Fantasy golf expert picks: 2017 PGA Championship

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Fantasy golf expert picks: 2017 PGA Championship

PGA Tour

Fantasy golf expert picks: 2017 PGA Championship

Need help with your fantasy-golf lineups for this week’s PGA Championship at Quail Hollow? Our fantasy-golf experts are here to help.

From picks to win to DraftKings bargains to players to avoid, here are some options for you to consider:

• • •

Jeff Babineau

  • Projected champion: Rory McIlroy. Seven starts at Quail Hollow, two victories, once shot a 62 to win, and finished worse than T-10 only once. This track is expected to play long, and his driving will be a true asset.
  • Also like: Jason Day. He appeared as if he was on the edge of a WD on Friday in Akron, but he stuck with it, and looked to be in decent form into the weekend. He has finished 1-2 in the last two PGAs. Also like Hideki Matsuyama and Rickie Fowler. Both have been there this year on Sunday at a major, and it would seem a matter of time before one of these two breaks through to get that major. Fowler is a past champion at Quail.
  • Sleeper: Tony Finau. Loves the golf course, and he bombs it. Absolutely bombs it.
  • DraftKings bargain: Webb Simpson. He is a Quail Hollow member, and will be inspired to play well in his own back yard.
  • Fade: Danny Willett. Really, has anyone won a major and vanished as quickly as this guy? The 2016 Masters champion is having a rough season, and this isn’t the easiest place to get it turned around.

• • •

Geoff Shackelford

  • Projected champion: Hideki Matsuyama. Not a shock here, but go with the player showing the best form. He’s trending in the right direction entering the PGA (T-35, T-37, T-4) and at Quail Hollow (last three Wells Fargo Championships here: T-38, T-20, T-11).
  • Also like: Rory McIlroy, Charley Hoffman and Brooks Koepka. More guys showing form or rounding into shape. Hoffman’s near misses at Firestone and Canada go nicely with other solid starts in majors this year. Koepka has now shown he can play well off the layoff and should relish the chance to overpower Quail Hollow. And in case you didn’t know it by now, Rory likes this place a lot.
  • Sleeper: Danny Lee. T-9 and T-13 in his last two starts at Quail Hollow, and four top 10s in his last nine starts overall.
  • DraftKings bargain: Danny Lee ($6,600). Like him so much I put him twice.
  • Fade: Danny Willett. Although he did finish his four rounds at Firestone last week to earn his huge check. But it may be time for last year’s Masters winner to shut it down and regroup.

• • •

Brentley Romine

  • Projected champion: Rickie Fowler. Past winner at Quail Hollow and still searching for his first major. Loved the way he battled back at the WGC-Bridgestone with weekend rounds of 67-66.
  • Also like: Hideki Matsuyama, Rory McIlroy and Paul Casey. Liked Hideki at this event a few months ago and like him even more now that he’s playing better. McIlroy absolutely crushed his driver at Firestone. Maybe the caddie switch is what Rory needs to end his major slump. Casey keeps putting himself near the top of the leaderboard; eventually he’s going to seriously contend on a Sunday. (I believe Jordan Spieth will contend as well, but figured I’d throw some different names out there.)
  • Sleeper: Zach Johnson. Runner-up at Firestone and playing his best golf of the season this past month or so.
  • DraftKings bargain: Kevin Kisner ($7,000). Closed with 66 at Firestone, looking better than he has the last few events he’s played. Loves this part of the country. No-brainer at this price.
  • Fade: Justin Rose. Initially had him targeted for this event but went with him in OAD for Bridgestone. He disappointed there and can’t see him turning things around too much this week.

• • •

Gerry Ahern

  • Projected champion: Rory McIlroy. He seems to at last be shaking lingering health problems and came on to finish a respectable T-4 at the British Open. His split with caddie J.P. Fitzgerald is a cause for pause, but McIlroy has owned Quail Hollow over his career and has won the PGA twice (2012, 2014). Steady at WGC-Bridgestone as well.
  • Also like: Jordan Spieth. The hottest player in golf willed his way to the British Open crown despite erratic efforts off the tee and is displaying a savvy, confidence and mental mettle beyond his years. Career Grand Slam pressure? Spieth says he feels none.
  • Sleeper: J.B. Holmes. The Kentuckian has a win at Quail Hollow in 2014 and, despite an uneven season, posted a T-12 at the U.S. Open and made the cut at the British. This is a course where he could thrive.
  • DraftKings bargain: Jimmy Walker ($6,900). The defending PGA champion is coming off an impressive start at the WGC-Bridgestone. Walker is continuing his recovery from Lyme Disease.
  • Fade: Rickie Fowler. Still unable to break through in a major and showing few signs of progress with his even-par, T-22 finish at Royal Birkdale. Was T-3 at 2014 PGA, the same year he recorded all his best major finishes.

• • •

Dan Kilbridge

  • Projected champion: Rory McIlroy. A caddie change suited him just fine at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, where he shot four consecutive rounds in the 60s for the first time since winning the 2014 PGA Championship. McIlroy gets his major mojo back this week on one of his favorite tracks.
  • Also like: Daniel Berger. Finished T-17 at Quail Hollow last season, has three top-5 finishes and a win in his last six starts and is flying under the radar ranked No. 19 in the world. Seems like we’re on the verge of a breakthrough victory.
  • Sleeper: Hudson Swafford. It’s a bold play considering he’s never even made a cut in a major, but Swafford is trending up after a T-10 finish at Bridgestone and swings his driver better than most on tour. Going with our gut here.
  • DraftKings bargain: Jason Dufner ($6,700). Won the Memorial in June, finished T-14 at the British Open and seems like a steal for a guy who already has a Wanamaker trophy lying around the house.
  • Fade: Henrik Stenson. Trending in the right direction for sure, but he missed the cut at Quail Hollow last year and $9,800 seems a bit pricey considering his inconsistency this season.

• • •

Kevin Casey

  • Projected champion: Dustin Johnson. As odd as it sounds, I’ll go slightly off path with the World No. 1. He hasn’t been able to recapture his red-hot form from prior to his Masters tumble. But he’s getting it back. A top 10 in Canada and then 68-66 on weekend for top 20 at Firestone. His history at Quail Hollow is limited, but he’s I like an under-the-radar Dustin Johnson rounding into form.
  • Also like: Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Charley Hoffman. I didn’t pick him to win, but how can you not like McIlroy to do at least do well considering course history and recent form? Just have a feeling the streaky Thomas is ready to emerge from funk of three straight MCs (top 30 at Firestone was a good start). Hoffman is absolutely on fire and has been a big player in the majors this year. You can get him for just $7,600, too!
  • Sleeper: Xander Schauffele. His U.S. Open performance was no fluke. After that T-5, he’s added his first PGA Tour win and three other top 20s. Certainly not intimidated by this stage, either. Ride the hot hand.
  • DraftKings bargain: Zach Johnson, $6,800. Wow, what a price for Johnson. His last three starts: T-5, T-14, second. Johnson has found something, pretty amazing he is going at this bargain rate. We get that Quail Hollow is being painted as somewhat of a bomber’s course, but 1. Augusta and St. Andrews have been seen that way, and Johnson won at both places, 2. Johnson has three top 15s at Quail Hollow and hasn’t missed a cut there in over a decade. Don’t look past Zach.
  • Fade: Adam Scott. Not going with Stevie on the bag and distracted by impending birth of second child. Will pass this time.

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