Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Players - Fantasy Golf - Presented by DraftKings

It’s referred to as the fifth major for good reason. One of the best stages in golf, the most famous par 3 in the game, and a finishing hole where anything can happen. With the top-50 players in the world all scheduled to attend, TPC Sawgrass plays like a major championship.

In the past 10 years of this tournament, we have seen champions such as Fred Funk (2005), Stephen Ames (2006) and Tim Clark (2010), revealing that in order to succeed in this tournament, you need to place each shot, not just bomb it off the tee. This week’s picks are based off of course familiarity, shotmaking and combined with who’s hot right now in the world of golf. And don’t forget to check out my DraftKings lineups for this week.  This is a new addition to our Fantasy Golf series, one which you can also join in on.  Click here or on the banner below to start drafting your lineup for The Players.  Signing up now and receive a free entry, with $100,000 in cash prizes!
  1. Rory McIlroy - Coming off a world class win, literally, at the WGC Match Play. Proved last summer that wins only fuel his fire. Look for him to compete despite the fact that he is coming off a week which saw him play a lot of mentally strenuous golf. Has finished in top-10 in last two editions of this event. 
  2. Jordan Spieth - Finished three shots back from last year’s champion, Martin Kaymer. Does not have a lot of experience on this course, but has more than proven that he can hit greens and make big putts. 
  3. Henrik Stenson - No missed cuts this season, and a couple runner-up finishes (Hero World Challenge & Arnold Palmer invitational). Ranks first in strokes gained tee-to-green and strokes gained putting. Winner of this event in 2009. 
  4. Jim Furyk - Runner-up last year to Kaymer, one of the most consistent ball strikers on tour, winner a few weeks ago at RBC Heritage, and fourth place finish last week at WGC Match Play. 
  5. Sergio Garcia - Solo 3rd place finish last year, T8 in 2013, T12 in 2011, and won in 2008. A consistent threat at TPC Sawgrass. 
  6. Jimmy Walker - Is yet to miss a cut this year, and has five top-10 finishes, including a win at Sony Open in Hawaii. Finished T6 last year for best career finish in this event, but has in general performed well at this event the past few years. This could serve as that first “big” career win. 
  7. Justin Rose - Playing very solid golf since the Masters. Win at Zurich Classic, followed by solid performance at Match Play, despite being unable to make it to round of 16. Finished T4 at last year’s event. 
  8. Hideki Matsuyama - Been playing like a seasoned veteran despite the fact that he’s only 23 years old. Has only missed one cut this season, and his name continues to surface on leaderboards. T23 finish at this event in 2014. 
  9. Morgan Hoffmann - Finished T17 at last year’s event, and is playing even better golf now than he was at this point last year. 
  10. Zach Johnson - His game is all about putting the ball in the fairway. Averages less than 280 yards off the tee, but knows how to keep the ball in the right spots that will allow him to compete. 
  11. Lee Westwood - Only missed one cut this season, and finished T9 at last week’s WGC Match Play. Is playing well, and has performed well at this event in recent years. 
After reviewing the field and highlighting some key players to watch, it's time to take things to the next level and strategically draft a powerful lineup on DraftKings.  Within DraftKings, each player is assessed a dollar value, based on which, you are tasked with drafting six (6) players while staying under the $50,000 salary cap.  Here's a look at my teams for this week.

Draft Kings Starting Line-Up
  • Henrik Stenson - $10,400 
  • Jim Furyk - $10,000 
  • Hideki Matsuyama - $8,800 
  • Mark Leishman - $7,000 
  • Morgan Hoffmann - $6,900 
  • Shawn Stefani - $6,400 
Taking Stenson is a solid first pick, as he is yet to miss a cut this year, has competed for titles, and is ranked number 1 in strokes gained putting and strokes gained tee-to-green. Furyk has been playing his best golf in the past few years, Matsuyama continues to play fearless golf and Leishman is coming off a solid performance last week at the WGC. Shawn Stefani could be considered a sleeper pick, but has made 12 of 14 cuts this season. Morgan Hoffmann on the other hand has been playing solid golf all year.

Draft Kings Sleeper Line-Up
  • Ben Crane - $7,400 
  • Cameron Tringale - $7,800 
  • David Toms - $6,900 
  • Chris Kirk - $6,700 
  • David Hearn - $6,400 
  • Bernhard Langer - $6,500 
I’m taking Ben Crane for the fact that he is a world class putter, and he finished T8 at this event in 2013. Cameron Tringale is coming off a 2nd place finish at the Zurich Classic, narrowly missing a playoff with Justin Rose. David Toms plays well at this event, having finished T10 in 2012, 2nd in 2011 (lost in playoff to K.J. Choi). He doesn’t hit the ball a long way, but he knows how to manage his way around a golf course, which is key at TPC Sawgrass. Chris Kirk is a solid ball striker with a cool demeanor that allows him to stay calm and focused when in contention. David Hearn is another who has played well at this event in the past. He finished T6 last year, and T26 in 2013. I like Bernhard Langer for the fact that he knows how to compete. To win as often as he does on the Champions Tour takes extreme mental strength because you have proven champions shooting incredibly low scores on a weekly basis. To win on the Champions Tour, you cannot make many mistakes in a week, and Langer wins a lot. Combine this with his level of fitness and knowledge of the course, and you have a solid pick for this week.


About the Author
This article was written by Jonathan Carr (@jonathanwcarr) as part of our weekly #FantasyGolf series. Each week we preview the upcoming PGA Tour event and highlight some of the players we'll be keeping an eye on. As a scratch golfer himself, Jonathan has a keen eye for what it takes to be successful on and off the golf course. His passion for golf is surpassed only by his passion for his faith and his family. Read some of Jonathan's other articles here.

About DraftKings
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