DraftKings Fantasy Golf Picks & Plays for Fort Worth Invitational
Welcome back for another week of PGA DFS at DraftKings, FanDuel, and FantasyDraft. We’re here to give you the full report on picks for The Fort Worth Invitational at Colonial CC.
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Colonial CC (CCC) has long been a part of the PGA Tour and one that will likely remain for years to come. Bentgrass fanatic Marvin Leonard brought about its timeless design, combining individual holes from the numerous and varied designs submitted by Bredemus & Maxwell in a pioneering effort to bring Bentgrass to the Lone Star State in 1936.
This is a 7,205-yard, par 70 course. It’s situated just southwest of downtown Fort Worth and less than 400 yards from an active railway exchange yard that can be heard occasionally throughout a round, especially on holes 8/9/11/12/13, which are closest to the Trinity River.
The mature trees lining the fairways come into play plenty this week. Players failing to find the correct side of the 10 doglegs around CCC, or worse yet those who spray it off the tee, will be forced to contend with narrow windows of escape and bogey-inducing chip outs this week.
Since we are in Texas, there’s not too much elevation change to worry about. But the greens at Colonial are elevated and on the smaller end of the spectrum. That makes for a tough combination, once you figure in the 84 bunkers, which very strategically placed in fairway landing zones and protecting the tiny greens.
You get the picture: Colonial is no picnic and requires golfers to work the ball in both directions from the tee and on approaches to the green. Players need to be creative and able to hit all the shots. Even the great Ben Hogan warned of how dangerous a straight ball can be around Colonial.
No matter the weather conditions this week, don’t expect a birdie fest.
The average length of the par 5’s this week is 600 yards, and there are only two. One of them yield birdies more like a par 4 and only at a 26 percent rate. The par-5 11th, while still a scoring hole at 635 yards, it isn’t an easy one. Look for a solid wedge player to make hay on this long par 5.
The other and arguably more important par 5 is the 1st. You read that right; the 1st hole is your best chance to score and will likely set the tone for the round. It offers an almost 50/50 split in birdies/eagles vs. pars/bogeys, so half the field will feel good about their start and the other half will immediately feel like they are behind (and they are). On a course that averages over par, it is extremely costly to miss that first opportunity.
Players will get another early look at birdie on the 2nd hole, which is one of only five holes on the course that give up a birdie rate of 20 percent or better. The 2nd will see a nearly 30 percent clip of birdies throughout the week. But expect that number to be a touch lower when the pin is tucked on the right side. With a bunker short and bunker long, players going for the pin will be disappointed when they fail to hold the narrow right finger of this green. Otherwise, expect to see a lot of action on the opening two holes at Colonial.
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Moving Right Along
Here’s hoping your players found some birdies on 1 and 2 because the next three holes are the defining stretch of the course. They collectively play 0.47 strokes over par and will likely rob players of one or more of the opening birdies they just made. Comprising two difficult par 4’s with a 245-yard par 3 sandwiched in the middle, these holes average a 21.5 percent bogey rate with the 5th also popping up as one of three CARNAGE holes at Colonial.
The 3rd hole is a dogleg left that demands a 295+ yard carry over the dogleg and bunkers, or a draw that runs out into the dogleg without running into the bunkers. It then requires a long iron shot into a tough green. That’s really tough with a right pin.
Now, the 4th is brutally long 247-yard par 3 that generally plays downwind to an elevated green that is notoriously difficult to hold.
This tough stretch is capped off by the most difficult hole on the course — the 481-yard, par-4 5th. Not only long but very narrow, its left looks like a decent bail, until you get there. There’s no shot at all with a small ditch. It’s just a tough hole with a cross wind and no room for a miss off the tee or on approach, bunkers left and right. Long left is the only miss, and it is a tough comeback. There is a reason this hole annually claims close to four percent of the field for a double or worse.
Things Get Better for a Minute
The opening five holes will define the round. You should have a pretty good idea by the end of the front nine what kind of day to expect from your squad. That said, players starting on the back nine will enjoy a more traditional and consistent scoring environment prior to making the turn and having to close out their round on another one of the carnage holes in the 9th.
The 9th is tough, with a long carry over water and generally into the wind. A mis-hit approach can quickly end up swimming in the lake short. If the wind gets whipping this week, expect to see some big numbers on this hole.
The Back Nine
The back nine is generally benign compared to the front nine at Colonial. The par 5 11th is basically a glorified short par 4 from a scoring standpoint. Virtually un-reachable in two at 635 yards, most players will play two safe shots and set up a good wedge distance for their best chance at birdie here.
The remainder of the back nine is a combination mid-short length par 4’s and a couple of 190 yard par 3’s. From a scoring perspective, the only other real note is the par-3 13th, a long iron carry over water to the front edge. The further right you go, the longer the carry over the water. Anyone who blocks a draw or pushes a fade will be sorry, and dropping another ball.
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1. Strokes Gained: Ball Striking
2. Prox from 125-150
3. Birdie or Better
4. Good Drive %
5. Bogey Avoidance
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PGA DFS Players:
Top Tier: $11.7K – $10.2K
Jordan Spieth ($11.7K)
Jordan Spieth tops the rankings once again, and he also tops my blended model this week. And yes, people will debate whether he is worth the price, especially at his ownership. Debate all you want, but the truth is that if Spieth wins by six, no one is surprised and you have to have to him to cash anyway. Spieth has everything going for him again this week and should have a little extra motivation with the increased competition in the invitational field. If you are playing multiple lineups, it makes sense to have exposure. If you are only rolling a single GPP bullet, then fade away. Spieth checks in as the highest projected player at RotoQL.
Jon Rahm ($11.0K)
Jon Rahm showed last year he could attack this course in a different way than most. He took aggressive lines to the medium length par 4’s and par 5’s last year, posting a 2nd. Coming in a bit quieter than you might think, Rahm has been pedestrian since the Masters and might go a bit under owned compared to Spieth and Webb this week. Keep an eye on FanShare for his hype meter; getting Rahm with discounted ownership would be nice in GPP.
Webb Simpson ($10.2K)
Webb Simpson is making his first start since his Player’s win and has a shot to go back to back. The course fits his game to a T, and he is obviously in great form. Webb will be very highly tagged on FanShare this week based on early trends, so expect him to get almost as chalky as Spieth. Webb also rates very highly in my blended model this week.
Other to consider: Justin Rose is very much in play this week for GPP. With no course history but world-class game, he is a decent pivot.
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Mid Tier: $9.6K – $8K
Jimmy Walker ($9.5K)
Jimmy continued his run of form last week, and there is no reason to get off him now. A great ball-striker who always plays well in Texas and has made all three of his cuts here recently, Jimmy has what it takes and should do well again this week.
Jason Dufner ($8.7K)
Jason “Swag Daddy” Dufner continues his all-out assault on the hat game. He is also dominating with his actual game right now, and based on his Twitter rebuttals post-Players, he is definitely in the right mindset to post another solid week at Colonial. He can put the ball anywhere he wants with his driver or irons and seems to be heating up with the putter recently. Granted Bent isn’t his favorite surface, but it hasn’t stopped him from posting two top 10’s here. Expect Jason to eye another top 10 this week.
Zak Johnson ($8.5K)
Zak Johnson continues his consistent play in 2018 and is flashing plenty of upside as well. This course fits ZJ’s game really well and his steady, make-my-par approach will serve him well at this course. He will be chalky at his price and highly tagged on FanShare this week by the time lock happens. Expect ZJ to anchor most Cash lineups for the sharps and be popular in GPPs too.
Emiliano Grillo ($8.6K)
Grillo has made both his cuts at this event and shown solid mid-pack results previously at Colonial. That said, Grillo is playing better this year, and coming back to Bent should certainly help his putter. His steady course history, coupled with current form is a recipe for chalk Grillo. Chalk or not, I’ll have some exposure this week. Grillo should play well once again and look to post a top 15.
Patrick Cantlay ($9K)
Cantlay is coming in with incredible form and is as talented as anyone in the field. Despite looking a bit like Count Dracula in his DK picture, Cantlay is elite and possesses a game suited to this course. The only downside for Cantlay this week is his lack of experience around here, as his only result is a W/D was back in 2012. We should just treat him as a first timer here. His lack of experience won’t scare me away from a talent like Cantlay this week.
Chesson Hadley ($8.3K)
Chesson has been playing exceptionally this season and is a proven winner on tour. He also has the type of game you want around Colonial, as long as he doesn’t have to scramble too much. The other reason he is in this article is that he liked my tweet back to him today, so of course this means he will be in a few of my lineups for good karma.
Others to consider: Brooks Koepka (great GPP play), Charl Schwartzel, Matt Kuchar
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Value Tier: $7.9K and Lower
Steve Stricker ($7.9K)
Stricker is crushing it on the Senior Tour and overall. Steve has historically only played events at which he feels he can be competitive. That means short courses he likes to putt on. This course fits his game so well, and despite his age, he should be able to compete without any problems around Colonial this week.
Russell Knox ($7.7K)
Knox is showing signs of life once again, and it couldn’t happen at a better time for him. Colonial suits his game very well, and he has shown solid results in his two outings here. Knox makes for a good GPP play with his high upside and world class ball-striking. Despite his good results here in the past, I don’t think too many folks will be eager to click on Knox this week, so you won’t need too much of him to get a leveraged position in GPPs.
Danny Lee ($7.5K)
Fresh off his red-hot performance at the Player’s, Lee comes to a course he is very familiar with. He has posted solid results here annually. A streaky player, Lee’s popularity added to his volatility, and that’s enough to keep me cautious. I’ll have a few shares, but he’s not the kind of player I’ll be going all in on.
Others to consider: Jim Furyk, Jason Kokrak, Kevin Tway, Nick Watney, Sam Burns, Joel Dahmen
That does it for The Fort Worth Invitational breakdown. Good luck this week, and I’ll see you next for The Memorial at Muirfield Village.