While the stakes are always high at WGC’s and the purses pay out better than any other non-Major event, they’re typically not my favorite to bet or play in DFS, because the odds are tighter and DFS lineup construction options are more limited. But to my delight, I looked at the odds and pricing this week and saw more value than ever! We’ve got recent Major winners in the $6K range and huge variances on odds book-to-book. So Bombs & Values are alive and well once again!
Since the field is half of what we’re typically used to, I cut this article down from the usual 10-player write up to 8 this go around. Strategy-wise, I always tend to lean heavier on the $6K range in no-cut events like WGCs, as finishing position really doesn’t make a huge difference between a T30 and a dead last 72nd. Likewise, with so much competition and a guaranteed 4 rounds, you don’t necessarily need to pay up for the Dustin Johnsons and Jon Rahms of the world, knowing the competition they’ll be faced with.
You’re going to want exposure in DFS to a few top names this week, and the only way to do that is to identify cheap salary savers like the guys below. And as someone who loves hoisting a few bombs every week, you’re only squaring up against 71 other competitors this week, so no better time than now to take those big swings!
Pricing from Draft Kings
Harris English ($7,500)
The last time we saw a loaded field in a no-cut event played on a 7,400+ yard track with Bermuda table top greens was only about a month ago, when Harris English won the Sentry Tournament of Champions. There will be better course comps than Kapalua this week, as we will not see -25 as the winning score again in these conditions, but even still, seeing Harris English in the $7K range priced $1K lower than players like Tommy Fleetwood, Matthew Fitzpatrick, and Max Homa is both puzzling and jarring.
In this loaded field, he ranks 16th SG: OTT, 14th SG: P (TOT), 11th SG: P (Bermuda), 19th in Par 3 Scoring, and 12th in Par 5 Scoring. So in true Harris English fashion, he’s above average across the board. The local Georgian loves Bermuda grass, and if that wasn’t clear from the 6.8 strokes he gained Putting at the Sentry TOC, it’s especially evident by his #2 rank Putting on the Florida Swing (PLAYERS, API, Honda, Valspar).
Harris English ranks 10th in the Field in SG: TOT at No Cut events. I’m not sure how chalky he’ll end up being, but this is a no brainer place to start for my DFS lineups to open up more room at the top for the big guys.
Bernd Wiesberger ($6,700)
We’ve already got a Daniel Berger win under our belts from the AT&T Pro-Am. If Bernd follows that up with a win this week, you’re just gonna have to start referring to me as the Berger Whisperer.
Wiesberger comes in with some hot recent form, including 3 Top 10 finishes in his last 6 starts. On the Euro Tour, he’s been getting it done with his Ball Striking, which is exactly what we’re looking for to project success at The Concession. He’s gained strokes OTT in 13 of his last 15 events, and gained at least half a stroke on Approach in 5 of his 6 2021 starts. What jumps out most to me about Wiesberger though is his success on longer tracks. When looking at other 7,400+ P72 courses, he ranks #2 SG: APP and #6 SG: T2G in this field.
Wiesberger has never been a great Bermuda putter, and that probably has a lot to do with why he’s down here in the $6K range. But in his last trip to the states for the RSM Classic in November, he gained 1.2 strokes Putting on those Bermuda greens, which presents reason for optimism this time around as well.
Sebastian Munoz ($6,500)
Well well well, my FRL muse gets his first official write up. That’s right, this week I don’t just want Sebastian Munoz on Thursday, I’m riding with him the full week. Here’s the deal with my man Sebastian, you’re going to get the good with the bad. For every Birdie Streak, there’s a Bogey Streak. For every Eagle, there’s a Double. For every 65, there’s a 75. His ability to go low in spurts is what I love most about Sebastian Munoz the FRL play, and the inability to put 4 consistent rounds together is what’s prevented me from playing him more often.
Knowing everybody in this field is guaranteed 4 rounds this week, I’m less concerned with finishing position when I look to the bottom of the DFS board. In Draft Kings Scoring, anyone who finishes outside the Top 30 gets no more than 2 points for Finish Scoring, and I’m not expecting too many players in the $6K range to finish better than T30.
Over the last 24 rounds on 7,400+ Bermuda tracks, Munoz ranks 34th SG: TOT, and yet he’s 15th DK Scoring in the same conditions. Nobody out-scores their finishing position like Sebastian Munoz, so while he’s a longshot to finish T20 this week, he’s very much in play to be a Top 20 DK scorer, and at low ownership.
Eric van Rooyen ($6,200)
Or Frederick van Rooyen depending on what day of the the week it is I guess. I don’t know if he’s settled on a name for this tournament, but for the purpose of this write up, let’s just use EVR to be safe.
I’m not sure what EVR did to deserve this price tag. He’s better than field average in all the major stat categories, including 27th in Ball Striking and 34th in Short Game. Over his last 10 events he’s gained strokes in every category (OTT, APP, ARG, P) as well. There’s no other player sub-$6.5K in this field that can say that. One year ago, EVR finished T3 at the WGC Mexico, and while there’s really not much you can compare between Club de Golf Chapultepec and The Concession, a T3 finish versus a field of this same caliber is notable.
Unfortunately for EVR, this event has moved from Mexico’s Poa greens to Florida’s Bermuda, which is where he fares the worst in Putting, ranking #46 SG: P – Bermuda. But even still, if being in the 65th percentile of Bermuda Putters is the worst thing I have to sweat about a player at $6,200, and I’m guaranteed 4 rounds, you can sign me right up.
Will Zalatoris (+7000)
For the last three weeks, we’ve had a to put a strong premium on course history, as the Waste Management, AT&T Pro-Am, and Genesis Invitational all featured course nuances that favored veterans with past experience. And despite coming in blind, Zalatoris held his own each step of the way. I expected nothing from him at Pebble Beach and he still made the cut, so I’m viewing that T55 as a positive for him.
This week, I think we need to treat everyone’s inexperience at The Concession as an advantage for the younger players who typically lose strokes to the field by sheer lack of experience and knowledge of where you can and cannot play the course from. Knowledge is power and when you strip the veterans of their usual course knowledge, the young guns are all of a sudden a little less powerless. Fine, less philosophical crap and more numbers.
I’m all in on Ball Striking and Approach this week, and while that may seem like an obvious pre-requisite for success in golf, there are certain tracks where a great short game or accuracy off the tee can mask your ball striking short comings. But not at The Concession, or at least that’s what the scorecard tells me. Zalatoris is #5 in this loaded field of the world’s best in Ball Striking and #6 in Approach. Driving Distance is particularly key this week, and he ranks #5 in this field in that department as well. What I love most about Will Zalatoris is he is an absolute sniper on Par 3s, particularly long ones. He’s #10 in Par 3 Scoring and #1 in P3: 225+ Scoring, which we’ll see at least two holes of in that range per round this week. His distance also allows him plenty of scoring opportunities on Par 5s, where he ranks 9th in P5 Scoring.
He doesn’t rate out as a great putter, and yet looking back at his recent results, he’s only lost strokes putting in 2 of his last 10 events. Usually the Zalatoris hype inflates his number, but he’s managed to fly under the radar in this field at 70/1.
Bubba Watson (+11000)
I promised myself I was done betting Bubba Watson after burning me for consecutive weeks on certified #BubbaTracks. But after seeing his odds exactly double week-over-week from 55 to 110, I’m happy to invest half as much in him this week in search of the same profits. In the case of The Concession, it’s not a Bubba Track until you make it a Bubba Track, right?
I’ve been quiet about touting my list of players who rank better than field average in all key stat categories for this article. I haven’t forgotten about it, it’s just that in a field as loaded as this one, it’s all the names you’d come to expect: Cantlay, Xander, JT, Rahm, Berger. Oh and there was one more: Good ole 110/1 Bubba Watson.
Over the last 24 rounds, here are my key stat categories and Bubba’s rank in each: T2G (2), Ball Striking (3), OTT (6), APP (7), Putting: Bermuda (12), T2G – P72 7,400+ (3), Par 3: 200+ Scoring (11), Par 5 Scoring (10). I really need to emphasize how good these stats are. I narrowed down the Top-36 players for each category, only 6 players in the field fit all of that criteria, and Bubba Watson, sitting here at 110/1, was Top-15 in all of them. Crazy! While writing this article I just made the decision to go back and double down on last week’s investment. I’m back, Bubba!
So how did he get to this juicy number with everything seemingly working in his favor this week? For whatever reason, the way Bubba designed his schedule, he just has not played many Bermuda tracks, and those are the only types of greens he seems capable of putting on. He has lost strokes putting in 12 of his last 15 measured events, and in that span, he has only played two events on Bermuda: The WMPO and WGC-St. Jude where he combined to gain 1.9 Strokes Putting. Bubba’s a Florida resident after all, so it’s only natural that this homecoming to Bermuda grass sets him back on track. We know the rest of his game is there already.
Marc Leishman (+12500)
It appears the books gave up on Marc Leishman at the end of 2020 and set this line at 125/1 without checking back in on him again in 2021. Look, I don’t blame them. Nobody’s ever gotten cut from the BMW Championship before, but Marc Leishman absolutely put that theory to the test last August when he shot +30 for the tournament. He shot an opening round 80 (on a Par 70 course no less) and went on to lose 22.7 strokes to the field, including 10.7 strokes lost on the greens. And he wasn’t even hurt! That horrendous display left an indelible impression on me, that’s why I’m still spending half my pro-Leishman WGC-Workday write up talking about it, and so I think the oddsmakers must’ve held a similar grudge.
But, new year, new Leish.
As I’ve said, Approach play is the key here at The Concession. In 2021, it may not come as much of a surprise that Collin Morikawa is #1 in SG: APP. You might not be surprised either to hear that Justin Thomas is #2. Just kidding, Thomas is 8th, Jon Rahm is #2. Wait that’s not right either, Rahm’s 3rd. So who’s #2 in the world SG: APP in 2021 then? Marc “125/1” Leishman baby!
2021 Approach prowess aside, Leishman also has an excellent Florida track record, ranking #6 SG: TOT on the Florida Swing and #9 SG: P on those Florida tracks. He also has very positive Bermuda putting splits, jumping from 59th SG: P (TOT) to 33rd SG: P (Bermuda). I’ll take my chances on anyone with Top 10 Approach and Putting stats this week, and at 125/1, I won’t think twice about it.
Gary Woodland (+20000)
Last week I wrote up Dylan Frittelli as a bomb play at 200/1 and this week at the same odds versus half as many opponents, we get the 2019 US Open champion. Sure, he hasn’t exactly followed up that major victory with much repeated success, but the important thing is he’s finally healthy again. As I wrote about before The AmEx, I’m throwing away the injured 2020 Gary Woodland and focusing on the 2021 results. Gary went on record with the media several weeks ago saying it’s the first time he’s woken up in the morning not in pain since the COVID restart. And early signs in 2021 show a return to form, even if the results aren’t quite there yet.
Gary’s a Kansas kid, but he now resides in Florida, and without any professional round history for us to go off of, I have to give a presumptive edge to the Florida locals who are likely to have gotten a few rounds in at Jack’s course over the years on their own personal time.
Over his first 12 rounds in 2021, Woodland ranks 12th in SG: APP, which in my opinion will be the most crucial stat for The Concession this week. The putter has definitely been letting him down lately, as evidenced by the 7.9 (!) strokes he lost putting last week, which negated the otherwise stellar 3.9 strokes T2G he gained at Riviera. Fortunately for Gary, he can put those Poa green nightmares behind him. While he ranks a mediocre 52nd in SG: P (TOT), he gets a sizeable boost to 21st in SG: P (Bermuda).
One other thing Gary Woodland has going for him? Long course history. Like Wiesberger, Gary is at his best on P72 7,400+ tracks, where he ranks 9th in SG: T2G. A huge contributing factor for that is his precision with long irons. He ranks #3 in Prox 175-200 and #2 in Prox 200+. I don’t always trust the Proximity numbers, but seeing as he’s also #11 in Par 3: 200+ scoring, I’m just gonna go ahead and trust that The Concession’s length plays to his advantage.