We hope you fully enjoyed your offseason, golf fans: With the PGA Tour season returning this week, there will be a tour event from now through the Olympics and its golf competition at the end of July. Cue up the little girl from "Poltergeist": They're baaaaaackkk for good.
Knowing that daily-fantasy sports has exploded in golf—DraftKings tells us that golf is now its third-most popular sport—we will deliver focused DFS plays, in addition to our weekly betting analysis column, throughout the year, courtesy of Golf Digest's panel of experts. That means DraftKings expert Pat Mayo, FanDuel expert Brandon Gdula and FanShare Sports' Lee Alldrick, in addition to a rotating cast of others, along with Golf Digest editors, will be offering their favorite lineup starters and best value plays for every tournament.
Here's who our panel likes for this week:
2020 Sentry Tournament of Champions, Under the Radar Picks of the Week
Pat Mayo: Patrick Reed ($9,000, DraftKings): Reed is cheap, finished inside the top five at the Hero World Challenge, and he previously won this event—yet no one wants to roster him. Fine. Give him to me. One of the easiest ways to leverage ownership on DraftKings is targeting the players everyone else hates. Seems simple, but people pick with emotions. There’s no reason to fade Reed this week, unless you hate money, especially at a track where his off-the-tee issues can be masked by the wider fairways.
Lee Alldrick: Ryan Palmer ($7,200, DraftKings): As of yet Palmer has not received a single FanShare Expert Tag, which means that nobody in the industry is talking about him. Which is strange, because Palmer ranks fourth in our course-suitability metric and ranks second in the field for opportunities gained over the past three months. This should be the week that he converts those chances into birdies as he putts particularly well on these slow, Bermuda greens. Palmer ranks ninth in the field in strokes-gained/putting on these style greens.
2020 Sentry Tournament of Champions, Value Plays of the Week
Mayo: J.T. Poston ($7,400, DraftKings): The Wyndham winner sees the course for the first time, so don’t expect too much, but is a relatively solid play at his price. He’s great with a wedge (quite important), and one of the better putters in the field. Tends to roll it better on Bermuda too.
Brandon Gdula: Lanto Griffin ($7,000, FanDuel): Griffin is priced at the bare minimum on FanDuel this week but ranks 21st among the 34 golfers in my stats model, which looks at key stats for this week’s event. Griffin is decent in the distance department (14th over the past 50 rounds) and can convert enough on par 5s to rack up fantasy points. Griffin also helps us get to Rahm, Thomas, and even Patrick Cantlay ($11,000) this week.
Alldrick: Sebastian Munoz ($7,100, DraftKings) — Munoz enters this event ranked third for strokes gained/tee-to-green over the past three months and ninth for Opportunities Gained over the same period. He is also a very good putter on these Bermuda greens, as he ranks eighth in this field for strokes gained/putting. A third last time out, and just six events from his first PGA Tour win, suggests that $7,100 might be low.
2020 Sentry Tournament of Champions, Recommended Lineup Builds
Mayo: Here's who I'm building my lineups around this week: Justin Thomas ($11,200); Patrick Reed ($9,000); J.T. Poston ($7,400); Keith Mitchell ($7,000).
Gdula: We should consider spending up for both Jon Rahm ($11,900) and Justin Thomas ($11,700) in order to maximize win equity this week. That’ll require savings at some other roster positions, but we have Corey Conners ($8,900), Sebastian Munoz ($8,300), and Lanto Griffin ($7,000) to help get there. A balanced build is preferred if you think that Rahm and Thomas are overrated relative to the field.
GD Editors: Here's a balanced build that we like on DraftKings, building off Justin Thomas, our consensus expert pick to win this week:
Justin Thomas ($11,200) Patrick Reed ($9,000) Cameron Champ ($8,200) Ryan Palmer ($7,200) Sebastian Munoz ($7,100) Adam Long ($6,900)
And here's a FanDuel lineup we like, again taking a balanced approach but still having win equity with the top three here in JT, Reed and Gary Woodland:
Justin Thomas ($11,700) Patrick Reed ($10,800) Gary Woodland ($10,400) Brendon Todd ($9,300) Corey Conners ($8,900) J.T. Poston ($8,400)
Alldrick: Here's my favorite DraftKings build for this week:
Jon Rahm – $11,400 Gary Woodland - $9,300 Chez Reavie - $7,600 Ryan Palmer - $7,200 Sebastian Munoz - $7,100 Adam Long - $6,900
And for FanDuel:
Jon Rahm - $11,900 Justin Thomas - $11,700 Patrick Reed - $10,800 Chez Reavie - $8,800 Sebastian Munoz - $8,300 Ryan Palmer - $8,100