Two straight PGA weeks, two blowout victories without a heck of a lot of Sunday Drama. After Webb Simpson ran away with the Byron Nelson, Justin Rose walloped the field going low in the Fort Worth Invitational last weekend.
The PGA Tour leaves Texas this week and sees a move to Ohio for the Memorial, where early forecasts are calling for a significant amount of rain as the remnants of the first tropical storm of the season work their way through the area.
I’m wondering if the weather might be a bigger factor than people think. Though Muirfield Village’s course is a little over 7,300 and is a balanced, Jack Nicklaus-designed course, I think the rain is going to be a major disruptor for some of the second-tier golfers on the course this weekend. Like last week, this is an invitational that has a smaller field, and like last week, it’s a star-studded event, as many of the leading lights of the PGA Tour are getting ready for the US Open in a couple of weeks.
Though I’ll be looking at overall ball striking as a major stat as well as guys that do well in bad weather, I’m also going to be looking at guys who really need to bust out with a good performance to either qualify for the US Open or need to really fix something in their form to do well in the US Open. A guy like Justin Rose is really striking the ball well, but technically winning here isn’t such a vital interest as it is to some of the others.
Rory McIlroy ($10,800 – DraftKings, $11,900 – FanDuel)
I like Rory this week for a couple of reasons. First, he does have some positive course history here (4th in 2016). Second, he comes in with a need to get his game up to speed for the US Open after spending last week finishing a respectable 2nd in Wentworth for a EURO Tour event. He won’t be shaking off the rust as much as some of the other top players, and I think that will be a tremendous advantage for him.
Jordan Spieth ($9,800 – DraftKings, $11,800 – FanDuel)
Do you take Spieth in his 4th straight event? Normally I don’t like to take players in their 4th straight event, but I’m making an exception for Spieth, who has struck the ball very well the last few weeks but been unable to unlock his putter to far a T10 finish. The Spieth narrative is one where he needs to get his putter unlocked for the US Open, and this week’s tournament is his last best chance to do so. Plus at a bargain-basement price of $9,800 on DraftKings, he’s so easy to fit in your lineups, it’s hard to fade him in case he puts it all together.
Patrick Reed ($8,900 – DraftKings, $11,400 – FanDuel)
Reed has consistently not been priced like a guy who has won the Masters, and this week is no exception. He hasn’t lost his all-around game since then, and you’ve got to think that in a head-to-head matchup against golfers priced $3,000 more than him, he’d be able to hold his own or win. Just terrific value with the upside that he could win it.
Adam Scott ($8,600 – DraftKings, $10,800 – FanDuel)
Again, I’m waiving the “4th Straight Event” rule for Scott, who needs a strong finish here to make the US Open based on World Golf Ranking Points and has been striking the ball extremely well. The book on Scott is he’s all ball-striking, no putter, but if his putter even just stays adequate, he could get what he needs to make the US Open this week. He also finished the Forth Worth Invitational last week very strong, too, with a Sunday 66.
Louis Oosthuizen ($7,700 – DraftKings, $9,900 – FanDuel)
Oosty comes into this week in tremendous form, surging to a T5 in Fort Worth with only 2 bogeys and 1 double bogey in back-to-back under 70 rounds to close out the weekend. I think he will be able to ride that form going into Ohio, where he’ll have an advantage over the guys still shaking off the rust.
Kevin Kisner ($7,500 – DraftKings, $9,400 – FanDuel)
Though his recent form hasn’t been terrific, he’s had success here (6th last year) and he made the cut in Fort Worth, so the thought here is that his terrific short game will continue to round back into form as we get closer to the US Open. I think he’s pretty close, and when it does all start clicking, you want to have shares, especially at this price.
Other Notables I Like:
Luke List ($7,400 DK, $9,300 FD) – After missing the cut at The PLAYERS on May 10th, List was a guy that was in desperate need of a rest. Now rested, I think he returns to the form that was tearing things up earlier in the Spring, and at this price he’s a steal
Chris Kirk ($7,400 DK, $9,200 FD) – Been riding Chris Kirk for weeks, and see little reason to stop now. Though he won’t make the US Open, he’s looking down the line to build his resume for future majors, and he’s striking the ball terrific
Mac Hughes ($6,600 DK, $7,200 FD) – The Canadian has found his strike, making the cut in three of the last four events. He’s a great salary saver this week to me