Wow what a week we had at the Players Championship! We cashed in on Webb Simpson at 80-1, and he was one of the cornerstone pieces of our DraftKings teams. Let’s try to keep that momentum going for this week’s AT&T Byron Nelson. This event has changed courses for 2018 and is now hosted at Trinity Forest, a Coore and Crenshaw design just south of Dallas. Trinity Forest will be one of the most unique courses the PGA Tour plays all year. The links style course will play firm and fast. The greens are very undulating and many have runoffs and contours that will wreak havoc on some approach shots. We will be focusing in on players who are able to place the ball on the correct side of the fairway and be able to control the distance with their irons. Players will also need to rely on a creative short game as there will be many difficult situations players will face when they miss the greens.
Jordan Spieth $11,900
Spieth checks every single box this week. He is a member at Trinity Forest, so he will have an advantage over most players in the field. His stellar iron game and deft touch around the greens will pay dividends. He comes into this event after seeing some progress in his game at the Players (sans the debacle on 18 on Sunday). He has played well on similar courses, finishing 17th at the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst and 1st at the 2015 U.S. Open at Chambers Bay. I realize that Spieth will be very popular this week, but I just can’t ignore all the signs that are pointing to a victory.
If we are looking to distinguish our lineups in large field tournaments on DraftKings, we will have to hit on a low-owned dark horse. Refer to the “Longshots” section below for some players who may fit that criteria.
Hossler is a member at Trinity Forest and has been knocking on the door for his first victory on Tour. This very well may be the week.
Walker has typically played well in firm and fast conditions in Texas. He enters this week on the heels of a runner-up finish at the Players. Walker finished 9th in the 2014 US Open at Pinehurst #2, which is a similar Coore and Crenshaw design.
Scott might have finally turned the corner with his putter. He has gained strokes putting in his last two events. If he can combine his typical ball striking with solid putting, he will contend this week. This week is very important for Scott because he needs to move up in the World Rankings to be exempt for the US Open. The firm and fast conditions and design is reminiscent of golf courses in the Sandbelt of Australia. Scott has had success on similar courses, finishing 9th at the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst and 4th at the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay.
Cody Gribble (200-1 to win, 14-1 top 10)
Gribble seemed to find something last week at the Players, finishing 30th. He now heads to Trinity Forest, where he plays and practices out of. Gribble also finished 21st at the U.S. Open at Pinehurst in 2014.
Will Zalatoris (500-1 to win, 40-1 top 10)
Zalatoris is another player with ties to Trinity Forest. He is a young pro who had a stellar amateur career. This might be a place to jumpstart his career.
Geoff Ogilvy (200-1 to win, 20-1 top 10)
Ogilvy loves playing on firm and fast courses that are architecturally sound. His towering irons and strong mental game could lead to success this week. He is familiar with Trinity Forest as well and has had nothing but positive comments about it.
Daniel Summerhays (150-1 to win, 12-1 top 10)
Summerhays was a fixture on Tour for many years but has struggled over the past few years. He has seemed to regain some form as he held the 54-hole lead at last week’s Knoxville Open on the Web.com Tour and finished in the top 10 a few weeks ago at the Zurich. He is a very good wind player and has had great success playing in the firm and fast conditions in Texas.
Stephen Jaeger (160-1 to win 10-1 top 10)
Jaeger won last week’s Knoxville Open on the Web.com Tour. He is known as a very streaky player. When he plays well, he tends to keep that momentum up for a few weeks. Last year, he captured two wins in a three-event stretch on the Web.com.
Noah Goodwin (250-1 to win, 20-1 top 10)
Goodwin, the 2017 U.S. Junior Amateur champion and 29th-ranked amateur in the world, plays golf at nearby SMU, whose home course is Trinity Forest. He is worth a shot in the dark for a top-10 finish considering the weak field and lack of familiarity with the course for most players.