The American Express has begun in La Quinta, Calif., but the DFS golf action is just getting started as showdown action takes over. DraftKings is offering up a slate best $25,000 to first place for Round 2. This quick-hitter article will give a few stats from Round 1, and some PGA DFS picks and best DFS Golf lineup advice for Round 2 Showdown contests.
PGA DFS Golf Picks: The American Express Round 2
Round 1 Recap
PGA West (Stadium Course)
The only course of the three that is carrying the strokes gained data this week was noticeably more challenging today — almost two strokes harder than La Quinta and Nicklaus courses. La Quinta, where the brightest stars of the field played today, had the lowest score to par at -2.87.
K.H. Lee found a spark with the irons, and putter, in Round 1, gaining a combined 8.2 strokes against the 50-or-so golfers he was competing against on the Stadium Course. Joseph Bramlett also caught fire in the middle of his round, going on a six-hole birdie streak. He gained a staggering 5.2 shots with his approaches against the limited field he played against. Other standouts that played the Stadium Course in Round 1 are Sam Ryder, Martin Trainer and Roger Sloan.
Seamus Power doesn’t look like he’s stopping anytime soon, as he shot the best score on that course, tied with Greyson Sigg, Tom Hoge and Danny Lee. Bronson Burgoon also found something, in Round 1 shooting a six-under 66, while Doug Ghim and Jason Day lead a handful of names that all shot 67 on the day.
Both Jon Rahm and Patrick Cantlay came to play, making 14 birdies, one eagle and no bogeys among them, with Cantlay besting Rahm by four in Round 1. Lee Hodges would tie Cantlay with his best round ever on the PGA Tour, shooting 62. Cameron Young continues his fine form in the early part of this season with a 64, along with veteran Brandt Snedeker, who shot 65. Other good scores came from Wyndham Clark, Graeme McDowell, Taylor Moore and Christiaan Bezuidenhout.
The American Express Round 1 Stat Recap (PGA West only)
Strokes Gained Off the Tee
- Joseph Bramblett (by 2.5 strokes)
- K.H. Lee
- Nick Hardy
- Sam Ryder
- Charles Howell
Strokes Gained Approach
- Joseph Bramlett
- K.H. Lee
- Chris Stroud
- Henrik Norlander
- Seung-Yul Noh
- Robert Streb
Strokes Gained Around the Green.
- Sam Ryder
- Kelly Kraft
- Patton Kizzire
- Charles Howell
- Roger Sloan
Strokes Gained Putting
- Sepp Straka
- K.H. Lee
- Martin Trainer
- Wesley Bryan
- Sam Ryder
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DraftKings Fantasy Golf Preview: Round 2 The American Express
- Lock Time: 12:10 p.m. ET
- Grand Prize: DraftKings offers $25,000 to first place and $100,000 guaranteed for the second-round slate.
Best PGA DFS Golf Picks Today for DraftKings Showdown
First, it’s essential to know the course rotation. Those that played on the stadium course will head to the easy La Quinta Country Club, while the golfers that played La Quinta will head to the Nicklaus Course, and lastly, the Nicklaus Course golfers will head to the Stadium Course. So, golfers like Joseph Bramlett and K.H. Lee should be popular, given they are playing the easiest course. Not only is it the easiest course, but it features back-to-back par 5s, increasing the odds of a birdie streak pretty dramatically.
- Jon Rahm ($10,500) & Patrick Cantlay ($10,300): The only case that can be made to fade Rahm and Cantlay this week is the Saturday round when they are playing the PGA West, and most of the field isn’t. They both looked good out on Maui, Rahm better than Cantlay, but Cantlay loves it here at this event. The play the Nicklaus course, which was just about .4 strokes harder than La Quinta today, a difference I suspect they’ll make up in tomorrow’s round.
- K.H. Lee($7,300): Sneaking thru the cut-line last week and playing reasonably well at Maui must have given him the start he needed as Lee looked great with his irons and with his putter. His off-the-tee work wasn’t good, losing 1.44 strokes. He plays the easy course tomorrow, so even if the putter isn’t as good or the irons at as hot, his price is still right for the setup he has.
- Nick Hardy ($6,600): A part of the plan last week for my player pool, it didn’t go as expected, with Hardy missing the cut. But there’s a thing about not giving up too early, and I’m afraid I may have, as Nick bounced back in round one with a solid four-under on the stadium course. Almost 3.5 strokes better than the average. Nick gained over a stroke in every tee-to-green category but is still in search of a putter after losing half a stroke on the day. His off the tee game, or at least the distance component, is up there with the best of them, which bodes well for the back-to-back par 5s he’ll face in Round 2.
- Joseph Bramlett ($6,600) A couple of other more made putts inside 10 feet and Bramlett could have been tied for the lead playing the Stadium Course. His ball-striking output, albeit only against 50 golfers, was the best number of his career, gaining almost seven strokes on the round. While that can’t be expected to continue into tomorrow’s round, it is indicative of the form we’ve seen over the first five rounds of golf to start the season. No need to fade him here at these prices.
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