Each week, “Chalk…or not?” looks at exclusive Tour Level Data and past trends to create a model that projects DraftKings ownership. The golfers with our highest projected ownership percentages and some other potentially low-owned golfers are then analyzed for you to give you a true ownership edge on the competition.
Rickie Fowler ($10,700, 22.3 percent projected ownership): Rickie has been so good this entire season and has four top-10 finishes in his last five starts. As pointed out by @DFSGolfer23 in The Winning Element, Fowler went absolutely ham in the final rounds at the Bridgestone after starting slowly in that tournament so he should arrive at Quail Hollow with plenty of confidence. Not to mention this track has been kind to him: He finished fourth here last year and it’s the home of his first PGA Tour victory where he had to beat some guy named McIlroy and D.A. Points in a playoff. Rickie will win a major — why not this week?
Paul Casey ($7,800, 22.2 percent projected ownership): Per our Cheatsheet, Casey ranks 12th in Good Drive percentage (GD%), second in Greens In Regulation (GIR), fifth in Scrambling, and third in SG:APP. Last week, he led the field with a very chunky 2.08 SG:APP. Casey is coming in mega-hot too: He’s otched two top-5s in his last three starts, and he has been 12th or better in six of his last eight starts.
Rory McIlroy ($11,800, 36.9 percent projected ownership): Welcome to Rory McIlchalk week everyone. Rory has elite course history — two career wins and no finish worse than 10th in his last five trips — and he has historically been an elite DraftKings scorer because of his propensity to string together birdies. That said, I really feel like his ownership will be astronomical this week. If you’re playing 150 lineups, then over-, or under-weight accordingly, but if you’re putting just one or two lineups in the Milly Maker, a fade and pray may be your best play.
Hideki Matsuyama ($10,500, 31.0 percent projected ownership): Hideki-bot should make a run at Rory’s chalkiness, but I don’t think he’ll get quite to the same level. Still he could have a third of the field in the Milly Maker committed to him, so if you’re playing just a couple of lineups you can consider zagging, while everyone else is zigging. Matsuyama has two top-20 finishes here in his last two trips and he hasn’t finished worse than 14th in his last four starts. It’s worth noting that Hideki can get on unreal heaters: He opened the season with two wins, two runner-ups, and a T6 in his first five starts. Matsuyama is No. 1 in our Optimal Ratings on our Cheatsheet and No. 1 in our hearts via The Winning Element.
Daniel Berger ($7,700, 26.8 percent projected ownership): Boog Berger checks in at No. 3 in our Optimal Ratings and per our Cheatsheet, is ranked sixth in Strokes Gained: Approach (SG: APP). Berger finished 28th in his debut at Quail Hollow and followed that up with a 17th-place finish last year.
Charley Hoffman ($7,600, 23.2 percent projected ownership): About 2,000 years ago, some Jewish dude said something like “Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you”. Well, Charley has been knocking to the tune of two third-place and one runner-up finish in his last five starts. Sooner or later Hoffman will break that door down.
Tony Finau ($7,000, 26.4 percent projected ownership): I’d prefer to not put any of these likely-to-be chalk players in the Fried Eggs section, but I’ve got to go with someone and I’m choosing Finau reluctantly. He’s No. 5 in our Optimal Ratings on our Cheetsheet, he has two top-10s in his last three starts, and his course history at Quail Hollow — 28th and 16th in two starts — is great. So there’s clearly plenty of reasons to play him. He gets stuck as the fried egg this week because with a slary of only $7,000, his ownership could get even beefier than my projection.
Hump’s Hacks From The Deep Rough
The Ol’Humper loves going to the Bernd Wieberger well, and someday he will surely drink from it. Wiesberger has been unimpressive in his last three starts, finishing 41st or worse in each of them. His recent results will likely keep his ownership close to what it was at The Masters earlier this year (3.5 percent). Bernd has the 26th-highest DK points projection per our Cheatsheet this week.
Speaking of potentially low-owned Euros, why not take a stab with the formerly chalky Tyrrell Hatton, who made his first cut last week in his last six events. Hatton’s 0.98 SG: Off the Tee (OTT) ranked fifth overall last week. He’s incredibly risky, but is also a very talented golfer who my have found some form last week.