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Horse For The Course: PGA DFS - Workday Charity Open Course History

Welcome back RotoBaller PGA family! After six consecutive starts that resulted in finishes inside the top eight, Bryson DeChambeau finally delivered a win at the Rocket Mortgage Classic on the strength of a final-round 65. For those of you that follow PGA DFS closely, this was a performance that we have seen coming for several weeks.

Bryson's victory carried a feeling of inevitability and his new focus on length off the tee has produced explosive results in a short time. For the first time since the PGA Tour restarted play, DeChambeau won't be teeing it up this week, which has to make the competitors in this week's Workday Charity Open field breathe a small sigh of relief.

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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Workday Charity Open Overview

When the PGA Tour was working out its post-layoff schedule, this week's event was originally slated to be the John Deere Classic. Unfortunately, the Deere organizers were unable to make the event work due to the inability to have fans in attendance, so the Tour came up with the idea of holding back-to-back events at Jack Nicklaus' Muirfield Village, the annual home of The Memorial. So, while this one-off Workday Charity Open doesn't have any actual tournament history for us to evaluate, we have years worth of results to draw from at Muirfield Village and will target players with strong Memorial history in this week's HFTC.

This event will host some of golf's best players, with three of the world's top five golfers in attendance. Brooks Koepka will return to action following a COVID-19 scare, and we'll also see Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, and Patrick Cantlay teeing it up. This should be a tremendous event, let's dive in!

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: Muirfield Village Golf Club

Par 72 - 7,392 Yards, Greens: Bentgrass 

We can always count on a Nicklaus-designed course to force the players into strategic thinking and Muirfield Village doesn't disappoint. 'The Golden Bear' built this course from the ground up in the 1970's and he continually updates it as needed. It's lengthy, but isn't a 'bomber's track'. Difficult, but not impossible to score on. In other words, Muirfield is a very high-quality golf course. The emphasis this week will be on accuracy and ballstriking, with players being required to hit both tree-lined fairways and undulating greens. Water is in play on 11 holes, with bunkers also causing trouble for the players. The closing stretch is one of the toughest in golf, with 16, 17, and 18 presenting players with a challenging close to their rounds. I'll be heavily weighting Strokes Gained: Approach, SG: OTT (with an emphasis on accuracy), and bogey avoidance this week at Muirfield



Recent Champions & Winning Scores

2019: N/A

2018: N/A

2017: N/A

2016: N/A

2015: N/A


The Horse

Hideki Matsuyama

DraftKings: $10,000
Notable Course History: *Memorial Results - 6th ('19), T13 ('18), T5 ('15), Win ('14)

It's obviously been a season of starts and stops for all players on the PGA Tour, but that feels especially true for Hideki Matsuyama, a player who seems to build momentum, only to continuously have the rug pulled out from under him.

This might finally be the week that 'Deki gets to carry some positive vibes from one week to the next. He made the cut on the number at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, but made something of a weekend charge with a third-round 65. Matusyama gained 7.5 strokes T2G in Detroit - which was third in the field in that category - and gaining five strokes on approach indicates that his irons are once again beginning to fire.

Matsuyama brings that trending form to a Muirfield Village layout where he's traditionally played very well. He won the Memorial in 2014 and recorded a solo-sixth in last year's edition. He has struggled mightily with the putter as of late, but we're hoping he can find a level of comfort on these Muirfield bentgrass greens with which he's very familiar.


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The Ponies

Patrick Cantlay

DraftKings: $10,600
Notable Course History: *Memorial Results - Win ('19), 4th ('18), T35 ('17)

Like Hideki Matsuyama, Patrick Cantlay has eased back into golf since the PGA Tour restart. Cantlay elected to wait a few weeks before teeing it up again, but finally made his return at the Travelers a couple of weeks ago. He logged a solid T11 in Connecticut, with his ball striking appearing just "ok".

Cantlay will need to sharpen things up a bit this week, but his previous performances at Muirfield Village indicate that he should be able to get himself in contention at Jack's place. The rising star won last year's Memorial on the heels of a fourth-place finish in the 2018 edition and his complete tee-to-green game sets up perfectly for the demands of Muirfield.

I wish we had a bit more recent form to evaluate with young Patrick, but he's played a reduced schedule for the last couple of years in order to help preserve his health. Cantlay has a knack for showing up in big spots and - though his DFS price tag is high - he brings tons of win equity to the table this week.


Justin Rose

DraftKings: $9,700
FanDuel: $10,800
Notable Course History: *Memorial Results - T13 ('19), T6 ('18), T2 ('15), Win ('10)

I can't say I'm 100% sold on the current state of Justin Rose's game, but the Englishman has definitely looked more like the "old Justin Rose" since the PGA Tour's restart. This post-layoff, post-Honma version of Rose had a chance to win at Colonial and followed that with a solid top-15 outing at the RBC Heritage. Unfortunately, the Englishman followed those great starts with a missed cut at the Travelers...which muddies the waters for us when trying to put our finger on exactly where he is with his game.

Despite the missed cut in Connecticut, there's no doubt that Rose has come out of the layoff rejuvenated and improved. How much of this we can attribute to an equipment change back to TaylorMade is anyone's guess, but a heading-in-the-right-direction Justin Rose is certainly a player to take note of on this week's Muirfield Village layout, as he has a win and two runner-up finishes on this course over 13 career Memorial starts.


Rickie Fowler

DraftKings: $9,000
FanDuel: $10,700
Notable Course History: *Memorial Results - T14 ('19), T8 ('18), T2 ('17)

Full disclosure: I never get Rickie right.

Ok, now that we have that out of the way, I'm gonna touch on Rickie Fowler for a moment. The "Orange One" hasn't looked sharp since the restart, but did appear to have things headed in the right direction last week in Detroit, as he gained 4.9 strokes T2G en route to a T12 finish...his best result since the PGA Tour resumed play.

That glimpse of form last week is enough to put Rickie on my radar as he heads to a Muirfield Village layout on which he has twice been a bridesmaid since 2010 and has knocked out three solid starts since 2017.

Fowler has undeniably been a 'hit or miss' DFS option this season, but his 2.6 strokes gained on approach last week was his second-best mark of 2020 and this course isn't a bad spot to try to ride the hot hand with Rickie.


Joaquin Niemann

DraftKings: $8,400
FanDuel: $10,000
Notable Course History: *Memorial Results - T27 ('19), T6 ('18)

Joaquin The Dream was last seen blowing up in the final round of the Travelers, but should be on your DFS short list this week. Niemann struggled mightily with the putter in Connecticut, losing over six strokes on the greens. While that performance left a bad taste in a lot of mouths, I'm willing to hop back on the Chilean express this week at Muirfield.

Niemann has just two career starts on this layout, but has posted an average score of two-under par over those eight rounds - the third-best scoring average in this Workday field - and heads to Ohio with his ball-striking in tip-top form. The youngster narrowly missed a win at Hilton Head while gaining a scorching 7.4 strokes on approach and - despite the Sunday nightmare at Travelers - he gained almost two strokes with his irons for the week at TPC River Highlands.

He should feel more comfortable on Muirfield's bentgrass greens, historically his best putting surface, and Niemann's ball striking ability makes him a legit threat in any field.

Byeong Hun An

DraftKings: $7,900
FanDuel: $9,700
Notable Course History: *Memorial Results - T17 ('19), T2 ('18), T25 ('17), T11 ('16)

Take one look at Benny An's game log since the restart and I wouldn't blame you if you want to run in the other direction. To put it mildly, An has been riding the struggle bus. However, his record at Muirfield Village puts him in consideration for me this week from a pure course history perspective. In four Muirfield starts since 2016, An hasn't finished outside of the top-25 and logged a runner-up finish in the 2018 Memorial.

As is often the norm for An, his faulty putter has been his Achilles heel since the restart. He lost a ridiculously-bad 6.3 strokes on the greens at Hilton Head a couple weeks ago, but did look better en route to a made cut at the Travelers. If - and I realize it's a big if - An can find some semblance of a functional putting stroke, he could be an interesting GPP option in the Workday, as I expect most DFS players to avoid his recent form like the plague.


Ryan Armour

DraftKings: $7,400
FanDuel: $9,000
Notable Course History: T22 ('19), T23 ('18)

The veteran journeyman heads to Ohio on the heels of two impressive outings. Armour scored a T6 at the Travelers and a T4 at last week's Rocket Mortgage. It's no surprise that the 44-year-old doesn't jump off the page statistically, but he's shown a propensity for getting the job done in different ways recently. Armour's putter carried him at Travelers (+7.2 SG: Putting) and he rode hot irons last week in Detroit (+5.2 SG: Approach).

The former Ohio State Buckeye brings his jack-of-all-trades game to a Muirfield Village layout where he's recorded back-to-back top-25s over the last two years. Armour should head to his home state brimming with confidence from his recent results and it wouldn't be a surprise to see him play well again at the friendly confines of this Nicklaus layout. The veteran is a solid DFS cost-cutting option this week.

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