“One of the toughest tests in golf,” Jordan Speith described the Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass this week.  Called the “fifth major” by some, the course at Ponte Vedra Beach is one of the toughest on the PGA Tour, equal to the other majors in terms of challenge.

After extensive renovations last year, this Pete Dye-designed course doesn’t really favor one type of golfer over another – an all-around game is required to do well here.  And the TPC Sawgrass also has a reputation for unpredictable results – Si Woo Kim popped up here last year to win his first-ever PGA Tour win last year.

All of these facts transpire to make this “major” one that’s wickedly hard to handicap.  It features all the top golfers in the world – of course, including Tiger Woods – as there is a healthy amount of respect for the challenge of this course on tour.  It’s a hugely challenging course – and one that could see some surprising names missing the cut.  Who should be leading your team?

 

Hot Shots

Jordan Spieth ($11,100 – DraftKings, $12,300 – FanDuel)

It’s hard not to click Jordan Spieth’s name when you ask yourself the question “who should I take as an all-around solid golfer that avoids bogeys?”  I have a hunch that his all-around game, plus the fact that he didn’t play last week, will be very helpful to his chances.

Dustin Johnson ($10,300 – DraftKings, $12,200 – FanDuel)

Will we see DJ at this low a price ever again the rest of the year on DraftKings?  The No. 1 golfer in the world should be well rested and eager to maintain his world ranking with a solid performance this week.  At this discounted price of DraftKings, it’s hard to say no.

Mid Tier

Patrick Reed ($8,700 – DraftKings, $11,400 – FanDuel)

Yes, Virginia, you can get the Masters Champion and someone who finished 8th last week at the Wells Fargo Championship for a very low, low price.  With his consistently solid play this year, he seems like a bargain you need to shoehorn into your lineups.

Cameron Smith ($7,600 – DraftKings, $9,200 – FanDuel)

A resident of Florida, this Australian was last seen at the RBC Heritage finishing T32 and doing exactly what we want to see, keeping the number of bogeys down.  He seems like he’s in a pretty good spot to do well and make the cut here.

Low Tier

Zach Johnson ($7,500 – DraftKings, $10,100 – FanDuel)

I’m not sure Zach Johnson will make a run at the Top 10 – he very well may – but what attracts me to ZJ this week is his solid string of “made cuts” over the course of these weeks.  He may not be the best GPP play, but for cash games or head-to-head’s, he seems to offer a great chance at a made cut to get you through to the weekend.  He’s a steal on DraftKings, and still a bargain on FanDuel.

Chris Kirk ($7,200 – DraftKings, $8,300 – FanDuel)

Kirk is another recent cut-maker that was last seen in the Texas Open finishing T8 and doing what we like best this week, avoiding the big numbers.  I like Kirk a little bit better than ZJ because he seems like he’s in position to be a bit more overlooked – plus he’s at a great price on FanDuel.  I’ll be firing him up a lot this week.

Other Notables I Like:

Matt Kuchar ($7,800 DK, $11,100 FD) – Feels like a very low price for a guy that seems to have an excellent shot at making this cut

Brooks Koepka ($7,700 DK, $10,400 FD) – More of a GPP play than a cash play, if his form clicks back into places following his injury, he could really pay off at this price, especially on DraftKings

Alexander Levy ($7,000 DK, $8,600 FD) – A mercurial Frenchman trying to establish himself for one of the final Ryder Cup places, he has shown the all-around game required for this course on the European Tour