Big Bad Brooks. The "Big Game Hunter" must have decided that a WGC trophy was worthy of mounting on his wall, because Koepka showed up at the FedEx St. Jude Invitational with major-championship form and focus.
Koepka entered the final round at TPC Southwind trailing Rory McIlroy by one shot and golf fans (myself included) were pumped for a heavyweight fight. Instead of the slugfest we were hoping for, we got a Mike Tyson-style beatdown, as Koepka cut through Rory like a warm knife through butter. Brooks fired a final-round 65 to Rory's uninspiring round of 71, and cruised to a no-sweat win in Memphis.
While his victory solidifies what we already knew about Brooks - that he can dominate any field on any course - Koepka still remains one of the DFS world's biggest enigmas. He's the type of dominant player that we would love to regularly target, but his motivations (or lack thereof) make it extremely difficult to trust him in non-major events. I wish he were more consistent, but right now it appears that we'll have to settle for him being a high-priced player with both an extremely low floor and tournament-winning upside that usually can be rostered at reasonable ownership levels.Editor's Note: Golf is back! Come join the fun and win big with RotoBaller. Get our full-season PGA and DFS Premium Pass for 50% off! Our exclusive DFS Lineup Optimizer, Research Station, DFS Projections and weekly DFS/betting articles! Sign Up Now!
Wyndham Championship Overview
We go from a "rich get richer" event in the WGC, to a tournament that holds a lot of importance to several of the PGA Tour's rank and file members. The FedEx Cup Playoffs loom large for many in this week's Wyndham field, as around a dozen players stand within 50 points of the cut line. The importance of getting inside the top-125 of the points list can't be overstated for these guys, as in some cases it's the difference between another year on the PGA Tour and being relegated to the Korn Ferry Tour. Nobody wants to play on a tour called the Korn Ferry.
Brandt Snedeker heads to Greensboro as the defending Wyndham champion. Sneds logged a remarkable 59 in his opening round at Sedgefield Country Club last year, but still had to go down to the wire in order to outlast CT Pan. The field is going to look fairly weak when compared to what we've become accustomed to over the last couple of weeks, but it's not without some strength. Paul Casey, Patrick Reed, Jordan Spieth, and Hideki Matsuyama all scheduled to tee it up in North Carolina, as are some of golf's most exciting youngsters, Collin Morikawa (fresh off a win at the Barracuda to secure his Tour Card!), Matthew Wolff, and Viktor Hovland.
I try to make HFTC more than just a regular 'picks' article (though you can certainly use it that way if you need to) and while I often use course history as a foundation, there are no 'rules' here other than to get you the best PGA DFS info possible. One quick word about this week's WGC event, there is no 36-hole cut, so adjust your lineup building strategy accordingly.
You can also find out who the smart money is on by checking out Spencer Aguiar's PGA DFS: Vegas Report every week.
The Course: Sedgefield Country Club
Par 70 - 7,127 Yards, Greens:
This little Donald Ross gem has been a presence on the professional circuit since the 1930's and has now played host to this event for 12 consecutive years. At just over 7,100 yards, length won't be an issue for the players this week (Henrik Stenson won here two years ago without hitting his driver one time. Literally never hit driver all week!). Fairways and greens are the order of the day at Sedgefield. In true Ross fashion, these greens are some of the smallest on the PGA Tour schedule and do have tricky undulations, but this track routinely ranks as one of the easiest on the PGA Tour schedule.
It seems like we emphasize ball striking every week, but it is without a doubt crucial at Sedgefield. It's a bit of an outlier event in that I'm paying absolutely no attention to distance. I'll be focusing on ball strikers that are both accurate off the tee and precise with their irons on approach. As mentioned earlier in the article, Sneds dropped a 59 here last year and the winners over the past three years have been at least 21-under par. Lots of birdies will be needed this week, so I'll also be searching for players that can go low.
Webb Simpson (DK - $11,200 & FD - $11,900)
Notable Course History: T2 (2018), 3rd ('17), T6 ('15), T5 ('14), Win ('11)
Recent Form: 2nd (WGC-FedEx), T30 (Open Championship), T16 (U.S. Open), T2 (RBC Canadian Open)
Webb was last week's Horse and came through with a runner-up finish at TPC Southwind. In fact, he played so well that I decided to just go ahead and roll with him again at the Wyndham. Webb might not be as exciting as some of the guys that we normally see sitting atop the DFS salary scale, but he has been unbelievably consistent this season and it feels like a win is coming soon.
What better place for a Webb victory than at a Sedgefield course that he's dominated throughout his career? Since 2014, Simpson has only finished outside the top-six in the Wyndham once and he leads this field with 40.65 Strokes Gained: Total in that time span. This is something of a home game for the Raleigh, North Carolina native, and while his price tag is high, I'd be surprised if Simpson isn't in the mix come Sunday.
His game fits Sedgefield perfectly. He's accurate off the tee (32nd in Good Drives Gained) and precise with his irons (13th in SG: Approach), in addition to wielding a hot putter (2nd in SG: Putting). He's first in this week's field in SG: Total over the last 24 rounds and heads home in tremendous form, having logged four sub-70 rounds last week in Memphis.
It seems a little gross to see Simpson with the week's highest price tag, but his blend of course history and current form makes him worth spending up for. We don't have the type of stars available this week that we've had at our disposal in the last couple of events, but there is some sneaky-good value in this field that makes getting Webber in your lineups a viable option.
Collin Morikawa (DK - $10,400 & FD - $11,600)
Notable Course History: None
Recent Form: Win (Barracuda), T4 (John Deere), T2 (3M), T36 (Travelers)
As we near the end of the PGA Tour season, I've decided that I'm going out swinging with my guys! I've already told you about Webb Simpson and for my first Pony of the week I'm going with my new favorite player, Collin Morikawa.
I've been all-in on the young Cal product since he turned pro just under two months ago and I'm certainly not hopping off the Morikawagon now. My man just picked up his first professional win at the Barracuda last week and I've got the feeling that there are many more to come now that he's locked up his PGA Tour card.
Morikawa was slightly less heralded than his counterparts Matthew Wolff and Viktor Hovland coming out of college, but he's perhaps been the most impressive as a pro. The young man has lit it up during his short time on the PGA Tour. We know that Sedgefield is all about iron play and Mori heads to NC ranked first in the field in SG: Approach over his last 24 rounds, as well as third in SG: T2G in the same time span.
It's always a little scary to roll with a player that's coming off a win, but Morikawa is just young enough and focused enough to not realize how hard victories are to come by. It might sound nuts, but he really has a legitimate shot to go back-to-back this week. It's easy to fall hard and fast for these young guys that haven't scarred us yet, but I'm telling you folks, this kid is on a different level when it comes to ball-striking consistency.
Viktor Hovland (DK - $9,500 & FD - $11,100)
Notable Course History: None
Recent Form: T16 (John Deere), T13 (3M), T13 (Rocket Mortgage), T54 (Travelers)
I'm sticking with the youth movement here with Viktor Hovland. The Norwegian was the most hyped of the young trio that recently turned pro, but is unbelievably now the only member of the crew without a win. That might change this week in Greensboro, as V-Hova brings his uncanny ability to go low to a track that relinquished a 59 just last year.
Hovland has already earned a reputation as a "Sunday player", as he's went 64-65-64 in his last three final rounds. He also has eight consecutive sub-70 rounds over his last two starts. Hovland is second in the field in Opportunities Gained and third in Birdies Gained.
As it did with Wolff and Morikawa, there's a sense of inevitability when it comes to Hovland getting a win. This Sedgefield layout that allows players to score in droves might just be suited perfectly for the young star.
Kevin Streelman (DK - $7,00 & FD - $9,300)
Notable Course History:
Recent Form: T57 (Open Championship) T34 (3M), T35 (Rocket Mortgage), T15 (Travelers)
Kevin Streelman is nowhere near the best player in this field, but he might be my favorite play this week. That feeling is almost entirely due to his price and form, as Streelman has really no course history at Sedgefield to speak of, but man...he feels really underpriced to me at $7.8k, especially when we consider that he was priced in the mid-to-high $8k's for the Travelers, Rocket Mortgage, and 3M, fields that might have been slightly weaker than this one, but not by much.
I guess I get it...Streelman's recent finishes haven't been especially noteworthy, but it just feels like the guy is playing really solid golf at the moment. His stats bare that out, as he ranks second in this field in SG: Approach over his last 24 rounds, while also grading out fourth in SG: T2G and 10th in DK Points Scored.
Sure, I wish there was a little better course pedigree here, but good ball striking always travels well. Streelman has gained strokes T2G in nine-straight starts and his price really gives you tons of flexibility when constructing lineups.
Brice Garnett (DK - $7,100 & FD - $8,100)
Notable Course History: T20 ('18), T20 ('16), M/C ('15), T32 ('14)
Recent Form: T18 (Barbasol), T37 (John Deere), T23 (3M Open), T17 (Rocket Mortgage)
I'm rounding out the list with a player that I didn't expect to be talking about when I started my research process for the Wyndham. Brice Garnett is one of several intriguing players on the cheap end of the salary scale this week. At just $7.1k (and $8.1k on FD) Garnett caught my eye due to his solid course history at Sedgefield and his strong recent form.
Obviously, Garnett isn't a player that we often target, but he's an interesting GPP option this week. He's notched top-20's in his last two Wyndham starts and has reeled off four-straight made cuts on the Tour, with three of those being top-25 finishes. Garnett isn't a guy that's going to pop statistically, but he's extremely accurate off the tee (seventh in Good Drives Gained) and he's gained strokes both T2G and with his irons in all of his last three starts.
His lack of distance is a major hindrance on most PGA Tour layouts, but won't be a problem here. He's a great way to shake things up if you are playing large-field tournaments and has top-25 potential at this discounted price tag.