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Horse For The Course: PGA DFS - Shriners Hospitals For Children Open

Hello PGA DFS family and thanks for joining me here at RotoBaller! Sergio Garcia is undoubtedly one of the best ball strikers of his generation, but we all know that it has always been an adventure for the Spaniard on the greens. So, Garcia took the unorthodox step of closing his eyes on all putts last week in Jackson. It actually worked...as the veteran posted an out-of-nowhere win at the Sanderson Farms Championship for the 11th PGA Tour victory of his career and his first win in the U.S. since the 2017 Masters.

After a decent field for the Sanderson, we head to Las Vegas for the Shriners Hospitals For Children Open and what is an unbelievably-strong field for a Swing Season event. This is gonna be a fun week, let's dive in!

Horse For The Course is an article that highlights players in this week's field with elite course history and is part of our free PGA DFS content here at RotoBaller. For my favorite DFS plays of the week check out my Core Four article here at RotoBaller every Wednesday. It's part of our amazing PGA Premium package that includes an all-new PGA Research Station, Lineup Builder & Optimizer, and some of the best articles in the PGA DFS industry! You can sign up now using Promo Code: NICE for an extra discount at checkout!

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Shriners Hospitals For Children Open Overview

Last week's Sanderson Farms field was actually pretty decent, but the field that is assembling in Vegas for this week's Shriners Hospitals For Children Open is borderline elite - especially when we consider that this is a "Swing Season" event. The Shriners will be the first of two back-to-back tournaments in Las Vegas (which probably helped strengthen this week's field) with the CJ Cup at Shadow Creek on tap for next week.

The Shriners is traditionally one of the better events of the fall, but we've never seen a lineup like this. Kevin Na triumphed over Patrick Cantlay in a playoff last year and both will be back this week. They'll be joined by an elite group of players. Bryson DeChambeau is set to make his first start since winning the U.S. Open. He'll be joined by the runner-up at Winged Foot, Matthew Wolff, as well as the year's other major champion, Collin Morikawa. We also have world-class players like Tony Finau, Webb Simpson, Hideki Matsuyama, and Jason Day teeing it up at TPC Summerlin. In addition to the superstars, there's a very nice mix of accomplished veterans and young, up-and-comers that will be in action at TPC Summerlin. This should be a great week for making DFS lineups, let's tee it up!

You can also find out who the smart money is on by checking out Spencer Aguiar's PGA DFS: Vegas Report every week. And be sure to read all of our other top-notch weekly PGA DFS articles to help you win big!

 

The Course: TPC Summerlin

Par 71 - 7,255 Yards, Greens: Bent, Designed By: Bobby Weed/Fuzzy Zoeller

Fairly short by modern standards at just over 7,200 yards, this Las Vegas track has reachable Par-5s and a driveable Par-4 - which allows players to rack up birdies - but is short enough to bring every player in the field into the mix. The fairways are wide and firm with huge Bentgrass green complexes that generally roll on the slow side. Summerlin routinely ranks as one of the easiest courses on the PGA Tour schedule, but we have seen wind and weather occasionally play a factor on this layout that sits at high elevation. While this course is on the shorter side, we haven't traditionally seen bombers have a huge advantage here, as the past winners of the Shriners have mostly been sharp ball strikers or been on fire with the putter...like last year's winner, Kevin Na. I'll be targeting ball striking and Strokes Gained: Approach this week, as well as players that can rack up birdies.

 

Recent Champions & Winning Scores

  • Kevin Na (-23)
  • Bryson DeChambeau (-21)
  • Patrick Cantlay (-9)
  • Rod Pampling (-20)
  • Smylie Kaufman (-16)

 

The Horse

Bryson DeChambeau

DraftKings: $11,800
FanDuel:
 $12,200
Notable Course History: T4 ('20), Win ('19), T7 ('18), T36 ('17)

There’s been a lot of words written about Bryson DeChambeau over the last few months, so I don’t know that I have many fresh superlatives to add here. Obviously, what he’s done this season both physically and mentally (the mental toughness and strategic thinking needed to undertake this transformation often goes overlooked) has been unbelievably impressive. 

DeChambeau heads to the Shriners for his first start since winning the U.S. Open. There’s always the chance of a hangover when a player is coming off a major-championship victory, but Bryson doesn’t seem like the type of guy that loses focus. In addition to his work ethic, he’s been an absolute BEAST in previous trips to TPC Summerlin, sandwiching a win in 2019 between a T4 and a T7. His Strokes Gained: Total number trails only Patrick Cantlay by a sliver and he carries a 67.44 scoring average over his four Shriners appearances. 

While his course history is overly impressive, we must take into account that this isn’t the “same” DeChambeau that’s played this course in the past. In fact, we’ve seen him miss cuts at a couple of courses on which he’s won in his previous iteration (Muirfield Village and TPC Boston). However, I think Bryson’s new style will only help him at Summerlin, a course where length isn’t a requirement, but where it is certainly an advantage on the Par-5s and driveable Par-4s. We have to assume that his game will be firing off the tee (he's gained strokes OTT in EVERY start this calendar year!), with the question mark being his approach play and putting. If he is making putts, this could be another dominant performance from Bryson. 

 

The Ponies

Patrick Cantlay

DraftKings: $10,400
FanDuel:
$11,700
Notable Course History: 2nd ('20), 2nd ('19), Win ('18)

I’m a huge Patrick Cantlay “truther” and a big believer in his game. Unfortunately, 2020 hasn’t been the type of year that I envisioned for Cantlay, a player that broke through in a big way last year with a win at The Memorial, a top-five in the PGA Championship, and a top-10 at the Masters.

The 28-year-old hasn’t necessarily played bad since the restart (he’s consistently gained strokes T2G), but he also hasn’t been the type of good that we’ve come to expect...logging just one top-10 in eight starts since the COVID-19 layoff. 

Cantlay heads into a massive “get right” situation this week at the Shriners. He’s been downright dominant at TPC Summerlin, posting a win and two runner-up finishes over the last three years. His 66.67 scoring average on this layout is the best in the field and Bent is historically his best putting surface. Despite his lack of strong recent results, Cantlay's DFS price tag hasn't really budged. He comes in this week behind only Bryson DeChambeau and Webb Simpson, guys that many will flock to. It's early in the week as I write this, but if Cantlay could be a very interesting pivot at the top of the board if his ownership is projected to be substantially lower than that of Webb and Bryson. 

Matthew Wolff

DraftKings: $9,600
FanDuel: $11,000
Notable Course History: T18 ('20)

Matthew Wolff doesn't have the extensive course history that's normally needed to be included in this write-up, but a T18 in his lone Shriners start last year, combined with his sub-$10k price tag on DraftKings makes him worth a mention. Still just 21-years-old (hard to believe), Wolff had himself quite a little stretch since the restart, logging a runner-up finish at the Rocket Mortage, a top-five at the PGA Championship, and most recently a runner-up outing at the U.S. Open.

Wolff brings a little more volatility into play than we're used to at the top of the board, but his upside is basically off the charts. He's one of - if not the most - explosive players currently on the PGA Tour and his ability to go low is hard to ignore, not just on a weekly basis, but especially on this TPC Summerlin track that will require tons of birdies. Wolff grades out seventh in this field in Birdies or Better Gained using long-term metrics, while using recent-rounds only he ranks inside the top-five in SG: Total, T2G, OTT, and DK Points Scored.

I was honestly pretty surprised to see Wolff this far down the salary scale after the summer he's put together. While it's not a huge discount from the top guys, it is definitely enough savings to consider starting your lineups with him and fading the big boys.

 

 

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Russell Henley

DraftKings: $8,400
FanDuel: $9,700
Notable Course History: T37 ('20), MC ('19), T24 ('17), 10th ('16)

It's sort of an "out of sight, out of mind" situation for Russell Henley this week, as he last teed it up over a month ago. With Henley somewhat out of the DFS consciousness, we'll probably see guys with great recent form like Zach Johnson, Will Zalatoris, and Cameron Davis soak up tons of ownership in this price range. I like those guys too, but Henley is a guy we shouldn't ignore. He closed out the summer on a legit heater, going T9-T8-T25 in his last three starts of the season. His iron play has been a revelation and he stands first in this rather elite field in both SG: T2G and Approach if we stretch back 24 rounds. Of course, there's a downside in the form of his putting stroke. Henley ranks just 115th in this Shriners field in SG: Putting, although he did look much better on the greens over his last three starts of the season.

Denny McCarthy

DraftKings: $7,700 
FanDuel: $9,200
Notable Course History: T9 ('20), T15 ('19), MC ('18), MC ('16)

Over the last few weeks, I keep running into Denny McCarthy during my research process. It didn’t work out great at Corales (T41), but it did pay huge dividends last week at the Sanderson (T6), when D-Mac logged his second top-10 in his last five starts.

He’s popping for me again this week. His track record at TPC Summerlin is strong - T9/T15 last two years - and he’s a tremendous Bent putter (McCarthy is great on every surface). The concern with him is always his ball striking, though we have reason to believe that he’s in a nice groove T2G, as he heads to Vegas off an outing at the Sanderson in which he gained strokes on the field in every statistical category. There aren't many events on the schedule where a guy can just blatantly putt his way to victory, but Kevin Na showed that it is possible on this track last year. I'm giving McCarthy a bump this week, as these huge greens are easy to hit, but difficult to navigate...and McCarthy is the best putter on the PGA Tour. 

Aaron Wise

DraftKings: $7,400
FanDuel: $8,600
Notable Course History: MC ('20), T15 ('19), T32 ('18), T10 ('17)

In 2018 it looked as though Aaron Wise was on the verge of being a true superstar. On the heels of an NCAA individual title in 2016 while at Oregon and a win in his lone season on the then-Web.com Tour in 2017, Wise won the AT&T Byron Nelson in just his 18th start as a PGA Tour member in 2018. He would score a couple of additional top-five finishes and multiple top-25s that season en route to winning PGA Tour Rookie of the Year honors. Since that sparkling rookie season, Wise has - to put it mildly - mostly struggled. 

The youngster is a prodigious driver of the ball, but we can chalk his inconsistency up to spotty-at-best iron play and a putting stroke that put him 185th in Total Putting on the PGA Tour last season. His faults aside, we can try to ride some positive momentum with Wise this week, as the Las Vegas resident heads to TPC Summerlin off one of his best performances in recent memory. He gained strokes in every facet at the Sanderson, including 3.4 strokes on Approach and 3.2 strokes Putting. Wise has a career scoring average of 68.71 at Summerlin and has top-15 finishes in two of his four career Shriners starts. 

 

Win Big With RotoBaller

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