For the second week in a row, I’ll start with a brag. Once again last week's winner, Joaquin Niemann, was amongst my picks and a great play at 7% ownership and very reasonable price on Draftstars. This week the PGA Tour shifts to Florida for The Honda Classic. The field isn’t especially strong given many players are taking a rest before starting their build up to the Masters. None of the world's Top 10 are here, after all playing in the Genesis last week. Aussie Matt Jones is our defending champion, and we have a lot of European players making the trip across the Atlantic to start their American seasons.


The course is PGA National, into it’s 15th year of hosting this event. There is water everywhere, making it a tough test of ball-striking. Overall it is a shorter course, although as a par 70 it is still long enough. With the famous Bear Trap on holes 15-17 and a tendency for weather to impact the event, it’s not often that the winner gets to double figures under par. Approach play and scrambling around the greens is of particular importance.


Draftstars has once again posted a $10,000 prize pool, including $970 to first place. There is also a $2 Mini and a Single Entry tournament. The aim in DFS golf is always first and foremost to get as many players as possible through the cut, with the winner usually needing all 6 golfers to still be playing on the weekend. After that it is of course very helpful to pick the winner for the week, as well as some other high finishers.



Love It- Daniel Berger $21,310

As a Florida local, Berger has some strong history in this event. He finished second on debut in 2015, before struggling for a few years when injuries started to drag down his game. Back at full health he’s played well here again, with a 4th in 2020 his last attempt. While he missed the cut in his last start at the Phoenix Open, his form has been pretty good in his few starts this season. In what is effectively a home game, and as one of the top few players in the field, I expect Berger to be in contention on the weekend. I also like Tommy Fleetwood, but the 2K price gap is significant.


Love It- Keith Mitchell $18,790

In four starts here, Mitchell has his only win on tour, two missed cuts, and a 53rd last year. That’s a real mixed bag, but it’s encouraging that his win came in his best overall year on tour so far in 2019. This season has started even better, with 5 top 12s in 10 starts, including 4 in his last 5 events. He got a top 10 when included in this article two weeks ago, and I expect another good showing on the back of his always strong game off the tee and some strong form throughout the rest of his game.


Love It- Mackenzie Hughes $17,600

I didn’t expect to like Hughes at this price, but the field is weak and he’s snuck up to 52nd in the world rankings after some good finishes this season. He’s played here 5 times, making 4 cuts and finishing second in 2020. This season has delivered a couple of top 5s and four other decent results. The concern is that he’s missed 2 cuts in his 3 events in 2022, with his ball-striking numbers a little off the boil. I’m going to hope for a little better performance in the long game after a week off, to complement his always fantastic short game skills.


Love It- Jonathan Vegas $18,240

Vegas is a model of consistency, making a lot of cuts and chiming in with the odd high finish. He’s made 8/9 cuts at this event, with a 4th in 2017 and two other top 20s. He gets his work done on the back of good distance with the driver and a decent approach game, hanging in there with a below average short game. In a weak field I consider Vegas a top 10 player, with the ability to challenge for a win if some putts start dropping.


Love It- Camilo Villegas $12,390

40 year old Villegas is not the most enticing option in most circumstances, having dropped well below his levels from 2006-10 when he was a top player in the world and won on a number of occasions. One of those wins was at this event in 2010, to go with a second in 2007. The interest comes from a whiff of improvement after falling completely off the map in 2018-19, and an 8th place finish here last year, as well as the experience of playing this event 14 times, and making 3/4 cuts to start 2022. His ball striking has definitely recovered a little, with his putting the biggest weakness by far these days. A little luck in that department could lead to another strong finish at one of his favourite events. Padraig Harrington is another old guy playing pretty well if you need an extreme salary saving ($8400).


Hate It- Joaquin Niemann $20,210

It’s not easy to rule out any of the better players in a weaker field like this, so I’m going to target last weeks winner on the basis that he should struggle to keep his momentum going after an exhausting week. Often we find that players have a down week after getting a big victory, either because they celebrate too hard, have a letdown after the stress of grinding out a win, or just don’t care as much in the next event. Niemann had to work extremely hard over the weekend to ensure he didn’t give away a big lead on a tough course, and I think he’ll struggle to maintain the rage this week. His record in 3 starts in this event is only okay, so I’ll save him for a future opportunity.


Suggested Draftstars Line-up


Genesis Invitational Results

Im- T33, a mixed week where a bad Saturday round cost a strong finish. 68.5 points.

Burns- MC, his usually strong driving and putting were both bad, missing the cut by 5 shots. 20.5 points.

Niemann- Won, incredible scores of 63 in the first two rounds setup a 2 shot win. 133 points.

Matsuyama- T39, couldn’t overcome a slow start, with his irons not as excellent as usual.  71 points.

List- MC, should have known better than to chase a form spurt from a 37 year old journeyman. 37 points.

Spieth- T26, I was nervous when 4th after round 2, but a bad weekend ended up justifying this fade. 68.5 points.


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