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 Memorial. 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.
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Previous Round Commentary
From the get-go, it was apparent this would be a much different tournament than last week. For one, the wind was howling from 8:30 a.m. all the way through the last putt sunk on Thursday. That, along with green speeds that were clearly faster, made all the difference in the world, as some of the best players in the world couldn’t even break 80 on the day. While it’s not a U.S. Open, it certainly felt a little like it. It was, at the very least, a great change from the super low scoring we’ve had since returning.
The Expected Weather for Tomorrow’s Round
The wind is supposed to be all but gone for tomorrow’s round, leveling the playing field entirely. It’ll be interesting to see if Tony Finau can keep pace with the more comfortable conditions tomorrow morning and what that’ll mean for the cut line.
Previous Round Stat Review
Not only did Ryan Palmer beat his previous week’s score by almost 15 shots, but he also went around the course bogey-free today. He was the only one to do so. Now let’s move onto the scorers of the day.
BOB Leaders Round 1
- Tony Finau (9)
- Vijay Singh, Patrick Reed, Lucas Glover, Mark Hubbard, Matt Wallace (6)
Strokes Gained Ball Striking vs. Putting
Joaquin Niemann backers had a very rough morning, as Niemann couldn’t get anything to go down early in his round. He lost almost 2.5 strokes on the day putting but gained 4.25 ball striking, good enough for a 6.78 stroke differential. Tyler Duncan, Bubba Watson and Xander Schauffele all wound up with five more strokes ball striking than they did putting.
DraftKings is offering $50,000 to first contest with $225,000 guaranteed. There are plenty of other offerings, including the $100 long drive single-entry contests. Also, they are offering a $444 buy-in with $50,000 going to first for tomorrow’s round 2 slate.
Showdown & Weekend Picks
Top 10 Breakdown & Pick
Tony Finau had his best putting performance in a very long time, gaining over four strokes on the day. But he also gained another 3.5 tee to green, so it wasn’t just the putter carrying him to a first-round lead. Obviously, that home game 59 wasn’t all smoke. He seems to be in good form.
Brendan Steele set the pace early with a 4-under 68, and it looked like he wouldn’t be caught. But both Finau and Palmer, who came in third-to-last the previous week, ended up catching him late in the day. A bunch of other studs, however, find themselves in the top 10, including Gary Woodland, who putted incredibly well again today, Jon Rahm, who carried his excellent play from Sunday over to today, Rory McIlory and Jordan Spieth. In fact, Spieth actually lost .11 strokes putting today, missing two inside of 10 feet, or else he’d be in a tie for third with Steele. Looking a bit further into this, his off-tee game was good again, gaining almost a quarter of a stroke against the field in round 1.
Jon Rahm ($9,300)
He clearly found something on Sunday, and he seems to be finally getting his momentum back. At $9,300, he presents a superb value to get in another stud or two. Rahm’s putting finally caught fire a bit in round 1, gaining just over a stroke with the flat stick, and he also gained in the other three categories. I think Rahm will make a good run at the title this weekend.
Stud or Value Pick Outside of Top 10
Tiger Woods ($9,100)
A five-month hiatus didn’t stop him from coming back and looking absolutely fire with the irons. He gained almost three strokes on the day, putting him squarely inside the top five in the category. Now he just needs the rest of his game to follow. He lost a little bit around the green today, which is a surprise, but he did manage to gain off the tee. As long as he can get his glutes activated tomorrow morning, he shouldn’t have a problem with the 75-degree temperatures awaiting.
Sneaky Pick Outside of Top 10
Chez Reavie ($7,000)
Reavie had a solid tournament last week and a solid day yesterday. That said, he only had three birdies on the day and ended up losing .62 on his approaches. I’m hoping the short game confidence will carry over into that part of his game tomorrow. When he’s in form, he typically stays that way, we just need a slight uptick from his ball striking, and we’ll get this salary paid off in no time.
Jordan Spieth ($7,500)
Brendan Steele ($6,900)
Christiaan Bezuidenhout ($7,100)
Louis Oosthuizen ($7,200)
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