The PGA playoffs are here, and this will be the last full-field tournament of the season. It will also be the final event with a cut as 121 players will tee it up with a few notables missing due to injury (Daniel Berger, Hideki Matsuyama, and Lanto Griffin) and Tommy Fleetwood electing not to play. We will see more narrow ownership this week in some spots due to the smaller field, and there will also likely be a higher percentage of 6/6 through the cut for DFS.
These next few weeks will really highlight the importance of getting a bit different from an ownership perspective, but this week will be a bit more regular with the cut. DraftKings has bumped up the prize of the main Pitch + Putt this week, with $300,000 going to first place out of the $1.2M prize pool. We will target this contest for the picks below as we look to take down this huge GPP prize.
The cliff notes version is that you can use SimLeverage to quickly find leverage plays in tournaments, while Perfect% is great for finding the best price-considered plays for cash games.
Now, let’s get into the plays for the week.
Cameron Smith $10,500
The ownership leverage play of the week will come with the recent Open Champion. People appear to be creating narratives of him not being focused, with rumors of his defection to LIV being very prominent this week. I get it, but this guy was a poor drive and decision on the 72nd hole last year from being in the playoff in Memphis. He has been one of the best players on TOUR all year long, and this is a course that suits his game perfectly. If I can grab him at around 10% ownership due to the outside narratives, I’ll jump at it to get over the field in large field tournaments.
Will Zalatoris $9,500
I am willing to eat the chalk on Zalatoris this week as he sets up too well to ignore for TPC Southwind, especially at this price. I won’t go crazy with a lock or anything of that nature as the field is too strong to take that big of a stand, but I will be over the 20% projected ownership. He is an elite iron player that often contends at courses where he can get away with being a little wild off the tee, and while this course is tight, it is also short and can take the driver out of players’ hands in many cases. He’ll be able to navigate the course, and if he can put himself in position for birdie putts, he can make enough to potentially win this event.
Collin Morikawa $8,700
It’ll be interesting to see how the Wednesday withdrawal of Matsuyama affects ownership in this range. Several players will likely receive a bump, including Morikawa. That said, I don’t expect his to be as drastic, given that he was slightly more expensive than Matsuyama.
If he does check in at his current projection of 11%, I absolutely love it as this place is all about irons and finding a hot putter. The former is what Morikawa is known for, and his putter has shown the ability to peak in his victories. We have yet to see one of those wins for Morikawa this year, which is why we have a low price point for him this week. I am certainly on board at this price, especially in large fields as a pivot off the chalkier Sam Burns.
Shane Lowry $8,300
Speaking of Burns, I am not going away from him completely, but instead of highlighting the most obvious play of the slate, I’ll drop down to Lowry. He rates as the top player of this range in the Bailey Model, and it’s not particularly close. His iron play has shown to be elite over an extended period this season, and while it’s not an essential factor on this course, his around-the-green game should keep him in the mix. I like Shane as a pivot off Burns and Sungjae Im.
Russell Henley $7,800
I believe I am getting different enough at the top and further down the board to be able to eat more of the chalk, this time with Henley. He has been fantastic tee-to-green the last two weeks, gaining thirteen shots on approach during those events. If he carries that into this week at St. Jude, he will be right there not only as a strong DFS play but with a chance to contend for a top finish on the weekend. I don’t mind the chalk on him here as the course fit is just right for him, and he showed it a T7 at TPC Southwind back in 2016.
Cam Davis $7,200
I’m always a sucker for Davis, but especially with the roll he is on right now. He has gained at least 3.9 shots on approach in each of his last three tournaments, finishing inside the top 16 in each of those events. If he carries that with him this week to the St. Jude, he could be in store for another strong finish, and we know his scoring ability will provide value in DFS.
The other key component for him is that over these past few months, he has been one of the best players in this field in bogey avoidance, which is a step in the right direction from the volatile play he has shown in the past. I’m in on the Australian as I think he has a ton of value and upside at this price.
Marc Leishman $6,900
I don’t want to get into this range very often this week. I think we can view it like a major where a balanced build and staying out of the bottom will be a good plan, but if I do dip down, I’ll take the talent and course history of a guy like Leishman. He hasn’t been great this year — and also has the cloud of LIV looming over him — but his volatility and lack of ownership allow me to take an established player with upside and not need much to double or triple the field. Leishman has made the cut each year he’s played this event with two top 15s and one top 3. If we catch the right guy this week, he can be a great play at a cheap price in big GPPs.
Adam Svensson $6,700
Iron play is king at TPC Southwind, and the one thing that Svensson does at an elite level when he has his game is strike it well on approach. I’ll go here in a week that it seems everyone else has finally gotten off, and in large field tournaments, he has the upside to be a part of a GPP-winning lineup.