If a PGA Tour player could win an event outside of the majors this would be it.
It’s time for The Players Championship, often referred to as golf’s “fifth major”.
The purse is one of the biggest on Tour and this is the toughest field in golf with all of the world’s top 50 in attendance.
The tournament takes no prisoners and a host of big names have been chewed up and spat out during the years.
The event takes place at TPC Sawgrass (Stadium) and it’s a 7,189-yard, par 72 layout.
This course also features the iconic island green at the par-three 17th hole. It’s laden with challenges and big numbers can be collected.
No lead is safe here and there’s been some huge blow-ups in previous editions.
Si Woo Kim is the defending champion and the greens are Bermuda.
Last week: The column was fire. I looked at nine players and seven finished inside the top 21.
We had the winner with the popular Jason Day.
Considering the carnage on offer last week with a host of chalky players missing the cut, we can take it as a good result.
The Wells Fargo also provided an extreme but useful insight into what players you’re looking for in PGA DFS.
Tony Finau finished in T21 but was the fifth-highest scorer in Moneyball points. On the flip side, Webb Simpson also finished T21 but was 31st for Moneyball points.
This shows us that we want scorers; players that make birdies and eagles.
TPC Sawgrass offers something for everyone but will punish errant shots.
It’s generally a less-than-driver course as positioning in the fairway is vital.
Course history is something I will put less stock in compared to other tournaments. A great example is Rickie Fowler, in the past eight years he has five missed cuts, a 60th, a second and a win.
Bombs can go off here too and you don’t have to look any further than shock Kiwi winner Craig Perks in 2002. Si Woo Kim paid $751 last year.
Water and bunkers line this course and having players that can avoid trouble is useful.
Being in the fairway and hitting these small greens is valuable. Scrambling will be important because players will miss greens this week.
$8 and $9K Range
Jordan Spieth ($8,900) – Spieth has missed the past three cuts at this tournament and that will confuse some DFS players.
He has publicly said he loves this golf course and his game sets up well for it.
The Texan is an elite iron player and is top 10 in this field in bogey avoidance. He is first in proximity across the past 24 rounds.
Justin Thomas ($8,600) – The American can claim the world No 1 ranking depending on how this event shakes out.
Thomas continues to play well wherever he goes and is second on Tour this season in scoring average.
These par fives are there for the taking and JT ranks third on Tour for eagles.
Patrick Reed ($7,000) – I am not a Patrick Reed guy but it’s hard to ignore his form.
The Masters champion is striping it at the moment and there’s few players on Tour with a better game around the greens.
Reed recently put contact lenses in and he said it helped his putting.
The 27-year-old isn’t a great driver of the ball – historically – and that doesn’t matter this week as most players will club down.
Henrik Stenson ($7,000) – The Ice Man has been in top form this year.
Stenson, a former winner here, has finished inside the top six in his past three individual events on Tour.
And the stats, he’s first on Tour this season for strokes gained: approach.
Ian Poulter ($6,200) – Poulter is arguably playing the best golf of his career at 42.
The Englishman has finished second at this event twice and won on Tour earlier this season.
He’s 18th on Tour for strokes gained: approach and while the numbers don’t back it up, his chipping and putting is generally sharp.
Poulter sticks out as a guy you could roster to provide you with a point of difference.
Marc Leishman ($6,200) – There’s little wind in the forecast but if it blows, Leishman is the play in this range.
He booked a top 10 at The Masters and the big tournaments is where Leishman has shone in the past few years.
The Australian has great course management, hits his irons nicely and is inside the top 20 in strokes gained: around the green this season.
Zach Johnson ($6,000) – If Poulter and Leishman are likely to be lowly-owned, then Johnson is at the opposite end of the scale; he will be chalky.
But at this price it’s tough to ignore. Johnson is 10th on Tour for three-putt avoidance and is an incredibly solid player.
He’s a two-time major champion and thrives on shorter tracks.
Jimmy Walker ($5,800) – Walker has been knocked around as he continues to manage having Lyme disease.
But the former PGA Championship winner has great pedigree and has made his past five cuts.
At this price we just need people to make the cut to get us that elusive 9/9 through to the weekend.
Martin Kaymer ($5,500) – Speaking of cut-makers, Kaymer is your guy.
The 2014 champion has made nine straight cuts at this tournament and while the form hasn’t been great this year, if he can make the cut at this price then he will repay the price.
Piece of Chalk: Zach Johnson ($6,000) looks like a safe play at this quote.
Scrub-A-Dub: Don’t worry about the Lyme disease, play Jimmy Walker ($5,800).