DFS GPP Pivot Plays | The Memorial Tournament 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 Charles Schwab Challenge Pivot Point
Max Homa ($9,400) | T23
Christiaan Bezuidenhout ($7,600) | T15
Luke Donald ($6,000) | T40
More "meh". Seems to be becoming a theme with this series. In five events now, I've given you just one MC. However, I've only really given one threat to win: Jordan Spieth at the Byron Nelson. You know what means? A winner is COMING.
Homa was one bad 18-hole stretch from really being right there on Sunday with another chance to win. From the 17th hole on Friday to the 16th hole on Saturday, he went six-over. The other 54 holes: -8. Max has been putting himself in contention with regularity, and it's a matter of time before we're seeing him put it together in the bigger events, as well.
Bezuidenhout was my favorite play on the board, to the dismay of one "Tour Junkies DB". However, he was one of the most consistent players in the field, just didn't do quite enough to really threaten the leaders, but a strong T15 finish is just what we needed from this price point.
I guaranteed a made cut from a min-priced Luke Donald, and he delivered. A four-over weekend derailed his potential for what looked like could have been a fairly easy top-20.
DraftKings GPP Pivot Plays for the 2022 Memorial Tournament
Viktor Hovland ($9,300) | ~12%
I'll make this easy for you: Viktor Hovland is winning the Memorial.
Ok - I'll explain why. Hovland is undeniably the best player in the world that has yet to win a serious golf tournament. A pair of Mayakobas and a Puerto Rico Open is not something that would satisfy a top-10 player in the world. Jack's place is the perfect place to alleviate that. We know that Muirfield Village is about accuracy off the tee, elite iron play and running into a hot putter. Most weeks follow this same template.
We know all about Hovland's ballstriking. He's one the world's best; 4th in this field in proximity from 175-200 yards, and 7th from 200+ yards over the last 50 rounds. Elite, yes, but we knew that. He's not necessarily one of the best putters, HOWEVER, he is 16th in this field over the last 24 rounds in putting on fast greens, and 9th (!) in this field in putting on bent over the last 12 rounds. On top of that, he gained 4.1 strokes putting last week at Colonial (also bent). Hot putter.
The biggest concern is obviously his around the green play. Hovland is (self-admittedly) a horrible chipper. The eye test, and the stats, confirm this. But another *HOWEVER*, Hovland *gained* 0.9 strokes around the green this season at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Bay Hill is one of Muirfield Village most common comp courses, especially on and around the greens, so this was the deciding factor in my declaring Hovland this week's champion.
Seamus Power ($8,000) | ~6.5%
Seamus Power was on a bonafide heater early in the season, with 5 straight top-15s between the RSM Classic and Pebble Beach. Then went on to miss three cuts in a row. Call it fatigue, call it regressing to the mean, call it whatever you want. He played seven events in an 8-week stretch. That would wear anybody out. There's a reason the best players in the world don't play more a couple events in a row. Save your energy for the big ones.
After missing the cut at the Wells Fargo, Power finished T17 at the Byron Nelson and followed that up with a T9 at the PGA Championship. Two of the most starkly contrasting events, and he played well in both. After a week off, I believe Power is poised to make some noise in Columbus.
At the PGA Championship, which was a very difficult test, Power gained strokes across the board. He gained 3.5 on approach, 3.7 around the greens, and 1.5 on the greens. Tiger always said he revolved his entire training regime around peaking four weeks a year. Seamus seems to be peaking for some of the biggest events right now.
The biggest stats that popped for me from Power:
-2nd in strokes gained putting on fast greens (L24)
-5th in strokes gained putting on bent (L12)
-8th in scrambling gained with long rough (L36)
-13th in bogeys avoided in difficult scoring conditions (L24)
Avoiding the big numbers will be essential this week, and I believe Power will do just that, finding his way into another top-10 finish.
Patrick Rodgers ($6,800) | ~5%
Let me preface this by saying: I NEVER play Patrick Rodgers. Don't believe I ever have, so the fact that his name kept popping out at me is saying something in itself.
He's quietly been playing very well lately. Four straight made cuts, and one top-10 finish in Mexico. His game is picking up, gaining strokes on approach in five straight measured events, including 1.5 last week. He's also gained strokes putting in three straight, averaging about 3.0 strokes per event in that window.
Similarly to Hovland, his around the green game is concerning, and with the lack of elite iron play ability (opposed to Hovland), around the green play may come into play a bit more frequently. But again, similarly to Hovland, Rodgers *gained* 2.4 strokes around the green at Bay Hill earlier this year. Coincidence? Maybe; but it's piquing my interest, for sure.
Rodgers also has some success at Muirfield Village in the past (pre-restoration) with a T8 finish in 2018, and another top-20 in 2020. Lastly, I'll send you off with this: Throughout his career, Rodgers gains 0.25 strokes putting per round on bent grass, gains 0.5 strokes per round total in difficult scoring conditions, and gains 0.4 per strokes per round total in windy conditions. He's built for Muirfield Village. Ok, that may be a stretch, but he could be a sneaky good play this week.