• Another elevated event concluded Sunday at Harbor Town, and once again it was a brilliant finish. Matthew Fitzpatrick was able to hold on and defeat Jordan Spieth in a three-hole playoff. Patrick Cantlay, Xander Shauffele, Sahith Theegala, and Hayden Buckley also finished near the top of the leaderboard which contributed to the exciting finish.

    The PGA Tour pivots to a different format this week for the Zurich Classic played at TPC Louisiana. Players will play in duos as teams and have a couple different scoring formats throughout the week. On Thursday and Saturday (1st and 3rd rounds) will feature the “best ball” format where each player will play the hole individually and the lowest recorded score between the two players will count as the team’s score for that hole. On Friday and Sunday (2nd and 4th rounds) the players on each team will alternate shots. One player will hit the tee shot, the other player will hit the second shot, then the player who hit the tee shot will hit the third, etc. Players will also be sure to alternate who tees off on each hole as one member of the team will be responsible for tee shots on even numbered holes, while the other member will handle duties on the odd numbered holes.

    For DraftKings purposes, there is no difference in the scoring compared to a normal week. The main difference is both golfers from the same team will be the same salary and you may only roster one golfer from each team.

    Personally, this is not my favorite event to watch during the year, but I understand that there are over 40 stroke play events throughout the year so to have a different style of tournament on the schedule is not the end of the world. I will be going lighter on the betting card this week and the volume in which I play on DraftKings.

    The Course

    TPC Louisiana is the host this week and is another Pete Dye design. The course has been the host of this event since 2005 (this was a regular singles stroke play event until 2017), so we do have a good gauge on what skills are required to succeed here.

    TPC Louisiana plays as a par-72 at just over 7,400 yards. Most players should have no problem finding the large, flat fairways. The rough is not very penal at all, usually measured at a measly two inches. Greens are soft and fairly average in terms of green speed.

    In terms of trouble the players can find themselves in, there are seven holes that bring water into play. Other areas of concerns are the bunkers as there are over 100 throughout the course. If players are extremely wayward off the tee, the fairways are lined by some pretty large trees that could induce forced layups, although nothing like we saw last week at Harbor Town.

    Taking advantage of the par 5s will be the name of the game this week. All four of them feature a birdie rate over 30% and typically rank as four of the five easiest holes on the course. With a winning score of 29 under par last year, Xander Schaufffle and Patrick Cantlay tore up the course, but they did a large amount of their damage on the par 5 holes by making 3 eagles and 9 birdies of the 16 they played.

    The Field

    160 players will tee it up this week which means there will be 80 teams in search of victory (yes, this week counts as an official PGA Tour victory for both players). The cutline will be the top 33 teams and ties to play the weekend.

    So far this year we have not seen many big names outside of designated events, but that is not the case this week. Even though this is the smallest prize pool of the season, the field includes super pairings such as defending champions Xander Schauffele/Patrick Cantlay, Collin Morikawa/Max Homa, Tim Kim/Si Woo Kim, and Sam Burns/Billy Horschel.

    Other notable teams with some big names include Sahith Theegala/Justin Suh, Keith Mitchell/Sungjae Im, Harris English/Tom Hoge, and Matthew Fitzpatrick playing alongside his brother, Alex Fitzpatrick.

    Key Stats

    Scoring, scoring, and more scoring. We will be emphasizing scoring stats as this event is an absolute birdie fest. Ideally, both players on each team will excel in these stats, but if one is elite in one category, we are hoping his teammate will at least be average in that same category as well. What we don’t want is both of the golfers on the team being miserable compared to the field in a particular key statistic.

    Here are the key stats I am considering when building my lineups this week.

    1. SG: Approach– Iron play is always on this list and forever will be. It is the most correlated long-term stat with success. Setting up scoring opportunities with iron play will be the name of the game this week.
    2. SG: Putting– Normally I don’t put too much stock into putting because it is the most volatile of all the strokes gained metrics. This week however, is different because you cannot struggle with the putter this week and have a chance at contending.
    3. Proximity 200+ YDS– Nearly 30% of all approach shots will be from this proximity this week. I tend to look at long term form when it comes to proximity stats because a couple poor shots can really throw short term numbers out of whack, but it doesn’t hurt to see if a golfer comes in with great form with his long irons.
    4. Birdie or Better %- Pretty self explanatory at this point. We want teams making birdies.
    5. Par 5 Scoring- The par 5s are 4 of the 5 easiest holes on the course and must be taken advantage of.

    Follow me on Twitter @mlafem10 for additional thoughts as the week goes on and I’d be happy to help out with any lineup questions you have. Let’s make some money!

    Round 1 Props

    Thrive Contest Plays for Thursday’s Round 1 Action

    Like most of the industry this week, Thrive is taking a vacation from golf content.

    Props Record YTD


    DFS Top Tier Play

    Wyndham Clark/Beau Hossler

    Salary: $9,400

    This is not an endorsement to fade Schauffele/Cantlay ($11,100). Everybody and their brother who is doing content this week will be suggesting the defending champs as a top tier play, and with good reason. However, I love what this duo brings to the table this week. Both are excellent at taking advantage of par 5 scoring (Clark 2nd/ Hossler 12th over the last 50 rounds) and display good long iron play (especially Clark). While Beau does have some inconsistent iron play, his strong putter can help make up those deficiencies, especially in a team setting like this. I like pairing this group with the defending champs to start a lineup, or we can start our lineups with this duo to get unique. I do worry you may be giving up too much win equity doing that, but if you are a risk taker, these are the two I’d start with.

    Others Considered: Xander Schauffele/Patrick Cantlay ($11,100), Sahith Theegala/Justin Suh ($10,000)

    DFS Mid Tier Play

    Adam Hadwin/Nick Taylor

    Salary: $8,500

    Team Canada has come in playing some pretty good golf and I like the way their games complement one another’s. Both are very capable of getting hot with the putter which can be an x-factor in an event like this. Both players rank inside the top-20 in par 5 scoring. They are just solid across the board and I could easily see them getting into the top 10 this week.

    Others Considered: Tom Hoge/Harris English ($8,800), Davis Riley/Nick Hardy ($8,600)

    DFS Value Play

    Scott Stallings/Trey Mullinax

    Salary: $7,400

    Another solid group that does a lot of the key stats, but this group’s calling card is their long iron play. While Mullinax has been struggling of late (4 MCs since his top 10 at the Arnold Palmer Invitation in February), I’m not going to let that sway me here. Both are decent putters, won’t get too wild off the tee, and make enough birdies to pay this price tag off. I wouldn’t get too cute diving for value this week as there is a steep drop off in talent once you get below the lower $7K price range.

    Others Considered: Benny An/S.H. Kim ($7,100), Callum Tarren/Ben Taylor ($7,300)

    Betting Card

    Tom Kim/ Si Woo Kim (Top 10) +180

    Sahith Theegala/Justin Suh (Top 10) +225

    Denny McCarthy/Joel Dahmen (Top 20) +135

    Davis Riley/Nick Hardy (Winners) +4500

    Lineup Builder

    Position Player Name DK Salary
    G Theegala/Suh $10,000
    G Clark/Hossler $9,400
    G Stallings/Mullinax $7,400
    G Hadwin/Taylor $8,500
    REMAINING BUDGET $14,700 for 2 golfers


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