Paulie's Picks: 2018 WGC-Dell Match Play & Corales Punta Cana

This week the Tour has multiple events: WGC Dell Match Play and Corales Punta Cana Resort and Club Championship. DraftKings contests are available for both events after they installed a different scoring system to allow for the match play format. Let’s first talk about that scoring and the strategy associated with it.

WGC Dell Match Play:

Scoring:

Basic
Hole won +3 points
Hole halved +.75 points
Hole lost -.75 points 

Bonuses
5 points for a match win
2 points for a match halve
1.6 points per hole were not played once the match ends for the winner
7.5 if no holes lost in the match
5 points for three consecutive holes won

Strategy

The way scoring is setup, I want to favor the top studs heavily and mix in some of the cheaper options. With players guaranteed three matches, I’m not that worried about starting a few of the low-priced options. We need to get a few players on our roster to advance out of pool play who can dominate a match. With so many bonus points available blowouts, I want plenty of exposure to the studs. Example: Let’s say a player wins a match 6&5 without losing a hole and won three straight holes at some point during the match. That player would earn 48.75 points for that match. Compare that to someone who wins 2&1 who may only have around 20 points. 

To cash on DK tournaments this week, you will need to have a few players advance deep into match play. Each match provides additional points for you to leapfrog your competition. It is paramount to get one player to make the top 4 as the consolation match counts for points as well. 

DraftKings

Dustin Johnson $11,800

DJ got a great draw for the group portion of the event. He is paired with Kisner, Hadwin, and Weisberger. He should have a distinct power advantage and be able to rack up birdies, and holes won. It would be a shock if the defending champion didn’t advance out of this group.  Using this week’s DK scoring system, DJ would have scored 230.4 points last year! For perspective, Rory had 135 points last week at Bay Hill. You will need to have a few players in your lineup who have the upside to win the title.

Ross Fisher $7,400

With the way groupings came out, I expect a few players to be high owned in tournaments. One of those high owned players is Zach Johnson at $6,800. I think the best play is to fade Zach Johnson’s high ownership and play another player in his group. The player I like is Ross Fisher. Fisher went 3-0 in group play last year and made it all the way to the quarterfinal match. Fisher is an excellent match play player and I think makes a great low owned pivot play if you are looking to win a large tournament this week on DraftKings. I also don’t mind his odds at 80-1 this week.

One-and-Done:

This week is a bit risky when it comes to One-and-Done. We typically see top-notch players win this event, so at first glance that makes us want to roster one. However, I would be a bit hesitant to burn a player when one match can knock them out of group play. I would more likely save my studs for later in the year and take a shot at a dark horse this week.

Jon Rahm

If you are looking to burn a stud this week, he is a great option since I’m not scared of Bradley, Reavie or Aphibarnrat in his grouping. Rahm is just an absolute beast when it comes to match play. His aggressive style pays off as he puts immense pressure on his opponents. He lost in the final match a year ago to Dustin Johnson. 

Branden Grace

Grace will go under the radar this week. He is a grinder who can play especially well if it gets windy this week. He is in a group with Leishman, Watson, and Suri. He will put pressure on these players by keeping the ball in play and forcing them to beat him. Grace is playing solid of late finishing eighth in his last start.

Longshot:

Alexander Levy 110-1 to win

Levy has finished in the top seven in three of his last four starts. He also had a great draw for his group being matched up against Steele, Hatton and Hoffman. None of these three are firing on all cylinders. I think there is a good chance he advances out of this group.

Corales Punta Cana

This is the first year that this event is on the PGA Tour schedule. In 2016 and 2017, a Web.com event was hosted at this track in the Dominican Republic. The fairways are wide but play tighter due to the prevalence of high winds. The winner this week will need to control the flight of their golf ball in the wind and make a lot of putts.

DraftKings

Nate Lashley $7,400

Lashley won here in 2017. He has gained strokes tee to green in four of his last five events. At $7,400, that is more than enough reason for me to roster him.

Adam Schenk $7,500

Schenk comes into this event making three straight cuts. He has played here in 2016 and 2017 finishing 12th and 41st.

Sam Ryder $7,800

Ryder has finished 12th and second in his two appearances at this track. He is one of the best ball strikers amongst the 2017 Web.com Tour graduates.

One-and-Done

With this being an opposite-field event some leagues will also use this event. If your league does, it's best not to get cute and just take some of the top players and hope to pad your standings with a top 10 finish.

Emiliano Grillo

Grillo has been knocking on the door over the last month. He has finished eighth, sixth and 26th in his last three events. His game should suit this course well. He is a strong wind player and can flight his iron shots beneath the wind. Playing against a weak field, I expect him to contend.

Trey Mullinax

Mullinax finished 11th here in 2016 and finished eighth in his last start at the Valspar. His length should be an asset on this long golf course.

Longshot

Zac Blair 125-1

Blair’s game is based on keeping the ball in play and grinding it out. If the wind is high this week, this course could fall right into Blair’s hands. 

 

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