Pat Mayo and Geoff Fienberg preview the course and run through the odds while making their 2021 WGC Workday Championship Picks. The guys give their fantasy golf picks, provide their one and done strategy for the event from WGC Workday Championship. Plus, a quick discuss about the Puerto Rico Open
2021 WGC-Workday: Field
Field: 72 Players
Cut: No Cut
First Tee: Thursday, Feb. 25
Defending Champion: Patrick Reed
The West Coast Swing is officially finished and, because of COVID protocols, there’s no stopover in Mexico this year, it’s straight to Florida. Frankly, it’s easier to say who’s not here than to list who is in the field. Tiger Woods isn’t playing. Neither is Paul Casey. That’s it from the players who matter in this limited field of 72. Max Homa earned the final spot with his victory at Riviera over the weekend.
It’s not just the top PGA TOUR pros, though. WGCs include tours from around the world, so we’re getting an influx of international talent swarming stateside for the first time in 2021. Thus beginning the preparation for The Masters.
The field at The Concession includes the leaders from the European Tour’s Race to Dubai from both from 2020 and this season, so we’ll finally get a glimpse of Tyrrell Hatton, Tommy Fleetwood, Shane Lowry and Justin Rose. But since the rollover includes the past two years, Bernd Wiesberger, Victor Perez, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Thomas Detry, Sami Valimaki, Robert McIntyre, Jason Scrivener, Andy Sullivan, Lucas Herbert, Rasmus Hojgaard, David Lipsky, Aaron Rai, Laurie Canter and Lee Westwood have also made the trek from Europe.
Beyond that, you’ll notice a few names towards the back end of the field you’ve likely never seen before. It’s not just the PGA TOUR and EURO TOUR represented — also in the field at the WGC Workday Championship: Japan Golf Tour Order of Merit, Australasian Tour Order of Merit, Sunshine Tour Order of Merit and Asian PGA Tour Order of Merit.
2021 WGC-Workday: Key Stats
Strokes Gained: Approach
Sand Saves Gained
Strokes Gained: Around the Green
Mayo’s Key Stats powered by FantasyNational.com
2021 WGC-Workday: Course
Course: The Concession Golf Club
2021 WGC-Workday: Past Winners
First Time at Course
2021 WGC-Workday: Notes
Very little is known about The Concession from a professional competition standpoint. Bryson DeChambeau defeated CT Pan at the 2015 NCAA Championship on this site, but that’s really about it.
A Jack Nicklaus-designed course, The Concession mirrors some design elements from Muirfield Village (another Nicklaus course), Augusta National and Riviera CC, which we just saw last week.
Only one of the par 5s appears reachable in two, while another two could potentially be reachable for the longer players in the field under the right conditions. Another is a clear three-shot par 5. Since a high percentage of the field must lay up on three of these holes, wedge play from 125 yards and in will likely be more critical at The Concession than most courses sporting a full complement of par 5s.
The par 3s look terrifying. Three of the four measure over 200 yards, and with the expected FAST greens, full of undulations, a heavy emphasis should be placed on short game. These won’t be birdie holes, they’ll be strap-in-for-par holes. The best players in the field on par 3s from 200-225 yards over the past 50 rounds, per Fantasy National: Jason Day, Patrick Cantlay, Will Zalatoris, Webb Simpson and Dustin Johnson.
Two par 4s come in at less than 400 yards, but only one looks like it could be reachable depending on the tee boxes. The green at No. 8 is protected by a moat in front of the putting surface, so unless they dramatically move up the tee boxes, as they did at Muirfield Village during the Workday in 2020, it looks like a clear layup (more short wedges). No. 12 (349 yards), at least on paper, seems like the hole the field may take a crack at. There’s enough danger surrounding the green to force more layups, however. Weighting just approaches from 75-100 yards and 100-125 Yards, the top players in the field of their past 36 rounds are David Lipsky, Justin Thomas, Ryan Palmer, Jon Rahm and Erik van Rooyen.
As Jason Sobel pointed out, the WGC winner list, taking out Match Play from the equation, has been dominated by the top of the world golf rankings. The last time a player ranked lower than No. 19 in the world won a stroke-play WGC event was Phil Mickelson (No. 39) at the 2018 WGC Mexico.
2021 WGC-Workday Picks
Justin Thomas ($10,500)
Dealing with the loss of his grandfather may have affected Thomas’ play at Riviera, as he just didn’t look like himself. JT lost strokes on off the tee and on approach in his two rounds at The Genesis, a feat he hadn’t accomplished since the 2017 Quicken Loans. He next played at the British Open, where he also missed the cut. Then won his only major a month after that. Thomas hasn’t been one to stay down long in his career. In fact, the last three times he dropped strokes to the field, he followed it up with a top 6 finish in his next start. Now, back on Bermuda, at a course that could potentially overemphasize wedge play, seems like a perfect place to challenge for a win. And no cut events are a specialty for JT — of his 13 career wins, eight have come in tournaments with no cut. Another two of those victories came in playoff events that have a limited field, like this week.
Collin Morikawa ($9,000)
If this truly is an irons course, no player in the world is hotter than Morikawa in that aspect of the game. The results last week cover it up, but Morikawa was second in the field in SG: APP, gaining 7.6 strokes on the field. That followed up his +8.5 SG: APP at The Sony (best of all players by almost two strokes). Last week, the putting was a real problem. The 2020 PGA Champion lost almost eight strokes on the green, including an ungodly -6.01 SG: PUTT in the final round. Now, Bermuda grass has not been kind to Morikawa in his short career, but in a no-cut event, if he can just be around field average with the flat stick, he’ll outperform his finishing position on DraftKings with the number of birdie opportunities he’ll generate.
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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 a 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.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is ThePME) 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.
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