I was in the midst of uploading the audio breakdown, which includes me saying Adam Hadwin is one of my favorite plays of the week. Because he has since withdrawn, DO NOT PLAY HIM. Now that I’ve mentioned that, let’s get into it.
High $: DJ Casey Kuchar
DJ does not have the advantages here that he enjoys at other courses, and for that reason, I’m likely going to be fading him. That said, if you want by far the best player in the field at what I expect to be low ownership, by all means hop on in GPPs. Paul Casey had a hot Sunday at Augusta, and comes in with good form. The stats line up, and he’s played well here in the past. I like him to continue to play well this week, but the price doesn’t interest me much. GPP only. Matt Kuchar is a Pete Dye specialist who has an eye for these strategy-based courses. He’s finished no worse than 11th in the last 4 years here and comes in with great form. I don’t consider him a cash play given the price, but he’s a strong tournament option.
High-Mid $: Harman Simpson Cantlay Smith List Hatton Kisner
I consider Harman, List, Hatton, and Kisner all GPP plays, and I’m likely to fade Kisner if he looks to be getting popular. He’s just been pretty bad lately, and despite the course fit and strong results shown here in the past, I don’t love it. Hatton seems to fit here well and has been putting very well, and making a lot of birdies. That tends to come with lots of bogeys for him, but for DK scoring, he’s a strong play. Harman’s approach game has been suspect recently, and while his season long numbers are good, he will need to revert to early season form to contend here. Simpson comes in off a great Sunday at Augusta and finished 8th and 5th at two events I consider most relevant recently – both the Valspar and Honda are tough courses where most players club down off the tee. He’s had strong results here in the past and should continue that this weekend. I like Patrick Cantlay to play well this week after a strong performance here last year. He didn’t make the cut at Augusta, but I can’t remember the last time he’s missed a cut before that. He’s reliable and a supremely talented player who can get it done. Cam Smith is coming in hot and after his weekend at Augusta, everyone is on board. With two solid finishes here and great recent form, Cam makes a ton of sense. Luke List, despite being a “bomber,” has performed very well at less-than-driver courses recently, and I expect that to continue. My worry is that this course requires a lot of strategy, rather than just simply clubbing down off the tee, and List is notoriously volatile.
Mid $: Grillo DeChambeau Na Johnson Chappell
Grillo wasn’t a cash play for me until the Hadwin WD. Now, making my pivots, I keep finding myself on him and I’m not fighting against it. He’s yet to miss a cut this year and finished 26th, 6th, and 8th in the recent events I’m looking at the most. His short game and ball-striking have really come together, and I think he can get the job done. This reminds me a lot of Wes Bryan last year – strong finishes at the Honda and Valspar in the lead up and making his debut. Cantlay and Ollie also made their debuts here and finished in the top 5, giving me more confidence Grillo will do the same. DeChambeau was a hot pick at the Masters, but I wasn’t all-in. While he’s finished 4th here, he’s also missed a cut and is a very streaky player. He’s a GPP-only play for me, but given the Hadwin WD, I don’t hate if you find yourself on him in cash. Kevin Na was in my cash lineup with Hadwin until the WD, which made me make some changes. I still like him in cash, especially on FanDuel, but on DK I think there are solid pivots. ZJ and Chappell both come in with solid form, striking the ball well, and some decent but unspectacular course history. ZJ has been so solid this year I’d consider him a cash play, while Chappell’s WD from the Match Play and subsequent MC at Augusta gives me slight concern. I’d play ZJ first in cash, and Chappell in GPP, waiting for him to get back on track.
Mid-Low $: Knox Hoffman Donald McGirt Molinari
I’ll start with Luke Donald. Here it is folks, course history vs. recent form. He came in with pretty awful form last year, nobody wanted to play him, and he shot a 65 on Thursday on his way to yet another runner up finish. Could the same happen again this year? Absolutely. That said, his results last year weren’t AS bad as this year. On the other hand, after this event last year, he went on to miss 8 straight cuts. There’s something about Harbour Town that he loves – he doesn’t have to compete to be as long as everyone else, since they all club down. He knows the course extremely well, and I honestly think his stats are all so poor because trying to compete with the distance of everyone else is so harmful to his overall game. I get it, he wants to compete at the Waste Management, Houston Open, etc…but he’s just unable. Here, it’s different. I want to be confident in him in cash games, but the worry is his form isn’t good enough, even here. Knox and McGirt are basically the same player for me – plodders who thrive on these types of courses. Knox loves playing in the wind and feels he has an advantage in those conditions, which shows in his results here – 4 straight top 20’s. He’s also been solid at similar events this year, and strong in the approach ranges I’m looking at. McGirt, ignoring bomber-favoring events, has been extremely solid this year and has top 10’s at this event in 3 of his last 4 tries. Hoffman interests me as a GPP play – the course doesn’t suit him too well, and his putting has been poor, but he could pop up. Molinari is a very safe play in my opinion – he’s an accurate player in good form, likely good for a top 30 finish.
Low $: All GPP – Kokrak Si-Woo Kizzire Cauley Cook Sabbatini Kirk
Kokrak is another guy like List – known as a bomber but with good results at courses that force him to club down. He’s volatile though, so I wouldn’t be surprised by a top 10 or a missed cut. The same goes for Si-Woo, except he’s not a bomber. This course fits him sell and he’s played well here before. Nobody plays him due to his volatility, but in GPPs, that’s what you want. Kizzire has won twice at coastal courses this year, and Harbour Town qualifies. He’s been solid here before, but his short game has been awful of late. That said, he’s a sneaky pick to compete here, and I will have some shares in GPPs. Cauley has found some form and I like him here, given his 9th place finish last year. I wish I had the confidence in him for cash games, but I’ll wait and see if the form continues. Austin Cook has the game for this course and is still quite cheap. While he did miss the cut at Augusta, he was a debutant, and is coming in with good form from the API and Valspar. Sabbatini will be LOW owned, and I like him due to his long-term history and recent form at the Valspar and Honda. If he continues to play like he did at those events, and brings that game to a track he’s had a lot of success, I think he could be a very sneaky play. That said, he could also bomb out as he has the past two times here. Chris Kirk comes in with decent form and not much history, but at 7100 he’s not the worst play. Brian Gay and Matt Every come to mind in GPPs as well, but I’m not very confident in either.