The PLAYERS Championship is being held once again at TPC Sawgrass – which, of course, is famous for the island green of the 17th hole. It’s a Pete-Dye-designed par 72 that plays right around 7,200 yards. Trouble abounds at Sawgrass with 88 bunkers and 17 water hazards, so finding accuracy will help. For more info on the course and trends, check out yesterday’s article.
Checking The Chalk
Tiger Woods ($10,500) is fresh off of a WD and is at an interesting price in a stacked field. He’s made five starts here since 2009, not counting his 2010 withdrawal. In that span, he has a win, and has made every cut. Woods’ game was clicking in Mexico, hitting 80 percent of greens in getting up and down at a 73 percent clip when he missed. There’s some risk with the injury, but he’ll be the topic of many conversations this week. Jason Day ($9,200) also withdrew last week and his status is worth monitoring as he needed cortisone shots last week.
Another late Sunday tee time for Rory McIlroy ($10,800), but another final-round fizzle. His last five starts have resulted in top six finishes so it’s hard to really nitpick here. But, as a top-three salary option at his ownership, you have to assume that a win is necessary to return the value you’d want.
The rest of the field is pretty wide open at the time of this writing. As content comes out over the rest of Tuesday night and Wednesday things will change rapidly in a field like this. Make sure you scroll all the way down to the bottom and check out the latest run of ownership projections to stay up to date before lock.
It’s hard to label anyone above $9,500 a true pivot, as I think this ownership goes pretty flat overall up top. Each golfer in that range has its merits and is worth a look. You could blindly pick whoever projects to be the lowest owned in that range and feel pretty good in tournaments. Ownership aside, Justin Thomas ($11,400) is my favorite play up top.
Adam Scott ($8,200) is the definition of a GPP play. He’s been up and down lately. When everything clicks, he’s finished in the top 20. Four of his past seven starts have hit that threshold. Unfortunately, the other three were missed cuts. If you can take the variance that comes along with his performance lately, Scott is worth a look this week. On average in his starts at Pete Dye courses, he’s highest in the field in DK scoring under $8,500.
Patrick Cantlay’s ($8,700) recent form has been stellar, with six of his last seven starts resulting in top-15 finishes. Cantlay has only missed three cuts since this time last year. He came out firing at TPC Sawgrass last year to an early lead before finishing in 23rd place. The previous year, in 2017, he managed a 22nd-place finish.
I’m partial to the Aussies in the $7,000 range. Marc Leishman ($7,600) seems mispriced down here. He’s made 17 straight cuts, including 11 top-25 finishes. Cameron Smith ($7,600) is at the same price and is coming off of a missed cut which could keep his ownership down. There’s certainly some risk given that he struggled to a 50 percent GIR clip last week, but I think that was an aberration on Friday last week and not something that continues.
I know you’re sitting on the edge of your seat wondering if I’m going to mention Jason Kokrak ($6,700). The numbers speak for themselves at this point. He’s up to 15 straight made cuts and has been in the top 20 in five of his past six starts. Kokrak has hit at least 60 percent of GIR and fairways in each of his past three starts. If he keeps it in play and hits greens at that rate, look out this weekend.
The cash locks have been continuing to roll. Last week, we had a 3rd place finish from Tommy Fleetwood and a T10 effort from Kokrak. That brings the season total to 18-of-20 made cuts with 13 top-20 finishes. This week I’m going to roll with Justin Thomas, for obvious reasons. And for my cheaper option, I’m going to hop back in with Gary Woodland ($7,500). The brand is strong with chasing GIR and fading putting. People will look at Woodland’s 36th-place finish at PGA National and think he didn’t play great. He hit nearly 70 percent of GIR that week though, and just didn’t bring a hot putter. If the putter clicks and he has that many birdie opportunities this week, Woodland will factor in over the weekend.
|Charles Howell III||7300||9.20||0.99|
|Byeong Hun An||6800||7.30||0.94|
|Si Woo Kim||7700||5.50||0.74|
|Cheng Tsung Pan||6800||0.74||0.50|
|Harold Varner III||6500||2.70||0.41|
|Hao Tong Li||7300||0.30||0.35|
|Ted Potter Jr.||6300||0.39||0.21|
|Rafa Cabrera Bello||7400||14.50||0.06|