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2020 Fantasy Golf — 2020 Workday Charity Open Picks, Rankings, Sleepers, Predictions

Pat Mayo breaks down the 2020 Workday Charity Open, making his picks and rankings for the event while previewing the course and key stats.

Pat Mayo and Geoff Fienberg preview the course and run through the odds while making their 2020 Workday Charity Open Picks. The guys give their fantasy golf picks, provide their one and done strategy for the event from Muirfield Village.

2020 Workday Charity Open — Picks + Preview | Picks/Field/Course | Picks Video | Stats/Tools

2020 Workday Charity Open DraftKings Research | Picks & Preview | DK Cheatsheet | Video | Own% Projections

The millionaire slate locks on Thursday morning, July 9th, so set your lineups here: PGA TOUR $2.5M Millionaire [$1M to 1st].

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2020 Workday Charity Open Field

Field: 156 Players | Top 65 and Ties Make the Cut after 36 Holes
First Tee: Thursday, July 9 at 7:00 a.m. ET
Defending Champion: First Time Event

Last week’s Rocket Mortgage Classic presented the first giant ebb in field strength since the return of golf from the COVID-19 hiatus. It wasn’t a weak field, by any stretch, and featured far more talent than the inaugural incarnation of the Rocket Mortgage in Detroit, but we got spoiled with Major-esque fields out of the gate. We’re back on an upward trend with the 2020 Workday Charity Open, though. Replacing the canceled John Deere Classic for this year only, this will be the first of two consecutive events held at the Jack Nicklaus designed Muirfield Village. Muirfield Village will host The Memorial Tournament next week, per usual.

Expect the invitational field for Memorial to include all the biggest names from this week, plus a slew of others (maybe even Tiger), but there’s enough star power at the Workday to elevate the event above the generic mid-summer PGA Tour stop. Last year’s Memorial winner Patrick Cantlay is back in action, joined by Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Brooks Koepka, Patrick Reed, Xander Schauffele, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose, and Sungjae Im at the top end.

Toss in Matt Kuchar, Gary Woodland, Jason Day, Rickie Fowler, Jordan Spieth, Bubba Watson, Phil Mickelson, Marc Leishman, Viktor Hovland, Joaquin Niemann, Collin Morikawa, Shane Lowry, Louis Oosthuizen, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Ian Poulter, Brandt Snedeker, Billy Horschel and Scottie Scheffler into the mix, and the overall purse should probably be higher than the $6.2M. For reference, next week’s Memorial will have $9.3M to split between a smaller field.

Following Kevin Na’s (back) withdrawal, the 2020 Workday Charity Open will feature 156 entrants, making the six-of-six percentage in the DraftKings Millionaire likely to resemble the past two weeks where fewer than 5% of lineups snuck a flawless lineup through the cut line. The switch to the Top 65 and ties from the Top 70 and ties this season has made the PGA Tour DraftKings game just as volatile as the EURO DraftKings game. The superstars/super scrubs approach has been the answer the past two weeks, but with a deeper field in the mid-range for Workday, we may see a shift back to the balanced approach which had been successful in the first two events out of the break.

Curious about when major leagues and events will return? Check out our DraftKings Sports Calendar for the latest updates.

2020 Workday Charity Open: Key Stats

Strokes Gained: Approach
Par 4s 450-500 Yards Gained
Sand Saves Gained
Proximity Gained 150-175 Yards

Mayo’s Key Stats powered by FantasyNational.com

2020 Workday Charity Open: Course

Course: Muirfield Village
Par: 72
Yardage: 7,456
Greens: Bentgrass

2020 Workday Charity Open: Past Winners

All winners from Memorial Tournament

2019: Patrick Cantlay -19
2018: Bryson DeChambeau -15
2017: Jason Dufner -13
2016: William McGirt -15
2015: David Lingmerth -15
2014: Hideki Matsuyama -13
2013: Matt Kuchar -12
2012: Tiger Woods -9
2011: Steve Stricker -16
2010: Justin Rose -18

2020 Workday Charity Open: Strategy

What is going to make Muirfield Village play differently for the Workday than it normally does for the Memorial? I’m asking you that. All I can glean are minute differences. Rumors are the grounds crew will have the rough at around 3/3.5 inches to allow for extra growth and more penal conditions a week from now at Memorial. It’s also been mentioned that the bentgrass greens will be slowed down on the stimpmeter for the Workday, too. Historically, Muirfield Village’s putting surfaces roll some of the fastest on TOUR.

Workday will also utilize different tee boxes and pin locations than the Memorial to give the course a different look than players are accustomed, but the nuts and bolts are going to be pretty similar. A deep dive into the scorecard for the Workday shows an extra 64 yards of length, bumping it from 7,392 yards to 7,456 yards, but those numbers are fluid day-to-day based on the setup. And really, per the official scorecard, it’s just three holes which have been altered.

Par 3 No. 8 Now 202 Yards (17 Yards Longer)
Par 5 No. 11 Now 583 Yards (16 Yards Longer)
Par 5 No. 15 now 560 Yards (31 Yards Longer)

While it may end up being an incorrect strategy, focusing on how Muirfield historically plays, in the face of any new information, is going to be the crux of my selections. And, it saves me a bunch of time on next week’s column if things remain static.

Approach widely outweighs driving at Muirfield Village, much attributed the girthy fairways, although getting it up and down from the 73 bunkers spread across the grounds is pretty essential as well. The green side sand traps at Muirfield Village result in some of the longest proximity lengths of any course on sweet Mother Gaia. Coupled with the tiny and (usually) lightning-fast greens, The Memorial annually sits inside the top-five courses with the lowest scrambling percentage (53%).

The course is going to chew up the field on the long Par 3s and Par 4s. Six Par 4s measure from 450-500 yards, all of which are inside the nine most difficult. Three of four Par 3s are inside the six most difficult holes; the only one that isn’t, No. 8, has just been lengthened by 17 yards. There are six Par 4s falling between 450-500 yards, all of which play over par. It’s not required to score on those holes, leave that for the easy Par 5s, but avoiding the most crooked of numbers is an absolute must to remain in contention. There were 45 double bogeys or worse made across these six holes last year, with 17 on No. 18 alone.

There is some good news, however. While distance is always an advantage, shorter hitters who still gain strokes off the tee and smack a crisp long iron can very much compete. Any place which can boast Matt Kuchar, David Lingmerth, Steve Stricker and Jason Dufner as past champions can attest to this. Being in Ohio, the clear crossover event is the former WGC played at Firestone CC. Firestone was replaced on the schedule a year ago, but not before seeing a lot of success shared between the two courses. Tiger Woods has 12 combined victories between the two courses and Hideki Matsuyama has also won at both courses. Then there are Jason Dufner, David Lingmerth, Marc Leishman, Keegan Bradley, Patrick Cantlay, Bubba Watson, Justin Rose and Jim Furyk who’ve experienced success at both tracks. A lot of those same names have navigated TPC Sawgrass adequately in their careers, too.

Overall, Americans have won seven of the past nine years, and four in a row, while the Memorial has produced a playoff four of the past six years. Rose (2010) was the last winner to miss the cut in his previous appearance at the Muirfield Village, while Matsuyama (2014) won in his first attempt.

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2020 Workday Charity Open — Targets From Each Range

Justin Thomas

A destroyer of lineups at the Travelers Championship, JT dropped strokes to the field on approach in consecutive rounds for the first time since rounds one and two of the 2019 Honda Classic — a week he still made the cut, by the way. If you want to find the last time he dropped strokes to the field on approach in three consecutive rounds, you’d have to search back to rounds one and two from the Travelers and round one at Quicken Loans... from 2017. This isn’t a regular occurrence. Hopefully, Thomas scorning 20+% of DraftKings users in his last appearance will have people looking in another direction at the top end. DON’T!!!! Thomas is elite this week.

Viktor Hovland

One of these days the Norwegian Nightmare is going to make a few putts. I can’t guarantee it will be this week, but it’ll happen at some point. Hovland has played each event since golf returned and his immaculate ball-striking has been masked by a frigid flat stick. The Rocket Mortgage Classic marked the second consecutive week that Hovland has led the field in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green losing a remarkable -6.8 SG: Putting in those event, and he still managed Top-12 finishes in each. What has been a huge positive has been the improvement in his short game. He’d lost strokes around the green in ten events before the hiatus. And not just some strokes, an egregious amount. Over the break he got a new chipping coach and the results are clear. He’s gained in three of the four starts since. That’s progress. If this is the week he starts consistently making seven-footers, he’ll win. Even if he can’t make them all, just make enough; bad putting has prevailed at Muirfield before. Jason Dufner won Memorial in 2017 losing strokes on the greens.

Adam Hadwin

Gained on approach in his past five starts and appears to be peaking following a Top-5 finish at the Rocket Mortgage Classic. He’s covertly second in the field on Par 4s from 450-500 yards over his past 36 rounds and fifth from 150-175 yard proximity over that same span. Mixed history at Memorial, but has a Top 15 to his credit and picked up another Top 5 in his only start at Firestone. The Canadian’s lack of distance may hurt him on the Par 5s, but if his irons stay hot he’ll generate enough opportunities to score amount the leaders.

Other notable names appearing near the top of stat models and the win simulator at FantasyNational.com: Jon Rahm, Maverick McNealy, Sungjae Im, Patrick Cantlay, Bubba Watson, Patrick Reed

The millionaire slate locks on Thursday morning, July 9th, so set your lineups here: PGA TOUR $2.5M Millionaire [$1M to 1st].

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Pat Mayo is an award-winning video host and producer of long and short-form content, and the host of The Pat Mayo Experience daily talk show. (Subscribe for video or audio). Mayo (@ThePME) won the 2020 Fantasy Sports Writing Association Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year and Golf Writer of the Year awards, along with the Fantasy Sports Trade Association Best Sports Betting Analyst award, and was finalist for four FSWA Awards in 2020 (Best Podcast, Best Video, Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year, Golf Writer of the Year). His 21 FSWA nominations lead all writers this decade and are third-most all-time. Mayo has been recognized across multiple sports (Football, Baseball & Golf), mediums (Video, Writing & Podcasting), genre (Humor), and game formats (Daily Fantasy and Traditions Season Long). Beyond sports, Mayo covers everything from entertainment to pop culture to politics. If you have a fantasy question, general inquiry or snarky comment, ship it to Mayo at ThePatMayoExperience@gmail.com and the best will be addressed on the show.

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