The goal each year, the way I plan out my units, is to get at least 6 outright cashes to break even. That’s one outright every other month. Halfway through the third month of the year, and we’re already up to 3 cashes, including a high unit cash on JT at THE PLAYERS last week, so we are feeling LOOSE coming into the Honda Classic, even if the field doesn’t leave a ton to get excited about.
The ink is dry on the final betting card, so let’s take a look back at the picks and the rationale that got us here.
- Joaquin Niemann +2000
- Russell Henley +3500
- Cameron Davis +5500
- Matt Wallace +7000
- Luke List +8000
- Aaron Wise +9000
- James Hahn +11000
I am so high on Joaquin Niemann and Russell Henley at these numbers and wrote them up in Faves & Fades along with Cameron Davis. Matt Wallace I thought would be my darling play of the week, but apparently many others across the industry share the same sentiments, so if it’s another community win week, I’m all for it! Along with Wallace, I’m also playing List, Wise, and Hahn, who were each featured in Bombs & Values. This course is going to show its teeth, so if my top guys flounder, I’m hedging my bets at the bottom of the board with some solid ball strikers in good recent form.
First Round Leader
- Wyndham Clark (+6600)
- Matt Jones (+6600)
- Harold Varner III (+8000)
- Wesley Bryan (+10000)
Sebastian Munoz is not in the field, so these will have to do. My thought process here was just to get exposure to a list of guys who I really liked this week, but couldn’t pull the trigger on as outrights to keep it going for 4 straight rounds. If any of these 4 players get off to a good start, I may jump on them as a live outright.
- Chris Kirk +110 > Adam Scott
- Brendan Steele -114 > Rickie Fowler
- Keegan Bradley -125 > Ian Poulter
Last week continued a ridiculous 5-week trend going back and forth between 3-0 and 0-3 performances in the Matchups. Good news, last week we were on the good side again for a clean sweep, boosting the overall Matchup season record to 18-12-1. Bad news, I’m due for another 0-3 set back if history repeats itself. Let’s put an end to this trend now!
In the first matchup, we have a red hot Chris Kirk versus one of the coldest drivers on tour over the last two weeks in Adam Scott. I think Kirk was priced fairly this week in the betting and DFS markets, so I didn’t jump to get exposure to him there, but I’m hedging to still root for him in this matchup. I wrote up Adam Scott as one of my Fades this week, and just think at a difficult course, in reportedly high sustained winds, this is not a place to get right and correct his driving issues.
The second matchup is as close as I’ll come to calling a golf bet a “lock”. Golf is a volatile sport, you can make a few misses by inches and turn your scorecard upside down, so there are no guarantees. But here we have two players going in complete opposite directions. Rickie is a bottom-25% ball striker in this field with his recent form, which bodes disastrous on this track, while Steele has been a model of consistency both at the Honda Classic and in his OTT game over the course of 2021. I made sure to put a little extra on this matchup in particular.
Lastly, we have a straight up bet against Ian Poulter. He is a poor-ball striking short game specialist, which is exactly what you don’t want at PGA National, and has lost 1 stroke or more on Approach in each of his last 6 events. While it is terrifying to put my money on Keegan Bradley, this is a course that will reward one of the best ball strikers on tour, and even if he continues to be awful on the greens, he should be able to make it through the weekend if he just keeps hitting greens in regulation.
One And Done
- Lee Westwood
Didn’t think too hard about this one. I mean if you’re not going to play Lee Westwood coming off of back to back 2nd places at the course where he ranks #1 SG: TOT, then you’re just never going to play him. There was speculation all week that he may WD and because of that I think a lot of people have written him off mentally and pivoted to Niemann, Im, Gooch, or Lowry instead. But for me, I see a guy who’s playing the best golf in the field over the last two weeks, coming to a track he’s intimately familiar with and comfortable on, and not expected to be the biggest chalk of the week. It’s now or never for me with Lee Westwood, and now seems like a pretty good time.
- Russell Henley ($9,800)
- Brendan Steele ($8,700)
- James Hahn ($7,300)
I’ve been pretty slow out the gates in DFS this year, playing primarily Single Entry tournaments, but this week I think I have a better grasp of the values and ownership across the board than most weeks. I’m definitely looking for a balanced build this week, given the volatility of this event and funneled popularity towards Niemann and Im at the top, so I’m likely not going any higher than Henley salary-wise to start my lineups. This tournament has Henley’s name all over it with its emphasis on Approach, his past history both here and other comp courses, and the fact that he has typically had his best showings against weaker fields. Steele is another low risk play for me who isn’t going to get himself into any trouble off the tee, has the course history and comp course success, and rides in with great form. When I look at the bottom of the board, I don’t need to dip into the $6Ks to afford the guys I want to play up top this week, so I’m content to go no lower than James Hahn, who has a track record of winning these grinder events and rides some strong recent form as well.