DFS GPP Pivot Plays | Charles Schwab Challenge 2022
The Pivot Point series focuses on finding the players that will give you the ownership leverage to take down the biggest GPP contests!
Results from the PGA Championship Pivot Point
Collin Morikawa ($10,400) | T55
Tyrrell Hatton ($8,100) | T13
Patrick Reed ($7,200) | T34
A very "meh" week for me. Morikawa could never really get anything going. I'm actually shocked he made the cut, considering he only made two birdies in the first 36 holes of the event. He did a solid job avoiding big mistakes, but couldn't do enough to get anywhere close to contention at any point.
Hatton was solid. One of the (extremely) few that openly criticized the course, but we know that we can only take Hatton's criticisms with a grain of salt. Whether he's playing good or bad, it appears he is never happy with virtually anything in life, including course setups.
Patrick Reed was similar to Morikawa, with less bogeys. He was hovering around E the entire event. He couldn't make enough birdie putts to really feel like he was in contention, but wasn't making bogeys at the rate of most of the guys around him.
Very, well, meh.
DraftKings GPP Pivot Plays for the 2022 Charles Schwab Challenge
Max Homa ($9,400) | ~13%
This was an extremely difficult board to evaluate ownerships, and decide on pivot plays. Everyone above $9k is seemingly going to fall between 10-18 percent. It's a very well priced, and very popular (as in well-liked players) range. So for the most part, play the guys you want, regardless of ownership and skip to the next few players on this list to see how to differentiate yourself elsewhere.
But, for the sake of the exercise, I will select someone. Max Homa is my favorite play in the range (that isn't in the 18% area of the ownership projections). Colonial is widely known as a ball-striker's golf course. You have to play the angles correctly off the tee, and have to be hitting your irons well. From there, ride a hot putter to victory.
Homa checks all the boxes here. He's 37th in this field in fairways gained (36 rounds), 13th in strokes gained on approach (36 rounds), 28th in greens in regulation gained (36 rounds), and 14th in proximity from 150-175 yards (50 rounds). He's gained at least four strokes on approach in his last four measured events. Hot iron play. In addition to that, he's 13th in strokes gained putting on bent over the last 12 rounds played. Hot putter.
Max has proved he's one of the world's elite golfers with four wins going back to May of 2019, including two this season. Turns out he's not just a funny Twitter guy, he's a hell of a player; and one that should play really well this week.
Christiaan Bezuidenhout ($7,600) | ~5.5%
C-Bez is my absolute favorite player on the board this week, and firmly believe he will be in contention to win come Sunday. This year, we've seen the likes of some unlikely players approaching their first wins, ultimately failing to close down the stretch. We had Will Zalatoris at the Farmers (and PGA), Theegala at the Waste Management, NeSmith at the Valspar, and Pereira at the PGA to name a few. I believe this week will be "Bezuidenhout at the Schwab".
I'm not going to call my shot and say he's winning, because we've seen how difficult it can be to close out your first Tour victory. But, I will call my shot and say he will be coming down the back nine on Sunday with a legitimate chance to win. What he does with that chance is anyone's guess, but the top-5 finish he will post will pay huge dividends at this price point.
The stats pop. He was 4th overall in my model. Here's some of the highlights:
- Top-5 in proximity from 125-175 yards over last 50 rounds
- 12th in fairways gained over last 36 rounds
- 15th in strokes gained putting on bent (50 rounds), and 14th over the last 12 rounds
- 36th in strokes gained approach over last 36 rounds
- Top-35 in strokes gained total on both comp courses I used for this week (Harbour Town and Sedgefield)
I generally play Bez more than most, as I think he's bound to win on Tour soon, and think he'll win more than once. Even still, this is the best he's ever graded out in my model, and it provides the ownership leverage I need to jam 2-3 guys above $9k in my lineups, which I am definitely doing. Stars and scrubs type of week for me, and Bezuidenhout is one of the stars.
Luke Donald ($6,000) | ~2%
Remember when I said, play who you want at the top, and differentiate below? This is why. We're getting Luke Donald at the stone cold minimum, and I know it's Luke Donald, but hear me out first.
Donald has been sneakily putting together some solid performances. Results have been a mixed bag, as he has two top-25s in his last six events; yet has two finishes outside the top-55, and two MCs. His putting has been solid, as it usually is, gaining strokes in five of his last six, only losing strokes at the Mexico Open. He's also gained strokes on approach in four of his last six events (one of the two also being the Mexico Open), with three of those being at least 3.3 strokes, and two being over 4 strokes gained.
We've now reached a course that should suit him perfectly. The average driving distance around Colonial is around 270 yards, which will play into Donald's game, as he's at a huge disadvantage at the "bomber's paradise" tracks. This course is about plotting and Donald has made a career out of plotting, reaching the peak of #1 player in the world at one point.
We know the putting prowess, but what we need to focus on this week is his 5th place rank in strokes gained approach over the last 36 rounds, and his top-25 rank in proximity from 125-175 yards over the last 50 rounds. At a bare minimum $6k price point, he almost acts as a free square, and has allowed me to start my lineup with two $10k guys which should already make me different than the field. We're not asking much, a top-30 finish will suffice; and worst case, I believe Donald will guarantee us at least four rounds played.