The action is underway here in sunny Tampa, Fla., as the Valspar Championship got underway without a hitch. Scores were low today, as conditions were absolutely ideal, and the course and greens were running perfectly. Some of the biggest names in the world are here to play this week and have all started off solidly in the first round. The action continues in Round 2 as PGA DFS showdown contests take over. This DFS golf article will help you get your DraftKings PGA lineups set up for Round 2 and give some of the best PGA DFS picks for Friday’s slate.
PGA DFS Golf Picks Today: Round 2 Valspar Championship
Round 1 Recap
Jhonattan Vegas amended his difficult week last week where he was part of the first page of the leaderboard until he came to the 17th hole and made a 7. It moved him from -4 to even, and it never got better. All he had to do to make the cut was par the last hole, but he three put from 20 feet and wound up missing the cut. So, what did he do? He went back to an old set of irons and saw immediate results. He’s off to a great start here this week as he leads through the morning wave. Doc Redman would continue solid play in the middle of this season and carries some solid momentum with him from last week’s Players Championship, shooting a bogey-free 66 on the day. That’s a very solid accomplishment around the Copperhead course. Danny Lee would also spark some form, gaining over three strokes on his approaches and positively in the other three categories en route to an opening 65.
Joining Redman in the bogey-free 66 camp was Kramer Hickok, who also is carrying momentum from last week. Now, onto the stars of the morning wave, including Collin Morikawa and Viktor Hovland. Morikawa looked visibly upset with himself in the first part of the round, not hitting it on the buttons like used to and making no putts along with it. But, after making the turn and heading to the hard holes on the front nine, Morikawa showed why he’s one of the best in the world, birdieing three straight, and finished with a respectable three-under 68. For Hovland, his day was way more erratic than normal, almost hitting Dustin Johnson with his second shot on the par-5 11th hole. He’d finally settle down late and scrapped together a two under 69. Johnson himself remained in form after the course-record-tying 63 on Monday at The Players. Brooks Koepka, who was bound to find the leaderboard at some point this week. put together a very solid round gaining almost three strokes with his ball-striking, and matched Johnson with a four-under 67. Matthew Fitzpatrick, Louis Oosthuizen and Kevin Streelman are a few other big names who shot a four-under 67 in the first round.
As the afternoon wave kicked, the temperatures started to heat up. While the heat is always under projected, only supposed to be about 70 today, it touched 80 and felt hotter at times. Scores would also heat up and three golfers would catch Vegas. Defending champion Sam Burns would brush off last Sunday’s performance and put on a great display in a bid to defend his title. Paul Casey successfully did so in 2017 and 2018 here at this event. Speaking of past champions, Adam Hadwin outdueled Patrick Cantlay years ago for his lone PGA Tour victory, and he’s in a position to do it again, shooting 64 on the day while gaining over two strokes with his putter and his approaches. The third golfer to shoot seven-under in this wave was David Lipsky, who gained a combined 4.2 strokes with his putter and approaches.
The scoring average for the waves was 69.79 for the morning and 70.03 for the late wave.
The Valspar Championship Round 1 Stat Recap
Strokes Gained Off the Tee
- Collin Morikawa
- Adam Hadwin
- Stewart Cink
- Joseph Bramlett
- William McGirt
Strokes Gained Approach
- Sam Burns
- Justin Thomas
- Matthew NeSmith
- Joel Dahmen
- Danny Lee
- Shane Lowry
Strokes Gained Around the Green.
- Matt Kuchar
- Matthew Fitzpatrick
- Jonas Blixt
- Jackson Suber
- Danny Willett
Strokes Gained Putting
- Davis Riley
- Greyson Sigg
- Jhonattan Vegas
- Richy Werenski
- Scott Stallings
- Alex Noren
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Best PGA DFS Picks Today for DraftKings Showdown
It’s rare on this golf course where there is an expected under-par cut, or at least not one lower than one or two under. But today’s scoring average was better than one under, coming in at 69.9 for the day or thereabouts. But, there was absolutely no wind to speak, and, the golf course was set up the easiest the golfers will see all week. Using forward tees, a soft golf course due to the heavy rains sustained on Tuesday, and more accessible pin locations, golfers in the entire field were able to take apart this challenging test of golf. But, with no rain in the forecast the next few days and increasing in wind speeds by about 10 mph, the course should get harder as the week goes on. Tomorrow, the golfers going out in the morning will have about a 5-7 mph advantage in wind speeds vs. the afternoon wave. That could be worth a half shot or so, but it shouldn’t preclude you from playing golfers going out in the afternoon if it fits the build.
A note on Ownership: Justin Thomas($10,300) continues to look great with his irons, gaining another three strokes on the day. But, even though he made a 64-foot eagle putt, he still lost over a stroke putting. But, with a favorable tee time and a lower salary for Round 2 showdown slate, his ownership will likely skyrocket in the slate. Two golfers that could be considered for good pivots that should be low owned for the second round slate include Abraham Ancer ($9,000) and, to a lesser extent Viktor Hovland ($10,500). Also expected to be highly owned is Sam Burns ($9,200) after his opening-round 64. Now onto the picks.
Tommy Fleetwood ($8,600): A few critical factors for Fleetwood’s game is hitting fairways and continuing to give himself quality bridie looks. He did both of those things very well today while hitting just shy of 70% of his fairways. While not the 100% hit by Kelly Kraft ($6,100), his iron game continues to show form like it did last week. The favorable of the two draws, Fleetwood should be able to move into position in Round 2.
Webb Simpson ($8,000): While maybe it wasn’t reported on the length that some may have desired, it was made clear why Simpson hadn’t been since the first week of January at the Sony Open before last week’s Players Championship, he was injured. But, having gained clearance from his doctor to start playing, he dusted off some rust last week en route to missed the cut. But, it doesn’t take long for the best in the world to gain that form back, and Webb seemed to do just that in round one, gaining over 3.3 strokes tee to green. He hit almost 77% of his fairways on the day, but he ended up losing just a half a stroke putting. That won’t continue throughout the week, as Simpson aims to earn his first top 10 of the season. He’s a solid PGA DFS pick for Friday’s Round 2.
Gary Woodland ($7,900): The Florida swing has been kind to Woodland, and he needed it, coming in the top 5 a couple of times with a chance to win each of them. He put in a solid day’s work in Round 1 with the putter, gaining over three strokes. That’s huge for him, as he only hit 46% of his fairways. While I don’t think he’ll gain three strokes putting tomorrow, he also won’t hit less than 50% of his fairways and lost over a stroke off the tee. All things being equal, he presents solid value for tomorrow’s PGA DFS slate.
- Stewart Cink ($6,700)
- Brice Garnett ($6,500)
- Wesley Bryan ($6,400)
- Wyndham Clark ($6,200)
- Kelly Kraft ($6,100)
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PGA DFS rankings for FantasyDraft will be posted at least a day in advance of any tournament. Looking for more DFS PGA golf picks and the best PGA DFS picks? The Yahoo! PGA DFS projections, the DFS PGA showdown projections for today and the PGA DFS ownership projections for FanDuel are made and used by Alex Baker, the No. 1 DFS player in the world.
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