The 2020 Workday Charity Open at Muirfield Village Golf Club this week is a one-off running of the event as the replacement to the canceled John Deere Classic. A strong field led by Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, and Brooks Koepka is in attendance ahead of next week’s Memorial Tournament at this same venue. We looked at the best bets to make here, and below, we’ll look at the top DFS picks for the Workday Charity Open from each salary tier at DraftKings.
Bryson DeChambeau pulled through as a +650 betting favorite last week at the Rocket Mortgage Classic to help DFS roster managers see green screens. Matthew Wolff, Maverick McNealy, Tyrrell Hatton, Webb Simpson, and Adam Hadwin were mentioned here and secured top-8 finishes. Both Hadwin and Wolff move into the top salary tier this week from the mid and value tiers, respectively.
The course: Muirfield Village Golf Club
Originally designed and still controlled and updated by Jack Nicklaus, Muirfield Village GC will measure 7,456 yards this week. It’s an increase from the listed 7,392 yards at the Memorial Tournament early last June. It will still play to a par of 72 and features Bentgrass/Poa Annua greens.
The last seven champions of Muirfield Village all finished 12-under par or better. Patrick Cantlay‘s 2019 winning score of minus-19 was the lowest victorious mark since Tiger Woods shot the same 72-hole score of 269 in 2000. Tom Lehman set the course record at minus-20 in 1994.
The easiest hole on the course has been the 521-yard, par-5 5th at a scoring average of 4.534. Seven other holes play below par, including the other three par 5s but just three of the par 4s. The most difficult hole is the par-4 18th with a scoring average of 4.276. At 483 yards, it is the longest par 4 on the course.
Key stats to consider for your Workday Charity Open DFS picks
The key stats to consider this week are Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green, Strokes Gained: Approach, Par 4 Efficiency: 450-500 Yards, Birdies or Better Gained, and Proximity from 175-200 Yards. These have been common strengths of past champions and those near the top of the leaderboard. My model at Fantasy National looks at the most recent 50 rounds for each golfer in the field played on courses in excess of 7,400 yards in length.
Cantlay and DeChambeau won here the last two years while ranked 14th and 38th, respectively, in the Official World Golf Ranking. It was the second career win for both of them. The three previous champions of Muirfield Village – Jason Dufner (2017), William McGirt (2016), and David Lingmerth (2015) – ranked 65th, 102nd, and 212th in the OWGR, respectively. The Strength of Field rating over the last five years has ranged from 474 in 2015 to 652 in 2018 but is expected to be much higher this week.
One of the Tour’s premier annual stops, many of the world’s top golfers attend this event year after year. Fourteen members of this year’s field have played at least 40 rounds at Muirfield Village. Collin Morikawa, Viktor Hovland, Scottie Scheffler, and Matthew Wolff are among those making their debuts in 2020.
Workday Charity Open lineup building strategies
Despite the star-studded and exceptionally strong fields in the Tour’s return to play, it hasn’t been necessary to spend every dollar of the $50,000 DFS salary cap. Last week’s optimal lineup for the Rocket Mortgage Classic featured DeChambeau ($11,700), Wolff ($6,800), Kevin Kisner ($7,700), Hadwin ($8,200), Ryan Armour ($6,900), and Sepp Straka ($6,700). It left $2,000 on the table and totaled 724.50 fantasy points.
The biggest key remains to have all six golfers get through the cut. Fewer than five percent of lineups in the biggest Guaranteed Prize Pool (GPP) tournaments, including the PGA Tour $2.5 Millionaire went 6/6 last week, according to Cut Sweats.
Workday Charity Open DFS Picks: Ownership
DeChambeau was predictably the highest-owned golfer in last week’s Millionaire Maker at 27.61 percent. Webb Simpson was just 16.21 percent owned as the second most expensive player in the field. Hovland was the only other golfer above 20 percent ownership at 20.45 percent.
Kisner’s third-place finish at 6.56 percent and Danny Willett‘s T-4 at just 1.37 percent paid off in a big way for those who had either or both of them. As noted above, spending less than the $50,000 cap has been a big key in roster differentiation. Over 45 percent of all Millionaire lineups spent to the cap last week. Just 0.38 percent of entries used only $49,000 of the budget.
2020 Workday Charity Open DFS picks
Top Tier: $11.1K – $8K
Jon Rahm $10,900
The second most expensive golfer in the field, Rahm has been in the worst form of the world’s best golfers since play resumed. He’s still ranked second in the OWGR, but he missed the cut at the Charles Schwab Challenge and finished T-33 at the RBC Heritage and T-37 at the Travelers Championship before skipping last week’s event. This is about getting a top-ranked player at what’s sure to be reduced ownership.
He ranks fifth in this field in SG: Tee-to-Green and 10th in Birdies or Better Gained on courses of at least 7,400 yards in length. He missed the cut in his only visit to Muirfield Village in 2017, but he returns with eight more professional wins to his name.
Xander Schauffele $10,200
Schauffele also took last week off following a pair of disappointing results after his T-3 finish at the Charles Schwab Challenge. He ranks 49th overall in the stat model and is 17th in SG: Tee-to-Green and 29th in Birdies or Better Gained on longer courses. He finished T-14 at last year’s Memorial Tournament while gaining 1.17 strokes per round off the tee and 1.77 strokes tee-to-green.
This is another leverage pick in the top tier, with the majority of lineup managers likely to pay an extra $200 for Koepka, or drop down to the red-hot Hovland or course history king Justin Rose.
Gary Woodland $8,300
Our weekly theme continues with Woodland. He returned from the midseason suspension of play with a ninth-place finish at the Charles Schwab Challenge but followed it up with an ensuing T-62 result and a missed cut before skipping the event in Detroit last week. He returns to a course where he has 32 career rounds played with 0.99 strokes gained per round on the field.
Woodland ranks fifth by the stat model and fourth in SG: Tee-to-Green. He has slipped to 18th in the OWGR and is 12th by the betting odds at DraftKings Sportsbook but 17th by DFS salary.
Bubba Watson $8,000
Watson has missed back-to-back cuts for the first time since late July of 2018. He still has three top-10 results in nine events in 2020, including a T-7 at the Charles Schwab Challenge in his return to play. He’s one of just 29 players in the field playing for the fourth week in a row since play resumed.
Watson ranks seventh in this field in SG: Tee-to-Green. Only seven golfers in the field top his 44 rounds played here, and he has averaged 1.22 strokes gained per round. He finished T-6 in 2018, in the strongest field Muirfield Village has seen in the last five years.
Mid Tier: $7.9K – $7K
Byeong Hun An $7,900
An hasn’t finished higher than his T-46 at the Travelers Championship since a T-4 at The Honda Classic. He was off last week and returns to a course where he has averaged 1.93 strokes gained over 18 career rounds. He finished T-25 last year while gaining 1.72 strokes per round on approach.
Ian Poulter $7,500
Poulter’s salary has dropped slightly after it peaked at $7,800 at the Travelers Championship. He’s likely to be the most popular play of the equally-priced Harold Varner III, Billy Horschel, and Maverick McNealy, but he also has the best chance at a top finish. He ranks sixth in my stat model, including a field-best rank in Proximity from 175-200 Yards and ranks of fifth in the key par 4 distance and ninth in SG: Approach.
Chris Kirk $7,300
Kirk started strong last week but stumbled to a 70-73 finish on the weekend to place T-21. It was his first PGA Tour event since winning the Korn Ferry Tour’s The King & Bear Classic. It may be some recency bias for a player with four missed cuts in just seven 2020 events, but the more biased move may be to ignore his strong start last week as he gets his game back on track.
Value Tier: $6.9K and Lower
Pat Perez $6,900
Perez’s top field rank is a fourth in Par 4 Efficiency: 450-500 Yards. He finished T-47 here last year, but his 46 career rounds played are topped by just three golfers in the field. He made 17 birdies last week and registered 72.5 fantasy points despite finishing just T-45.
J.B. Holmes $6,800
Holmes returns for the first time following the break having last finished T-51 at The Genesis Invitational. He was playing well early in 2020, while racking up three consecutive top-20 finishes in strong fields at the Farmers Insurance Open, Waste Management Phoenix Open, and AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. He has 38 career rounds played at Muirfield Village and ranks 26th in SG: Tee-to-Green and 18th in Par 4 Efficiency.
Keith Mitchell $6,200
Mitchell is 17th by the stat model and fifth in Birdies or Better Gained and 10th in SG: Tee-to-Green on courses longer than 7,400 yards. He missed back-to-back cuts before sitting out last week, but he has a top-10 finish already this year and won at the Nicklaus-redesigned PGA National Golf Club last March. He’s a strong value pick at what should be a basement-level salary for him.