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 for The BMW Championship. 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
“Fast and firm” were the two words of the day, as the greens and fairways were lightning fast and firm. That usually makes for the most unpredictable form of golf, one that is incredibly difficult for the golfers. If that does, in fact, keep up the rest of the week, even par could be the winning score. While I don’t think that will happen, this is shaking up to be a much different tournament then we’ve gotten used to over the last little bit. Tyler Duncan was the surprise of the day, going around in 68 and holding the first-round lead after getting up and down from five out of six greenside bunkers. Mackenzie Hughes had a putt on nine (his 18th) to also tie the number but couldn’t do it. Hideki Matsuyama finally found something, including a 66-footer on nine (his 18th) to get in the clubhouse at -3, and he has the lead by one.
The last time there were fewer than four golfers under par for the day was over two years ago at a major. Now granted, it was a half field, but still, I don’t think I can stress enough just how hard the golf course played today. I expect conditions to be a bit easier tomorrow. With anticipated showers overnight and into the morning, it should give the course some moisture, which will make the greens easier. However, 5-inch wet rough is just about as bad as you can get, so it could end up balancing out.
Previous Round Stat Review
I’m sure this is not a surprise to anyone, but there were no bogey-free rounds on the day. The average score was 3.75 over or 73.75, certainly the highest scoring average by a large sum this year.
BOB Leaders in Round 1
- Hideki Matsuyama (6)
- Patrick Reed (5)
- Xander Schauffele, Rory McIlroy, Viktor Hovland, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Brendan Steele, Dylan Fritteli, Harry Higgs, Tom Hoge (4)
Strokes Gained Ball Striking vs. Putting
Danny Lee continued his impressive ball striking, gaining 2.84 on the day, but his putter would not follow, losing over a stroke. He and Corey Conners had a 3.9-stroke differential on the day. Rory McIlroy and Bubba Watson aren’t too far behind, both having more than 3.6 stroke differential between ball striking and putting. Richy Werenski rounds out the golfers inside the top five in this category.
- DraftKings is offering $50,000 to first and $150,000 guaranteed for tomorrow’s slate.
Top 10 Breakdown and Picks
Even par was a good score, and when that happens, there’s bound to be a log jam. We’ve already talked about Matsuyama, and I think it’s a comfortable spot to start your lineups tomorrow. Next, though, McIlroy continues to look good with his ball striking and just needs his putter to follow. He’s finally in the mix and hopefully can find some motivation to win, as it looks like his best chance since the restart could be this week. Hughes continues to putt incredibly well, a perfect tournament structure to have that happen. Speaking of putting, Matthew Fitzpatrick didn’t putt well today but still managed an even-par 70 and has now played very well in two straight rounds. Others like Billy Horschel, Abraham Ancer, Tony Finau and a handful more all sit within three of Matsuyama.
Matthew Fitzpatrick and Rory McIlroy
I really like what I saw from these guys today, and both have shown that they can grind it out in tough conditions. McIlroy should stay motivated being so close to the leaderboard, and Fitzpatrick seemed to find something Friday at TPC Boston. He’s already shown that in grind-it-out events like The Memorial, he hangs around and will ultimately let his putter guide him.
Stud or Value Pick Outside of Top 10
Patrick Cantlay ($8,000)
Cantlay’s irons have been holding him back from good golf. That’s not typical for him, and I suspect it will turn eventually. If it does, it would seem the rest of his game is in shape, as he gained in all three of the other strokes gained categories. I also like the fact that Cantlay’s price has come down significantly, and his ownership isn’t high either. He’ll likely get a bump for round 2 but nothing too crazy with McIlroy, Ancer, Dustin Johnson and more up there.
Sneaky Pick Outside of Top 10
Adam Hadwin ($7,000)
For a guy that’s not that bad with his putter, Hadwin really struggled with the flat stick today, losing two strokes. The rest of his game seems to be trending in the right direction, as he gained or matched the field in the other three. He’s quite far down the list, so I don’t suspect many gamers will look to him, and we know he can get hot on a whim.
Byeong Hun An ($6,900)
An has been historically very good in wet and soft conditions. If he gets those conditions, especially if there is lift, clean and place, I think An could be a good last golfer in your lineup tomorrow. He went out to a 3-over 73 after getting it to under par at one time.
Dustin Johnson ($10,600)
Danny Lee ($6,400)
Billy Horschel ($7,500)
Bubba Watson ($7,400)
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