While there is a progressive component to PGA TOUR Pick ‘Em Live, when entries pick off Justin Thomas at +30000 and +25000 during the final round of the PGA Championship, and when the top-six finishers of the Charles Schwab Challenge were on Sam Burns at +20000, because only five are paid, what happened previously in the tournament influences only those entries, which are among thousands. Despite those Hail Marys occurring in consecutive weeks, they very much are the exception. Still, there have been more weeks with those in the prize money having the winner at helpful odds than the opposite. The tradeoff is that we all start at T1 the following week.
RELATED: Horses for Courses, Sleeper picks
The experience in PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf entirely is longer-term, whether you’re chasing Segment prizes, full-season rewards or competing in a league with a customized schedule. Everyone can absorb a horrible week, and very few (any?) gamers go the entire season unscathed.
Just as we can take a punch, there are timely moments when one that we can deliver leaves a deeper impression on the competition. This is one of those moments.
The Memorial Tournament presented by Workday wraps Segment 3. As the 11th event of the phase, and with so many household names in the field of 120 having played at least three times previously, a push is a net-loss given the variables and this opportunity.
Not only do you not have to concern yourself with mapping out starts, your opposition also will be out of starts on guys you play. Yes, you need your charges to execute, but there are fewer defenders in between you and paydirt. It’s a phenomenon that won’t present itself again until the FedExCup Playoffs that concludes Segment 4 and for which bonus points are quadrupled (in line with the actual).
It arguably has been the most challenging of the Segments thus far, so the heat we feel closer to the finish line has been rising. This is typical in PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf, but it can’t compare to what’s in store in Segment 4 that concludes the season. More on that next week.
POWER RANKINGS WILD CARD
Mito Pereira (+170 Top 20) … Baller. If presented with a Make/Miss-the Cut prop at Colonial, I’d have doubled down on the weekend off. Even a veteran would’ve struggled rebounding from the lost opportunity at Southern Hills. After slotting him as my top Fade in this space last week, I explained further on “Talk of the TOUR” with John Swantek on Wednesday that I don’t know why Pereira bothered to fulfill the commitment. Lo and behold, top 10. Rookies these days… Bananas. Good for him, and good for you if you happen to heed the advice of playing him fractionally in DFS. So, resetting for his debut at Muirfield Village, he strides in – confidently! – with a T17-T3-T7 burst over the last three weeks. Checks all of the boxes analytically, and now the box for mettle … in ink.
Joaquin Niemann (+160 for a Top 20) … Standard support here, and he could’ve been a default No. 16 as the Wild Card, so size him up as a reliable spell in PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf if you’re foraging for fruit. He’s as balanced as he’s ever been and rising to the challenge on tough tracks. Certainly, he’s already proven to taking down a phenomenal field at Riviera just three months ago. Fifth appearance at Muirfield Village where his results are mixed, but he’s essentially in a tie with the course in terms of giving and taking.
Marc Leishman (+250 for a Top 20) … Another international talent who easily could’ve been highlighted as the Wild Card what with a 12-for-13 record at Muirfield Village that includes four top 15s. The knock is that he’s misfired all spring. The bright side is that his baseline is well above average, so he presents as a suitable contrarian in PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf, but course-history buffs will seize the day in DFS. Let ‘em.
Matt Kuchar (+250 for a Top 20) … Forced out during his opening round last year with an injured left forearm, so he’s eager to get back on the gravy train on a property where he’s third in all-time earnings. His game has been strong of late, too, so he belongs on your short list for every consideration.
Aaron Wise (+250 for a Top 20) … Continues to tear it up with four top 25s in his last seven starts. His tee-to-green game has been on point and he put four rounds of par or better en route to a T9 here last year while missing just twice in 64 tries inside 10 feet.
Si Woo Kim
Odds sourced on Tuesday, May 31st at 6 p.m. ET. For live odds visit betmgm
Cameron Smith … If you ever wanted to test how much of a current form-v.-course history investor that you are, here you go! The talented Aussie doesn’t seem to be built to have an Achilles’ heel, but this might be it. Although both of his missed cuts in 2022 occurred on sites where he’s experienced success – Waialae and Harbour Town – he’s been as hot as anyone on the planet. Now he takes on Muirfield Village for the seventh time. Maybe it’s only for the legendary milkshakes, but you gotta hand it to him for ignoring the insanity. He’s cashed just twice – the better a T65 in 2017 – and his scoring average in 16 rounds is 74.38.
Luke List … Logged a T10 here in 2020. It’s one of just two paydays in five tries, but that’s not the point, anyway. Since his breakthrough at Torrey Pines four months ago, he’s just 5-for-11 and without a top 30.
Brian Harman … The left-handed late entry was a letdown at Colonial (see Recap: Power Rankings below). He just missed on qualifying for The Open Championship via the Official World Golf Ranking, so he’ll have to wiggle in another way. This week doesn’t present an immediate opportunity, and that could be a good thing as he’s just 2-for-7 and without a top 25 at Muirfield Village.
Cam Davis … Of the eight first-round co-leaders at Colonial, he was one of just three who held position inside the top 10 at the conclusion of the week. His T7 piggybacked a T3 at Harbour Town and piles onto the evidence of why those two tracks often are comped for each other. However, in the other eight of his last 10 starts, the Aussie fell outside the top 45. He’s 0-for-2 at Muirfield Village, which never should be comped to Colonial and/or Harbour Town.
Ryan Moore … Hasn’t played since the WM Phoenix Open in February, but he’s had just one start remaining on his Major Medical Extension, so it makes to burn it as wisely as possible. To fulfill its terms, he needs to bank 74.524 FedExCup for which a 10th-place finish (worth 75) would cover. He’s already cleared the bar for conditional status at worst, so even if he fails at the objective, he’ll wrangle a handful of starts on merit alone. Of course, he’d also be an attractive candidate for sponsor exemptions. Muirfield Village has been kind to him, but his most recent of three top 10s contributing to a 13-for-15 record was in 2010. The general takeaway is that he could elicit some fantasy value going forward, but he’ll need to prove that the game is sharp to earn our trust.
Erik van Rooyen
RETURNING TO COMPETITION
Bryson DeChambeau … Perhaps the third time will do no harm. The 2018 champ withdrew early from each of the last two tournaments because he wasn’t ready to put his surgically repaired left wrist to the test. It’s too soon to endorse him, but perhaps this will be the Summer of Bryson. At 219th in the FedExCup, he has a ton of ground to make up to consider a run at the Playoffs. To that end, it’ll be a relief to focus only on what he’s doing inside the ropes.
Harris English … He must be an optimist because to get back at it on a stage like Muirfield Village after sitting out over four months is wild. It’s been three-and-a-half months since he had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right hip, so perhaps the elevated focus on a tough track will help him connect with execution faster than worrying about if the body will hold up as expected. Mind over matter. Didn’t play the redesign last year, but he’s 3-for-3 with two top 20s in his last two trips, so that’s additional evidence to be hopeful. Also has plans to peg it at the U.S. Open in two weeks, as well as the Travelers the week after that.
Harry Higgs … First week off of the last five. In fact, he had played in eight of the last nine and cashed just twice. He’s 142nd in the FedExCup, and there’s still time to eliminate the possibility of this season going in the books as a Sophomore Slump.
RECAP – CHARLES SCHWAB CHALLENGE
Power Ranking Golfer Result
1 Jordan Spieth T7
2 Scottie Scheffler P2
3 Will Zalatoris MC
4 Justin Thomas MC
5 Collin Morikawa T40
6 Sam Burns Win
7 Brian Harman MC
8 Sungjae Im T15
9 Max Homa T23
10 Abraham Ancer MC
11 Gary Woodland MC
12 Justin Rose MC
13 Patton Kizzire MC
14 Tommy Fleetwood T35
15 Davis Riley T4
Wild Card Jason Kokrak 67th
Golfer (Bet) Result
David Lipsky (+333 for a Top 20) T48
Peter Malnati (+600 for a Top 20) MC
Troy Merritt (+300 for a Top 20) T57
Sebastián Muñoz (+200 for a Top 20) T48
Brendon Todd (+400 for a Top 20) 3rd
Bet: Scottie Scheffler (Top 5), Collin Morikawa (Top 10) AND Will Zalatoris (Top 20) – +2900 @ FanDuel
BIRTHDAYS AMONG ACTIVE MEMBERS OF THE PGA TOUR
May 31 … none
June 1 … J.T. Poston (29)
June 2 … Bronson Burgoon (35)
June 3 … none
June 4 … Sung Kang (35)
June 5 … Dylan Frittelli (32)
June 6 … none