Colonial CC is as traditional as it gets when it comes to golf course design. Tree-lined fairways, small greens and bentgrass greens are some of the reasons this setup cannot be strong-armed into submission by hitting it a mile Off-the-Tee. This will be a week revolving around solid approaches and putting.
When setting your lineups for GPPs this week, more so than others, you’ll need to stay away from chalk. You may be saying, “of course we stay away from chalk,” and while you don’t have to fade the popular golfers completely, you’ll need to choose players who are flying under the radar. In 2019, two of the top six golfers in DraftKings scoring were in the $6K range. This number increases to four when you factor in the top 10 scorers from that tournament. This course has seen players like Jordan Spieth, Kevin Na, Kevin Kisner and Brian Harman rank inside the top 5 in SG: Total since 2016, a trend that appears to elevate shorter hitters who are great Tee-to-Green. Mining value from cheap and low-rostered guys who play well on traditional courses should be the way we create contrarian builds and take down a tournament.
A viable GPP strategy we should be looking to deploy is to create a stars and scrubs lineup with some players in the $7K range and below. Remember, the field has 121 golfers as of press time and the top 65 and ties make the cut, so this could be a week we’ll see a ton of 6/6 lineups going into the weekend.
For a full course preview and who I like in the betting market, please refer to the DraftKings Preview and DraftKings Sportsbook articles. Here are the pivots we should be considering this week on DraftKings.
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Projected Popular Golfer: Collin Morikawa ($10,500)
Pivot: Justin Thomas ($11,000)
A second-place finish here last year and first in SG: Tee-to-Green, Approach and Ball-striking over the previous 24 rounds is going to result in a lot of lineups looking to roster Morikawa, who’s projecting to be the heaviest-rostered golfer on the slate. You won’t hear much dispute about rostering Morikawa in this article. Still, when Justin Thomas is projecting to be half of what Morikawa is coming in at this week, it’s time to consider paying up the extra $500. On courses shorter than 7,200 yards, Thomas ranks first in SG: Approach and fourth in birdies over the previous 24 rounds. Thomas’ putting is his Achilles heel, but his best surface, by far, is bentgrass, as he ranks 25th in SG: Putting over his last two dozen rounds.
$8,000 to $10,000 Range
Projected Popular Golfer: Corey Conners ($9,400)
Pivot: Matt Wallace ($8,200)
Like Morikawa, Conners ranks very high in ball-striking — second in the field over the past 24 rounds. His putting has improved from last season to this year, which equates to gaining an average of 5.4 strokes total over his previous 20 tournaments. Again, you should have no qualms with rostering Conners on a course that suits his game well, but his projected roster percentage is increasing leading up to Round 1. Having an equally excellent season is Wallace, who finished 18th at API, third at the Valero Texas Open and sixth at Wells Fargo. Wallace struggled a touch with his irons last week, but so did most golfers. Wallace also had a top 20 at Harbour Town (RBC Heritage) earlier this year, a good sign he has the potential to play well this week.
$7,000 to $8,000 Range
Projected Popular Golfer: Emiliano Grillo ($7,900)
Pivot: Harold Varner III ($7,400)
Chalk Grillo week, what could go wrong?! A lot can go sideways when Grillo is projecting to be one of the highest-rostered golfers in a given week. Sure, he’s hitting it well, gaining a total of 14.6 strokes through approach the last two tournaments (Wells Fargo and PGA Championship), and he just finished runner-up in the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town GL; so there’s a lot to love about him. Still, we should be staying very far away from Grillo when his rostering percentage starts to creep into the top five on the slate. Grillo’s proven in past tournaments that he can MC when he’s projecting to be popular like he was at Valspar. In GPP tournaments, Grillo was rostered in 17% of lineups at Copperhead and missed the weekend. This range is volatile, of course, but instead of rostering chalk Grillo, consider Harold Varner III (HV3). Like Grillo, HV3 finished T2 at RBC Heritage and ranks 30th in SG: Ball-Striking over the previous 24 rounds. The $500 you’re potentially saving here can be used to roster Thomas over Morikawa, too.
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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.
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