What’s going on fantasy golf fans?! I hope everyone survived the carnage that took place at the Honda Classic and is ready to buckle up for a trip to Mexico!
It’s our first World Golf Championship of 2018. The WGC – Mexico Championship will be played at Club de Golf Chapultepec, located just outside of Mexico City. This is the second year Chapultepec has hosted this event, since it moved from its previous home, Trump National Doral. This course is played at an extreme elevation, around 8,000ft above sea level, which will give the golfers a considerable amount of extra distance off the tee. That being said, a lot of golfers won’t be using their driver because the ball travels so far. Mickelson took his big stick out of the back last year. However, it is still an advantage to the bombers who can hit their 3-woods or long irons 300+, and still reach Par 5s in two.
The course’s main defence is its tight, tree lined fairways and stick Kikuyu rough. Hitting the fairway off the tee will be critical if a golfer wants a decent shot at birdie. Speaking of birdies, there will be more than normal this week because it is a NO-CUT event…I thought we moved on from these. Each golfer is guaranteed 72 holes, that is if they survive a week eating Mexican food and avoid drinking any water. Stenson withdrew here last year after a few holes because of a stomach bug, aka. The Mexican Shits.
Stats for the Week
SG: Par 5s
Birdie or Better Gained
SG: Ball Striking
2017 – Dustin Johnson (-14)
Alright, let’s get to the picks!
My favorite golfers for the week – for Cash and GPP contests.
Dustin Johnson – $11,900
Boring I know, but whenever DJ is in the field playing at a course he has won at before, it’s so tough not to load up. There is only so much that can be said about DJ before it becomes copy and paste from the week prior. However, I do like the fact that his price is so inflated, people will find it tough to make good looking lineups on paper. He also is coming off of a poor showing by his standards at Riviera, a course he typically dominates. One can hope the ownership won’t get too out of control for the 5/1 favorite.
Tommy Fleetwood – $10,000
All aboard the Fleetwood train…once again. Make it three straight weeks of being in on Fleetwood and I apologize for being repetitive, but when a world class ball striker is affordable and a good course fit, he becomes a “jam him in” play. Fleetwood gained 6.1 strokes on approach shots at the Honda Classic last week, something we should start getting use to. He finished second at Chapultepec last season, gaining 6.5 strokes on approaches then. He’s due for a breakout on the North American stage, and perhaps a trip to Mexico is all he needs to get the monkey off his back.
Alex Noren – $8,800
Noren was priced $10,100 last week and came third, so obviously his price had to drop $1,300. Noren is playing incredible as of late, getting his feet real wet on North American soil. He has two top 5s in four events, gaining strokes on approach shots in all four (17.2 over his last four to be exact). He played in this tournament last year, and if it weren’t for an opening round 76, his T55 finish would look much, much better. What is different from last year, is that Noren was not playing nearly as much as he has been in 2018, making his results from last year tough to compare. I’m all in and Noren is a lock for cash.
Xander Schauffele – $7,800
If last year’s leaderboard tells any story, it’s that distance is king in Mexico and there are few guys on tour who hit it as far as Xander. He has strung together two solid performances in a row, a T17 at the Waste Management and a T9 at the Genesis, trending in the right direction towards another high finish. He turned his approach game around in those two weeks, putting together the whole package. I don’t expect his ownership to be very high in a crowded high $7K range. Ball striking, distance, scoring – he covers all the bases.
Pat Perez – $7,400
Pat Perez stuck out as one of the best values on the board, and a great option to pair with DJ in your builds. Perez has been all over the map to start the 2018 season, making an odd trip to Dubai in the middle of the west coast swing. His results haven’t been great, but he is making cuts and gaining strokes in the key categories. He is one of the best birdie makers in the field, is excellent on Par 5s and has a T38 under his belt from last year. His price is way too good to pass up.
WGC Mexico Interactive Data
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Identifying the chalk, and going elsewhere.
Jon Rahm – $10,600
Rahm is a very polarizing golfer this week, as he enters this WGC event with less buzz than we would have expected a few weeks ago. Since his win at the CareerBuilder, Rahm hasn’t finished inside the top 10 and outside of the top 25 twice. After a much deserved week off, Rahm is back and priced as the third highest golfer. WIth DJ, JT and Fleetwood creating all the buzz at the top, Rahm is getting overlooked. He only has seven tags on FanShareSports, despite his T3 finish here last year. If you want to save some cash and move to a lower owned elite golfer, Rahm is the perfect fit.
Justin Rose – $9,700
It’s good to have the low owned Justin Rose days back again. At the end of 2017 when Rose was winning everything, there was no shot he was flying under the radar. With only three tags on FanShareSports early in the week, it looks as though we are on our way to a 10% Rose in a perfect pivot situation. Rose has the elite ball striking skills to succeed here, however he did not put those to use last year, losing 6.4 strokes on approach shots. I don’t expect that approach game to repeat itself. Rose won the last WGC event and is the caliber of player we should all be salivating for if his ownership is in the single digits.
Kevin Chappell – $8,100
Kevin Chappell only has a single tag on FanShareSports and is priced right below some very trendy golfers, Pieters, Fisher and Frittelli. Chappell has been putting together some very solid results, two top 10s in his past five events, gaining strokes off the tee each time. When he is one with his irons he will always have a shot to contend. Chappell played Chapultepec last year, finishing T55 (yuck), but having some familiarity with the course is never a bad thing. Last year, he gained 4.1 strokes on these poa greens, so if Chappell’s putting scares you off, know that he has rolled it well here in the past.
Marc Leishman – $7,600
I think everyone is over Marc Leishman. He has been having an okay season with a couple top 10s, but a lot of people pegged him for a major win this year and the signs are showing yet. Awesome. A low owned Leishman at only $7,600 has the makings for a perfect GPP play. The positive is that Leishman’s only missed cut this season was at the Genesis, where he lost 5.7 strokes putting. If that putting performance doesn’t repeat itself, and it likely won’t, combined with the fact he could be less than 10% owned (ZERO tags on FanShareSports at the moment), Leishman is the king of all GPP plays.
Bad course fit? Highly owned for the wrong reason? Players I will have no shares of.
Bubba Watson – $8,900
Bubba is back! Sort of. Coming of his win at Riviera, the buzz around Bubba is real. People are even getting excited about his chances to win the Masters again. Pump the breaks. Yes, he won the Genesis, but that is a course he has loved and dominated at for years. Skeptical is a good word to describe how I see Bubba. He is one of, if not THE, weirdest cats on the PGA Tour and he can shut it off just as easily as he turned it on at Riv. At his inflated price, I am backing on Watson to produce another T38 finish like he did here last year.
Dylan Frittelli – $8,200
Frittelli impressed last week for his first ever PGA Tour start finishing 11th. However, I am hesitant to go back to him because he did a lot of his damage on the greens at the Honda, gaining 4.2 shots. People will be excited to roster Frittelli and treat him like a shiny new toy. His ownership could become inflated, as the early trends are indicating on FanShareSports. If his putting comes back to earth, and it likely could on the poa greens at Chapultepec, Frittelli will underwhelm those who bought into his Honda Classic success.
Patrick Reed – $7,400
Chapultepec requires straight distance off the tee and precision with approach shots – things Reed are currently struggling with. In his back-to-back missed cuts, Reed has lost 5.5 strokes on approach shots and 0.3 off the tee. If it weren’t for his short game and putting, there is a chance Reed wouldn’t have made a cut so far this season. There are plenty other options in his price range who are playing better and present a much higher upside.
So, you got burned?
Recently got screwed by a missed cut or a poor performance? Looks like a good time to jump back on.
Rickie Fowler – $9.800
Rickie entered last week as the defending champ, the highest priced golfer and high expectations to follow up a solid Waste Management Open. Unfortunately for those who bought in, disappointment was all Fowler dished out at the Honda. He failed the play the weekend, losing 2.9 strokes on the greens. Place Rickie in a loaded field after a missed cut and no one will be lining up to roster him again. Fowler came T16 here last year, which would have been a lot better if it weren’t for a 73 in round three.
Tyrrell Hatton – $8,600
At the Honda Classic, the decision between rostering Hatton or Fleetwood had to be made by many people due to their similar price. How do you think that went for the Hatton backers? Fleetwood went on to 4th place finish while Hatton missed the cut. I guarantee that bitter taste remains heading into Mexico and Hatton will be overlooked big time. The stats and projections loved him last week – don’t let one week sway your opinion. Hatton came 10th here last year and can easily recover and do that again.
Kevin Kisner – $7,500
There’s no doubt Kisner’s 2018 season has gotten off to a terrible start. His approach game is way off losing strokes in four of the five events. What’s great about Kisner this week is that he will be owned by about 5% of the field, is guaranteed four rounds barring no withdraw, and is returning to a course he came 11th in last year. The risk is high, but if he strikes some 2017 magic this week, Kisner could end up winning someone a lot of money.
Thanks for reading the WGC – Mexico Championship preview article! Follow me on Twitter for more DFS and golf betting talk! Also, don’t forget to check out FanShareSports.com to get a full look at who the DFS golf community is talking about this week!
Good luck this week everybody!!