WGC Bridgestone Invitational Picks and Analysis
It’s an incredibly stacked field at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational. What’s tough is that there are no big steals on DraftKings for the event. Yes, some are certainly better than others, but nothing like we are accustomed to finding when comparing prices versus Vegas odds.
Consequently, with the exception of a few of the top players, no one is going to be heavily used. However, there is one very important thing you should know – there is no cut at this event. Therefore, you want people who can go deep. However, mentioning consistency in terms of cuts made in the past is an important detail, as long as it correlates to upside. Here, I’ll break down my lineup and how I still use some lower-salary guys to get the best players.
First, as we should always examine since it’s such a big bonus, how does the golf course set up for eagles? Firestone has two par 5s – No. 2 at 526 yards and No. 16 at 667 yards. There were 12 eagles made at No. 2 last year, but there were no eagles at No. 16.
Let’s take a look at my lineup.
Kevin Stadler $6,700 – At between 150 and 220-1 for the variety of sportsbooks we used, Stadler is the best option when comparing price against odds. But there’s more to like about Stadler. He’s made the cut in all three majors (T8 Masters, T39 Open Championship, T63 U.S. Open), which is relevant to the competition of this field. Stadler also has three Top 10s this year, including a victory at the Waste Management where he edged Bubba Watson down the stretch. This is a guy who plays well under pressure. Stadler has also made his last three cuts, and he’s made one eagle in each of those tournaments. Remember, unlike in other sports, where it’s more likely someone will regress to the mean average, golfers are much more likely to go on hot/cold streaks. Stadler isn’t exactly on a hot streak, but he’s playing some of his best golf. Since it’s still important to use low-salary guys to get the top guns, Stadler is the best low-salary play.
Kevin Na $7,100 – Na is between 100 and 220-1, so he’s another great option to get towards the top guys. Na is 16/21 in cuts made this year and has made his last five. Of those five, two were majors (T54 Open Championship, T12 U.S. Open) and one was the Memorial (2nd, lost in playoff). Furthermore, Na has five top 10s and nine top 20s. He also has six eagles in his last seven tournaments. DraftKings has a tendency to not increase players’ salaries with consistency, but they jack it when someone wins a tournament (see Tim Clark). Na is quietly having a great year, has performed well in strong fields and has legit upside.
Victor Dubuisson $7,600 – In case you didn’t know this already, DraftKings only factors in PGA events for their salaries. This is an important factor for international players, and that includes Dubuisson. Here’s a more accurate look at his 2014 season. Dubuisson is between 66 and 89-1, which is the best for mid-tier salary guys. After Dubuisson just missed the cut at the Masters (thanks to Bubba’s exceptional Friday round with the 10-stroke cut-off rule), he finished T28 at the U.S. Open and T9 at the Open Championship (made an eagle at each event). Dubuisson also lost in a long playoff against Jason Day for the WGC Accenture Match Play title. He’s played very well on the European Tour as well. Add that he has one of the best short games on tour and is one of the hottest guys on the rise that the common person doesn’t know about, play him.
Bubba Watson $8,600 – You’re probably thinking, “Why would you go with someone who hasn’t made a cut at the last two majors?” Bubba is a very unique player in that he hits the ball insanely long and shapes his shots at drastic measures. That set up horribly for him at the U.S. Open (very few drivers) and Open Championship (wind and few drivers). Watson has been playing very well in all other events where he can take out his pink ping driver and bomb it. Bubba has also only been playing a tournament about once every three weeks this year, which has usually helped him stay fresh. But let’s consider something more important, he’s between 30 and 41-1. That’s easily the best price in this mid-to-high range. He’s almost a must-play.
Justin Rose $9,700 – We are somewhat splitting hairs here at the top, but he is one of the best in terms of odds at the top of the shelf. He’s sixth in price and fourth in odds. Why do I like Rose otherwise? He’s an eagle machine when given the opportunity (made three at the Wells Fargo, three at the Masters, one at the U.S. Open and one at the Open Championship). Occasionally, he’ll throw in a head-scratching round, but he has six Top 10s, one win and is typically clutch down the stretch of tournaments.
Adam Scott $10,300 – Rory McIloy may be the hot name, but Scott is the best player on Tour whether you want to believe it or not. He’s 11-for-11 in cuts made, has seven top 10s and won the Crowne Plaza in a playoff against Jason Dufner with a long-iron shot. Scott has finished no worse than ninth in his last four events, which includes the Open Championship and U.S. Open. There is no hole in this guy’s game. Until further notice, you use him in every tournament.
Why not Rory or Tiger? – Let’s start with Rory. First of all, Vegas inflates the odds every tournament from someone who just won an event or previous champions (see Rory, Tiger, Clark, Keegan Bradley). Rory might be 6-1, but remember he’s been among the top few guys all season. Rory is going to get A TON of plays since Vegas odds have him as the favorite and fish will want to pick him. But Rory has not played well in the states this year. Plus, every time he has won a tournament, he has blown away the field, or come way from behind while the others are still on the course. He hasn’t played well coming down the stretch of a tournament. I think he’s worth fading. As for Tiger, the odds have him as the third favorite. However, he has won this event an astonishing eight times. He won it last year and shot a 62 on Friday. But here are the years he won the event: 2013, 2009, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2001, 2001, 1999. Tiger was playing great golf in all of those seasons. He’s not this year. I could see Tiger playing well and finishing maybe even as well as 10th (not counting my chickens, just possible), but too many people are going to take him due to his success at Firestone. Tiger will get back to at least his 2013 form, but he’s not there yet.
Dustin Johnson – One important note, Johnson is available, but he withdrew from the tournament on Monday. Do not play him.
View all posts by Nick Juskewycz