS.
4. Sungjae Im/Keith Mitchell ($10,400): Im has now played in this event each of the past two seasons. He missed the cut in 2021 but finished T14 with Byeong Hun An last year. Mitchell has played the team event multiple times as well and was T4 with Brandt Snedeker in 2021. They will be playing together for the first time this season but have a lot of experience playing this venue and course.
Set your DraftKings fantasy golf lineups here: PGA TOUR $700K Pitch + Putt [$200K to 1st]
1. Matthew Fitzpatrick ($8,200): Fitzpatrick followed up his top 20 at Augusta with a win at the RBC Heritage. He was drilling approaches in the playoff and now will be playing with his brother (who plays over in Europe as a pro) for this event.
2. Patrick Cantlay ($11,100): Cantlay seems to be following the same path he did last year when he won this event with Xander Schauffele. He gained over 8.0 strokes ball-striking last week for the third time in four events. Considering his running mate also looked great at the Heritage, betting against him to repeat almost seems futile.
3. Sahith Theegala ($10,000): If another team ends up giving the top couple of duos a run this week, don’t be surprised if it’s Theegala and teammate Justin Suh. Theegala posted his fourth top-10 finish since January last week and is starting to look more and more like an elite player.
4. Taylor Moore ($8,700): Moore followed up his win at the Valspar with a T39 at Augusta and a T11 last week. His partner, Matthew NeSmith, has been playing poorly but the two make for an interesting duo just given Moore’s form of late.
5. Hayden Buckley ($9,200): Buckley has really been smashing the ball, gaining over 5.0 strokes ball-striking in each of his last two starts. He’s playing with JJ Spaun, and the two form an interesting duo with lots of upside in this format.
DRAFTKINGS DFS STRATEGY
Cash Games: Cantlay/Schauffele a must play
The defending champions ($11,100) come in with even better form than they did last season after both men finished inside the top five at the RBC Heritage last weekend. They also now sit at just +400 on the DraftKings Sportsbook this week in the outright market, which is the smallest price we have seen on an event favorite all season. Getting some exposure to them in DFS this week is a definite recommendation, regardless of what DFS formats you’re playing. After the top duo, there is also solid value on teams like Beau Hossler/Wyndham Clark ($9,400) and Victor Perez/Thomas Detry ($7,900). Further down, the team of David Lipsky/Aaron Rai ($9,000) — who finished T4 at this event last season — provide a nice blend of course history and upside for the price range
Tournaments: Im/Mitchell on track for a big week
Both Sungjae Im ($10,400) and Keith Mitchell have been trending well to start 2023. Im has now landed four top-10 finishes on the season (including one last week at the RBC), and Mitchell has two top-five finishes in 2023, including a close call at Riviera. Im finally had a decent finish at this event last season with Byeong Hun An, and this year gets a partner upgrade in Mitchell, who was in contention with Brandt Snedeker back in 2019. Given the recent form they hold, targeting them in GPP lineups where you might be fading the top (and very highly owned) duos should provide you with solid leverage. Other teams to consider for big fields this week include Thorbjorn Olesen / Nicolai Hojgaard ($7,900), Scott Stallings / Trey Mullinax ($7,400), and Sam Saunders / Eric Cole ($7,000).
MY PICK: Sahith Theegala/Justin Suh ($10,000)
The last six months have seen the duo of Justin Suh and Sahith Theegala confirm that they are special talents who are both on the verge of becoming regular household names on the PGA TOUR. Theegala is fresh off a top-10 finish at the Masters two weeks ago and now has finished top 10 in six of his 13 starts on the PGA TOUR. Suh has been just as good, posting a 6th place against an incredibly tough field at the PLAYERS — and has now made 13 cuts in a row in what is essentially his first full season on the PGA TOUR.
The two men also seem tailor-made for a format where birdies aren’t a luxury but a necessity. Both are top 10 in birdies gained over the last 50 rounds of play, and both have shown upside in this kind of format. Suh landed a surprise T11 finish at this event in 2021 (with Doug Ghim), while Theegala won a team exhibition event (the QBE Shootout) last December (with Tom Hoge). Cameron Smith achieved his first PGA win at this event back in the first season of team play (2017), and Suh and Theegala certainly have the talent to match that achievement. The duo makes for a great upper-tier value to target in both the DFS arena and the outright market on the DraftKings Sportsbook
MY SLEEPER: Ben Martin/Chesson Hadley ($8,000)
While upper-tier talents like Patrick Cantlay/Xander Schauffele, Cameron Smith, and Jon Rahm have all prevailed here at one time or another, we have also seen veteran teams get in the mix and even grab wins at Zurich since the team format was introduced. Billy Horschel and Scott Piercy won the event in 2018, while the wily duo of Kevin Kisner/Scott Brown have been in contention numerous times since 2017.
This is all a long-winded way of saying we should like what we’re being offered from the Ben Martin/Chesson Hadley duo this week, two former winners on the PGA TOUR who will certainly see this as a week to potentially secure playing status for future seasons. Martin has been a huge success story in 2023, bouncing back from the depths of the Korn Ferry Tour to land four top-15 finishes now over his last seven PGA TOUR starts. Hadley has been a bubble boy the last few seasons on the PGA, barely maintaining status thanks to a couple of big weeks. He did finish high up at this event in 2018 (with Brice Garnett) and now gets to ride the hot hand of Martin this year, who comes in ranked 14th in birdies gained over the last 50 rounds of play.
They make for a solid top 10/20 ladder bet on the DraftKings Sportsbook and look like solid value to use in large-field GPP lineups this week at just 8K flat on DraftKings.
Set your DraftKings fantasy golf lineups here: PGA TOUR $700K Pitch + Putt [$200K to 1st] (TOUR)
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