DraftKings Daily Fantasy Golf Picks & Plays for The Northern Trust
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PGA DFS contests
Drive the Green: $5 entry, $650K guaranteed (DraftKings) – $100,000 to 1st!
Up & Down: $55 entry, $555K guaranteed (DraftKings) – $100,000 to 1st!
Eagle: $7.77 entry, $100K guaranteed (FanDuel) – $20,000 to 1st!
Ridgewood CC was built in 1929 in Paramus, New Jersey. The sprawling, 27-hole facility sports a blend of Bent and Poa grasses on the green complexes. Its mature trees loom on the boundaries of most holes. Each hole is framed well by the features and hazards equally from the tee box, leaving the course to lay itself out right in front of players.
As for the championship setup, the 18 holes contested this week comprise the toughest from all three courses, covering 7,385 yards. Some 2015 renovations mean the routing of the holes will be different than previous years. That said, the selected holes all remain the same. Some of the fairways were widened in 2015 renovation to offset some of the impact of eliminating the intermediate cut of rough. The greens were also enlarged by 15,000 square feet.
How it plays
This is a dynamic course that makes exceptional use of the 27 holes at its disposal and cobbles together one of the finest collections of 18 holes in all of golf. Cear sight lines will have golfers varying their decision making off the tee. The fairways are lined with thick, long rough that forces golfers to place a priority on finding the fairway. As a result, look for a lot fewer driver approaches on the short and mid-length holes this week.
Now, it doesn’t favor a longer or shorter hitter, per se. Instead, it favors execution off the tee. Player must be able to find the fairway here in order to attack. Those not dialed in off the tee will struggle to get anything going.
The re-routing of the holes from the previous editions figures to impact the scoring and overall approach to the course significantly. The iconic Cemetery Hole, for instance, was moved to the back nine while the other iconic 291-yard drive-able par 4 now anchors the front nine.
The way the course lays out now allows players to ease into their round on 1-4. Then, 5-8 are very strong holes that will make the golfers work for par. There’s a reprieve at 9 and then another stretch of tough holes in 10-14. Finally, a very score-able stretch closes out the tournament. In general, I am in favor of the re-routing; I think it flows better.
Even in looking through the card above, the course doesn’t lean too heavily in one direction. Players must score on the par 5’s and the short par 4’s. The par 3’s are of an offsetting nature: score on the short ones; hang on at the long ones. As for the mid and long par 4’s, the mid-length ones are what change the balance from a good round to a great round. Players who are on this week will turn these into birdie holes.
The long par 4’s are pretty self explanatory. No one is truly looking for a birdie here; they are simply trying to survive. For a complete and in-depth video breakdown of Ridgewood CC, check out my course video here.
Oh, and here’s one fun course/player note: Kevin Streelman’s grandparents and parents grew up right around this golf course. Crazily enough, Streelman’s grandparents were laid to rest in the very cemetery boarding the ninth hole. It could be a special week for the Streelmans.
- Good Drive %
- Strokes Gained T2G (Favor/overwieght APP)
- Favor strong putters, especially Poa putters.
PGA DFS players
Top Tier: $11.5K – $9.5K
Dustin Johnson ($11.5K)
While he didn’t take down his second Major at the PGA (finishing a disappointing 27th instead), DJ didn’t exactly stink up the joint either. He boasts the top price tag this week. Because of that $11.5K, we might see DJ go a bit under owned this week, even as the defending champion here. Still, he is an elite POA putter and obviously has the rest of the game to go along with it. Johnson has played well in this part of the country his entire career; this week shouldn’t be any different.
Jason Day ($10.7K)
Day seems to be a bit of a Tillinghast specialist, having produced some strong results at this course in 2014 as well as nearly clinching a second PGA Champ at Baltusrol. Day rates out really well on Poa surfaces as well as on less-than-driver courses. His elite scrambling and putting allow him to be aggressive on the tempting holes, and his ability to club down without giving up ideal yardages will make Day a constant threat this week.
Jon Rahm ($9.7K)
Fresh off his fifth place at the PGA Championship, Rahm sets up nicely for the courses in this part of the country. An exceptional Bent/Poa putter with all the elite abilities that you could want for a bargain price, Rahm cleared more than four strokes gained on approach his last two times out. He also possesses elite distance when he needs it. Rahm is in form and ready to make a run at the Fed Ex Cup this year.
Other to consider: Brooks Koepka, Tiger Woods, Justin Rose, Jordan Spieth
Mid Tier: $9.4K – $8K
Webb Simpson ($9.2K)
The “Webber” is dialed in right now and looking to cap off his season in style. An elite T2G player with a putter performing better than at any point previously in his career, Simpson fits well at a classic course design such as Ridgewood. Look for Webb to excel on approaches and leave himself plenty of opportunities this week.
Hideki Matsuyama ($8.8K)
Sliding a bit under the radar with the sub-9K price tag, “Deki” is a bargain for sure this week. Posting an 11th place last week, while gaining 7.4 strokes on approach, Deki certainly has the talent to contend in any field if his putter decides to show up. Fortunately, he’s a positive strokes gained putter on Poa. Deki represents an elite upside play in my middle tier this week.
Patrick Cantlay ($8.6K)
What is not to like about Cantlay’s run of late? He’s made all six of his cuts since the Forth Worth Invitational and posted four top 15’s and a top 5 in those outings. Cantlay has been a model of consistency with a ton of upside. This elite ball striker is still looking for the headlining victory to establish himself in the upper tiers of talent. I expect Cantlay to surge throughout this Fed Ex Cup season and make a career-defining statement over the next few weeks.
Paul Casey ($8.3K)
When looking for a golfer who embodies the all-important T2G consistency, it is tough to find a better match than Paul Casey. He let us down at the PGA Championship, I admit. That will likely not be enough a reason to keep me off the strong, long-term form Casey has demonstrated throughout the years, especially this one. Casey has only missed two cuts this entire year while notching an elusive win and posting six top 15 performances in his 12 starts. Casey is also a positive Bent putter and has performed well in this region of the country, posting a 22nd the last time here in 2014.
Others to consider: Tony Finau, Patrick Reed, Adam Scott, Tommy Fleetwood, Matt Kuchar
Value Tier: $7.9K and Lower
Gary Woodland ($7.7K)
Woodland is surging at the right time this season, posting a 22/17/6 in his last three outings and doing it all through some exceptional ball-striking displays. Picking up more than six strokes off the tee his last two events and 2.3/2.4 and 4.4 strokes on approach, Woodland tends to excel when he can club down and position himself properly off the tee. GW should be able to do plenty of that this week. Whether he pays off his price will come down to putting, a weekly struggle for Woodland. For what it’s worth, Bent and Poa are his best surfaces.
Ian Poulter ($7.6K)
Despite the length of Ridegwood CC, plenty of shorter hitters have had success here in the past. This week, I think Poulter will be a member of that group. He’s played some smashing golf as of late, rattling of five top 15 since his win in April. Poulter is not going to bomb it past anyone, but he can certainly beat them on execution across four days. He is one of the great clutch players of our time, as his many a thrilling Ryder Cup moments remind us. Look for Poulter to continue to draw on his good play and good vibes on his way to another top 15.
Stewart Cink ($7.5K)
Cink is having himself an exceptional year, especially considering he is officially a member of Team Old Guy this year. Posting a 15th place here in 2014 and fresh off his fourth place at the PGA Championship, Cink will be heavily tagged on Fanshare this week. Currently gaining all his strokes through approach (6.7 at the PGA), Cink is a course manager that relies heavily on his ability to keep everything in front of him, lean on his iron game, and hope to convert a few long putts to keep pace with the youngsters. Cink shouldn’t have any trouble with that this week. His history here will give him some course knowledge few others have, and his current form makes Cink a no brainier in Cash or GPP this week.
Charley Hoffman ($6.8K)
Hoffman has slipped a bit from the string of top 20’s he rattled off several weeks back. Toward the end of that run, we saw Hoffman slide in his results. That’s likely because he played seven straight weeks. Now, I expect Hoffman to be well rested and ready to have a go at the Fed Ex Cup. A strong Poa putter who is consistent with his approach game, Hoffman represents strong value for a guy that should make the cut comfortably.
Others to consider: Phil Mickelson, Kevin Kisner, Brendan Grace, Bryson DeChambeau, Kyle Stanley, Keegan Bradley, Emiliano Grillo, Jason Dufner, Adam Hadwin
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