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PGA DFS: How to win $100K+ playing PGA DFS in 2020

Jason Rouslin



DraftKings & FanDuel Daily fantasy golf Picks Charles Schwab Challenge expert projections and ownership with Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth

One of the most passionate fan bases in all of daily fantasy, PGA DFS is growing in popularity each year and it’s showing no signs of slowing down. Finally, the PGA Tour is now even on board, making DraftKings the official daily fantasy game of the PGA Tour. Adding more context to the statement, DraftKings recently announced that the number of entries was up 25% year over year, to over 25 million last season.

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While DraftKings doesn’t give out specific numbers on all of the contests they offered, a little bit of research can provide the answers. Weekly offerings ranged from $1.5 million guaranteed for non-majors and over $5 million guaranteed for majors, with most weeks offering at least $100,000 to first place. FanDuel, FantasyDraft and Yahoo also provide great weekly offerings, albeit not as much volume, but certainly enough to make it worth the time investment.

Our goal here at Awesemo is to make you the best player you can be and keep you as informed as possible. In this article, I’m going to discuss the year that was… and go over some of the winning trends from specific DraftKings GPPs last season. Then I’ll preview this year and how we can apply the findings to try and win $100,000 or more this year.


  1. PGA Tour Winner’s Review
  2. Winning Lineup Reviews from the three main GPPs: low-, mid- and high-dollar buy-ins ranging from $4-$888.
  3. Player Spotlight: 2019
  4. 2020 Hot Takes and Bold Predictions

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PGA Tour Winners Review

Winners Recap and Stats:

Individual Ownership Numbers by Trimester

Since it’s hard to fit all 40 names in one screenshot, I broke down the season into three sections.

PGA Tour Winners Review Commentary

Winners, by and large, were difficult to find this year with average ownership below 15%.  I’ll highlight a few more facts in a bulleted list below:

  • Nine golfers were owned below 10% during the middle part of the year (trimester two). Many surprise winners popped up here last year, with the new condensed PGA Tour schedule.
  • 30% of the winners came from the $10,000 and above salary range, an increase of about 10% over last year’s number.
  • 17 of the winners were valued at 30/1 or below, a strong showing for oddsmakers.
  • My biggest win of the year on the betting side came from Keith Mitchell at the Honda. On the DFS side, it came at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, where I won the $1,500 contest for $50,000, cashing in on Francesco Molinari’s success.
    • Interested in my entire results for the year? Click here to view my breakdown (info provided weekly in the Winning Element article).

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Winning lineup reviews from the four main GPPs: Small Dollar/Mid Dollar/High Dollar

Winning a GPP can be among many things, incredibly thrilling and possibly even life-changing. With 40-plus tournaments on the PGA Tour Schedule, DraftKings will give us somewhere over 120 GPP contests offering first place prizes that I’d consider a great hit and over 50 contests where one can win $100,000 or more. Constructing these winning lineups relies on creating differential/variance in your lineup. In this section, I’m going to present my findings of all the winning GPPs from last year. I’ll break it into these same three “trimesters” for easier consumption purposes.

Trimester One Commentary

One of the main questions I get from gamers is what should we target for a return on our golfers? Each DFS sport has its own unique metric and PGA DFS lies somewhere in the 8-14 multiplier range. Although that range may seem extensive, it’s because I’m using the average salary per golfer ($8,333), rather than actual salary. Here are a few quick facts I found important:

  • Target Ownership for two-day cut events can get as high as 85% on average for the bigger dollar buy-ins.
  • 70% total ownership for the lineup seems to be the sweet spot for the low dollar buy-ins.
  • An average of $11.43 per player for two-day cut events, or just shy of 11.5 times.


Trimester Two Commentary

13 events, all having a cut after the second day of play, gives us a pretty good sample size to pick apart.

  • Ownership for the winning lineups averaged under 80% for all of the buy-in levels, but, did get over 100% four times in the trimester.
  • The lowest price per dollar of any tournament of the year was the PGA Championship $555 buy-in, coming in at $8.89.
  • The range in ownership wins for the Millionaire maker winning lineup spanned from a high of 79% to a low of 47%. Only one of the lineups was duped.

Trimester Three Commentary

The last leg of the season gives us a bit of a mixed bag in terms of results, but ownership is noticeably higher. This is likely due to field sizes, and during the fall, swing ownership seems to be much more concentrated, well above the other comparables.

  • As noted above, ownership was much more concentrated with all buy-in levels averaging over 75% with one lone lineup having a total ownership of under 50%, the $8 for The RSM Classic.

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PGA DFS Yearly Averages and Commentary

It comes as no surprise that the higher dollar buy-ins allow for more ownership, fewer points are needed to win, a 20% increase in ownership and roughly 8% lower in points scored. Here’s a couple of some interesting facts I learned:

  • 41% of the high-dollar lineups had over 90% total ownership.
  •  The highest number of points score was 748.5 with an average return of 14.97 per player, done at the Shriners Open in the Fall Swing. Who is the best at performing to these types of returns, you ask?

PGA DFS Player Spotlight: DraftKings points review 2019

All of this data is great, and maybe a tad aesthetically pleasing to look at, but it’s not very useful unless we can identify golfers that continuously provide us with a positive return. I’ve used these trimesters as a basis for my analyzing this piece of information. I’m using the average salary per player at $8,333, needing an average return of 12.42 per dollar (around 106 points) and nothing lower than 8.50 per dollar (around 70 points).

Trimester One

The average number of times a golfer scored over 70 DraftKings points in the first trimester was just north of 25%, coming in at 27.2%. Sixty-five golfers accomplished that feat at least 50% of the time they teed it up, while that number shrinks to 18 when looking at golfers that achieved it 75% of the time. Here are some stats about those golfers:

  • Only four golfers with at least two starts scored over 70 points in all of them. Charles Howell was seven for seven in scoring over 70 points in this time frame, Justin Thomas was next at 6/6, followed by Rory Mcilroy at 5/5, and lastly Tiger Woods at who was 4/4.
  • Jason Kokrak had the highest number of events over 70 points in this time frame, with eight of his nine starts finishing above the mark. Russell Knox, Sungjae Im, Sung Kang, Si Woo Kim,  Matt Kuchar, and Jon Rahm all had at least six events above 70 DK points scored.
  • Only Rory Mcilroy scored over 85 points in all his starts, five, in this time frame. Sungjae Im is the only other golfer to do it five times, his in 11 starts. Justin Rose was 3/4, while the other Justin, Justin Thomas, was 4/6. Only four other golfers scored over 85 points in at least 50% of their starts, with a minimum of 4 starts, Jason Day, Paul Casey, Ian Poulter & Nate Lashley. 
  • Fourteen golfers scored over 100 DK points for the time frame, including a bunch of those names mentioned before, like Justin Thomas, Rory Mcilroy, and the alike. Still, a few other names we haven’t mentioned include, Andrew Putnam, Phil Mickelson, Chez Reavie, Brian Stuard and Roger Sloan. 

Trimester Two

All four majors fall in this time frame, maybe a tidbit of finagling on my end to get it that way. For that, we’ll have a little bit extra to break down. The average times a golfer scored over 70 DK points dropped to 21% during this time frame, with all events having a cut. No golfers scored over 75 DK points in every start, while only two were above the 70% mark, minimum five starts, Cameron Tringale & Collin Morikawa. Only six more had 60% or more, while a total of 25 golfers accomplished that feat in 50% of their starts. Here are a few more stats:

  • Sebastian Munoz, Viktor Hovland & Matthew Wolff all scored more than 85 % in 50% of their starts, a minimum of four stars.
  • Brooks Kopeka led the pack with five events having scored more 70 points, along with seven others including Sungjae Im, again, and holy moly brace yourself, fourteen hundred words in without one mention yet, Jordan Spieth. 

The Majors for PGA DFS

Here are a few facts on The Majors this year:

  • Forty golfers played in all four majors. At least by my records.
  • Only one golfer scored higher than 70 in all of them… Brooks Koepka
  • Only two others scored 70 in at least three of them… Jordan Spieth and Jon Rahm. 
  • Only three others scored more than 85 twice; Brooks did it three times, Dustin Johnson Xander Schaufflele and Jon Rahm each did it twice.
  • Only five golfers scored over 100 points, and Brooks did it three times. Schauffele is the only other non-winner to accomplish the feat, and the other three only did it once each.

Trimester 3

This last time frame had it all, no cut’s, new golfers and only two standard two days cut tournaments, + the seven from the Fall Swing. The % of time a golfer scored over 70 points was at a high, coming in just shy of 31%. Here are some facts about the most recent data we have:

  • Scottie Scheffler had the best record, going 6/7 in scoring over 70 points. Justin Thomas & Rory McIlroy were each 5/6. Jon Rahm was 3/4 in scoring of 85 points, while Adam Scott and Rory Mcilroy each scored over that number in at least 66% of the time.
  • Scheffler’s six-time scoring above 70 was tied nine others, including Sungjae Im, againJ.T. Poston, Corey Conners, and Harold Varner III.
  •  Jon Rahm, Rory Mcilroy & Justin Thomas, Harris English and Brendan Todd each scored over 100 points three different times, but that number wasn’t the most, which was four times set by Hideki Matsuyama. 

Yearly Stats for PGA DFS

Now, let’s put it all together and see what the yearly results look like in terms of scoring consistency.

  • Justin Thomas had the best % out of golfers that had a minimum of 15 starts, accomplishing that feat 14/18 starts. Next was Rory Mcilroy and Jon Rahm, performing above that number 72% and 69% of the time. The first surprise on the list goes to Russell Knox, who scored more than 70 in 15 of 24 starts last year. Sunjgae Im did it 17 times, the most, in 32 tries. Charles Howell joins Knox, Im, and Matsuyama that scored over 70 in at least 15 starts.
  • Mcilroy scored over 85 points an astounding 56% of his starts, totaling ten times. The next closest competitor with at least 15 starts was Adam Scott, who did it 8/18 appearances. Im, Matsuyama & Mcilroy were the only three golfers to score over 85 in at least ten starts.
  • Lastly, golfers scoring over 100 points last year, only two did it at least seven times, Matsuyama & Mcilroy. Thomas & Rahm, along with Vaughn Taylor, all did it at least five times. Seven others, including Patrick Cantlay, did it at least four times.

PGA DFS 2020 Hot Takes and Bold Predictions

There’s only way to wrap this up… with some scorching takes and bold predictions. Looking for more of these? I’ll be joined by Ben Rasa and Matt Jones on Monday on the Opening Tee podcast to get there. Come for the hot takes, stay for the TOC talk. I’ll give my predictions on a few different categories, including Major Winners, Rookie of the Year, Player of the year, etc.

Major Winners

  1. The Masters @ August National Golf Club: Justin Thomas playing at less than 100% in last year’s contest, Thomas has everything it takes to win the green jacket. This is the year he gets his forever invitation.
  2. The PGA Championship at Harding Park: Rory Mcilroy did everything but win a major last year, securing four other titles in the calendar year. He won’t get the one he wants, but he’ll add to his collection.
  3. The US Open at Winged Foot: Xander Schauffele quietly Xander has been very close over the last two years, and I think he takes that and gets over the hump this year on a tough track that will require all facets of the game to be on.
  4. The Open Championship @ Royal St. Georges: Jon Rahm has shown his affection for links-style golf, and he has the game to translate into a major champion, he needs to control it all upstairs. This should be the year that happens as Rahm secures another major title for the Spanish.

Award Winners & 5 First time PGA Tour winners

  1. Rookie of the Year: A weaker class this year than last, but that goes without saying as last years had Sungjae, Morikawa, Wolff, Hovland, and more. This year Scottie Scheffler is clear and away the most talented and should cost to the title.
  2. Player of the Year: Justin Thomas and Jon Rahm will battle it out all the way to Sunday Singles at the Ryder Cup.
  3. Five first time winners:
    1. Sungaje Im: The consistency is clearly there, now he just needs to close it out.
    2. Tommy Fleetwood: It’s really going to happen this time.
    3. Matthew Fitzpatrick: the exceptionally talented golfer from England will use the win to catapult an automatic Ryder Cup birth.
    4. Viktor Hovland: Ok, I kind of went chalky here, but I think these four are as close as it gets to winning, and are bound to do so at some point in their career. Why not this year.

PGA DFS Conclusion

Past performance is not indicative of future results; at least that’s what my Financial Advisor training would tell me. However, it has been our most reliable source of trying to predict this incredibly variable sport. It is the best DFS Sweat out there, at least in my opinion, with so many levels in it. I hope you find something out of this, and if not, and you just want that data, well here it is!

2019 DraftKings Results 

2019 DraftKings Points Screener 

Jason established his roots in the littlest state that could...Rhode Island. But after 29 years of bitter cold, and only being able to play golf 4 months a year, upended those roots and moved to Florida. Now two years later, Jason is a husband to Sarah and father of James as well as two Labradors (Choco and Bella) and he dedicates his time to serve as the lead of PGA content at In the time he is not diving into the PGA stats and covering this week's current tournament, you can find him researching and trading stocks, on the golf course, or somewhere hopefully lost in nature with his dogs guiding him along the way. Want to chat? Have a question about Golf/Stocks or anything else? Hop on twitter and give him a message @dfsgolfer23. You can also contact Jason by emailing [email protected].

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