The PGA Breakdown provides data-driven analysis for each weekly table using the FantasyLabs tools and metrics to highlight notable golfers.
The TOUR is heading to Georgia this week as the Sea Island Resort is hosting the RSM Classic. There are two places in the game this week – Seaside and Plantation. Seaside is played three of the four rounds and is par-70, measuring 7,005 yards of Bermuda grass greens. The Plantation Course is a par 72, measures 7,060 yards, and is the easier of the two.
I’ll highlight the best cash game / single entry games on the main DraftKings board, but these players are often great options in any competition.
My analysis will reference frequently Strokes achieved, a set of proprietary metrics generated by the PGA TOUR that use millions of data points to calculate how many strokes it takes, on average, for a player to get the ball into the hole from any distance and situation. Strokes Gained is now available in the FantasyLabs PGA models.
There are a wide variety of stroke won metrics, but the six main categories you need to know include:
- Strokes Scored: Off-the-Tee (SG: Off-the-Tee)
- Strokes Received: Approach (SG: approach)
- Strokes Achieved: Around-the-Green (SG: Around the Green)
- Strokes Scored: Putt (SG: putting)
- Strokes Received: Ball Hitting (SG: Ball-Striking), so SG: Off-the-Tee + SG: Approach
- Strokes Scored: Tee-to-Green (SG: Tee-to-Green), that’s SG: Ball-Striking + SG: Around-the-Green
For more information on Strokes Gained data and how it is used, see this article by Bryan Mears on The Action Network, which details each of the above metrics. I also recommend Chris Murphy’s Strokes Gained column after each round of this week’s PGA TOUR event, which highlights golfers to buy and fade in, along with Matthew Vincenzi’s weekly Stats That Matter column, which highlights what sub-metrics are related to strokes Gained for a. most importantly are given course.
And don’t forget to use our various PGA DFS tools like our Lineup Builder, the PGA Correlation Dashboard and our Trends tool.
The players listed below are based on DraftKings Points and Awards.
Scottie Scheffler ($ 10,900 DraftKings)
Usually DraftKings is the most expensive golfer in the field at well over $ 11,000. They did us a nice favor by leaving Scheffler for $ 10,900 because he’s an absolute blast at the price.
This won’t be a long description; the former Texas Longhorn finished second in Houston last week and a T-4 in Mayakoba the week before.
Scheffler’s game is currently running on all cylinders and is fourth in this field in Strokes Gained: Total in his last eight rounds. It’s a birdie-making machine that plays almost every hole off the fairway, which you may have heard is pretty important on Sea Island. Scheffler has been knocking on the door of his first PGA TOUR win of his career for a while, and after finishing fifth on his debut at that event in 2019, this could be the event he can get over his head. If you pay this week, Scheffler is by far the preferred option.
Corey Conners ($ 9,900 DraftKings)
Perhaps the purest striker in the field, Conners, will be right in his wheelhouse on a short par-70 Bermuda hole this week. This will be his fourth career start at Sea Island, having taken T-37, T-23 and T-10 respectively on his first three voyages.
As previously mentioned, playing off the fairway and avoiding the rough will be paramount this week and Conners is # 2 in the field in SG: Off-the-Tee for his final 48 rounds.
His putting problems are less of a concern this week as Bermuda is his best finish and his pinpoint iron play will give him routine birdie looks. The Canadian has improved his final ranking every year he has played here. So if that trend continues, let’s take a look at another top 10 this week. He’s as sure as they come.
Russell Henley ($ 9,600 DraftKings)
Henley got the fall momentum going, most recently with a T-7 finish in Houston last week. He has won tees from tee to green every round at Memorial Golf Club and will now play a home game on Sea Island this week. Henley was born in Macon, Georgia and attended college at UGA. He has played this event eight times in the last decade and has three top 10 finishes in that segment.
It’s no surprise this Sea Island treated him well, as Henley is a top-notch iron player who thrives on par-70 Bermuda courses. The 32-year-old is No. 1 in this field in the SG: Approach over his last 48 laps and start the game in top form on a familiar place. The context factors are all there for him to do well this week, and he should be a staple for cash games.
Mackenzie Hughes ($ 8,600 DraftKings)
Hughes has a tricky past at Sea Island, having won that event back in 2017, but placed a T-65 with three missed cuts in his four other appearances. He comes into the game in great shape, however, having taken each of his last seven cuts with a series of top 30 finishes on the track. We know the Canadian won’t blow anyone with his hit on the ball, but his short game and putter are both strong enough that he always lives for a top 20 placement wherever he tees off.
The fact that Hughes starts in good shape and has won here puts him firmly on the radar for cash games this week. There’s not much to love in the $ 8,000 range at DraftKings this week.
Chris Kirk ($ 8,000 DraftKings)
Kirk is another Georgia Bulldog to play a home game this week. The last time we saw him, he opened with a hole-in-one at Mayakoba, en route to a 64th round in the first round. Unfortunately he played the next three rounds with a combined plus-one and ended up in a draw in 64th place. We’ll leave that behind, however, as he’s now made four consecutive cuts and has an elite history to show for on Sea Island.
Kirk won this event back in 2014 and has since achieved two more top five. Similar to the other players in the field with a long course history, Kirk is in his element on shorter par 70 holes where the route is irrelevant. He’s a good mid-range iron player and has a great short game too, which gives us everything we want from a course like this one. At only $ 8,000 at DraftKings, Kirk is one of the better values on the board.
Henrik Norlander ($ 7,300 DraftKings)
Norlander has made four straight cuts at this event since 2016. He has two top-five finishes on this track, including a runner-up in 2017. The Swede made every cut during the fall swing and even has a T-4 finishes at Sanderson Farms a few weeks ago. Nothing special about his game will blow you away, but he’s a better putter on Bermuda and can get hot with his irons at times. At this price point we’re just looking for a cut made, something that it seems to do every time he plays here.
Norlander currently lives in Augusta, Georgia so it’s likely that he has played this course a lot. He stands out in a seemingly barren area of $ 7,000 this week.
Alex Smalley ($ 7,100 DraftKings)
Smalley has looked very handsome during his brief stint on the PGA TOUR this season, having scored four out of five cuts in the past two weeks in Houston and Bermuda, including consecutive top 15 finishes. Last week was particularly impressive as he approached over 1.2 strokes on both Saturday and Sunday at Memorial Park, which has proven to be a great boys’ course.
Albeit over a small test (14 rounds), Smalley putted extremely well in Bermuda, winning about 0.4 strokes per round on the field. The 25-year-old seems to be the real one, and hardly anyone remembers how good he is. DraftKings kind of cut its salary after two strong weeks, so let’s get down to it. Smalley is a great game in all formats.