The field is set and we’re ready for the first leg of the FedEx Cup Playoffs. The Northern Trust will be held at Liberty National GC this year. The scorecard for this year’s event shows it playing as a 7,370-yard par 71.
With such a small sample of prior results here, there’s no course preview. That doesn’t mean there aren’t some trends we can check out, though. It’s been pretty even between distance and accuracy. There have been 48 golfers to finish in the top 20 of DK scoring in those two events. Of that group, 10 have hit the top 10 in distance compared to eight that got there in accuracy off the tee. In weeks like these, there has to be a higher emphasis on ball striking.
Checking the Chalk
Justin Thomas ($10,000) is on the upswing once again. After struggling with a wrist issue for a bit since the Florida swing, he’s turned around his season and looks like he’s ready to make a run. Thomas has strung together three straight finishes inside of the top 12 for the first time since the Spring. Over that span, seven of his 12 rounds have finished in the 60s. There’s no question about his talent, and now that he’s healthy, Thomas should be in line for a big week.
Patrick Cantlay ($9,200) is underpriced this week. There’s no two ways about it. He has just the 10th highest salary on DK and is fourth in my model this week. Since missing the cut at the Players, he has made eight straight cuts. Only one of those finishes has ended up worse than a tie for 21st. Per the RotoViz Splits App, he’s averaging over 7.0 SG: Tee to Green during that stretch.
Billy Horschel ($8,000) has been excellent lately and is a popular cheaper option who makes for a good play on DraftKings as well as on Yahoo!
He’s the cover boy on the Yahoo! piece but it’s worth noting here how well Collin Morikawa ($8,500) has fared recently. The new addition to the Tour has been nothing short of spectacular and he comes in just behind Rory McIlroy ($11,400) in the Power Ranking Model. His raw score of -2.55 gives him a fair salary of over $12,000, even in this field.
Sungjae Im ($7,500) and Joaquin Niemann ($7,500) are far too cheap this week. Their power ranking score puts them in the -1.5 to -1 group. That group has hit the top 5 11.1% of the time and made the cut at a 75% clip. They would both be more expensive if they didn’t have recent MCs on their resume at the Open Championship. Im went 71-80 with uncharacteristic blowups while Niemann went 76-71 to miss the cut. Each played well last week in a bounce-back performance, though, with Im and Niemann finishing in sixth and 13th place, respectively.
I’m going to keep banging the Corey Conners ($6,500) drum until he figures out how to putt and it pays off. A quick look at his game log shows that he’s made just three of his past six cuts. In two of those missed cuts, he’s hit over 75% of GIR while missing the weekend. Of all the events in our database – dating back to 1990 – that’s only happened about 2% of the time. Even without the putter, he’s managed to score well. Conners has carded six of his past eight rounds in the sixties, including five straight.
So far this season, the totals for the cash locks are 53/58 (91.3%) made cuts, 39/58 (67.2%) top 30s, and 17/58 (29.3%) top 10s. Here are this week’s cash locks:
- Patrick Cantlay ($9,200)
- Collin Morikawa ($8,500)
Ownership Projections and Model Results - Northern Trust
|Byeong Hun An||7800||9.00||-1.21|
|Charles Howell III||7500||11.00||-1.14|
|Si Woo Kim||7100||4.62||-0.02|
|Harold Varner III||6400||0.87||-0.19|