The Players Championship is simply one of the best events every year. Not only is the tournament in my backyard (I live in Jacksonville Beach, Florida) but the field is one of the best we get on Tour year in and year out. Every golfer in the current top-20 World Rankings are at TPC Sawgrass vying for the richest purse of money in golf.
Because the field is completely loaded with fantastic golfers, pricing naturally looks soft due to the field strength. For example, J.B. Holmes was the eighth-highest priced golfer at the Wells Fargo Championship last week and is $7,400 on DraftKings for The Players.
Because we have such a diverse field, the Recent Form Report will focus on finding value this week. We’ll touch on three pricing tiers to wade through the 44 players priced between $8,000 and $6,500 on DraftKings.
Chris Kirk Headlines the Upper-$7,000 Range
Admittedly, rostering a guy named Chris Kirk probably won’t elicit feelings of excitement. However, his recent form — and course fit — might change your tune.
Kirk has four top-25 finishes in his last five events on Tour, including three finishes of T13 or better. He missed the cut at the Masters, but has just one round over par in his last 11 rounds played in the three events since Augusta.
Captain Kirk also has the elusive trifecta on his Recent Form sheet: he has played Par 3, 4, and 5 holes under par in recent events:
On a course that rewards precision, Chris Kirk’s 11th-best Recent Driving Accuracy (69.8%) mark and rock-solid recent form all align for TPC Sawgrass.
Rafael Cabrera-Bello’s Superb Recent Form
Onto a golfer whose name is a little more exciting, Cabrera-Bello is probably the most mispriced player in The Players field. He has three T17-or-better finishes (including one top-five) in his last three events and owns the seventh-lowest Recent Adjusted Round score (67.9) in the entire field.
Golfer value is directly related to the strength of the field they are in and, again, The Players has one of the strongest fields every year on Tour. Still, getting a golfer who is in genuinely stellar form and who is a great course fit all the way down at $7,100 is borderline thievery.
Cabrera-Bello fits the bill perfectly. He has the field’s third-best GIR percentage (73.7%), which is just behind ball-striker Henrik Stenson (74.1%) and 58-year-old Bernhard Langer (75.7%). His Recent GIR percentage (63.9%) is down a bit, but this is due in part to the tough Masters test in April. In the two tournaments before Augusta, Cabrera-Bello hit 70.9% of Greens in Regulation on average.
The Sub-$7,000 Birdie Maker: Emilliano Grillo
Last week I was all over Grillo as a leverage play off the expected high ownership of Bryson DeChambeau and Webb Simpson. He ended up making it to the weekend — which is more than DeChambeau and Simpson can say — but he did not have the Driving Distance to compete at the lengthy Quail Hollow.
This week is different.
Grillo, like Cabrera-Bello, is an ideal course fit for his first trip to TPC Sawgrass. He’s not long off of the tee (274 yards recently), but Grillo hasn’t missed a cut on Tour since late January and he hits a ton of Greens in Regulation (71.2%) as well.
Grillo has rolled in an outstanding 15.5 birdies per tournament in his last two contests, good enough for the seventh-best rate in The Players field. He’s also taken a ton of bogeys, but still makes for a strong DraftKings play due to their birdie-heavy scoring.
Good luck to everyone this week! If you squint closely at your TV on Sunday, you might just catch me watching guys shank it into the water on No. 17.