For the second week in a row, we have an invitation-only event which limits the field to just 120 golfers.
That means a higher probability of making the cut, for everyone in the field. That will lead a lot of gamers to target a Stars & Scrubs approach but a balanced approach is still worthy of consideration.
On top of a small field, we also have weather concerns in the equation this week. Let's take a look at that weather, focus in on some DRAFT plays, circle some course-fit plays, and finish up with a value spotlight.
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Thursday (R1): Chance of showers and/or thunderstorms all day (60% chance of precip). Mostly cloudy with a high near 86 degrees. Southwest wind at 11-to-14 MPH.
Friday (R2): Showers and Thunderstorms likely again (60% chance of precipitation), likely after 2 pm. Partly sunny with a high near 84 degrees. West wind at 7-to-9 MPH.
Weekend: Precipitation clears and the temps reach upper 70s. Winds relatively calm.
With rain forecasted from Wednesday to Friday, this looks like a complete toss-up in terms of how it will play out. If the thunder doesn't arrive then they could be playing through light rain before the cut. If the thunderstorms hit, then we're looking at some weather delays. Do both waves get affected or does one wave get the worst of the weather? It's really hard to say when you have this large of a window for weather elements to hit.
That is a long way of saying I don't know how things will turn out this week. If you are Mass Multi-Entering in GPPs, then consider entering some lineups with tee-time stacks from both sides of the draw. I would even consider drilling down deeper and even stacking groups that go off within 30 minutes or an hour of each other. That is only if you are entering a ton of lineups. Otherwise, I would just ignore the weather and hope for the best. That doesn't sound like the best advice, but it will save you a lot of stress.
This is also nothing new for this event. Matt Kuchar had this to say a few years back, "Typically, I always have a base layer and a ski cap coming here and make sure my rain gear is packed and ready to arrive and play."
The best part about season-long leagues is the draft. You don't get that same rush with normal DFS contests but there is hope still. DRAFT has come along to fill that void and I'm having a lot of fun playing in their weekly golf drafts.
The first place to start is to build your pre-draft rankings for the week. I will point out a few golfers I think are overvalued in the raw rankings and a few that are undervalued in the raw rankings.
Hideki Matsuyama (78.3 Projected Pts): He won at Muifield Village during his tounament debut. It wasn't his course debut as he previously played here for the 2013 Presidents Cup but it was still impressive. However, he is still searching for his form since returning from a wrist injury. The top 20 in his most recent start may seem promissing but he gained 5.9 strokes putting that week, nothing something you can expect to repeat. Since returning from injury, he's lost strokes on approach in all four ShotLink events. At this projection, he would be the fourth golfer drafted. He deserves to be dropped down at least 10 spots, given his spotty recent play.
Jason Day (73.4 Projected Pts): He is a member here, so he's got that going for him. However, when he plays here on his off-weeks he doesn't really utilize proper strategy and just pulls driver on every hole. So, when he arrives on a tournament week, he's a bit thrown off which might explain why he's still searching for his first top 10 here (9 starts). The Aussie also withdrew from the pro-am today, citing a fever. We know that hasn't hampered him in the past but I think the weather had a bit to play into that decision as well. I don't consider Day to the be the most patient golfer so I don't see him treating any potential weather delays well unless he is already off to a roaring start. Having to stop and start is not great for someone with back issues like he's had. Day always provides upside but this is a week where avoiding him might give you a leg up on the competition.
Tiger Woods (39.3 Projected Pts): Rinse and repeat for Tiger and the DRAFT Pre-Rankings. They continue to use old stats to set the rankings which explains why he keeps getting projected in the 30s, despite outperforming nearly every time out. Give him a 30 point projection boost and then adjust based on your gut feeling. Personally, I will have him inside my top 10.
Ryan Moore (58.6 Projected Pts): Enters the week with top 30s in five of his last six starts. That's enough to give him a boost but there is more in his favor. Looking at his starts here at the Memorial, this is his positioning after R2 in all 12 of his starts: T100-T12-T3-T6-T15-T23-T6-T10-T105-T18-T5-T19. There are two bad apples in there but every other time he's been inside the top 20 at the midpoint. With lots of rain in the forecast, this Washington native should feel right at home this week.
Muirfield Village Golf Club is known for its lightning fast, bentgrass greens. Let's have a look to see who plays well on other bentgrass putting surfaces.
Looking at performance on bentgrass courses since the start of 2014, the top 15 performers on a per-round basis looks like this:
Other than raw performance, we can also look at who shows the biggest improvement on bentgrass courses (versus their baseline). Using that as the criteria, the following names pop:
Rory Sabbatini: The aging South African is playing like a young man, again. He enters on the heels of four straight top 30s. He's gotten off to quick starts in each of the last three events, positioning himself T7, T12, and T8 after R1. He was also the solo, first-round leader back at the RBC Heritage, just over a month ago. Sabbatini hasn't played at Muirfield Village since 2015 but he does own plenty of good memories here. He is 8-for-10 at the Memorial with top 30s in seven of his last eight trips. Combine that history with his current form, and Sabbatini becomes a very attractive value option.
Best of luck in all your contests this week!