DraftKings Byron Nelson Preview

In this week’s DraftKings Byron Nelson preview I’ll breakdown sleepers, core pla–blah blah blah…. I’ll do all that, but everything takes a back seat to the real golf tournament that’s occurred this same week for the last 29 years known as the world’s greatest golf extravaganza–it’s the 30th Annual Fitton Follies!!! This exclusive, invite only, event where 60-70 generally white men of all generations gather for three days of avoiding their families, overeating/drinking, camaraderie, and golf glory is hosted this year at Shanty Creek in Bellaire, Michigan. The legendary founders Dick Fitton and Milt Senter will, once again, play and MC this world class event that will undoubtedly make lasting memories, and strengthen, what’s known by all attendees past, present, and future as, the brotherhood.

As for the secondary PGA event, that will be taking place at a new venue this season at Trinity Forest Golf Club in Dallas, Texas so you can kind of throw course history out the window. Per usual, I’ll start off with sleepers–when I say sleepers I’m referring to players priced in the low 7k, or below range that have under told stories/aren’t obvious names in the golf world. I consider making a cut with these selections a victory. Last week, I had one nice selection with Brooks Koepka who finished T-11 after shooting the course record in his Sunday round. Admittedly, the other two were hot garbage–more on that later. Here’s a look at my results going back to last season:

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  2017 RESULTS   
(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

Andrew Putnam $6,900

The younger brother of tour veteran Michael Putnam is back full-time on the big tour for the second time in his career after finishing in the top 25 of the Web.com Tour money list last season. And, this time, the 29 year-old seems poised to stick around much longer playing the best golf of his career lately in his last five outings:

Date Event Finish Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4
3/25/2018 Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship T5 70 68 70 69
4/1/2018 Houston Open T32 71 69 69 70
4/22/2018 Valero Texas Open T8 73 68 68 69
4/29/2018 Zurich Classic of New Orleans (Team Event) T15 62 69 66 76
5/6/2018 Wells Fargo Championship T82 74 71 74

Specifically, following up the first top 10 finish of his career in the Puerto Rico event (extremely soft field same week as WGC match play event) with a solid performance in Houston, and another top 10 at the VTO proved Putnam’s first one wasn’t a flukish result of the soft field. It also suggests his recent success is more a product of finding some tangible improvements in his game, or a general increased confidence level. After making the cut, but not finishing (MDF) at Wells Fargo two weeks ago, he should be eager to get back out there in what will be his second appearance at the BN where he was cut in 2015.

(The Telegraph India)

Lahiri with wife Ipsa (The Telegraph India)

Anirban Lahiri $7,100

Generally, I’ve been all over Lahiri this season, and, despite his sub standard results recently, still believe he’ll net his first PGA Tour win sooner rather than later. Around this same time last year, he earned his season’s best finish at the Memorial with a T-2 after having missed three consecutive cuts so he’s streaky to say the least. He missed the cut at the Players last week by just one stroke after firing an opening round 69. I like him to get things turned around in a softer field, and make his 10th cut in 14 starts this season with some potential to place high once he’s there.

(Callaway Golf)

(Callaway Golf)

Talor Gooch $7,300

As one would expect, Goooooooooch’s (just a matter of time before Kuchar feels threatened) rookie season has been wildly inconsistent, but has also been relatively successful making 10 of 17 weekends including six finishing T-30 or higher when he gets there. He responded strongly at the Wells Fargo two weeks ago with his career best T-13 finish after grinding through missing five cuts in his previous six starts. I discussed the former OSU Cowboy’s prodigy like childhood before Pebble Beach, and still anticipate he’ll be contending with his first career top 5/10 at any point this season.

(My iPhone)

(My iPhone)

Bobby Adcock $0

I know, I’ve never heard of him either, but hear me out… He’s been going to the range at least twice a week for the last month to iron out some issues with his driver. There’s been steady progress over the first three rounds of the year with the most recent coming at the gorgeous Kingsley Club pictured above. Although that was a scramble format, Adcock’s game off the tee was much more consistent throughout the day with, what would have been, many usable approach shots if he was playing his own ball. What he lacks in distance and general confidence standing over the ball, he makes up for in golf attire and his rapist wit. If he can stay relatively clean off the tee this week, I like him to contend for his first Sandbagger Championship in his 5th career Follies appearance.

Core Players

Before the Valspar Championship, I started including my core players to build around in all my lineups. I try to identify targets before prices are released to stay focused, and avoid editing my lineup 2,000 times ten minutes before lock. This can get me into trouble when one misses the weekend like Lefty last week, but I play DFS like I play tinder–all or nothing! These selections are players that I believe have top 25 floors with top 10 upside, and a reasonable case to win. Here’s the results so far this season:

  2018 CORE PLAYERS   

1. Billy Horschel

  • Last year’s BN winner’s game has been rounding into form for the summer stretch in is last four starts:
Date Event Finish Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4
4/15/2018 RBC Heritage T5 66 69 67 72
4/22/2018 Valero Texas Open T11 68 71 70 70
4/29/2018 Zurich Classic of New Orleans (Team Event) 1 65 73 61 67
5/13/2018 THE PLAYERS Championship T37 68 70 73 70
  • Only three rounds shot over par in his last 12 sounds good to me. The price is steep in this soft field, but if you’re scared off by Matsuyama’s recent form, Billy is my pivot this week.

2. Scott Piercy

  • This guy is really starting to piss me off. My last two bounce back candidates after missing cuts were Lucas List who rebounded nicely with a T-9 at Wells Fargo, and Englishman Tommy Fleetwood who boomeranged back after his only missed cut of the year (the week I picked him to win of course) at the Players last week with a T-7 finish charting three rounds in the 60s. The past two times I’ve suggested Scotty P, he missed the weekend. Fool me thrice–it’s personal…

giphy (9)3. Beau Hossler

  • Anyone making a short list of guys on the verge of capturing their first tour win should include this guy. Since his runner up finish at the Houston Open, the 23 year-old hasn’t contended, but has stuck around for every weekend with one 70s blow up round negating any high place finishes. His sub 70 scoring average before the cut is good for 13th on tour making him a comfortable floor play to make the weekend with solid upside. It won’t be long before he puts together four consecutive sub par rounds to contend again.

Projected Lineup

You can add Uihlein to that list as well. I’ve discussed him multiple times this season. A Saturday round 62 at Wells Fargo that helped tie his season’s best T-5 finish his last time out should have him feeling good coming into Dallas this week. Also, he’s a Boston area native and they seem to be having a good time this week.

Brooks Koepka$9,000
Henrik Stenson$8,800
Phil Mickelson$8,600
Tommy Fleetwood$8,100
Marc Leishman$7,800
Patrick Cantlay/Francesco Molinari$7,700/7,600

Favorite to win: Hideki Matsuyama 22/1

Dark horse to win: Peter Uihlein 40/1

Long-shot to win: Anirban Lahiri 160/1

Good luck in Dallas! Follow me on twitter @realBobbyAdcock.

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