As avid readers of this site (there must be a few!) may remember, earlier this year, I rolled out what was to be a weekly feature – who NOT to pick in DraftKings. This is based on my lack of success despite theoretically smart thinking. These are guys I am picking, but given my track record, I’m encouraging you not to do the same.
For what it’s worth, this feature rolled out on the week of THE PLAYERS, which was the last PGA event that even begun. For those with exceptionally bad short-term memory, that tournament was halted after a single round (RIP Hideki’s 63) and quarantines and shelters-in-place began, in the new COVID-19 world. So, that was awesome timing on my part. Here’s to hoping this doesn’t similarly jinx the Colonial, otherwise known as the Charles Schwab Challenge.
Because … let’s be clear, GOLF IS BACK and this tournament is absolutely loaded. This is not a tournament that usually has a ton of top players (they’ve never had two of the top-5 players in OWGR, this time they have the entire top 5, and 21 of the top 25 in FedEx standings, whatever that means in this weird abbreviated season.) In short, it’s going to be great. I’m HYPED. So, without further ado, here’s who I’m backing – be afraid. Be very afraid. (Note, this is done with the DraftKings $50,000 budget cap. If you are not allowed to gamble on DK in your state, apologies. Write your Congressmen, though certainly they have more important things to deal with right now.)
Rory McIlroy ($11,800) – heard of him? The #1 ranked golfer in the world, playing great again this season. But, you might say, Colonial is a tight piece of property, narrow tree-lined fairways and not a bombers paradise. That might very well be a good reason to avoid Rors. You might look at the fact that despite being 3rd in driving distance, he’s a shocking 180th in driving accuracy. Yikes! But he’s also 18th in greens in regulation. My boy Rory can scramble like a boss, and that’s why I’m in. But you should stay away.
Sung Jae Im ($9,300) – One of the last things we saw before the PGA Tour shut down was Im getting, finally, his first win on tour at The Honda Classic after an amazing rookie season. He plays every week, is seemingly always in it, and finds a way to score. He’s 10th in scoring average despite somewhat shaky stats across his game. And you know what …? As I wrote this, I lost all faith in Sung Jae. I’m no longer taking him. This means that he’s probably going to win.
Webb Simpson ($9,800) – Now, here’s a guy who hits the ball far but is also an exceptional iron player. He’s shredding the tour (at least before the shutdown) and he just feels like the kind of guy who wins at Colonial. This is absolutely not the right way to bet, but Webb is a favorite here for a reason. (Also? His name is not Webb. That’s his middle name. I don’t know what to do with that information, but it feels relevant.) He’s #1 in Birdies, #2 in Scoring Average and 7th in GIR percentage. I feel like he’s going to attack this course with righteous fury (at least as much fury as a guy like Webb can muster). I’m in.
Jordan Spieth ($8,000) – I know. Here’s why you shouldn’t follow this advice – Jordan is a hot mess. Golf Twitter suggested he started the Coronavirus to get his golf game back in shape. He seems to melt down in at least one of his four rounds in a tournament to absolutely ensure he doesn’t win. But…here’s why I’m personally in. For one, I LOVE Jordan. He’s one of my guys. He’s an absolute nut job on the course without being a jerk, and I love watching the struggle. Two, he’s SHREDDED this course. He’s won here, finished 2nd twice and has 5 top-10’s in his seven appearances. You can put Jordan into your lineup using your head OR your heart. I’m doing both.
Harris English ($7,500) – I’ll admit something here. For no good reason, I used to get Webb Simpson and Harris English confused. I’m not sure why, perhaps it’s their super white country club names, or perhaps it’s why as a kid I managed to confuse Linda Rondstadt and Pat Benatar, two female singers who otherwise have almost nothing in common aside from being brunettes. Related: I’m not smart. But Harris English, on the other hand, is playing his balls off. Did you know he was 24th in FedEx Cup points? 13th in Scoring? Prior to the shutdown, he finished T16, T17 and 9th. For this low price, I’m all in on Harris. And if you’re paying attention, this means I’ve chosen BOTH Linda Rondstadt and Pat Benatar.
If you know how DraftKings work, and you’re paying attention to what I’ve paid already, you know we’re budget shopping now.
Dylan Fritelli ($6,500) – Fritelli (known on Instagram as @fritellivision) has made 11/14 cuts this year, with two top-10’s. He tied for 18th at the Arnold Palmer Invitational just before the tour was put on hold, and has also popped up a bit in the random tournaments being held during that time. My boy is working to keep his game on point. He’s inexpensive for a reason, but why shouldn’t he do well this week? (This is the kind of reasoning that tells you why this article is titled as it is.)
Tyler Duncan ($6,400) – I’ll admit, I stole this one directly from No Laying Up. They noted that Duncan has been shredding it up in Florida in these games that pros have been playing to keep fresh. Duncan also has a top-10 this year (which was a win at the RSM Classic) and has made 7/15 cuts. He’s a very small guy, 5’8″, and as such is not especially long off the tee. His 281-yard driving distance is only good for 221st on tour. But, that’s fine here at Colonial. His stats are not great, but it’s what he’s done during his time off that makes him a decent gamble at low cost. Let’s do this.
In addition to the above, here are guys I have in at least one other lineup, so be afraid of them too: Collin Morikawa (my guy is lethal with his irons and approach), Max Homa (absolutely ripped it up before the hiatus), Scottie Scheffler (playing phenomenally) and as noted above, Sung Jae Im.
Bet smart, or don’t bet at all – but if you want to win, you’re probably best off avoiding the guys above.