The Farmers Insurance Open kicks off on Thursday in San Diego, California. Before the best golfers in the world stroll down the fairways and chop through the Kikuyu rough, we have to make final lineup decisions and one that’s made later in the week—pivots. Course history, current form, or your favorite golf tout has pumped up the projected ownership for individual golfers throughout the week. This article will look at the projected chalk and pivot in each significant salary range when entering lineups in GPPs on DraftKings.
For a full course preview and who I like in the betting market, please refer to the DraftKings Preview and the DraftKings Sportsbook Best Bets articles on DraftKings Playbook. Here are the pivots we should be considering this week on DraftKings.
Projected Popular Golfer: Rory McIlroy ($11,000)
Pivot: Xander Schauffele ($10,400)
Rory’s Sunday failings in Abu Dhabi last week isn’t a worry for the masses this week as the most popular among the most expensive golfers. Before his 72 on Sunday, Rory shot the low round of the day twice (64 in Round 1 and 67 in Round 3). His form looks to be sharpening back into how he was playing pre-shutdown, with a top 5 at Augusta National back in November, followed by a third-place last week. Those who don’t want to trust the former number one this week should pivot to Xander Schauffele.
A native to the San Diego area, Schauffele should feel at home on Torrey Pines, literally. Xander’s course history is awful, with four missed cuts in the last five years. Mix that with coming off of COVID-19 back in December, and you start to see why he’s coming in at lower roster percentage than what it should be. Schauffele just finished inside the top 5 at Kapalua earlier this month and ranks 14th in SG: Ball-Striking over his last 50 rounds. Schauffele won’t have to worry about potential distractions of playing close to home with no fans being allowed at the tournament and has the chance to break this terrible streak of poor play on a course he indeed loves.
$8,000 to $10,000 Range
Projected Popular Golfer: Adam Scott ($8,300)
Pivot: Will Zalatoris ($8,100)
With a lot of the chalk settling on Rahm and Rory, the popular “second add” is someone in the lower $8,000 range, which could be one of the reasons Scott is popular. Scott’s in a great position at Torrey Pines this week, especially playing twice already when he usually elects to skip this part of the schedule. His game sets up perfectly here, but we should expect to see many Rahm/Rory lineups with Scott, which is why Will Zalatoris should be the contrarian play if you still choose to play one of the two top-priced golfers in your lineup.
With an unlimited amount of sponsor’s exemptions this season, Zalatoris can pick which tournaments are best suited for his game, and Torrey Pines should be one of those places. His talent is undeniable, which was on display at the U.S. Open last season, finishing 6th. His projected roster percentage is still in the single-digits as of this article, and at $8,100, this could end up being one of the best values of the week on DraftKings.
$7,000 to $8,000 Range
Projected Popular Golfer: Gary Woodland ($7,800)
Pivot: Francesco Molinari ($7,800)
Playing chalk in this range can be tricky with how inconsistent these players are, so why go with Woodland, who’s nearing 20-plus percent roster percentage if you don’t have to? His game sets up nicely at Torrey Pines, ranking seventh in SG: Total since 2016, but there are still question marks about the status of his injury and if he’s fully recovered yet. Woodland played well last week, finishing 16th at The American Express, but if his roster percentage is anywhere near where it’s projected, we should consider Francesco Molinari at the same price. His game is probably more suited for Pebble Beach in a couple of weeks, but his roster percentage is coming in at one-fourth of what Woodland’s is at the moment.
Last week, Molinari mentioned he’s more committed to focusing on the PGA TOUR schedule this season, has moved (with his family) to Los Angeles, CA and just finished inside the top 10 in his first tournament back on the PGA TOUR this season. He has an excellent track record on long-classical courses in this country, with top finishes at Muirfield Village, Augusta National, Bay Hill and Bellerive. Molinari has an excellent chance to add Torrey Pines to that list and fits the type of golfer we should be pivoting to if we’re fading golfers who have a lot of distance.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is reidtfowler) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.
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