The PGA TOUR begins the Florida swing a little early this season, as The Concession Golf Club hosts the WGC Workday Championship. Normally this event is held in Mexico, but due to COVID-19 it has been relocated for one year only. The course is a Par 72 measuring at just under 7,500 yards with Bermuda grass greens. From most accounts this course could play somewhat difficult, so I’m going to go out on a limb and say the winning score settles somewhere in the 11-15 under range
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 type.
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 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. The following players listed are based on DraftKings scoring and pricing.
John Rahm ($11,100 DraftKings)
Lost in the shuffle of the Homa/Finau duel was Rahm shooting a final-round 66 to finish in a tie for fifth place at the Genesis last week. It feels like he’s close to winning again as he gained strokes on approach in all four rounds last week, and on Sunday gained 4.25 strokes Tee-to-Green, which ranked only behind Cam Smith and Scottie Scheffler. Rahm has been incredibly steady of late, ranking No. 2 in this field in SG: Tee-to-Green and No. 5 in total strokes gained, both across his past 24 rounds.
He’s as safe of a cash game play as you can find and it helps that we can save a bit of money from DJ without losing too much win equity. These WGC events are almost always won by one of the game’s elites, and I will not be deviating from that strategy this week as it’s important with no cut to lock in as much upside as possible. It’s hard to get away from Rahm in any format.
Xander Schauffele ($10,800 DraftKings)
The no-cut king remains one of the best plays on the board this week even after a disappointing 15th-place finish last week. It took him a little while to get going, but over the weekend the light went on with his irons, as he gained over three strokes on approach. Dating back to the 2019 Sentry Tournament of Champions, Schauffele’s finishes in no-cut events read: 1st, 14th, 27th 19th, 2nd, 10th, 2nd, 10th, 2nd, 14th, 6th, 25th, 1st, 2nd, 17th and 5th. As you can see, he really comes to play in big time events.
He’s been the most consistent player on TOUR since the restart in June, as he ranks No. 1 in this field in total strokes gained over his past 48 rounds. I cannot find one reason to fade him this week and with plenty of value to work with in the $6K range he’s easily stackable with Rahm, which is the strategy I will likely be employing.
Viktor Hovland ($9,400 DraftKings)
Hovland is finally priced somewhat appropriately this week after last week’s blunder by DraftKings. You can almost make the argument he’s still too cheap based on his recent form. He won at Mayakoba, finished runner-up at Farmer’s and sixth in Saudi before last week’s T-5 at Genesis. His ball-striking has been on fire of late, as he ranks seventh in this field in both SG: Off-the-tee and SG: Approach over his past eight rounds.
He’s going to win quite a few tournaments in his career, and is known to play his best on tougher courses where par is a good score. Concession is expected to play on the difficult side this week with all the water hazards in play, and I expect Hovland to be right there come Sunday. At just $9,400 on DraftKings you can make him either your second or even first golfer on your roster and feel quite good about it.
Billy Horschel ($7,000 DraftKings)
Nothing in Horschel’s game is standing out at the moment, but we are back in Florida and on bermuda where he does his best work, so I’ll will trust he can get the job done for us at just $7,000 on DraftKings. In a no-cut format, stars-and-scrubs is usually the optimal approach, and getting a proven PGA TOUR professional at this cheap of a price tag is a good deal to me.
Horschel gains just under .2 strokes per round more on Bermuda compared to other putting surfaces. His last two times out have not been great, but prior to that he had been playing some pretty good golf, finishing seventh at Sony, 24th at Sentry and fifth at Mayakoba. This is strictly a “bet on talent at the price” play this week that comes with quite a bit of upside if he can get his flat stick going.
Abraham Ancer ($6,800 DraftKings)
This is the eye-popper of the week as a player of Ancer’s caliber should not be in the $6K range under any circumstance. He missed the cut by a couple of strokes last week, but did finish fifth at the American Express a few weeks back, so it’s not like he’s out of form. A guaranteed four rounds from Ancer at this price makes him a borderline cash game lock. He will be chalky, but it just seems silly to fade him being that he lets you fit any high priced player you’d like.
It’s been his short game that’s failed him of late and not his ball-striking, which is a good sign moving forward. He actually ranks a very respectable 19th in SG: Ball-Striking across his past 12 rounds. If he can get his putter going there’s no reason we cant expect a top-25 — if not better — this week. That’s all we’re looking for at this suppressed price tag.
Lanto Griffin ($6,700 DraftKings)
Griffin seems to always show up in these no-cut events. He’s finished 13th, 11th, 7th, 17th and 10th in his past five. Those are pretty strong finishes for someone who only costs $6,700. Much like Ancer, he is far too cheap for his talent level and upside in this field. Griffin ranks 15th in this field in SG: Approach over his past 16 rounds and second in SG: Putting in the same time frame. He will likely be popular this week, but we’re just looking to find the best values and he certainly fits that mold.
Bryson DeChambeau ($9,900 DraftKings)
DeChambeau disappointed many people with his performance last week, but DFS is a game where we need short memories, so I’ll be going right back to the well this week. As you likely will hear plenty this week, DeChambeau won the NCAA Championship at Concession back in 2015. That’s not a reason alone to play him, being that it’s been six years and his game is far different now than it was in college, but it’s still nice to know he has familiarity with this course, considering no other player in this field has played here.
There’s wider fairways than normal this week which should help, too. Look for the Scientist to bounce back from his egregious performance last week. He barely got edged out by Patrick Reed last year at this event in Mexico, so maybe he’ll get over the hump this year. He also makes for a strong outright at +1850 on DraftKings.