At the top, there are likely going to be three popular choices: Rickie Fowler ($12,000), Brooks Koepka ($11,500) and Phil Mickelson ($10,200). Fowler is coming off a runner-up at the Memorial and has been locked in all year long, while the latter have combined for a ridiculous five Top-3 finishes (two for Koepka, three for Phil) at this tournament over the last four years.
That said, Francesco Molinari is an intriguing way to start your lineup with a contrarian pick. Consider how winners at this tournament have gotten it done in the past, per FNTSY Sports Network’s Pat Mayo:
With hard-to-hit fairways and small greens, it’s important to be good off the tee and approaching the green. Molinari, meanwhile, ranks third in the field in strokes gained off the tee and second in strokes gained approach. Throw in a pair of Top 10’s in his last two starts, and there’s no reason not to feel confident about the Italian atop your lineup.
Moreover, while fading Fowler and Koepka could be dangerous, downgrading that top spot to Molinari also allows us to afford three players in the $8,000 range.
Kyle Stanley, who has been one of the best tee-to-green players in the world this year (seventh overall on Tour; sixth in the field over the last 12 weeks), has piled up three Top-10’s in his last six starts.
As always with Stanley, it comes down to the putter:
Soon you’ll know that Seung-Yul Noh is an absolute horse for this course, boasting three Top-10 finishes in four starts. He hasn’t played the weekend in his last two starts, and he comes with quite a bit of risk, but he was red-hot before that stretch (fifth at the Wells Fargo, 22nd at the Players), and this is the perfect spot for him to bounce back.
Stewart Cink has quietly been a model of consistency, churning out eight Top-30 finishes in his last 10 starts and 12 for the season. He isn’t flashy, and he doesn’t present a ton of upside (T10 is his highest finish this year), but his mid-range game (12th on Tour in strokes gained approaching the green) should help him once again finish somewhere around the Top 25.
Finally, we’ve got our two bargain picks.
Kevin Tway is a nice potential low-ownership pick. A lot of people are going to be off him after he missed the cut as a popular choice last week, but he had piled up three Top-10’s and five Top-20’s in his previous five starts, so it’s not fully time to jump off the bandwagon.
Then there’s Peter Uihlein, who feels well underpriced at $7,200. Playing across the European Tour and PGA Tour, he hasn’t missed a cut since December 2016, with many of those finishes being of the Top-30 variety. Moreover, he ranks first in the field in strokes gained off the tee and ninth in strokes gained tee to green over the last 12 weeks.