2023 AT&T Byron Nelson DFS Fades & Pivots: TPC Craig Ranch Fits Tom Kim and His Shaky Putter

The AT&T Byron Nelson returns to TPC Craig Ranch for the third year in a row this season, a venue that has produced winners at 25 under and 26 under par in each of the last two seasons. The course is a relatively new Tom Weiskopf design that is located just outside of Dallas. Weiskopf also designed one of the more famous courses on tour in TPC Scottsdale, which plays to a similar yardage as Craig Ranch. While there is not a ton of actual course history, there is a good course comparison with TPC Scottsdale to help make DFS golf picks on DraftKings and FanDuel.

In terms of the field, there has already been one big withdrawal in Jordan Spieth (wrist), which has left Scottie Scheffler at the top of the board as a massive favorite. Scheffler will cost a hefty amount to roster in the major PGA DFS contests, leaving the few players a tier below him in skill level likely to be heavily rostered. With that in mind, let’s use Stokastic’s PGA DFS projections and PGA DFS ownership projections to find the strongest PGA DFS fades and pivots of the week.

PGA DFS Fades & Pivots | AT&T Byron Nelson

TPC Craig Ranch Stats and Info

  • Par 71, 7,414 yards, featuring bentgrass on the greens. Changed from a par 72 to a par 71 this season.
  • Course was designed by Tom Weiskopf in 2004 and hosted the 2012 Korn Ferry Tour Championship. Weiskopf also designed TPC Scottsdale, host of Waste Management Phoenix Open.
  • Fairways are larger than average as well, and while some holes are heavily tree-lined, there are plenty of wide-open landing spots on nearly every hole off the tee.
  • Given how easy it is off the tee, approach is the most important. Green-in-regulation percentages will also be very high, mitigating the advantage good around-the-green players can have.
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2023 AT&T Byron Nelson PGA DFS Fades and Pivots

High-End PGA DFS Fade: Jason Day

Projected DFS Golf Ownership: DraftKings: 39.0%

Day certainly projects well for this event. He has a 30% top-6 probability on Stokastic and PGA DFS projections that make him the highest-ranked player in the $9,000 range on DraftKings as well. He unfortunately is going to get absolutely slammed into lineups for both his tournament history (he won in 2010) and the fact many seem hellbent on timing his comeback win. Day’s PGA DFS ownership projections (which are pushing close to 40% owned territory) are not the only concern either. He took multiple weeks off after experiencing vertigo at the Masters and missed the cut at the Wells Fargo last week, with less-than-solid ball striking. It is quite possible, and likely, that Day will turn things around, but considering he is projected to be the most owned player on the slate, he has too much going on to warrant locking him in.

High-End Pivot: Tom Kim

Projected DFS Golf Ownership: DraftKings: 20.7% | FanDuel: 10.7%

Kim bounced back nicely from a missed cut at the Wells Fargo last week, finishing 23rd and gaining four strokes on approach alone. He has looked steady everywhere but on the greens of late. Kim has gained strokes off the tee and on approach in each of his last two starts, efforts which have been mitigated by a putter that has lost him strokes in six of his last seven starts on the PGA. This being his first season on the PGA, Kim has generally had a much easier go of it on easier setups like Craig Ranch where slow greens allow players to be aggressive both on approach and with the putter. Kim is a great positive regression candidate as a result. He can be used as a pivot off of the main chalk like Day, or as a second man in stars-and-scrubs builds.

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Mid-Range PGA DFS Fade: Brandon Wu

Projected DFS Golf Ownership: DraftKings: 15.8%

Wu took last week off, but two starts ago he came close to grabbing his first PGA win in Mexico. He eventually finished in third place. Wu was phenomenal with the putter in Mexico, gaining over eight strokes for the week with that club, but he lost strokes on approach as well. He has recorded seven top-8 finishes on the PGA Tour, but he remains a hard player to figure out, with ball striking that bounces around from elite to below average. With TPC Craig Ranch playing soft and not likely to make around-the-green games of vital importance, it is hard to envision Wu replicating his performance in Mexico without a huge change in his ball striking. At over 15% in PGA DFS ownership projections, he will carry nearly as much risk as many other names in this range.

Mid-Range Pivot: Christiaan Bezuidenhout

Projected DFS Golf Ownership: DraftKings: 12.0%

Bezuidenhout has the privilege of being $8,000 flat on DraftKings, and being over that $8,000 barrier will hopefully work to keep his ownership levels low. He finished 12th at this course last season and has the pedigree to overcome a weaker field like this one. A multiple-time winner on the European Tour, Bezuidenhout has looked most at home in easier scoring conditions on the PGA Tour, where his improving iron play and elite putting can take hold. He finished 28th in Texas at the Valero in April and had a 12th-place finish at Colonial in 2021. The South African connection at TPC Craig Ranch is strong, with countryman Charl Schwartzel also finishing top 10 at this venue in each of the past two seasons. Bezuidenhout has higher PGA DFS projections than Wu and is a few percentage points lower in PGA DFS ownership projections, making him a perfect pivot for GPPs.

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Mid-Range PGA DFS Fade: Adam Schenk

Projected DFS Golf Ownership: DraftKings: 15.6%

Any time Adam Schenk is pushing 15% or higher in PGA DFS ownership projections, it may be best to run in the opposite direction. While he nearly grabbed a breakout win at the Valspar two months ago, Schenk also tends to struggle with consistency and has missed three of his last five cuts on the PGA. He has struggled with his game since the near miss at the Valspar and lost strokes on approach and around the green at the Wells Fargo last week. Truth be told, other than halfway decent Stokastic PGA DFS projections, there is not much reason to consider Schenk. He would not necessarily be someone to turn to even if he had half the ownership levels. Schenk could turn things around, but with the field looking to him as the leader in this range, it is best to find a pivot who will not be in as many lineups in large-field GPPs.

Mid-Range Pivot: Dylan Wu

Projected DFS Golf Ownership: DraftKings: 7.3%

As far as cheap pivots go, there are any number of players to look to in this range. Cameron Champ, Eric Cole and Ryan Palmer all present nice blends of narrative, course history and talent. However, Wu may be the most well-rounded target of the group, bringing a nice blend of ball-striking prowess and recent form. He has gained over 1.5 strokes in both approach and putting over his last three starts and has started to find some confidence on the greens of late, gaining six strokes alone in that category at the Wells Fargo. Wu has made nine cuts in a row and may have very good pop potential in this weaker field. He has strong PGA DFS projections and has half the PGA DFS ownership projections of Schenk, making him a nice pivot option in the low-$7,000 range on DraftKings.

Geoff Ulrich

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