4 times in 5 weeks I’ve named the winner in my article now…but this time he was my fade! The absolute worst result in a tournament that saw absolute chaos from start to finish with wild weather and long delays. Congrats to the latest Players Champion, Cam Smith. This week we’re onto the Valspar Championship, another Florida tournament. Last year's champion was Sam Burns, while Paul Casey has won here twice and the likes of Hadwin, Streelman and Woodland are some past champions teeing it up this week.

Like all Florida courses, there is water in play. This is a tree-lined course, with narrow fairways and plenty of doglegs. That means it is hard to find the fairways, and positioning tends to be more important than distance. The course is relatively long and the rough is difficult, making it hard to hit greens in regulation. Hitting good approach shots is important, but scrambling and putting well is at a premium this week.

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- Gary Woodland $17,480

It’s been more than 10 years since the 37 year old won at this event, and it’s true that he’s only had one good finish here since then. His ball striking is not as excellent as it once was, but he’s put together strong all-round displays in 2 of his last 3 starts for a pair of 5th place finishes. We can pretty much ignore what happened at The Players when he missed the cut, it might just mean he’s fresher than some of the other who are backing up from a gruelling Monday finish. I’ll back the veteran to add another good Florida week to his resume.


Love It- Tyrell Hatton $19,540

The Englishman has only played here once, when he missed the cut in 2019. That pales in significance to his last couple of weeks of golf, finishing 2nd at the Arnold Palmer and 13th last week. Both finishes relied on excellent putting performances, but that is always a strength. With a quality short game and steady from T2G, I think Hatton keeps it going this week with another finish at the pointy end of the field.


Love It- Mito Pereira $14,250

Now for a couple of relative youngsters, starting with a Chilean who has yet to play here in Pereira. His career has taken off in the last 12 months, and he’s holding his own on the PGA TOUR with 8 top 30 finishes in 13 starts this season. His strength is in the ball striking department, although he relies on accuracy more than distance. His short game is neutral at worst, and can benefit from regular spike weeks in his putting. The only Florida clue is a 30th place at The Honda Classic when putting poorly, so the upside should be there.


Love It- Jason Kokrak $18,350

Of all my picks, Kokrak has the most impressive record at this event. Top 15 finishes in each of the last 3 editions, as well as two more to make it 5 of his last 7 tries. He won in the fall swing at the Houston Open, and has made all 6 cuts in 2022 without any high finishes. One of his strengths usually lies in an all-round strength off-the-tee to go with good iron play. The OTT part has been missing lately, but should soon return. His putting has gone from a weakness to a strength, making him a strong fit for this course.


Love It- Sam Burns $19,510

Last year's winner is a perfect candidate to go back-to-back here. His off-the-tee game is a great blend of distance and accuracy, and his irons have been red-hot for 18 months now. That adds up to fantastic T2G play, with the cherry on top being a well-above average putting ability. It’s now under his 3 starts here have all been top 30 finishes. He comes in off a couple of strong all-round performances. His OTT game has been a bit down lately, but it is still better than most. The young gun should be fired up to defend his title.


Hate It- Jason Day $18,130

After taking the winner in this slot last week, I’m reluctant to pick anyone. I’ll take another Aussie, but this time one that has been on a steady decline. Back injuries have forced swing changes, and although his class is still there, the consistency is not. He’s never done much at this event, and his ball striking has been pretty bad this season. His short game continues to be excellent, but I doubt it will be enough to save him in this one.


Suggested Draftstars Line-up


The PLAYERS Championship Results

Lowry - T13, another solid week, not quite what we were after though. 82.5 points.

Oosthuizen - T42, looked a lot better than this until a bad round on Sunday. 67.5 points.

Fitzpatrick - MC, the clear value and most owned player…missed the cut. Typical. 23.5 points.

Im - T55, didn’t have his best stuff, including a shocker on Sunday. 56 points.

Rahm - T55, short game showed signs of life, but lost 7 strokes on approach on Sunday alone!! 63 points.

Smith - Won, a painful result for my fade. Struggled off the tee as predicted, but overcame it with great play in every other aspect of his game. Too good. 121 points.


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