Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the PGA TOUR will not be making its usual trip to Mexico for the WGC-Mexico Championship this week. Instead, we will kick off the Florida swing with the World Golf Championships-Workday Championship at The Concession. Hence the name, this WGC event takes place at the Concession Golf Club of Bradenton, Florida, which is located just south of Tampa. This is the first time that this course has hosted a tournament at the PGA TOUR level, but it is worth noting Bryson DeChambeau did win the 2015 NCAA Championship at this venue.
This track was designed by Jack Nicklaus and Tony Jacklin, and it is regarded as one of the hardest courses in the sunshine state. It is a lengthy track and unlike most par 72s, the four par fives at Concession are extremely difficult and don’t present the usual birdie or better opportunity. In fact, these four holes rank in the top-five in terms on difficulty on the scorecard. Bombers have a serious advantage here, to shorten the long approaches to these small greens. I will be putting a heavy emphasis on driving distance and SG OTT this week, along with the usual large weight on SG APP. This Nicklaus/Jacklin design is littered with bunkers and there is also water in play on 12 of the holes. The greens are Bermuda grass and run at very fast speed. Furthermore, the curves and shapes of these putting surfaces make them tough to stick consistently, and should cause some frustration for the players this week. All in all, Concession is slated to be a tough test of golf in its PGA TOUR debut and with no statistical data to fall back on, I think it is important to target golfers who avoid bogeys at an efficient rate.
As a WGC event, most of the world’s best will be in attendance this week. Tiger Woods won’t be making his season debut at Concession as he still rehabs after his fifth back surgery, and Paul Casey is the other notable top-50 ranked player in the world who won’t being teeing it up in South Florida. Lastly, there are 72 golfers in this field and there will be no cut, so barring a disqualification or withdrawal, every player will play four full rounds at Concession. Even with no cutline to worry about, we still need to find cheap plays to help us squeeze in some high-end players who bring the most win equity, and below I present to you four of my favorite options at $7,400 or less on DraftKings for the Workday Championship.
Bubba Watson, $7,300
When there is no cutline to stress about, Watson is always a strong target. In his last five attempts at tournaments that feature no cut, the lefty has no finishes worse than T28 and a pair of top-tens. If we specifically look at WGC-Mexico Championships, which is the WGC event that is being replaced by the Workday this season, Watson has five top-tens in ten career starts with an average finish of 19th place. He has missed two weekends in his last three starts, but he had made eight in a row prior to this, and his game sets up very well for Concession. In his last 24 rounds, Watson ranks 4th in SGT2G, 11th in SG APP, 4th in ball striking, 7th in SG OTT, 16th in driving distance and 16th in bogeys avoided.
Also, in his last 100 rounds on par 72s that are greater than 7,400 yards in length, the bomber ranks 6th in total strokes gained. Watson has much higher upside than his salary suggests and I expect him to carry single digit ownerships in GPPs this week.
Carlos Ortiz, $7,300
Ortiz missed the cut last week at Riviera Country Club, but he still produced positive strokes off the tee and when approaching the green. He had made it to the weekend in eight consecutive starts before the Genesis, and this run included three top-tens, most notably the first PGA TOUR victory of Ortiz’s career, which came at the Houston Open in November.
Statistically, the 29-year-old is an excellent course fit for Concession Golf Club. Over his past 24 rounds, he ranks 25th in SGT2G, 15th in SG OTT, 28th in driving distance, 17th in BOB%, 30th in bogeys avoided and 13th in DKFP. In his first ever appearance at a WGC tournament last season, Ortiz posted a T16 at the Mexico Championship. Another top-20 is certainly obtainable for him at the Workday, and hopefully after being bad chalk at the Genesis, most DFS players will shy away from Ortiz this week.
Ryan Palmer, $7,200
When we compare DraftKings’ DFS pricing to odds to win the Workday Championship, Palmer sticks out like a sore thumb. As of Monday night, the 44-year-old sports +5500 odds on DraftKings Sportsbook to capture a win this Sunday. These are tied for the 20th best odds, but Palmer is the 37th highest priced golfer in the player pool. Another way to look at this is that he carries the same odds to win as Tommy Fleetwood, who costs a whopping $1,700 more than Palmer for DFS purposes.
Heading into this week, the veteran has made seven straight cuts and has impressively finished inside the top-five three times in his past five starts. With a strong driver in his bag (13th in SG OTT in L24 rounds) and positive splits on Bermuda, Palmer is a perfect fit for Concession. He ranks 11th in total strokes gained when we analyze all of these golfer’s track records at Nicklaus designed venues and Palmer is my top value play of the week at only $7,200.
Lanto Griffin, $6,700
I love Griffin at this cheap price tag. He just carded a T26 at the Genesis and has now finished inside the top-30 at ten of his last 19 events. The 32-year-old has gained strokes off the tee in back-to-back starts and he ranks 6th in driving distance across his last 12 rounds. Additionally during this stretch, Griffin ranks 12th in SG APP and 8th in SGP. He carries positive career splits on Bermuda and over Griffin’s last 24 rounds on this specific surface, he ranks 11th in total strokes gained.
Even in this world class field, Griffin ranks 6th in DKFP when we compare all these players last 12 rounds, and I don’t see how you can go wrong with him at only $6,700. Albeit in a weaker field, Griffin’s salary was all the way up to $8,600 just three weeks ago at the American Express.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Hunta512) 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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