After being postponed last year due to the pandemic, the Ryder Cup returns this week and will be played at Whistling Straits in Mosel, Wisc. This marks the first time this course has hosted the team-formatted event. In 2004, 2010 and 2015, Whistling Straits was the home of the PGA Championship, when it was played as a par 72. This time, hole 11 has been converted from a par 5 to a par 4, making this venue that features bentgrass greens a par 71 that is 7,390 yards in length. Designed by the late Pete Dye, Whistling Straits is a classic American-style links course that plays along the shores of Lake Michigan. As per usual at a links venue, longer players off the tee have had an advantage at this Dye design in the past. When Jason Day won the PGA Championship here in 2015, he led the field in SG: OTT by over a stroke and finished the week third in driving distance. Day also ended that major victory first in SG: APP and second in greens found, certainly putting an emphasis on approach play this week. Overall for the Ryder Cup, we should be prioritizing elite ball strikers who are strong drivers and that have positive results on Dye courses, if possible.
If you aren’t familiar with this team-style tournament, Team USA and Team Europe will be competing over a three-day period for the Ryder Cup beginning this Friday, and if this event ends in a tie, the cup will return to Team Europe, given they are the defending champs after their win in 2018. For the first two days of the Ryder Cup, there will be four “foursome” matches and four “four ball” matches. Then, for the final day, there will be 12 single-player matches. For this specific format, DraftKings contests will be Showdown style this week, with one Captain’s spot and five utility players for each lineup, with the captain accruing 1.5x fantasy points. Furthermore, DraftKings scoring system has changed for the Ryder Cup:
Per Hole Scoring:
Holes Won: +3 Pts
Holes Halved: +0.75 Pts
Holes Lost: -0.75 Pts
Holes Not Played: +1.6 Pts
Matches Won: +5 Pts
Matches Halved: +2 Pts
Streaks and Bonuses:
Streak of 3 Consecutive Holes Won in Match (Max 1 Per Round): +5 Pts
No Holes Lost in Match Bonus: +7.5 Pts
To roster the high-end players that we expect to play the most matches and lead their team to victory at captain, we must take some risks at the lower end of the player pool, and below I give you three of my preferred flex options under $7.5K on DraftKings this week.
Brooks Koepka, $7,400
Separating yourself in GPPs for showdown slates is always a difficult task, which brings me to Koepka this week. After withdrawing from the TOUR Championship with a wrist injury less than three weeks ago, the four-time major winner should come with somewhat depressed ownership. Certainly, there is risk associated with this type of injury, but the reward clearly outweighs the risk with a player of Koepka’s caliber, especially at this low a price. Team USA Captain Steve Stricker told the media that Koepka is “fully healed”, and on top of finishing T5th at Whistling Straits back in 2015, the 31-year-old ranks third in total strokes gained over his past 100 rounds at Dye venues.
Koepka also owns a solid 9-7-2 singles record and 5-3 record in team match play over his career. As one of the best OTT players in the world, Koepka brings outstanding upside at Whistling Straits and is a must-have for large tournaments.
Paul Casey, $6,800
Casey is a wizard on Dye designs. This past season, in five starts at courses created by the famous architect, the Englishman produced three finishes inside the top eight. Also, Casey proceeded to the weekend at the past two PGA Championships held at Whistling Straits, most notably finishing with a T12 in 2010.
As for his current form, Casey’s ball-striking has been tremendous, ranking third in SG: OTT and seventh in GIR over his past 12 rounds. The 44-year-old has four years of Ryder Cup experience under his belt and is a standout value at this soft salary.
Scottie Scheffler, $5,800
This will be Scheffler’s first Ryder Cup appearance, but the bomber has all the tools to make some noise at Whistling Straits. Over his past 24 rounds, Scheffler ranks 14th in SG: OTT and first in GIR. In his WGC-Dell Match Play debut last season, the Texas product shined in the format, losing to Billy Horschel in the final round.
Additionally, since joining the TOUR three years ago, Scheffler has quickly built a reputation of being a player that shines in the strongest fields. The 25-year-old has generated a top-10 finish at three consecutive majors, one of which came at Kiawah Island for last season’s PGA Championship, which like Whistling Straits, is a lengthy Dye-designed track.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Hunta512) 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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