PGA DFS: The Honda Classic Pivots and Plays
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Image Credit: Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Joaquin Niemann.

We’re back in Florida this week for The Honda Classic. This tournament is played at PGA National’s Champion Course in Palm Beach Gardens. It’s a par 70 that plays about 7,125 yards. The Honda Classic is typically a carnage-filled affair. With 15 holes having water in play and the field having to navigate 67 bunkers, we’re hoping that holds true so we can put our game theory chops to the test.

If you haven’t done so already, make sure you check out the new Game Theory 2.0 Series that has come out over the last couple of weeks. We hit every price range:

The Studs

We’re looking for two main things here to give ourselves a chance at a ceiling outcome in the $10,000+ range.

  • Golfers that have jumped up into this price range from somewhere between $9,900 and $7,500
  • Golfers that have at least a PRK Score of 85

This whole range hits the first criteria but only Daniel Berger ($10,800) and Joaquin Niemann ($10,400) hit the second bullet-point. The issue is that I have them projected as the highest owned golfers in this range. I’m fine eating some chalk in this range, especially considering the relatively weak strength of the field here. The only concern with Berger is that he is nursing a rib injury at the moment. Locking in Niemann doesn’t seem like the worst idea. He is on a streak of 13 made cuts and has been in the Top 30 for 11 of those events.

Mid-Range

Cameron Davis ($8,600), and Chris Kirk ($9,000) are the duo that hit all of our game theory boxes in this range.

Boxes Checked Ceiling Rate DK Points Above Tournament Average
3 44% 16
2 35% 13
1 34% 13

Davis is coming off of two missed cuts but is a streaky golfer that can score DK Points in bunches. He’s flashed plenty of upside this year, including a solo third-place finish at The American Express. Kirk has shown some better recent form with 9 of 10 made cuts. He’s only two weeks removed from a top-10 finish at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Value Plays

This field is so weak that there actually aren’t any plays that fit all of the criteria laid out in the game theory piece for this range. That’s fine; we can still maximize our chances at a ceiling outcome by checking off as many boxes as possible.

I’m looking to maximize PRK Score here. Brandon Wu ($7,800), Harold Varner ($7,500), and Kevin Streelman ($7,700) are the highest-ranked golfers in this cohort. They’ll be owned, but won’t be as chalky as Keegan Bradley ($8,400) or Wyndham Clark ($8,000). Mixing in some exposure with those lower-owned guys in this range is a good place to get some leverage.

Bargain Plays

In this range, I’m always looking for the golfers that pop up the most in the “perfect lineup” from my simulator. This week, there’s a trio that pops up quite a bit:

  • Zach Johnson ($7,400)
  • Matt Jones ($7,400)
  • Ryan Moore ($7,300)

Ownership Projections and Model Results

For ownership projections, you can head over to the Optimizer or the Ownership Explorer!

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