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above the cut

Above the Cut: PGA DFS Picks for The Palmetto Championship on DraftKings & FanDuel

Ben Rasa



Ben Rasa's expert PGA DFS picks for DraftKings & FanDuel daily fantasy golf lineups for The Palmetto Championship with Rafa Cabrera Bello.

The U.S. Open is only one week away, but there are no weeks off in the PGA season. The tour normally heads to Canada this week for the RBC Canadian Open, but instead this year there is a new event and a new course. The Palmetto Championship is set to begin on Thursday, and the field is as one would expect for the week before a major. Still, this is an opportunity to get exposure to lesser-known players, and there could be some very interesting roster constructions given a lot of the unique factors this week. Let’s dive into the course, field and who stands out as potential top PGA DFS picks on DraftKings and FanDuel.

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The Course

The tour is in South Carolina this week, specifically at Congaree Golf Club. The scorecard reads par 71 measuring 7,655 yards, which is one of the longest courses the tour will see. The par 5’s are all nearing 600 yards, and there are three par 4’s over 500 yards. Still, this doesn’t seem like an overly brutal test, and with the U.S. Open next week, it’s hard to imagine the tour wants to have a setup like that anyway. There is little to work with due to the nonexistent course history, but there supposedly the course has some links elements to it. Golfers will be able to use aggression off the tee to clear a lot of trouble, or club down and get a ton of rollout in these fairways.

In terms of skillsets, there seems to be a number of ways to build an ideal golfer, but like most courses a premium on ball striking makes sense. Total driving, which is a combination of accuracy and distance off the tee, is worth looking at this week, as avoiding trouble without sacrificing too much distance would be key. Around the green doesn’t seem overly concerning, but it is always good to have guys who can get up and down. That said, the focus is on ball striking.

The greens are Bermuda and should resemble most of the tournaments in the Southeastern. Taking elements from the Florida swing, the RBC Heritage, Wells Fargo and RSM could pay dividends with this course being an unknown. This week it seems even more important to stack skillsets given a number of different things could ultimately be the key stat to rely on.

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The Field

The U.S. Open is in California this year, so it’s a tough ask for players to be here. Add in that U.S. Open qualifying took place earlier this week and there is a messy situation about who is in this field. Keep an eye out for withdrawals and other breaking news, as this could be one of those events. Overall, this is one of the weaker fields, which brings a lot of lesser-known guys towards the top.

Dustin Johnson leads off pricing, looking for some form before heading to Torrey Pines. He is followed by Brooks Koepka and Matthew Fitzpatrick. No disrespect to Fitzpatrick, but seeing him at $10,400 immediately shows the lack of depth in this field. From there, it’s the same story with PGA Tour regulars all in unfamiliar price points, as everyone got bumped up due to the lack of firepower up top. It is a full 156-man field, which could bring the 6-for-6 percentage way down after a few weeks of invitationals.

Working down to the lower ranges, there are a lot of guys who either aren’t PGA Tour regulars or who we have absolutely no information. With close to 100 guys in the $6,000 range, gamers need to be careful with not spreading too thin at the lower ranges. Building is going to feel uncomfortable, but that’s the nature of a tournament with this few top-tier players. Make sure to check out Awesemo’s Daily Fantasy Golf Lineup Builder, which can help show the strengths and weaknesses of each type of build.

Daily Fantasy Golf Picks for The Palmetto Championship

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Top Priced: Tyrrell Hatton $10,200 DraftKings, $11,800 FanDuel

It is surprising to see Johnson and Koepka both in this field with the U.S. Open on deck. Still, they have to be considered the class of the field, even if Johnson’s form isn’t ideal. Given how bad the bottom range is, it may be best to save a little salary and start teams with Hatton at $10,200. He has plenty of links experience and did almost all his best work on the PGA Tour in Florida, which has some similarities to this layout. Awesemo’s PGA DFS ownership projections have him amongst the highest owned at 25.1%, which is a little concerning but still worth being overweight.

Hatton’s form is interesting, with consistent cut making ability and zero upside lately. He has made six of his last seven cuts but has no finish better than 18th. On the other side, he has no finishes worse than 39th. That said, his game feels close and the irons are still working, gaining for him in five of the last six. Hatton also seems built to handle a lot of different types of courses, which is an asset at an unknown track. If Johnson and Koepka struggle, having additional salary to spend elsewhere will come in handy.

Also considering – Matthew Fitzpatrick      

Mid-Range: Rafael Cabrera Bello $7,800 DraftKings, $8,900 FanDuel

This is a perfect example of how field strength is impacting salaries. Cabrera Bello has been living the $6,000 range and now is almost $8,000 in this event. His form has trended upward, which accounts for some of that, but it speaks to how bad the lower ranges are here. Cabrera Bello has made three straight cuts and has been positive tee to green in each of them. Early 2019 was the last time he had three straight positive ball-striking weeks, so it’s clear he’s on the upswing.

The other factor is the Euro Tour connection. Cabrera Bello has started to turn some heads, but seeing his projected ownership at around 6% is still very appealing for tournaments. In a wide-open week like this, he is worth some shares in GPPs.

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Also considering – Harold Varner III, Ben Martin

Lower Priced: Hank Lebioda $6,900 DraftKings, FanDuel $8,200

Even with the weak field, salary savers in the $6,000 range will be necessary. There is a mix of PGA regulars who struggle and newcomers looking for that magic week. There are also a few guys that shouldn’t be in the $6,000 range and didn’t really get a boost in salary despite the field strength. One of those players is Hank Lebioda at $6,900, and he is a preferred spend-down option this week. Awesemo’s premium PGA DFS projections have him amongst the top values on the board this week, which furthers interest in this price point.

Lebioda isn’t a household name, but he has plenty of experience on tour. He has made three straight cuts and has two top-20s in there, and that was against much tougher competition than he’ll face here. More importantly than the finish is the strokes gained on approach: 6.2 and 4.1 the last two weeks. Those numbers are rare in the $6,000 range this week.

Also Considering – Richy Werenski, Brian Stuard  

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Looking for more DFS PGA picks today and FanDuel PGA DFS picks? The Yahoo! PGA DFS projections, the FanDuel PGA DFS showdown projections for today and the DraftKings PGA DFS ownership projections for today are made and used by Alex Baker, the No. 1 DFS player in the world. DFS PGA rankings for today will be posted at least a day in advance of any tournament.

*Ben Rasa (aka Jazzraz)* has been involved with sports and numbers for quite some time dabbling in the poker world , sports wagering and of course finding a home in the DFS world. While he enjoys playing NFL, NCAAF and NBA he has found his best advantage on the links with PGA and the Euro Tour. Jazzraz focuses on GPPs and uses a analytical approach to try and find pricing inefficiencies as well as trying to go against the grain to find those under owned lesser know players that can make the difference in giant field tournaments. You can contact Ben by emailing [email protected].

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