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DraftKings Fantasy Golf Picks: WGC Dell Technologies Match Play Predictions, Preview

Reid Fowler previews the Dell Technologies Match Play and gives his picks for your DraftKings fantasy golf lineups.

The first World Golf Championship (WGC) will be the Dell Technologies Match Play at Austin Country Club in Austin, TX. The course is a par 71, measuring 7,108 yards and will be on TifEagle bermudagrass overseeded with Poa Trivialis. Like TPC Sawgrass a couple of weeks ago at THE PLAYERS Championship, Austin CC is a Pete Dye design. The tournament starts on Wednesday and ends with the final match on Sunday. Past winners since the tournament moved to Austin CC include Jason Day, Dustin Johnson ($10,000), Kevin Kisner ($7,600), Bubba Watson ($7,200) and Billy Horschel ($8,800).

Set your DraftKings fantasy golf lineups here: PGA TOUR $750K Pitch + Putt [$200K to 1st] (Match Play)


FORMAT

The top-16 golfers in the world are ranked 1 through 16 and will each represent a group. The other 48 golfers will be placed in each group via round-robin. Four golfers will be in a group, with 16 groups total. They’ll each play the other three golfers once in the group stage, and the player with the highest point total (1 point for winning a match, 0.5 point for tying) after the group stage advances to the Round of 16, which will be single-elimination. Wednesday through Friday will be the Round of 64, Saturday will be the Round of 16 and the quarterfinals. Sunday will hold the final and the third-place matches.

STRATEGY

Another Pete Dye design presents another test of precision golf. Austin Country Club sports deep pot bunkers, undulations throughout fairways and greens, and resembles a links style layout. The course also has its lowlands and highlands, and players like Jordan Spieth ($8,900) have mentioned that the two nines play like two different courses. All Pete Dye courses demand precision with the approach shot, but we could also be leaning towards Strokes Gained: Off the Tee more this week. Gamesmanship is a factor in Match Play. Triple bogeys don’t carry the same negative weight as they do in stroke play, but driving it past your opponent and playing your second shot based on what your opponent does is advantageous in this setting. The course doesn’t just suit the bombers, but when Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson win here, we should be taking notice. Austin CC can also play windy, which is why we’ve seen golfers like Johnson, Scottie Scheffler ($11,000) and Sergio Garcia ($8,300) play well here.

Most daily fantasy lineups go ‘chalk’ every year, choosing the top-seeded golfers at this tournament. It’s easy to think the top golfers will advance with relative ease, but as we’ve seen in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament this year and seasons past, the top seeds can lose early or fail to advance to the finals. Since 2017, the most top seeds to advance out of the group stage is five, and only one No. 1 seed has won the event (Dustin Johnson, 2017). Also, only once has the final match been contested by two top-16 seeded players (No. 16 Louis Oosthuizen and No. 2 Jason Day). Match play is highly variant, so embrace the chaos this week; it should be fun.


Tyrrell Hatton ($9,200)

The good thing about Hatton is that he didn’t gain many strokes on the greens last week en route to his top 25. That shouldn’t be a net positive, but Hatton was gaining an unsustainable amount of strokes on the greens over his previous two tournaments before Valspar and wasn’t gaining a ton via ball-striking. At the Valspar Championship, Hatton gained the sixth-most strokes through approach and 1.64 off-the-tee, the improvement we (and he) were seeking. If we include only past winners in the field, since 1999 their average number of starts in this event before winning is 5.5, with Johnson having the most (eight) and Horschel having the least (four). This week will be Hatton’s fifth start here, and he’s coming in with form, finishing T21 at Valspar, 13th at THE PLAYERS Championship and runner-up at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Group 13 could be a tough draw for Hatton, but Daniel Berger ($9,800) is 3-9 at this event over his previous six starts. Si Woo Kim ($7,100) is fantastic on Pete Dye courses but also struggles in Match Play, with a 3-7-3 record at Austin CC.


Kevin Kisner ($7,600)

While Spieth is a potential sleeper in Group 6, Kisner ultimately gets the nod. He’ll need to get past Justin Thomas ($10,700), but the 2019 winner of this event isn’t going to back down from any competition. Since 2016, Kisner’s record is 16-6-1 with a 67% winning percentage. Compile that with his record at this tournament since 1999 and Ryder Cups, Kisner has the highest win rate of any golfer in the field (70%). His recent top-5 finish at TPC Sawgrass, another Pete Dye course, proves Kisner should be on the shortlist of golfers to roster this week.


Cameron Young ($7,000)

My favorite daily fantasy sleeper was someone I was looking forward to playing last week, but he withdrew. There’s an excellent chance Young will go under rostered because he has to face Jon Rahm ($11,300) and Patrick Reed ($7,500), who everyone loves in this format. Rahm and Reed are not playing up to their expectations coming into this event, and Young could exceed everyone’s expectation of him, especially if he’s going to be hitting second the majority of the time with how well he hits it off the tee. A near win at The Genesis Invitational, followed by a top 20 at PGA National (Honda Classic) and top 15 at Bay Hill Club and Lodge, should give us confidence this ‘young’ golfer has the resolve to beat some top brass in Texas.


Set your DraftKings fantasy golf lineups here: PGA TOUR $750K Pitch + Putt [$200K to 1st] (Match Play)


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All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS or DKSB contests. The contents contained in this article do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups.


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