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The First Cut: Hero World Challenge PGA DFS Picks & Preview for DraftKings & FanDuel Fantasy Golf Lineups

Jason Rouslin

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Some call the fall swing the preseason for the PGA Tour, but it all counts the same at the end of the year. Thus the only true preseason for the tour comes here at the Hero World Challenge. Around 20 players take a trip to the Bahamas for a 72-hole exhibition tournament that does not award any FedEx Cup points. It is sanctioned by the PGA Tour, however, so official world ranking points are awarded. The biggest PGA DFS contests for this tournament is also being offered this year, with $100,000 going to first place. This DFS golf advice article will preview the course, the players, what it will take to win the big GPP this week, and a leaderboard prediction. Be sure to check out our PGA Projections and Ownership Projections to gain an edge in this short field.

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Hero World Challenge DraftKings & FanDuel PGA DFS Preview

Course Preview: Albany Golf Club

The course has been the host of this event for five years. It is a par-72 resort-style layout in an exclusive area of Nassau called Albany. The course features gettable par 5’s and short par 4’s, with plenty of native sandy areas, made famous by Patrick Reed.

Rory McIlroy leads a list of 10 names that will be making their first trip to Albany Golf Club. McIlroy has played in this event, but not at this course and not since 2010. Patrick Reed is the only golfer of the 20 that has played every year since 2015, as Justin Rose had to withdraw in 2017. Stenson has competed four times and has come in the top five in all of them.

Course Statistics

Par: 72

Yards: 7,300

Average Score last year: The average score was -9.3 for the week, for an average of 2.4 under par per round. It was one of the easiest on the PGA Tour last year.

Hole Yardage Breakdown:

Par 4s: 432, 489, 350, 435, 483, 298, 485, 470

Par 5s: 572, 595, 603, 589, 548

Par 3s: 187, 180, 216, 202, 184

Player Preview: DraftKings Salary & Betting Odds

PGA DFS picks DraftKings FanDuel Hero World Challenge free expert advice tips strategy projections ownership rankings Collin Morikawa odds lines predictions picks best bets this week Tiger Woods

With just 20 golfers, there is not a whole lot to preview. However, the 20 golfers that are making the trip are quite good. In fact, six of the world’s top 10 are playing, and 18 of the top 28. The only two not ranked inside the top 30 in the world are the two residents of the island, Justin Rose (45) and Henrik Stenson (171). Be sure to check out how each golfer is performing over the last 12 weeks in the table below.

DFS Preview:

Over the course of the year, there are some unique formats for PGA DFS that provide us an array of results, but this is the only 20-golfer event — one that guarantees every golfer 72 holes. There are plenty of no-cut events, but most of them feature at least 60 golfers. The most recent tournament, held back in 2019, for our DFS Preview.

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PGA DFS 2019 Review:

PGA DFS picks DraftKings FanDuel Hero World Challenge free expert advice tips strategy projections ownership rankings Collin Morikawa odds lines predictions picks best bets this week Tiger Woods

The optimal lineup was the lineup used that won the big GPP back in 2019. It was duplicated three times and had a salary of $47,800. Just five golfers were owned less than 10%, with one of them being the winner of the event. The average DFS points scored for the week was 95.3, with the lowest being 64, and the highest coming in at 131 points.

Leaderboard Prediction

Top 5

  • Collin Morikawa ($10,600 DraftKings/$11,500 FanDuel): After becoming the first American to ever win the Race to Dubai, Morikawa looks to take on the world and ascend to the No. 1 ranking with a win this week. It will be his first trip to Albany, but that has not stopped him at all in his young career. Only Tiger Woods has a better win percentage in their first 70 starts, as Morikawa has won six times.
  • Viktor Hovland ($9,900 DraftKings/$10,200 FanDuel): Going toe to toe with Morikawa for the past seven years — four in college and three years since turning pro — both are ascending to superstar level. Both are prominent pieces of the Ryder Cup team and are two of the best all-around players in the game.
  • Rory McIlroy ($10,800 DraftKings/$11,000 FanDuel): Speaking of the Ryder Cup, it has renewed McIlroy’s passion for the game, as he has gone on to win one event and be a big part of the other in his two starts since the event. A quick flight from his permanent residence on the East Coast of Florida should provide a nice exhibition and spotlight for his game.
  • Justin Thomas ($10,200 DraftKings/$11,200 FanDuel): Thomas will be making his third trip to Albany, coming in fifth the last time out. He is also coming off a good stretch in the fall that saw him earn a top-20 in his first event, followed by a third-place finish at Mayakoba.
  • Sam Burns ($7,500 DraftKings/$9,800 FanDuel): Many may have thought this spot was reserved for Jordan Spieth, but the birth of his new son just two weeks ago, he likely has not played much golf at all. Burns has been keeping us up to date on his Instagram with the work he is putting in. His results have been superb lately, including a win just nine weeks ago.

Top 10

  • Jordan Spieth ($8,300 DraftKings/$10,400 FanDuel): In a group filled with favorites and least favorites, Spieth should still be able to make enough birdies over the course of four days to finish in the top half of this field.
  • Brooks Koepka ($6,800 DraftKings/$9,200 FanDuel): Nine holes or not, Koepka looked good. Whether he brings that game or the I’m-here-for-the-paycheck game remains to be seen.
  • Scottie Scheffler ($7,800 DraftKings/$10,000 FanDuel): He was close a couple of times this fall with back-to-back top-fives a few weeks ago, Scheffler is still in search of his first PGA Tour win, and it sure would be comical for him to win.
  • Xander Schauffele ($8,700 DraftKings/$10,600 FanDuel): While results since his Olympic Gold Medal triumph has not been great, with just one top-15 in six starts, Xander seems to find himself around the top 10 most of the week. He presents solid value for a golfer that should give you four quality rounds.
  • Matt Fitzpatrick ($6,600 DraftKings/$7,800 FanDuel): In years past, Fitzpatrick seemed like a realizable golfer that would always be around for the weekend. But, this year, and more recently, it has been a bit more volatile, with four missed cuts in his last 15 starts. However, the upside has been there with a win and two second-place finishes, with one other top-10 mixed in as well. No worries about only playing two rounds this week, as Fitzpatrick should find himself on the first page of the leaderboard come Sunday.
  • Webb Simpson ($6,700 DraftKings/$8,000 FanDuel): It was a rough year for Simpson last year, going from No. 8 in the world to No. 25. His only top-five of the whole season was in the Sony Open. While he only missed four cuts all year, the lack of upside cost him 17 spots in the world rankings. He did, however, maintain fairly good consistency, accumulating 13 top-30s. On top of that, he has performed well in his last two starts in the fall with an eighth- and 14th-place finish.

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Top 15

  • Abraham Ancer ($7,300 DraftKings/$8,000 FanDuel): It was a surprising start to the season for Ancer, who was one of many first-time winners on tour last year, breaking through at the WGC FedEx St. Jude. His game had been trending towards the winner circle for some time before that win, with plenty of top-five finishes over the previous year. Since his win, he has had two top-10s in seven starts, while his iron play has tailed off a bit early in the season.
  • Daniel Berger ($7,200 DraftKings/$8,300 FanDuel): One of only a few golfers in this field that has not played anywhere since the Tour Championship, outside of the Ryder Cup, that is. His play was consistent all year last year, missing just one cut — the Masters — while racking up seven top-10s, including his win at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
  • Tony Finau ($7,000 DraftKings/$7,600 FanDuel): Some thought after his win at the Northern Trust, which was years in the making, that the flood gates might open and Finau would go on to win a few more. But the form has been bad since the win, with no top-10s in his next five starts, including a missed cut at the Houston Open a few weeks ago. He does have some solid course history, including a second-place finish back in 2018, which could give him the confidence and comfort he needs to reverse the trend of bad golf.
  • Patrick Reed ($6,600 DraftKings/$7,800 FanDuel): A scary end to the season for Reed, who came down with double pneumonia and forced him into the hospital for some time. At one point in his sickness, the doctors thought he might not make it, that is how bad it was. However, he bounced back admirably. His play since returning has been volatile, with a second-place finish at the Bermuda Championship but no other top-10s in the other six starts around Bermuda.
  • Justin Rose ($6,100 DraftKings/$8,000 FanDuel): Rose has enjoyed a few decent paychecks here, he is not playing all that consistently right now. Rose has battled injuries for well over a year and is in danger of falling out of the world’s top 50. His play, though, has leveled off since missing the cut at the U.S. Open, making eight straight cuts with two top-10s mixed in. He should provide nice scoring value at these salaries but will likely be the highest-owned golfer priced under $7,000 this week. He or Simpson will likely take that mantle.

Top 20

  • Bryson DeChambeau ($9,300 DraftKings/$11,000 FanDuel): Simply put, it does not seem like his game is all the way there.
  • Henrik Stenson ($6,000 DraftKings/$7,000 FanDuel): It was a dreadful year, as Stenson moved from inside the top 60 in the world last year to outside of the world top 170. He missed 11 of his first 14 cuts before reeling off back-to-back top-fives on the European Tour. That was just about all of his good finishes, but as the defending champion of the event, Stenson gets one last invite to the prestigious event.
  • Harris English ($6,200 DraftKings/$7,300 FanDuel): Outside of Reed’s health, English is the only other question mark coming into this week. He had to withdraw a few events ago due to a bad shoulder and did not look impressive in his home event at the RSM Classic. He has gotten plenty of time to find his health and game again after a fabulous year last — one that saw him earn a Ryder Cup pick — but this week does not seem like an ideal place for that given the other 19 golfers in the field.
  • Tyrrell Hatton ($6,500 DraftKings/$7500 FanDuel): After a fabulous start to the year, Hatton went on a tear. But Hatton went into a lull in the middle of the season with no top-10s from the WGC Concession all the way through the PGA Championship. He did find form at the Palmetto Championships, but it would not last long as he would go on to miss four of his next six cuts before popping again and coming in second at the Alfred Dunhill Championship. He does not have as much upside as his countrymate Fitzpatrick, and his higher volatility moves him down the leaderboard this week.

Reminder to check out the full set of Awesemo PGA DFS point projections and ownership projections for this week’s Hero World Challenge.

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

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 four years later, Jason is a husband to Sarah and father of two boys, James & Myles. A dog and more specifically Lab lover (Bella), he dedicates his time to serve as the lead of PGA content at Awesemo.com. 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, at Disney World, on a hike, or somewhere in between. 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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