Golf Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
Daily Fantasy PGA Picks and Betting Guide for DraftKings & FanDuel – the Memorial
Chris will be bringing you weekly PGA picks, analysis, and breakdowns to help you cash on DraftKings and FanDuel. As every week in DFS PGA changes with the course setup, field of players and weather, Chris will be providing a range of different picks for cash games as well as upside plays for tournaments. If you have any questions to lineup lock you can reach him a variety of ways. Leave your question/comment below in the comments section, find him in the DFSR Chat room or hit him up on Twitter(@Jager_Bombs9). Chris is also providing his DFS PGA Weekly cheatsheet where he provides stats, course history, current form, fantasy points, and much more. Grab your copy today and edge out the competition.
We are right in the middle of a busy stretch of golf and this week the PGA Tour will stop in at Jack's Place(Muirfield Village) for the Memorial Tournament. This is in an invitation-only event with a smaller 120-player field and a cut of Top 70 & ties after round two. With one of the biggest purses outside of the Majors, the Memorial annually draws one a very strong field. This year is no different as seven of the Top 10(Rose, McIlroy, Woods, JT, Bryson, Xander, Fowler) and 32 of the World's Top 50 golfers will be teeing it up.
The course is a Par 72 that falls just shy of 7,400 yards and has bunkers(73), water(13 hazards) and tree-lined fairways for defense. While the fairways are wider than average and generate an average driving accuracy around 70% golfers should not get too comfortable with the driver as the rough is very penal here. There is a ton of emphasis on hitting those fairways so I will be looking at the Fairways Gained trend using the FNGC tools. After hitting the fairway comes the most important stat this week, the approach shot. This is where players have separated themselves from the field looking back at previous leaderboards and stats rankings. If you want to break it down further, it is best to concentrate on the approach shots from 150-175 and 175-200 yards(see chart below).
Muirfield Village Golf Club - Dublin, OH
Par 72 - 7,392 Yards
Greens - Bentgrass
**Click the image above to see a hole by hole breakdown from PGATour.com**
Approach Shot Distribution
Previous Five Winners
- 2018 - Bryson DeChambeau(-15)
- 2017 - Jason Dufner(-13)
- 2016 - William McGirt(-15)
- 2015 - David Lingmerth(-15)
- 2014 - Hideki Matsuyama(-13)
Top Stats in the Model
- Fairways Gained
- Strokes Gained: Approach
- Proximity from 150-175 & 175-200 Yards
- Par 4 Scoring
Top Tier Targets
Looking at the cheatsheet, there are two players who stood out almost immediately. Let's start with Rory who is easily #1 in my model this week as he ranks 1st or 2nd in all four categories. It starts with course history as he has played here three times in the last five years finishing T15 in 2014, T4 in 2016, and T8 last. In all, he has made six cuts in seven trips with four Top 10 finishes. He also comes in with tremendous form having made all 10 cuts on the PGA Tour this season with a win at the PLAYERS, eight Top 10's and has finished Top 25 in all but one event. Statistically, he ranks 1st in SG: Ball Striking, is Top 20 in all Proximity stats, 14th in Par 4 Scoring, 9th in Par 5 Scoring, 6th in Birdie or Better %, and 8th in Bogey Avoidance. He is my top golfer to build around in GPP formats this week.
Sitting right behind McIlroy in the model is a completely different style player in Matt Kuchar. One thing they do have in common is course history here at Muirfield Village and Kuchar leads everyone in that department this week. He has played here 13 times in his career and since missing the cut way back in 2003 he has reeled off 11 straight finishes of T26 or better with a win in 2013 and seven Top 10 finishes. The other thing he and Rory have in common this week is amazing form as Kuch has also made every cut this season(13 of 13) with two wins(Mayakoba Classic, Sony Open), seven Top 10's, and nine Top 25 finishes(stroke-play). At these prices, Kuchar is my top player to build around in cash games and is also in play in GPP formats.
Mid Tier Targets
When looking at the Top 35 players in salary on both sites there is one of these things that is not like the other. Sabbatini is the only player outside the Top 100 World Rankings and while that should maybe set off alarms, I am going to bite once again. He is playing some of the best golf he has played in years having made nine straight cuts(stroke-play events) including back to back Top 10 finishes at the AT&T Byron Nelson and Charles Schwab Challenge. To put that into perspective, he had totaled just two Top 10 finishes over his last three years combined. Those finishes are backed up by some consistent all-around golfing as he is ranked Top 30 in this field in every one of my key stats(7 total) in my FNGC Custom Model. Considering the price came down on both sites from last week, I will be targeting him in all formats.
Going balanced in cash games is where I will be going this week with all the value in the mid-range and it starts with Grillo who has seen his price drop on both sites. The upside has been limited due to his putting but he is coming off back to back Top 25 finishes at the PGA Championship and Charles Schwab Challenge and has missed just one cut in 15 stroke-play events. While the putting has let him down and hurt his Birdie or Better %, he does rank 33rd in Opportunities gained and is Top 15 in SG: Ball Striking, SG: Approach, and Fairways Gained over the last 24 rounds. He is a cash game lock for me and I will also have some shares in GPP formats.
World Golf Ranking (#129)
Vegas Odds (110/1)
Safety is not a word I will use with Streelman who has only made 11 of 18 cuts this season(61%) but there are some trends that point towards value here at the Memorial. He comes in with decent form having made four straight cuts including Top 10's at the RBC Heritage and Valero Texas Open and ranks Top 30 in SG: Ball Striking, Par 4 Scoring, and Fairways Gained over the last 24 rounds(via Fantasy National Golf Club). Combine that form with his course history in which he has made four straight cuts here(T44, T13, T8, T18) and I will be targeting Streelman in all formats this week.
World Golf Ranking (#83)
Vegas Odds (125/1)
Speaking of inconsistent players, I will be turning to Corey Conners as he looks to find top form before his National Open next week. On the season, he has made less than half his cuts but flashed upside with a win at the Valero Texas Open and runner-up at the Sanderson Farms Championship. The biggest issue for Conners is the putter(199th in SG: Putting overall) but the good news is that he is an elite ball striker(16th OTT, 11th APP) who also leads this field in Proximity and if he can make the cut ranks 18th and 8th in this field in 3rd and 4th round scoring average. An excellent value GPP play this week.
Chris Durell has been playing Daily Fantasy Sports for six years and fantasy in general for more than a decade. He is an active player in college football, NFL, MLB, NASCAR, NHL and of course PGA. He lives in Saskatchewan, Canada with his wife and two daughters. You can follow him on Twitter at @Jager_Bombs9 for advice, strategy, answers to any PGA questions and how he copes with the winters up north.