DraftKings’ $3.3M Millionaire Maker: Preview, Strategy, Picks
Just to eliminate any confusion, we have been instructed to not use specific key words in this article. Here’s a clue.
The fourth and final major championship is this week, which means we have our final DraftKings Millionaire Maker. Luckily for DFS players, it’s the biggest one of the year with a $3.3 million prize pool.
We move to Sheboygan, Wisconsin for the event. This will be the third time this major has been played at this track. In what seems to be a bit of a theme this year at majors, it’s looks like a links style golf course with a ton of bunkers and nasty rough. However, as many players have pointed out, the course is wet, playing long and is more target golf than links style. It’s going to play longer than it did in 2010 and 2004.
There are four fantastic golf courses in the area that are all ranked in Golf Digest’s Top 100 Courses You Can Play in the U.S.. There’s Blackwolf Run (River) and Blackwolf Run (Meadows). There is the track where the major will be played and another course next to it that’s the Irish course. The Blackwolf run courses are a bit different than the other two, but since I’ve played both Blackwolf Run courses, the Irish course right next to the major’s course and walked part of the Millionaire Maker’s track (just a few days before the 2004 major here), hopefully I can give you a particularly insightful view on what will help this weekend.
Breaking Down the Specifics of the Course
This golf course is a par 72 and tips out at 7,501 yards. Granted the scorecard does say 7,362 yards from the tips in the image, but those are what’s available to the public and some of the tee boxes for the tournament have been extended.
Again, while this does have a links feel, this is a Pete Dye course, which means target golf. Plus, with the rain that has hit the golf course earlier in the week, players have been commenting that the course is soft while being in perfect condition. Distance and the ability to play in the wind while being relatively accurate is the key.
There are five, possibly six holes with eagle possibilities, but they are all very difficult. Here they are:
No 2, 593 Yards, Par 5 – A relatively flat but slightly uphill dogleg right par 5. Some longer hitters will go for the green in two, but there’s a steep drop off to the left of the green with a pot bunker 30 yards short right of the green. Being able to get this ball on the green, let alone in the right section, is very difficult. There was only one eagle made here in 2010.
No. 5, 603 Yards, Par 5 – Despite it’s great length, this is one of the easiest, if not the easiest, hole to eagle on the golf course. It’s also arguably the most iconic with its double dogleg, an abundance of water and sand traps. The tee shot is straight downhill with a near 90 degree turn to the right. There are bunkers on both sides of the fairway and water on the right side. Longer hitters will try and cut part of the dogleg off, but there is also water through the fairway if you take the aggressive line. The second shot doglegs to the left with water in front and left of the green. You will see plenty of bogies here, but there will also be several red numbers. There were seven eagles converted here in 2010 and that number was a bit on the low side.
No 6, 355 Yards, Par 4 – This is a really cool hole. It’s the shortest par 4 on the course, but the green is very wide and shallow. The hole is relatively flat with a slight dogleg to the right, but there are a series of bunkers guarding the green including one really deep pot bunker right in front of the middle of it. If the pin is on the left side of the green, some longer hitters will try and drive the green with little trouble left of the green since the fairway runs beside it. The pin will only be over there one or two times, but there were five eagles made here in 2010 and with the increase in longer hitters now, that number should go up.
No. 10, 361 Yards, Par 4 – The chances of an eagle here are really slim, but it is a possibility. The hole plays uphill, a huge pot bunker sits 250 yards out in the middle of the fairway and taking driver at the green can only be realistically accessed on the right side using the slope. There were no eagles here in 2010, but when the pin is on the right side of the green, eagle is a possibility for the longest hitters.
No. 11, 563 Yards, Par 5 – This hole played 618 yards in 2010, only produced two eagles and an eerie 155 double bogeys or worse. However, they have moved the tee box up to 563 yards this year. While we should see a solid increase in eagles, this is still a difficult par 5. The tee shot is a bit narrow for this dogleg right with sand traps everywhere, and the second shot must carry the long sand box on the left side that leads up to the green. The green is fairly small for a par 5, and it’s elevated. A fair amount of players will play this as a three-shot hole, but the longer hitters will certainly be more aggressive with the tee box moving up.
No. 16, 569 Yards, Par 5 – With sand traps on both sides of the fairway and Lake Michigan running down the left side of the hole, this is where the wind can really pick up. Nevertheless, if you hit the fairway, you’re very likely going for the green in two with short and right being the common miss for a layup. This hole produced seven eagles in 2010.
As you can see, there are a lot of eagle opportunities out there, but the longer hitters will have distinct advantage.
Avoiding the High Odds Per Dollar Plays
As we’ve mentioned over the last few weeks, odds per dollar has been a very popular tool for DFS players. It’s a bit different with the Millionaire Maker since there are a lot of amateurs participating with the significant prize pool, but there will still be a lot of usage for the players who have significantly great odds per dollar. Our tab is updated.
For guys who standout with outstanding odds per dollar, I would avoid them. There are always a few people who get absurdly high usage (approximately 30% or more), which is ridiculously too high in today’s game.
Here are the guys who qualify for that list:
Brooks Koepka $7,800 – Unfortunately, Koepka is playing very well as of late, fits the golf course well, has also performed well at the majors this year and can rack up the eagles. But I fully expect his usage to be around 40 percent, which is way too high and should be the highest of the entire field by far.
Shane Lowry $7,500 – Lowry is coming off a win at the Bridgestone Invitational. Not surprisingly at all, his odds spiked and the salaries were already released. His odds per dollar aren’t as good as they appear, but a lot of people won’t see it that way.
Robert Streb $6,800 – Streb’s last nine finishes are 5th, T18, T14, T2, T42, T18, T19, T4 and T 30. While that is very impressive, the T42 was at the U.S. Open and the T30 was at the Players Championship. His best performances have been at the weaker tournaments. It is a very good price, but he’ll be owned around 30 percent, which is crazy for someone at this price.
Danny Lee $7,100 – In a little over a month, the average golf fan has gone from saying, “who?” to “he’s a stud” when hearing about Danny Lee. Similar to Streb, while he has FOUR finishes in the top six in just his last five tournaments, he missed the cut at both the U.S. Open and Open Championship. He will be owned around 30 percent, and I’m not buying close to a top five finish here.
We are going with a bigger list. These are all players I like and will use throughout my lineups. There will be a few others I throw in a couple times for variety and possible sleepers, but these are the main ones, and check out the forum for more information as we lead up to the Millionaire Maker!
Dustin Johnson $11,200 – Had this not happened, he could very well be the defending champion. Dustin thrives on courses that favor length in the wind with wider fairways. His odds per dollar also took a dip after a T53 and T49 the last two tournaments, so his usage should actually be a bit on the lower side.
Jason Day $10,800 – The best player in the game who hasn’t won a major (sorry Dustin and Rickie). His length. bunker play and experience is perfect for this links style course. As long as the vertigo issues stays away, he’ll be in contention on Sunday. With that, Day is my pick to win the golf tournament.
Justin Rose $10,000 – Very average odds per dollar for his price, yet he finished T2 at the Masters, won the Zurich Classic, 2nd at the Memorial, T27 at the U.S. Open (on luckbox greens and had one bad hole), T6 at the Open Championship, T4 at the Quicken Loans and a T3 at the Bridgestone. Not to mention that Rose has tremendous experience on courses similar to this one and is a longer hitter, he’s a fantastic play.
Bubba Watson $9,900 – Bubba has pretty solid odds per dollar, he’s a bomber, has finished second the last two weeks and lost in the playoff in 2010 to Martin Kaymer here. Still, his odds per dollar aren’t off the charts. With several other great options, I think Bubba will be around 20 percent, which is more than reasonable to go after for someone who really fits this course.
Rickie Fowler $9,800 – Fowler has two huge wins this year at the Players Championship and Scottish Open. Fowler finished top five at all four majors last year. We all know he has the game to win a major and has more experience than you think playing tournaments on courses similar to this one. Throw on his added length this year, he’s a great play.
Louis Oosthuizen $9,100 – I’m a little hesitant on this pick considering his consistency has been questionable, but Oosthuizen typically plays very well at majors (T2 at the U.S. Open and Open Championship this year), he’s a long-ball hitter, one of the best bunker players in the game.
Hideki Matsuyama $8,000 – Simply too cheap. One of the longer hitters in the game and is typically an eagle machine.
Paul Casey $7,400 – See above.
Branden Grace $7,300 – Grace has been crushing it in the U.S. and in Europe. While everyone will be loading up on Lee and Streb, here’s your best bet at this price based on usage percentage (should be around 10).
Justin Thomas $7,200 – A high variance play, but one of those young guns who can rip it and run off a really low number with multiple eagles. I’m surprised his odds per dollar aren’t greater.
J.B. Holmes $7,100 – Remember this guy? Everyone was loading up on Holmes in the earlier part of the year, but his usage has really cooled off. This course perfectly fits Holmes with this fifth-ranked driving distance and ability to play in winds on links style courses.
Tony Finau $6,800 – Finau has decent odds per dollar, but I’m surprised they aren’t better. Along with being one of the bright rising stars, he’s made nine of his last 10 cuts, eight of those were T25 or better and had a T14 at the U.S. Open. His length for this course is ideal as well.
Brendan Steele $6,500 – One of the longest hitters and has been really unlucky putting on the par 5s this year. Steele is a high-risk player, but he usually thrives on the longer and more open courses.
Pat Perez $6,000 – Perez really doesn’t fit the course that well, but he’s very, very cheap without it showing up on the odds per dollar. He’s made his last 11 cuts and 19 of his last 20. Granted none of them were majors, but they also consisted of the Players, Memorial and several other strong fields. In the 11 made-cut stretch, nine of those finishes have been T26 or better. Simply a great bargain if you’re looking to stack a few higher-salary guys and want someone to make the cut.
Matt Jones $5,600 – Way too cheap and Jones typically thrives on the links style courses that require longer hitters. I am shocked at this price and the odds per dollar.
View all posts by Nick Juskewycz