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It may be the week after the Masters, but by no means does that mean we are in for a week of boring play. Just like Augusta provides golfers with a unique playing experience, so too does Harbour Town Golf Links. Not an overly long course, a premium is put on hitting fairways. The tight layout makes it very difficult to score from anywhere outside of the short grass.
Last year’s champion, Jim Furyk, will not defend his title, as he is still recovering from a wrist injury, but an even bigger storyline is the fact that Bryson Dechambeau will be making his professional debut. After a wonderful amateur career (having won the NCAA title and US Amateur all in the same year) and turning many heads last week at Augusta, it will be fun to watch him compete on a more regular basis.
Let’s take a look at some other competitors to watch out for this week.
Jason Day - While struggled to keep some bigger numbers off his card, his play at Augusta showed that the flu he was getting over has not prevented him from performing. Two big wins in the past month (Arnold Palmer Invitational & WGC Match-Play Championship).
Matt Kuchar - Finished 5th last year after winning in 2014. A shot maker who likes this shot-makers course.
Zach Johnson - Another shot-maker whose game puts a premium on hitting fairways. The course sets up very well for him in the fact that you do not need to bomb it off the tee in order to score well.
Kevin Kisner - Finished runner-up last year after losing in a playoff to Jim Furyk. Seeks to become the first Carolina native to win this “home” event.
Paul Casey - Three top-10’s in his last four events, including a T4 finish at the Masters. Returning to the form we witnessed last year during the winter months where he practically willed himself up the world rankings to earn a spot at Augusta.
Matthew Fitzpatrick - Inspired play on Sunday at the Masters, shooting a final round 67. Proved that he can contend on big stages. Has already won in Europe this year (2015 British Masters).
Luke Donald - Five top-3 finishes at this event over the past seven years. The former world number one, has struggled since losing his spot atop the rankings, but this is an event that always plays to his strengths.
Bryson Dechambeau - Displayed tremendous poise and confidence last week on the biggest stage in golf. It will be fun to watch him enter the professional ranks and make some noise. I could see him making a run this week.
Brandt Snedeker - Doesn’t hit it a mile, but keeps it in play and can putt lights out. A good week at Augusta, I like his chances at Harbour Town.
Graham DeLaet - A wonderful ball-striker - one of the best in the game when he’s on. Has shown lately that his game is coming back into form and that his first PGA title could be around the corner.
Jerry Kelly - Doesn’t always get the attention his game deserves. Has made 8 of 9 cuts this season. Don’t be surprised to see his name contending for status on leaderboards. There is no mistaking that Jerry Kelly’s game is legit.
Boo Weekley - Winner of this event in both 2007 & 2008. While he may not be the most consistent performer around, he can still compete, especially on courses where he has had a lot of success.
And now for my DraftKings picks for this week.
In drafting, I sought to load my teams heavy at the top. I’m a fan of this strategy because I feel it provides the best odds at making money. We expect players like Kuchar, Johnson, Day & Snedeker to contend this week, so having them on your roster, in theory, is a very wise move. Players such as Dechambeau, Taylor, Toms and Kang provide a little more “risk”, but when you have heavy hitters at the top, this risk becomes more calculated. This is the fun that the DraftKings platform provides. Golf is a game where anything can happen, and therefore, anyone can draft a team and have a legitimate shot a making money. With that said, part of the fun is trying to determine what strategy will give you the best chance at earning some winnings. What I’ve described has been my strategy of late, and I can’t complain about the results.
Matt Kuchar - $10,300
Zach Johnson - $10,000
Luke Donald - $8,300
Bryson DeChambeau - $8,000
Jerry Kelly - $6,800
Nick Taylor - $6,500
Jason Day - $12,500
Brandt Snedeker - $10,600
Aaron Baddeley - $6,700
Jim Herman - $6,500
David Toms - $6,400
Sung Kang - $6,300
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.