This column is a quick-hitter article to give you the stats you need to make informed PGA DFS picks for your DraftKings + FanDuel daily fantasy lineups and give you a couple of recommendations. On a typical showdown contest, DraftKings will offer upwards of $50,000 to first for rounds 2 and 3 showdown and sometimes up to $100,000 for the final-round contests. They also provide weekend-long contests that have been offering $25,000 to first for most weekends. Lastly, FanDuel has also tried to get into the weekend-long and final round contests, offering $10,000 and $5,000 to first.
Previous Round Commentary and Lineup
The young, but unproven talents, Sahith Theegala and Akshay Bhatia, finally found a Saturday on the PGA Tour and did not waste it. Both have a very good chance at getting inside the top 10 tomorrow afternoon and earning another start on the PGA Tour, something that’s hugely coveted given their status. Theegala had a brilliant bogey-free 64, while Bhatia came in with a five-birdie, one eagle, one-bogey 66.
It was a scorer’s day, however, with many 66s and a couple of other 65s in addition to Theegala’s 64. Emiliano Grillo was one of those golfers, but if you paired him up with Si Woo Kim like I did, who had one of a handful of over-par rounds, then you likely didn’t cash. Kevin Streelman, another one of the so-called “studs” of the event, shot up the leaderboard with a 65 of his own, as did tour veteran Stewart Cink. Weekend leader Sam Burns wasn’t able to keep pace either, dropping back to the back today with an even-par 72. Two hold the lead at 16 under, but 29 golfers are within four. With a few 8 and 9 unders shot this week, it is certainly not out of the question for one of those guys sitting at 12 under to win tomorrow.
Previous Round Stat Review
The scoring average continued to go down on Sunday, creeping into the 60s at 69.62. All this tournament needed was for Burns to come back to the field, and that’s precisely what we got. Russell Knox has played 54 holes now without a bogey as he looks for his first win in quite some time.
Birdie or Better Leaders Through Round 3
- Cameron Percy, Kevin Streelman, Sam Burns, Kristoffer Ventura (20)
- Brian Stuard, James Hahn, Vincent Whaley, Chesson Hadley, Nelson Ledesma (18)
Strokes Gained Ball Striking vs. Putting
Andy and Xin Jun Zhang lead this category, surprisingly enough, being unable to match their ball striking to their putter. However, for Andy, his putter got better in round 3, but his ball striking didn’t, so maybe that means it’s all coming together for tomorrow. Kyle Stanley, Luke List and Grillo round out the top Five. Stop me if you’ve ever seen those three names on this list before.
Strokes Gained Ball Striking Differential
Chez Reavie was able to find his ball-striking form again, the second time in three days, gaining almost three on the day. Branden Grace and Charley Hoffman also follow suit in that, gaining at least two strokes more on Saturday than Friday, also making it 2-of-3. Others that performed well in round 3 versus round 2 were Carlos Ortiz and Will Gordon.
11:15 a.m. EST
- DraftKings is offering $20,000 to first and $80,000 guaranteed for round 4 showdown contests.
- FanDuel is offering a $1,000 to first and $5000 guaranteed for the final round contest.
Top 10 Breakdown and Picks
Three are tied at the top, a trio we haven’t talked about in quite some time: Brian Stuard, James Hahn and Cameron Percy. Other names that are chasing that may be a bit more recognizable include Harry Higgs, Grillo and Burns. There are plenty of ways to attack tomorrow’s slate with almost 30 names within four shots, so there isn’t a need to try and force these guys into lineups. Grillo seems to present the safest option since his ball striking looks to be back in form, and he’s already won on this course before. That likely comes with high ownership, as it does for Kevin Streelman.
Kristoffer Ventura ($7,800)
Leading the top 10 in strokes gained putting, Ventura will have to kick it up a notch with his irons in round 4 if he wants to win his first PGA Tour title. I like his chances to improve what he’s been doing, and with his comfort level on the greens, I like to bet on this upside. I’m hoping for lower ownership because of the stats, a contrary play to general thinking for showdown formats.
Stud or Value Pick Outside of Top 10
Akshay Bhatia ($6,800)
I’m going back to well here with Bhatia, as he had another nice day on the course. He, like Theegala, lit it up with the flat stick and around the greens like he’s known to do. He has gained strokes on his approaches and off the tee two of three days, so if he the short game stays hot, and if he puts the ball striking together in tomorrow’s round, I think he can get his first-ever top 10 in a PGA Tour event in his first made cut.
Sneaky Pick Outside of Top 10
Sahith Theegala ($6,100)
Making the cut on the number, Theegala found a hot putter in round 3, gaining almost 3 1/2 strokes on the day. His irons also looked good for the second straight day. He’s gotten better off the tee in each round. His price is cheap and paired up with Akshay and Ventura, and you can have any three golfers in the field.
Harry Higgs ($8,000)
Emiliano Grillo ($9,200)
Brendan Steele ($10,700)
Andrew Putnam ($7,200)
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