2023 PGA DFS: Tour Championship DraftKings Preview

by Keith Flemming
2023 PGA DFS: Tour Championship DraftKings Preview

The PGA season ends at East Lake this week in Atlanta. That brings me to my 2023 PGA DFS: Tour Championship DraftKings Preview.

Before I dive into East Lake Golf Club and my preview of the Tour Championship. I wanted to take a trip down memory lane to highlight the successes from my weekly article this season.

I've written thirty DraftKings preview articles for Fantasy Six Pack since January. In each article, I give an official DraftKings lineup and ten total plays for the event. My picks included the winner only three times in my first twelve articles this year.

At The Masters, the success of my plays went to another level. Jon Rahm's win at Augusta would start a stretch where ten of my eighteen articles included the eventual winner. I had the winner of all four majors in this article and multiple long-shots who went on to win including Wyndham Clark at the Wells Fargo, Emiliano Grill at the Charles Schwab, and Lucas Glover at the St Jude Classic.

Winners this season in my Fantasy Six Pack DraftKings Article

  1. Max Homa (Farmers)
  2. Scottie Scheffler (Waste Management)
  3. Jon Rahm (Genesis)
  4. Jon Rahm (Masters)
  5. Tony Finau (Mexico Open)
  6. Wyndham Clark (Wells Fargo)
  7. Jason Day (Byron Nelson)
  8. Brooks Koepka (PGA Championship)
  9. Emiliano Grillo (Charles Schwab)
  10. Wyndham Clark (US Open)
  11. Rickie Fowler (Rocket Mortgage)
  12. Brian Harman (Open Championship)
  13. Lucas Glover (St Jude)

I am sad for the golf season to end this week and will miss my weekly DraftKings previews for Fantasy Six Pack. However, I am very happy to announce I am doing DFS Football content for Fantasy Six Pack this year as well.

I am hosting a live DFS show on Thursday nights during the NFL season with Joe Matz and writing two DFS Football articles each week. On Tuesdays, I will have a bargain play article, and Fridays my favorite stacks for that week of DFS.

Let's end this golf season with a bang and dive into the Championship at East Lake Golf Club.

You can find me on Twitter @KeithFlemming to keep the conversation going! Be sure to listen to my weekly guest appearance Wednesdays at 1 pm Eastern on The Inside Drive on ESPN Northwest Radio. 

2023 PGA DFS: Tour Championship DraftKings Preview

Venue (East Lake Golf Club)

East Lake Golf Club holds a special place in my heart. I have been fortunate enough to play there several times and annually attend the Tour Championship. This will be the final event at East Lake before they start a renovation project immediately following this year's event.

The par-70 plays 7,319 yards course is one of the three annual Donald Ross-designed courses on the PGA Tour's schedule. The course tests a player's long iron game with six par-4s over 450 yards and three par-3s over 200 yards.

Eastlake features the most narrow fairways on tour and features thick rough that punishes players when they miss the fairway. Players will hit over 30% of their approaches from 200+ yards into the greens. That number is well above the tour average.

Comp Courses

I feel like East Lake Golf Club is a unicorn and instead of comparing it to other courses. I look strictly at how players have fared at this venue in the past.

Top-10 in the field in Strokes Gained Total at East Lake

  1. Xander Schauffele
  2. Rory McIlroy
  3. Russell Henley
  4. Jon Rahm
  5. Max Homa
  6. Jason Day
  7. Tyrrell Hatton
  8. Tony Finau
  9. Scottie Scheffler
  10. Viktor Hovland

Key Stats

  • Good Drives Gained
  • Par 4 Scoring
  • Strokes Gained Tee to Green
  • Scrambling Gained
  • Bogey Avoidance
  • Course History

Strategy

There are only 30 players in the field this week and everyone is not starting at the same score in relation to par. Whoever you spend the most of your salary on better be the players you think have the best chance to win. The bonus points on DraftKings are associated with a player's standing for each round and the end of the tournament plays larger than most weeks.

The largest comeback since the Tour Championship went to the staggered score system was Rory McIlroy last year. He started the week at -4 and six shots behind the leader Scottie Scheffler.

I am going with only one player in my lineup within seven shots of the lead. I don't believe this is the strategy that is most likely to succeed this week. However, I am trying to differentiate my lineup from what the masses will do this week. I also love a player who is expensive, but starting seven shots behind the leader on Thursday.

My 2023 PGA DFS: Tour Championship DraftKings Lineup

Rory McIlroy ($13,000)

Rory has owned the Tour Championship in the modern format. He has won two of the four events at East Lake with the modified scoring format.

The real reason I love Rory this week is his putting at East Lake. Over the last four events here he's gained a total of 11.1 strokes on the greens. He's gained 1.4 strokes or more in three of the last four Tour Championship events.

When Rory putts well he is tough to beat. I also love the fact he came from behind to defeat Scottie Scheffler last year from further back than his starting point this week.

Xander Schauffele ($10,500)

Xander has finished no worse than 5th in the four appearances at this event since the modified scoring was implemented in 2019. He is 49 under par for those four events. He's shot even par or better in sixteen straight rounds at East Lake.

His worst four-day total over his last four trips to East Lake is ten under par. He's shot 66 or better in seven of his last sixteen rounds at the Tour Championship. I like Xander at 28-1 to win the FedEx Cup and even more at 12-1 for the lowest four-day total at this year's event.

Si Woo Kim ($7,200)

I believe Si Woo Kim will be low-owned this week at the Tour Championship. He has one career start at East Lake in 2016 and he finished 10th. This course is the kind of course that Kim normally thrives on. It's very difficult, puts an emphasis on a player's tee-to-green game, and can deemphasize putting.

Tyrrell Hatton ($6,900)

Hatton thought he had missed his opportunity to play East Lake after the shot in the video above on Sunday. His bogey on the 72nd hole at the BMW didn't prevent him from playing in his second Tour Championship.

I expect Hatton to make the most of his surprise trip to East Lake. In his only previous start at East Lake Hatton finished 7th. He plays difficult courses very well, especially those courses that put an emphasis on driving accuracy and strokes gained from tee to green. He has top-5 finishes this season at TPC Sawgrass, Bay Hill, and Quail Hollow.

Jordan Spieth ($6,700)

Jordan Spieth bogeyed his final two holes and like Hatton thought he had blown his chance to play in the Tour Championship. He made it to East Lake despite his final two bad holes. Spieth finished T13 and T20 in the last two FedEx Playoff finales, but Spieth did win this event in 2015 under the old format.

What I like about Spieth is we know he is going to fight to the last hole. There is no one on tour who puts more thought and effort into every shot. Similar to Hatton, Spieth has played difficult courses well this year. He has top-5 finishes at Augusta National, Bay Hill, and Muirfield Village.

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Emiliano Grillo ($5,700)

Grillo has qualified for the Tour Championship for the first time since 2016. He finished T10 in his only start at East Lake that year. What I liked about Grillo in this price range is his recent form.

Grillo has finished 31st or better in five of his last six events this season. Even more encouraging is how well Grillo has been scrambling and putting as of late. He has gained over a stroke per tournament around the greens and on them over his last five events.

This part of Grillo's game has been his biggest weakness over his career. If Emiliano can continue to scramble and putt this well at East Lake this week, I think he will surge up the leaderboard over the four days in Atlanta.

 

Thank you to everyone who has read my weekly DraftKings article this season. I will be back in January with more golf plays and content. In the meantime be sure to check out my work on Fantasy Six Pack covering DFS Football. Good luck this week!

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Now that you have read the 2023 PGA DFS: Tour Championship DraftKings Preview, be sure to check out the rest of our golf content, including my show Two off the Tee on the Fantasy Six Pack YouTube Channel Tuesday night. Each week, my cohost Allen and I will break down the tournament for that week and give betting/DFS plays. 

 

 

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