Rory McIlroy and the rest of the top 50 players in the Official World Golf Ranking will tee it up this week at the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral.
McIlroy, the world’s top-ranked player, missed the cut in his PGA season debut last week at the Honda Classic. He tied for 25th a year ago at the new TPC Blue Monster at Trump National Doral after three consecutive top 10s in the event.
He is once again the most expensive player this week on DraftKings at $15,300, followed by Bubba Watson ($12,400) and Dustin Johnson ($11,300).
The par-72 TPC Blue Monster, which will play at 7,528 yards, debuted as the hardest non-major course on the PGA Tour last season, playing at an average of 1.852 strokes to par.
Golf season has arrived and DraftKings, a company that creates and hosts one-week fantasy-golf contests, has a unique way of upping the ante for PGA Tour fans. It’s simple and allows you to pick any player in the event each week, which is certainly appealing because nobody likes to be told which players to select. There are no groups, and a new game begins each week. That means no season-long commitment.
A variety of contests can be played each week, ranging from head-to-head to a large contest that ends with a big payout for the top fantasy players.
Each golf game provided by DraftKings allows you to pick six different players who will make up your team for that week. Of course, you can’t just take the best six, you have to keep your selections (each player carries a value) below the salary cap.
So, do you load your squad with big names? Do you take a few longshots, hoping to benefit from a good week? Or do you play it safe with a bunch of mid-range players?
The most important thing is the players you pick need to make the cut. You will earn no points on the weekend if your player doesn’t make the cut.
– Lance Ringler, Golfweek
There are 74 players in the field this week. In addition to the top 50 players in the OWGR, the top money-winners from other world tours received invitations, as well as those in the top 10 of the FedEx Cup standings who are not otherwise in the world top 50.
In addition to McIlroy, Watson and Dustin Johnson, the field also includes third-ranked Henrik Stenson, fourth-ranked Jason Day and fifth-ranked Adam Scott, who is making his PGA Tour season debut this week. Defending champion Patrick Reed is also set to defend his title.
Here is the complete list of past winners in the field: Patrick Reed (2014), Justin Rose (2012), Phil Mickelson (2009) and Geoff Ogilvy (2008).
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DraftKings’ weekly fantasy games:
Golfweek’s free weekly fantasy game on DraftKings:
- Win a Mizuno MP-T5 wedge with a Dynamic Gold shaft and compete against Golfweek writers (free entry)
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Here are the players our experts are picking:
LANCE RINGLER (LANNYLALA)
(Last week: 149.5 points; Season total: 2,638.5)
- Bubba Watson ($12,400): Has come very close at Doral with a couple of second-place showings and current form suggest he is ready to play well again in South Florida.
- Patrick Reed ($10,700): Can win any week and appears to be getting very comfortable. No reason to think he won’t be in the mix this week – again!
- Hideki Matsuyama ($8,600): Three top-4 finishes on PGA Tour this year.
- Gary Woodland ($6,300): Form is not the best, but at this price is good value. T-16 at Doral last year.
- Danny Willett ($6,100): Sleeper this week to be in the hunt come Sunday. Ranked No. 15 in Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index. Four top 10s in last nine worldwide starts.
- Thongchai Jaidee ($5,900): T-6 last year in this event and comes to Doral with three top 10s in last six starts.
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JIM MCCABE (GOLFWEEKMCCABE)
(Last week: 198.5 points; Season total: 2,759.5)
- Rory McIlroy ($15,300): On the theory that he can’t possibly play badly two weeks in a row, can he? And on the premise that he’s the best. Big price, small worry.
- Paul Casey ($7,900): Tie for second two weeks ago, tie for third last week. We’ll stick with the hot hand.
- Graeme McDowell ($7,800): Coming off a rough Honda, where he’s enjoyed success, here’s staying with the notion that he plays well on tough tracks.
- Jamie Donaldson ($7,100): Solo sixth at Honda, he’s played very well in America, seemingly determined to prove his lofty world ranking.
- Danny Willett ($6,100): By now, a trend has developed. Going all international this week, but this Englishman is to be watched.
- Joost Luiten ($5,700): Coming off T-11 at the Honda, he also plays tough courses well. Was T-13 at revamped Blue Monster in ’14.
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JEFF BABINEAU (GOLFWEEKBABS)
(Last week: 173 points; Season total: 2,382)
- Dustin Johnson ($11,300): Probably a good thing he missed the cut at PGA National, could use the rest. Game has been pretty good, and he’ll jump back in at Doral, where he has top-12 finishes in three of the last four years.
- Patrick Reed ($10,700): Defending champion at this event (remember the “Top 5 player” proclamation?), and kicking himself for not playing better on Monday at Honda.
- Jamie Donaldson ($7,100): Played nicely at the Honda, and if the wind blows, he’ll be right at home.
- Charles Schwartzel ($6,800): Thought about going with Zach Johnson here, but will opt for Schwartzel, who has a far better record at Doral. Only once in his last five starts here has been out of the top 16.
- Shane Lowry ($6,300): An underrated world performer, the Irishman owns five top-10 finishes in his last 11 starts around the globe.
- Hunter Mahan ($6,600): Good value here. Doral isn’t quite the putting contest that many PGA Tour events are these days, and if the wind blows, you want to have your money on good ballstrikers.
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ADAM SCHUPAK (GOLFWEEKSCHUPAK)
(Last week: 219 points; Season total: 2,405.5)
- Bubba Watson ($12,400): Every time he finishes second here, he wins the Masters. What happens if he wins?
- Jordan Spieth ($10,900): He was one stroke shy of a playoff the last time he teed it up in L.A. He’s my top pick this week.
- Hideki Matsuyama ($8,600): He’s been knocking on the door and took off the Honda Classic to give his injured left wrist a week of rest.
- Charl Schwartzel ($6,800): I’m not jumping off the Schwartzel band wagon just yet though his results have been spotty. He’s got a good track record here, including T-9 last year.
- Joost Luiten ($5,700): Value buy. T-13 last year and coming off his best U.S. finish at Honda Classic (T-11).
- Geoff Ogilvy ($5,600): Rounding out the team with a budget-conscious pick who plays well in Florida, including winning at Doral in 2008, and isn’t afraid of any Blue Monster.
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ALEX MICELI (GOLFWEEKMICELI)
(Last week: 207 points; Season total: 2,548)
- Henrik Stenson ($9,500): Worked hard over the last couple weeks on his game and it should fit well at Trump Doral.
- Phil Mickelson ($9,000): Length will be an advantage this week and Phil has had success here before.
- Brooks Koepka ($8,300): Koepka’s length should be an advantage.
- Paul Casey ($7,900): No question he is one of the hottest players in the field this week.
- Hunter Mahan ($6,600): Coming off the birth of his second child and some time off.
- Gary Woodland ($6,300): Has been at Doral for a week practicing, played the course more than Donald Trump.
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BRENTLEY ROMINE (BROMINE20)
(Last week: 182 points; Season total: 2,747.5)
- Jordan Spieth ($10,900): Other than a missed cut at the Farmers, Spieth has been on fire. He has two wins and four other finishes of T-7 or better in his last seven starts, and was T-4 his last time out, at the Northern Trust.
- Patrick Reed ($10,700): I wouldn’t pick the defending champ to repeat, but I think he’ll get me a lot of points. He nearly won last week at Honda before ending up T-7.
- Hideki Matsuyama ($8,800): He has three top-4 finishes on the PGA Tour in 2015 and is ranked second on Tour in strokes gained-tee to green, which bodes well on a TPC Blue Monster track that ranked toughest on Tour in driving accuracy last season.
- Jamie Donaldson ($7,100): He shared second here last year and was sixth last week at the Honda Classic.
- Victor Dubuisson ($6,300): He missed the cut last week at Honda, but I’m betting he bounces back at Doral. He was 10th here last season.
- Joost Luiten ($5,700): At this price, Luiten is the best value in the field in my opinion, and he’s playing well (T-11 at Honda).
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NICK MASUDA (NICKMASUDA)
(Last week: 312 points; Season total: 1,700)
- Bubba Watson ($12,400): Pretty good track record at Doral with a T-2 in 2014 as well as a solo second in 2012. Hasn’t finished outside the top 14 in four Tour starts this season.
- Rickie Fowler ($8,900): Looks like Ben Crane should be feeling left out this week, as three-fourths of my picks this week are members of the Golf Boys. Finished eighth at Cadillac in 2011; been working with Butch Harmon in preparation for Augusta.
- Ian Poulter ($7,800): What’s that old saying about getting back on the horse? Sure, five water balls in the final round isn’t pretty, but Poulter is a firecracker and I think he now has something to prove. Was T-28 at Doral in 2013.
- Sang-Moon Bae ($6,900): A win, four top-10s and is fourth in the FedEx Cup standings. Has only one appearance at Doral (71st in 2011), but he’s worth the gamble this week.
- Hunter Mahan ($6,600): Hasn’t finished worse than T-25 at the Cadillac over past four appearances, including T-9 last year and a solo ninth in 2011. Also has three top-25s in six Tour starts this season.
- Chris Kirk ($6,400): This is a value pick at this price, as the guy won twice last year. Yes, he only has one appearance at Doral (T-40 in 2014) and has missed his last two cuts. He’s due.
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(Players listed in order of Golfweek/Sagarin ranking)
- 1. Jim Furyk
- 2. Rory McIlroy
- 3. Adam Scott
- 4. Jason Day
- 5. Matt Kuchar
- 6. Henrik Stenson
- 7. Sergio Garcia
- 8. Jordan Spieth
- 10. Bill Haas
- 11. Justin Rose
- 12. Bubba Watson
- 13. Jimmy Walker
- 14. Graeme McDowell
- 15. Danny Willett
- 16. Rickie Fowler
- 17. Ryan Palmer
- 18. Gary Woodland
- 19. Dustin Johnson
- 20. Hideki Matsuyama
- 21. Brandt Snedeker
- 22. Jamie Donaldson
- 23. Phil Mickelson
- 24. Keegan Bradley
- 25. Chris Kirk
- 26. Ryan Moore
- 27. Paul Casey
- 29. Kevin Na
- 30. Brendon Todd
- 33. Brooks Koepka
- 35. Joost Luiten
- 36. Thongchai Jaidee
- 37. Ian Poulter
- 38. Martin Kaymer
- 39. Lee Westwood
- 41. Zach Johnson
- 42. J.B. Holmes
- 43. John Senden
- 47. Robert Streb
- 48. Marc Warren
- 51. Alexander Levy
- 52. Charley Hoffman
- 55. Hunter Mahan
- 56. Charl Schwartzel
- 57. Cameron Tringale
- 59. Louis Oosthuizen
- 60. Shane Lowry
- 62. Patrick Reed
- 63. Luke Donald
- 67. Bernd Wiesberger
- 68. Billy Horschel
- 69. Victor Dubuisson
- 72. Marcel Siem
- 73. Anirban Lahiri
- 77. Webb Simpson
- 78. Jason Dufner
- 83. Stephen Gallacher
- 91. Russell Henley
- 111. Gary Stal
- 132. Thomas Bjorn
- 134. Branden Grace
- 145. Sang-Moon Bae
- 150. Tommy Fleetwood
- 155. Mikko Ilonen
- 158. Morgan Hoffmann
- 173. Ross Fisher
- 186. Geoff Ogilvy
- 203. Thomas Aiken
- 229. Hiroyuki Fujita
- 231. Greg Chalmers
- 267. David Lipsky
- 328. Danie van Tonder
- 911. Steven Jeffress
- N/R. Koumei Oda
- N/R. Alexander Noren