The summer continues to fly by, and so does the PGA Tour season as the Tour heads to Kohler, Wisconsin and Whistling Straits for the final major of the year.
As play commences Thursday morning, there will be some intriguing storylines to follow. For one, Rory McIlroy is returning to competition, and it will be very interesting to see what form his game is currently in as the defending champion has been recovering from a serious ankle injury.
All eyes would have been on Jordan Spieth if he had managed to capture the Open Championship a few weeks back. Despite falling just short of continuing his quest for the Grand Slam, if he can capture a third major this season he will complete the most impressive season golf has seen since Tiger Woods’ run in 2000.
Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson have been playing very well as they return to Whistling Straits after solid performances which ended in disappointment at the 2010 PGA Championship. Bubba fell in a playoff to champion Martin Kaymer, while Johnson missed the playoff due to a two stroke penalty incurred on the final hole. Not recognizing that he lay in an unusual looking bunker, Johnson grounded his club and as a result missed the playoff. Earlier that season, Johnson had a disappointing final round in the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach after being the 54 hole leader. With his loss on the final green of the U.S. Open back in June, Dustin is certainly looking to avoid any forms of deja-vu this week.
Tiger Woods is in desperate need of a strong posting this week. He currently sits at 186th in the FedEx Cup points standings and is in serious danger of not qualifying for the playoffs which begin in two weeks. With a positive performance at his last event, everyone will be watching to see if he can finally put two solid tournaments together back-to-back.
Here is a look at the players I’d keep an eye on for this week, as well as my weekly DraftKings lineups.
1. Jordan Spieth - Won the Masters, won the U.S. Open, missed the playoff by one shot at the Open Championship….enough said.
2. Dustin Johnson - Having difficulty closing out events lately, but has had so many close calls in majors over the years - including the U.S. Open and Open Championship. I would not be the least bit surprised to see him win this event. If he sticks to his game plan and is able to get out of his own way, he will be difficult to beat.
3. Bubba Watson - Lost in playoff to Martin Kaymer at 2010 PGA Championship held at Whistling Straits. Has finished as runner-up in last two events he’s played (RBC Canadian Open & Cadillac World Golf Championship).
4. Justin Rose - Since the Masters, has six top-10’s in nine events, and has only missed one cut. Five of those have been top-5’s.
5. Rory McIlroy - Will be interesting to see if he is at all rusty having been off for a significant stretch with an ankle injury. He’s the world number one for a reason, and is the defending champ. Should be very motivated to get out and compete after such a long layoff. History says that he performs well under motivating circumstances.
6. Jason Day - Finished in top-10 in both U.S. Open and Open Championship. Was frustrated by his performance on the 18th green which prevented him from making the Open Championship playoff. Made a putt on the final hole the very next week to win the RBC Canadian Open. Will be interesting to see if this serves as confidence booster he needs to finally break through in a major. He has practically lived on major leaderboards the past few years.
7. Henrik Stenson - One of the quieter superstars out on Tour, probably due to his lack of wins, but does have two runner-up finishes this season. Has not performed as well in the majors however, with his best finish being T19 at the Masters. Coming off a solid T6 finish last week at Firestone in a world class field. Finished T3 and 3rd in last two years at PGA Championship.
8. Adam Scott - T4 at U.S. Open and T10 at Open Championship. Continues to be a force in the majors despite T38 finish at the Masters this year. I give him a pass on that one since a Green Jacket already hangs in his closet.
9. Rickie Fowler - With his play over the last few months, he is quieting critics who have argued that he’s overrated. This season has he has finished T12 at the Masters, missed the cut at the U.S. Open, and T30 at the Open Championship, but has won the Players Championship at the Scottish Open.
10. Jim Furyk - Has been competing very consistently over the last month. Does at times have difficulty closing out events, but has five top-5’s, including a win, since missing the cut at the Masters. Important to note that best finish in a major this year has been T30 at the Open Championship, but has finished T5 and 2nd in last two years at PGA Championship.
1. Lee Westwood - Has come close in major championships in the past, but has been unable to seal the deal. Coming off a T17 at Firestone and has missed only two cuts on Tour all season.
2. Branden Grace - T4 at U.S. Open and T20 at Open Championship. Playing some solid golf this year despite missing the cut at the Masters.
3. Justin Thomas - Playing in the first major championship of his career. Having a great season on Tour, recording seven top-10’s.
DraftKings is getting huge in the world of sport, and this week they are getting even bigger as someone is going to walk away with 1,000,000. A fantastic way to enhance your enjoyment of following the PGA Tour season, DraftKings makes it easy for everyone to compete and have a chance to win some coin without breaking the bank. Below are the teams I’m submitting for my shot at the million.
Jordan Spieth - $12,500
Dustin Johnson - $11.200
David Hearn - $6,800
Robert Streb - $6,800
Brian Harman - $6,500
David Toms - $5,900
Jason Day - $10,800
Bubba Watson - $9,900
Jim Furyk - $8,100
Braden Grace - $7,300
Webb Simpson - $7,200
Bernd Wiesberger - $6,700
I want to say that I like my lineups...because I do. However, in major championships, history has shown that anything can happen. This serves as another reason why DraftKings is for everyone. With the platform they have created, anyone can compete, and anyone can win. With both my teams I’m sticking to my recent strategy of taking a couple “heavy hitters” at the top of my lineup. The remaining individuals are ones who have either been performing well this week, or have shown that they can contend on larger stages.
Draft Your Team Now
About the Author
This article was written by Jonathan Carr (@jonathanwcarr) as part of our weekly #FantasyGolf series. Each week we preview the upcoming PGA Tour event and highlight some of the players we'll be keeping an eye on. As a scratch golfer himself, Jonathan has a keen eye for what it takes to be successful on and off the golf course. His passion for golf is surpassed only by his passion for his faith and his family. Read some of Jonathan's other articles here.
DraftKings is a leading provider of online fantasy sports. Our core product is a 1-day Fantasy Sports Contest, where users compete against each other to win cash prizes. The game works similarly to how season-long contests on ESPN or Yahoo operate, with the key difference being that instead of season-long commitments, our users only need to commit to playing for a single day at a time. Free and entry-fee-based games are available. Featuring daily fantasy sports contests and same-day settlement, DraftKings makes playing fantasy sports simpler and faster for both seasoned and casual players.
Read more about DraftKings at: www.DraftKings.com