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DraftKings DFS Fantasy Golf Cheat Sheet: 2022 PGA TOUR WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Picks

Geoff Ulrich gets you set for the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play with winning trends and his picks for your DraftKings fantasy golf lineups.

The Cheat Sheet provides DraftKings fantasy golf players with course info, player history and the most noteworthy trends of the week to help them with their roster selections.

Set your DraftKings fantasy golf lineups here: $750K Pitch + Putt [$200K to 1st]


The Field

This will be the fourth year the match play format and the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play are available on DraftKings for DFS purposes. As such, I’ve included the scoring again (see further down), as holes won and matches won (or halved) will be our main way of achieving fantasy points. Field-wise, this is a 64-man match-play event that starts off in a “pod” style, round-robin format. After a draw, players are put into pods of four where they will play each other once over the first two days. The best record from each group then advances into the round of 16, at which point the tournament becomes a single-knockout, March Madness bracket-type of event.

As for the actual field, most of the top players are here, but some have skipped this week either due to injury or rest. Sam Burns — who won the Valspar last week — has withdrawn from this event, and he’ll join Rory McIlroy, Hideki Matsuyama and Cameron Smith among some of the other top names not in the field. Once the pods get drawn, you’ll know what the matchups are in the early rounds and more strategy will come into play. Also, take note that this event starts on Wednesday, so we get an extra day of golf this week, but one less day to prepare.


The Course

Austin Country Club — Austin, Texas

Par 71, 7,043 yards

Austin Country Club is hosting this event for the fourth year. It’s a Pete Dye-designed course that measures in quite short at just over 7,000 yards for a par 71 and has a nice blend of longer holes with tough approaches, featuring some quite scorable setups, as well.

The course is a mix of higher-elevation holes on the front and a flatter back nine that brings water in to play late in the round, playing across from Lake Austin. All three of the par 5s are quite reachable, and it’s no shock that some big hitters — such as Bubba Watson, Jon Rahm and Dustin Johnson — have been able to blow the doors off this course at times in the last couple of years. That said, the final here in 2019 was between Kevin Kisner and Matt Kuchar — two guys who average around 290 OTT — so big distance isn’t necessary for success this week. A drivable par 4 over water also awaits players near the end, and the risk-reward nature of several holes has seemingly made it a great spot for a match-play event.

The course itself features Bermuda grass. Since it’s located in Texas, wind is almost certain to be a factor on a day or two (this year’s forecast is below). The par 3s are all quite short, with three of them holding yardages between 175 and 200 yards. While there are several short par 4s on the course, there’s also four that range between 450 and 500 yards. Checking the approaches and efficiency rankings between those two yardages isn’t a terrible idea this week. Overall, the venue allows for lots of big swings, as birdie or better will be available for the pros (on most holes) with a good approach.

2021 Outlook: All scoring is done in Match Play format this week, which means matches going off in better weather won’t have a shot at gaining you more points. That said, it’s still Austin, Texas, and winds will be up this week, likely making Approach and Around the Green play even more important. Wednesday starts off gusty with winds in the 15 mph range. With much of Austin Country Club being exposed in some manner, this will certainly be a factor. Things look very windy for the final day, as well, as gusts are expected to breech or approach 20 mph, a factor that could really make the final matches more interesting. We won’t have any rain or stoppages to worry about, but the stiff Texas wind should help players who also battled well through the conditions at TPC Sawgrass a few weeks ago.


Last Five winners

2021—Billy Horschel (d. Scottie Scheffler)

2020—No event (COVID-19)

2019—Kevin Kisner (d. Matt Kuchar)

2018—Bubba Watson (d. Kevin Kisner)

2017—Dustin Johnson (d. Jon Rahm)

Winners Trend: Going back to 2013, four of the last eight winners of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play had already recorded a stroke-play win in the same calendar year prior to winning this event, and the other winners (Horschel in 2021, Jason Day in 2014 and Kuchar in 2013) had at least one top-five finish on the season.


Match-Play Scoring and Strategy

I’ve placed the basic format for match-play scoring below, and it can also be found here. Since actual stroke count is irrelevant this week, we’ll be relying on a player’s ability to win or halve (tie) holes and matches to get points. Essentially, it comes down to the more holes and matches your player wins — and the larger the margin of victory — the more points you’ll get.

The early rounds are matches that take place in 16 four-person “pods.” As such, targeting some more elite players in weaker pods with easy early matchups could be key this week and a way to rack up points early; blowouts will be very valuable, in terms of getting fantasy points.

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 & Bonuses Points

STREAK OF 3 CONSECUTIVE HOLES WON IN MATCH {MAX 1 PER ROUND} +5 PTS

NO HOLES LOST IN MATCH BONUS +7.5 PTS


Match-Play Specialists

1. Kevin Kisner ($7,600; best finish: win-2019): Kisner has more than proven himself in match-play format. He won this event when it was played in 2019 and is now 13-6 over his last 16 matches at this event. Kisner is the exact type of player (good short to medium approaches and great putter) who has excelled at this event the last few years.

2. Patrick Reed ($7,500; best finish: T9-2018): Reed has become well known for his match-play talent, although he hasn’t been as successful in team-play events as he has been in singles. He won his pod here in 2018 and is also 2-0 in his last two Ryder/Presidents Cup matches since 2018. He hasn’t advanced past the group stage the last couple of years but was 1-1-1 at this event last season.

3. Sergio Garcia ($8,300; best finish: T5-2019): Garcia has done well at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play previously. He’s now won his pod at this event in each of the three iterations and made the quarterfinals at this event last year, losing out to Victor Perez.

4. Billy Horschel ($8,800; best finish: win-2021): Horschel enters this year’s match-play event with an 11-6-1 record. Even before last season, Horschel had shown some promise in this format, winning two matches at TPC Harding Park in 2015. He’s started 2022 playing well and likely a good target again.

5. Paul Casey ($9,100; best finish: T5-2019): Casey is a reliable veteran who has excelled at match play throughout his career. He’s got a 38-28-6 career singles record and has won his pod at this event multiple times since 2015. Coming off a great run at THE PLAYERS, don’t be shocked if he pops this week, as well.


Recent Form

1. Justin Thomas ($10,700, Recent finishes: win-T15): Has posted multiple top-10 finishes on the season and is coming off a T3 at the Valspar, where he gained over +7.0 strokes on Approach and led the field in SG: Tee to Green stats.

2. Matt Fitzpatrick ($8,700, Recent finishes: T9-T10): Fitzpatrick shot four rounds of 68 or better at the Valspar last week and finished T5. He’s now finished top 10 in three of his last four starts and should be a danger this week, especially if conditions get tough.

3. Daniel Berger ($9,800, Recent finishes: T7-T3): Berger has now finished top 20 in five of his last six starts, with his only missed cut over the last six months coming at the WM Phoenix Open. He’s top five in SG: Approach stats and Tee to Green stats over the last 50 rounds in this field.

4. Paul Casey ($9,100, Recent finishes: T9-T8): Casey has looked impressive in this recent stretch. He’s now finished top 25 in three of four PGA TOUR starts in 2022 and gained +7.1 strokes on Approach at THE PLAYERS, on his way to a T3 finish.

5. Shane Lowry ($8,400, Recent finishes: T9-T8): Lowry has played solid golf of late, as well. He has finished top 15 in each of his last three PGA TOUR starts and has been showcasing a superb all-around game.


DRAFTKINGS DFS STRATEGY

Match-Play Format: Don’t over draft player from the same pod or brackets

The strategy this week in DFS obviously differs from a normal stroke-play event in that we are really trying to target players who have a good shot at winning matches and advancing. Therefore, we care more about draws and matchups than things like birdie-rates. For strategy purposes, it’s good to know where our players are in the bracket so we don’t have them running into each other too early — ultimately, we’d like a shot at getting all four players in the final four.

I’ve also outlined my picks from each of the four brackets below. Last year, we had just one top-10 player reach the quarterfinals, so don’t be afraid to leave a bunch of money on the table when making lineups — upsets happen a lot this week. The full bracket can be found here.


Bracket Four (Pod #14): Russell Henley ($7,900)

There’s a ton to like about Henley this week, and we’ll start by identifying that he might be in the weakest bracket of the event. Joaquin Niemann is a great young player, but has a 1-1-2 career singles record and is a pretty big unknown in that regard. Maverick McNealy and Kevin Na could both get red hot with the putter and steal the group, but there’s little doubt Henley’s blend of form and experience at this event makes him the favorite in this pod (for me at least).

He has played this event three times since it turned to the round-robin format, and while he’s never won his pod, he’s also never lost a match by more than a hole. Henley has also been all over leaderboards this year, grabbing a heartbreaking playoff loss at the Sony and 13th place finishes in his last two events — including THE PLAYERS, where he gained an astounding +11.5 strokes on Approach for the week. He’s the type of mid-range player we’ve seen succeed at this venue the last couple of years and looks like a solid target at +3500 on DraftKings Sportsbook in the outright department and +750 for a top-four finish.


Bracket One (Pod #8): Max Homa ($7,700)

The rise of Max Homa over the past couple of years has been fun to watch. He’s gone from Korn Ferry Tour grinder to full fledged top-40 player and enters this week off the back of some exceedingly solid play. Homa has gained over +2.0 strokes on Approach in each of his last three starts on the PGA TOUR and hasn’t finished worse than T17 in his last four starts either. He’ll have to contend with a top player in Dustin Johnson but is clearly in some of the best form of his career right now and capable of pulling off the win this week. Don’t be shocked if he goes on run at an event where he won two of three matches last year — including a win over Collin Morikawa.

Bracket Two (Pod #10): Alex Noren ($7,800)

Noren is more of a pure form play, as he has looked terrific over the last month or so. He’s now made six cuts in a row on the PGA TOUR and has finished T12 or better in three of his last four starts. Noren is a terrific putter, so if that club starts working this week, he’ll have the opportunity to go far. His iron play has really carried him of late, though, and that should give him an advantage in what will be a very tough bracket. While he’ll be going against some match-play specialists in Louis Oosthuizen and Paul Casey this week, Noren has played this venue well and nearly made the semifinals in 2018. Look to him as a minor upset pod-winner for DFS.

Bracket Three (Pod #13): Si Woo Kim ($7,100)

Kim withdrew from THE PLAYERS a couple of weeks ago, but I wouldn’t let that result fool you. Many top players struggled at that event due to the wind and luck of the draw, and Kim was likely smart to grab himself some extra rest. He’s always been a great Pete Dye player and has showcased solid form in 2022. Six PGA TOUR starts have resulted in four finishes of T26 or better, and he’d gained over +3.0 strokes ball-striking at both the Arnold Palmer and The Genesis. He’s in a tough bracket, but it’s with players he should feel are beatable — just based off his own career accomplishments. I’d look to him as a potential upset semifinalist if he survives the group stage. Few players have better upside than him on short Dye setups, if the confidence is rolling.

Set your DraftKings fantasy golf lineups here: $750K Pitch + Putt [$200K to 1st]


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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is wavegoodbye) 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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