The PGA DFS Breakdown offers data-driven analysis for each week’s slate, using the FantasyLabs Tools and metrics to highlight notable golfers.
The TOUR heads back stateside this week to Minnesota, as TPC Twin Cities hosts the 3M Open. The course is a par 71, measuring 7,468 yards with bentgrass greens.
I’ll be highlighting the best cash game/single-entry plays on the DraftKings main slate, but these players are often great options in any contest.
My 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.
Strokes Gained is now available in the FantasyLabs PGA Models.
There are a variety of Strokes Gained-related metrics, but the six main categories 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
If you missed it, we added two new metrics in our models — Perfect% and SimLeverage. You can find an explainer on those metrics here.
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.
The following players listed are based on DraftKings scoring and pricing.
PGA DFS Core Picks
Tony Finau ($10,500 DraftKings)
I don’t necessarily love paying this much for Finau one week after flying home from Scotland, but he is absolutely the class of this field, and with some decent value options at our disposal, it’s simply hard not to include him in the pool. Finau enjoys traveling to Minnesota for whatever reason, as this will now be the fourth time he’s teed it up at this event. His history has also been quite good here, posting a T3 sandwiched between a pair of top-28 finishes.
Finau closed his Open Championship with a six-under 66 to finish T28 and has been playing solid golf pretty much all season. We are not accustomed to paying this type of premium for him, but he should play quite well again this week. I think he’s much safer than Hideki Matsuyama or Sungjae Im in the same range.
Maverick McNealy ($9,300 DraftKings)
Scoring will be the name of the game this week at TPC Twin Cities, and I would bet a large sum of money that the average golf fan is unaware McNealy is 12th on the PGA TOUR in birdie or better percentage this season. McNealy has also been a cut-making machine, making 18-of-21 this season. He hit a small bump in the road at the Charles Schwab and Travelers but has since rebounded quite nicely, going T8, T16, and T9 at the John Deere, Scottish Open, and Barracuda.
In his lone start at this event last season, McNealy finished T16, and with the way he’s been playing of late, I like him to post a repeat performance at the minimum this week. Long term, he rates out as one of the best players in this field, ranking ninth in Total Strokes Gained across his past 48 rounds. I don’t mind starting cash game rosters with him whatsoever.
Cameron Davis ($8,900 DraftKings)
Davis’ game theoretically should be made for TPC Twin Cities, as he is both a bomber and a scoring machine, ranking inside the top 50 in both driving distance and birdie or better percentage this season. He’s been locked in of late, coming off a solo sixth place finish last week at the Barracuda and a T8 the week before that at the John Deere. The Aussie also posted a T7 at Colonial in late May and is on a run of six straight made cuts.
This will be Davis’ fourth time playing the 3M, having gone T12 and T28 each of the past two years after missing the cut in his inaugural start. He also ranks sixth in this field in SG: Ball-Striking and seventh in Total Strokes Gained over his past 24 rounds. His upside is immense in this spot, and he’ll likely make my primary team this week.
Cameron Tringale ($8,800 DraftKings)
Tringale has been hit or miss this season, but he does have four top-10’s on the year, including a T6 two weeks back at the Scottish Open. Tringale has also taken a liking to this course, finishing T42, T3, and T16 in each of the past three years.
He ranks 13th in Total Strokes Gained across his past 24 rounds in this field, and you can make an argument he’s a few hundred dollars off where he should be priced. I see no reason to overthink this spot or overlook Tringale’s history here, and he’s a rock-solid option in all formats.
Brendan Steele ($8,300 DraftKings)
Steele has been on a strong run dating back to the Arnold Palmer, making seven straight cuts with five top-26 finishes and a pair of T10s. In that time frame, Steele has been the best ball-striker in this field, ranking No. 1 in both SG: Ball-Striking and SG: Off-the-Tee. If you take a more myopic view, he also ranks No. 1 on approach over his past 12 rounds. Any way you slice it, he’s absolutely mashing the ball.
Steele has only played this event one time, finishing T53 back in 2019. Being that he didn’t play either the Scottish or Open Championship, he should be well rested and ready to rock this week. He is underpriced for the way he’s been playing of late and should be somewhat chalky in high-stakes contests.
PGA DFS Value Picks
Adam Svensson ($7,600 DraftKings)
Before I get to Svensson, I want to shout out Chris Gotterup ($7,900 DraftKings) in this spot, who I am not writing up as a cash game play but is a strong tournament option. I do not trust his egregious putting enough to play him on a cash game roster, but I have no qualms if you decide to go that route.
Svensson may be the biggest value in the field this week. The Canadian has been locked in with every facet of his game of late, ranking fourth in this field in both SG: Approach and SG: Putting while sitting sixth in Total Strokes Gained. Last week’s solo sixth place finish at the Barracuda marked his fourth consecutive T25, yet DraftKings priced him under $8,000.
In his lone start here back in 2019, when he wasn’t even a PGA TOUR regular, he finished T15. Add in three years of seasoning and the fact his game is clicking on all cylinders right now, and he’s absolutely on the shortlist to win his first career event this week. Do not make a cash game roster without him.
Joohyung Kim ($7,300 DraftKings)
Kim has come out of nowhere of late to dazzle the DFS community. He spends most of his time on the Asian Tour but very quietly is the 40th ranked player in the world. DraftKings clearly had no idea what to do with him, as they priced him at $7,300 this week. That puts him alongside World No. 316 Chesson Hadley and World No. 233 Michael Thompson. Pretty good.
Kim has played four standard-cut PGA TOUR events this season and made the weekend in three of them. His lone miss came at the PGA Championship, so I think we can give him a pass. He finished solo third at the Scottish Open two weeks ago and followed that up with a very respectable T47 last week at the Open Championship. This field is like a Korn Ferry event compared to the previous two weeks, and Kim is probably the most mispriced player in the field.
Michael Gligic ($7,000 DraftKings)
Who? I am sure most of you reading this are wondering that very question. Thankfully, I’m here to help.
Gligic is our friend from up north in Canada, but more importantly, is someone that ranks 12th in this field in Total Strokes Gained over his past 24 rounds. He’s also someone who has played TPC Twin Cities twice now, making the cut both times while finishing T49 and T26. One more feather in his cap is that he ranks 12th in this field in terms of Strokes Gained Putting on bentgrass compared to other surfaces.
My man checks a lot of boxes for someone who costs just $7,000. Feel free to round out your cash game rosters with Mr. Gligic.