The PGA TOUR will be traveling to Dublin, Ohio, this week for the first of two consecutive tournaments at Muirfield Village Golf Club with the first being the Workday Charity Open. The course will play as a par 72, measuring between 7,392 to 7,496 yards and be putt on bentgrass greens this week.
DraftKings is hosting another PGA TOUR millionaire tournament that pays out $2.5 million in total prizes, including $1 million to first place. For only $20, draft six golfers for a shot to win the $1 million top prize. This contest is also part of the DraftKings Championship Series – Fantasy Tournament of Champions. In addition to the $1 million top prize, the winner will also earn a ticket to the Big Game in Tampa in February 2021 to compete for another $1 million top prize.
The millionaire slate locks at 6:00 a.m. ET on Thursday, July 9. Set your lineups here: $2.5M Millionaire [$1M to 1st].
The John Deere Classic was initially scheduled this week but was canceled back in May due to COVID-19 concerns and replaced with the Workday Charity Open. The tournament will welcome back some of the top-ranked golfers in the world like John Rahm, Justin Thomas and Brooks Kopeka. Other notables include Xander Schauffele, Joaquin Niemann, Sungjae Im and Patrick Cantlay, winner of The Memorial Tournament last season. A list of the past winners at Muirfield Village includes Matt Kuchar, David Lingmerth, Jason Dufner, Bryson DeChambeau and Steve Striker. Bryson, along with Adam Scott, Tommy Fleetwood and Tiger Woods will not be in the field.
The Workday Charity Open will be the first of two consecutive golf tournaments played at Muirfield Village. It will feature slight changes from next week in attempts to minimize wear and tear for The Memorial Tournament, which will no longer have fans in attendance. The changes this week will include a handful of tee boxes that will make the course play slightly shorter; the rough length will be three to three and a half inches and the greens should be slower than usual. Changes shouldn’t deviate too much from what we’ve seen at The Memorial over the years, so looking at how the course historically plays should work for this week and next.
Muirfield Village played as the 13th toughest course in scoring relative to par in two of the past three seasons. Last year it recorded the 15th-most bogeys and the sixth-most double bogeys, mostly due to wayward tee shots finding the thick rough. The golfers should be able to find the fairways with relative ease due to how wide they are, but should still be focusing on accuracy off the tee over the next two weeks due to the difficulty of getting out of the rough. The higher bogey and double-bogey rate is also the result of abundant long approach shots from 175-yards plus into these small greens (approx. 5,000 sq. feet), which resulted in a slightly lower green hit in regulation rate compared to the Tour average.
The course will have 74 bunkers and 13 holes where water comes into play, but the course setup should play a little easier this week than it has in the past. The Memorial Tournament recorded the 20th-most birdies in 2019 and with potentially easier pin placements, the scoring may be higher than what we’ve grown accustomed to seeing at Muirfield Village. Having said that, the finishing nine has the five toughest holes, making for an exciting finish coming down the stretch.
The par 5s should be easy, but the golfers may have difficulty navigating three par 3s measuring over 200 yards and six par 4s measuring between 450 to 500 yards. Strokes Gained: Approach-the-Green goes back to being a high priority with the top 5 back in 2019 gaining an average of 1.41 strokes with their irons, which was four times higher than Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee. We should also be weighing sand saves a little more this week than before with challenging greenside bunkers.
Curious about when major leagues and events will return? Check out our DraftKings Sports Calendar for the latest updates.
Hideki Matsuyama ($10,000)
Hideki always seems to be a sentiment play, meaning when people grow sour of Matsuyama not playing (putting) well they don’t want to roster him the following week as to not go through the same agony. Hideki gained five strokes with his irons last week and arrives at a course he clearly loves, having finished sixth at Memorial last season and winning back in 2014. Matsuyama hasn’t lost strokes with his irons in nine straight tournaments (with shot link) and ranks second in Strokes Gained: Approach-the-Green over his past 24 rounds. The pricing at the top is very generous, which could result in lower ownership than it should be.
Viktor Hovland ($9,500)
There may be a desire to roster golfers above him, and while it’s not a bad strategy nor one we should stay away from, Hovland may be hitting it the best, gaining an average of eight strokes Tee-to-Green since being back from the shutdown. He’s been awful with his putter, losing over three strokes in back-to-back weeks, but he’s historically rolled the ball well on bentgrass since turning professional. Hovland will be playing in his fifth straight tournament, so there may be some fatigue. However, he’s young and hungry for another win and one here would be a great addition to the trophy case. Ownership may get out of hand on Hovland and if it does pivoting to Collin Morikawa ($9,200), who is still one of the best ball-strikers on Tour is the play.
Joaquin Niemann ($8,400)
Back on bentgrass, check. A week off to rest, check. Hitting the irons well, check. Niemann has all the makings to be one of the rising stars (if he’s not already) on Tour with his elite ball-striking and his ability to score, ranking 23rd in birdies or better gained over his past three tournaments. He lost over six strokes putting a couple of weeks ago at the Travelers Championship but gained over seven strokes with his irons the week prior at Harbour Town.
Joel Dahmen ($7,700)
Dahmen may be a popular play this week, and rightfully so, ranking seventh in Strokes Gained: Approach-the-Green and fourth in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green over his past 24 rounds. Dahmen is quietly having an incredible season with two top 20s over his past three tournaments and back-to-back top 5s earlier at the Genesis Invitational and the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Cameron Champ ($7,700)
Champ should be the pivot play if Dahmen’s ownership gets out of hand. He finished with a six-under on Sunday and gained over three strokes tee-to-green over the weekend. His bentgrass putting is not the greatest nor is his short game, but the ball-striking has been outstanding and is the big reason he’s got two top-15 finishes in his past two starts.
Max Homa ($7,100)
Homa was heavily rostered at The Travelers Championship and disappointed with a missed cut, losing close to 1.5 strokes on the greens at TPC River Highlands. He’s missed the weekend twice since being back from the shutdown, but not because of his ball-striking — his putter has been cold losing strokes since coming back. Homa’s irons are still hot and he’s scoring well, ranking 21st in birdie or better gained. He’s inside the top 50 on par 4 efficiency on holes 450 to 500 yards and is outstanding on par 3s measuring 200 to 225 yards, ranking inside the top 10 over his past 24 rounds.
Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is reidtfowler) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.