This week, the TOUR heads to Las Vegas, with TPC Summerlin hosting the Shriners Hospital For Children Open. The course is a par-71 layout, measuring at 7,250 yards with Bentgrass greens. The average winning score usually settles around the 20-under-par range. Last year’s event saw Kevin Na outlast Patrick Cantlay in playoff at 23 under par.
The purpose of this article is to highlight the best cash game/single-entry plays on the DraftKings main slate; however, these players are great options in any contest type. Also check out Chris Murphy’s Course Preview and DFS Breakdown, where he highlights his eight favorite DFS picks based on course-fit at TPC Summerlin.
Note: My forthcoming analysis will frequently reference Strokes Gained, a set of proprietary metrics generated by the PGA TOUR using millions of data points to calculate how many shots on average it takes a player to get the ball in the hole from every distance and situation. There are a variety of Strokes Gained-related metrics, but the six main categories that you need to know include:
- Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee (SG: Off-the-Tee)
- Strokes Gained: Approach (SG: Approach)
- Strokes Gained: Around-the-Green (SG: Around-the-Green)
- Strokes Gained: Putting (SG: Putting)
- Strokes Gained: Ball-Striking (SG: Ball-Striking), which is SG: Off-the-Tee + SG: Approach
- Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green (SG: Tee-to-Green), which is SG: Ball-Striking + SG: Around-the-Green
For more information on Strokes Gained data and how to use it, check out this article from Bryan Mears on The Action Network, which unpacks each of the above metrics in detail. I also recommend Chris Murphy’s Strokes Gained column each week, which highlights golfers to buy and fade following each round of play at that week’s PGA TOUR event, and Matthew Vincenzi’s weekly “Stats That Matter” column, which highlights which Strokes Gained sub-metrics matter the most for a given course.
Generally, my strategy for cash games/single-entry GPP contests is to load up in the mid-range priced golfers on DraftKings and go from there. However, this week is bit different, as nothing is standing out as far as elite values go in the $8,000 range. With that said, you will notice a few more higher priced players highlighted than usual.
Patrick Cantlay ($10,400 DraftKings; $11,700 FanDuel)
Cantlay has not been his usual elite self since the TOUR came back from break. His only Top 10 in his last eight starts came at the Workday Charity Open back in July. However, his history at this tournament is by far the best in the field.
Cantlay has teed it up here three times, winning once and finishing second the other two occasions. There is not one single aspect of his game to point to that’s been giving him trouble, but he does sit in the middle of the pack in most of Strokes Gained categories. We’re hoping he found something at the U.S Open where, he closed with a final-round 73, gaining almost two-and-a-half strokes tee to green and 2.02 strokes on approach.
Cantlay is appropriately priced this week and doesn’t provide massive value, but there is just something about this course that catches his eye and you can certainly do a lot worse by starting your cash-game lineups with the 13th-ranked player in the world. Another Top-10 finish is very much on the table.
Hideki Matsuyama ($9,900 DraftKings; $11,300 FanDuel)
Matsuyama is not someone we like to target when his price is this high, but he has been playing great lately, and as previously stated, there is not a whole lot to love in the mid-range this week. In two career starts at TPC Summerlin, he’s posted T16 and T10 finishes.
Across his last eight rounds, Matsuyama ranks fifth in this field in SG: Tee-to-Green; third in SG: Approach; and, fifth in overall ball striking. As usual, it’s his mediocre putting which holds him back from truly contending. However, he is a notoriously better putter on Bentgrass than any other surface.
The Japan native is one of the best cut-makers you will find on TOUR and you can either pair him with Cantlay or simply start your cash team with him, then work your way down.
Matthew Wolff ($8,800 DraftKings; $11,100 FanDuel)
The 21-year old budding superstar has already established himself as one of the purest ball strikers on TOUR and is quickly becoming something of a big game hunter, as his affinity for showing out at major championships is becoming ridiculous at his age.
Wolff posted back-to-back Top-5 finishes at the U.S Open and PGA Championship, respectively. Obviously, the Shriners does not compare to a major, but his recent rolling stats have been too elite to ignore and the price this week is good enough to warrant cash game consideration.
He sits first overall in this field across his last 16 rounds in SG: Tee-to-Green and is second in overall ball striking in that time frame. In his lone start last year at this event, Wolff posted a T16, and that’s something he should build on as he looks primed for his second career tour win.
Doc Redman ($7,900 DraftKings; $9,400 FanDuel)
Redman is one of the more underpriced players in this field at just $7,900 on DraftKings. He’s been one of the best ball strikers on TOUR since the restart, sitting second in this field in SG: Approach and fifth in overall ball striking across his last 36 rounds dating back to late June. He made the cut last year here, but finished a modest 42nd. Being that he’s a completely different player now, we should expect a Top-25 finish this week, making him a strong play at his price.
Harold Varner III ($7,500 DraftKings; $9,000 FanDuel)
Much like Redman, it’s been a resurgence this season for Varner. He’s become way more consistent, making the cut in 15 of his 23 starts, including five of his past eight since the restart. He also sits a very impressive eighth in this field in SG: Tee-to-Green over his last 24 rounds. Varner is always a solid play when he sits in the mid $7k range on DraftKings and this week is no different. We should feel good about him making the weekend, considering he’s done so in four of his five trips to TPC Summerlin.
Kristoffer Ventura ($7,100 DraftKings; $8,800 FanDuel)
Ventura is another young buck who’s quickly establishing himself as a star on tour. Posting two Top 10s in his past three starts, the Norwegian has been rolling with his ball striking recently. He’s done an exceptional job of hitting fairways, as he ranks third in this field in SG: Off-the-Tee over his last 12 rounds. Ventura is also a prolific birdie maker, posting 20 or more birds in three of his previous four tournaments. As mentioned above, this event requires you to score quite often if you want to contend. At $7,100 on DraftKings, Ventura makes for one of the best values on the board and boasts massive upside.
Adam Schenk ($6,900 DraftKings; $8,100 FanDuel)
Featured in this section last week, Schenk did nothing to warrant us not going right back to him again. He’s made each of his last nine cuts and has two Top 20s in his last three years here. You can do a whole lot worse than Schenk at this price if you want to jam in multiple expensive players at the top.
Collin Morikawa ($9,800 DraftKings; $11,600 FanDuel)
Morikawa can easily be considered a core play, but I slightly prefer the three guys mentioned above him in the $9k range on DraftKings. I certainly won’t talk you off him if you want to run him over Matsuyama or Wolff. Morikawa’s ball striking has been very strong recently and he’s been pretty good coming off missed cuts in his young career. The phenom makes for an elite GPP play.