Golf Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
Daily Fantasy PGA Picks and Betting Guide for DraftKings & FanDuel – Charles Schwab Challenge
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Welcome back golf fans. It was another incredible major championship capped off with Phil Mickelson picking up his 2nd PGA Championship, 6th major, and became the oldest player ever to win a major. To say it was a surprise victory would be an understatement going into the week as Lefty hasn't won on the PGA Tour since 2013 and hadn't tallied a Top 10 since the St. Jude Invitational last August.
It won't be long before we see Phil again as he is in the field for this week's Charles Schwab Challenge which hosts a strong field led by three Top 10 players in the World in Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa, and Patrick Reed. The event name has changed many a time over the years(Fort Worth Inv, Dean & Deluca Inv, Crowne Plaza Inv) but the course has remained the same as Colonial Country Club has hosted the event going back to the first edition in 1970. Let's take a look at the scorecard, course notes, previous winners, and then look at some ket stats in my model.
Colonial Country Club
Par 70 - 7,209 Yards
Greens - Bentgrass
**Click the image above to see a hole by hole breakdown from PGATour.com**
Previous Five Winners
- 2020 - Daniel Berger(-15)
- 2019 - Kevin Na(-13)
- 2018 - Justin Rose(-20)
- 2017 - Kevin Kisner(-10)
- 2016 - Chris Kirk(-12)
Top Stats in the Model
When breaking down the top stats I use a combination of my own cheatsheet and the tools over at FantasyNational.com.
Strokes Gained: Ball Striking
Ball striking is always going to be a top stat for me but I want to do in this section moving forward is really dig into what I am targeting in terms of narrowing down the Off the Tee and Approach stats.
Let's start with SG: Off the Tee where I am looking at more at accuracy than distance with a course that is only slightly over 7,200 yards. On top of that, there are a lot of tee shots that force players to a certain area if they are to get a clear shot at the greens. This will lead to some "less than driver" but for the most part, I want guys who are hitting their second shot from the fairway. On FNGC, I will be looking at Fairways Gained both long-term and short-term.
For the most part, I am looking at overall SG: Approach trends but when breaking it down the mid-iron Proximity Distances stand out(125-150 and 150-175 yards) as both ranges have seen over 20% of total approach sheets. Also, with lower driving accuracy #'s this week, I think it is also important to look at Rough Proximity especially for the less accurate players.
Par 4 Scoring
With the Par 70 setup, there are 12 Par 4's and on average they produce about 60-65% of all bridies looking at historic numbers. These holes are what will make or break a golfer over the course of four days. I want players who are trending in this area coming into the week.
Strokes Gained: Around the Green
With some of the smallest greens on Tour, we are going to see some missed greens and those who can scramble will have a much better shot at making the cut and having a shot to make a move on the weekend.
With all that said, let's get into the picks.
Top Tier Targets
He is coming off a disappointing T30 at the PGA Championship but the good news is that he was just outside the Top 10 Tee to Green and if not for losing over two strokes with the putter(weird, right?), he most definitely would have been Top 10. Spieth has also been on fire in 2021 making nine straight cuts with a win(Valero Texas Open) and six Top 10 finishes. I know he is pricey but he also hits on course history making the cut in all eight trips with a win in 2016, two other runner-up finishes, and six Top 10's. I hope the price and T30 last week keep the ownership in check here(18-22%) as I will be overweight on both sites.
I am sticking near the top here for my second pick as it is not often I see two players ranked Top 5 in every metric in my overall model. Morikawa joins Spieth in that department after his runner-up finish here a year ago losing to Daniel Berger in a playoff. He also comes in with terrific form finishing T8 last week at the PGA and hasn't missed a cut in 11 straight going back to October and in that time has a win(WGC Mexico) and five Top 10 finishes. In this field, he ranks #1 in ball striking, Top 3 in all Proximity ranges in my model, 6th in par 4 scoring, and 3rd in birdie or better %. All things considered, Morikawa is my favorite play of the week.
Mid Tier Targets
Hoffman is not only playing some of the best golf of his career but is also one of the hottest players in the field. He has not only made cuts in nine straight and 13 of his last 14 events, he has Top 25 finishes in four straight and five of his last six events including a runner-up at the Valero Texas Open. Like the two I wrote-up above, Hoffman has been incredible in Texas ranked Top 5 in SG: Total in this field going back to the start of the 2018 season. Not only does he combine form, history, and stats, he also comes at a value considering he was over $10K at the Valero. I will have exposure in all formats.
He has missed two straight cuts but I am 100% back on the Kirk train this week. It starts with his course history as he has made the cut here in all nine career trips including a win in 2015 and he ranks 8th in this field in SG: Total here at Colonial CC. It's hard to discount the form before those missed cuts as he already has seven Top 25 and four Top 10 finishes in 2021 alone led by some excellent ball-striking(22nd in this field last 24 rounds). All things considered, I feel he is underpriced this week and a great buy-low in all formats. I will also be looking for Top 10 and Top 20 odds when they are released on Tuesday/Wednesday.
World Golf Ranking (#72)
Vegas Odds (125/1)
My top value play under $7,500 on DraftKings this week is Talor Gooch who has been very consistent(for the price) lately. He has made three straight and seven of his last eight cuts to give him a high floor and has had spurts of great play in every Strokes Gained and when he puts it all together in any given event he has Sunday leaderboard upside. He showed this at the PLAYERS and at the Genesis earlier in the year. It also helps he returns to Colonial with some course history and after missing the cut in his first trip in 2018 has gone T29, T43 which is a nice floor at these prices. All things considered, he is in my player pool in all formats.
World Golf Ranking (#352)
Vegas Odds (750/1)
After jumping into the $7K range(barely) on DraftKings at the Byron Nelson and finishing T26, it is a bit surprising to see his price plummet back to the low $6K range. This take also isn't based on a small sample as Whaley has made eight straight cuts coming into the week including seven straight finishes of T36 or better. What more can you ask for from an almost min-price play? Lock and load.
- Singapore SMBC Open Golf: (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)