DraftKings British Open

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:

Open Championship

Tuesday July 12th, 2016

So after a week off due to the misfortune in West Virginia it’s time to look at the British Open at Troon and find six worthy souls to make up our DraftKings 6.

First of all we have to sort through all of the different games but for many the million dollar game is what they want to do.  This week it’s $33 to be one of 105,000 to get a shot at winning a million dollars.  The total number of folks being paid this week is 22,250 with last place getting $50.  Now if $33 is too rich for your blood, there are many others.  As you can see here are four examples and three of them aren’t the $33 game.  The first one is the “free” game, you can have a go with 100,000 to possibly win $100.  The good thing is that it’s free, the bad thing is not much should go into making this entry, just take you picks and try it out.

The two games that I like are $5, one with just 3,529 in the field and one with 4,705 in the field.  Payouts aren’t bad, first place in one is $1,000 while the other won is $2000.  These games along with some $3 games get you “into the game” shall we say and gives you a rooting interest.

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Now for some picks, I tried two teams at the U.S. Open, won’t do that again it’s back to a single game.  Our first choice is our main pick, for many it will be between Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy or Jordan Speith.  For me it was a tough choice, you have Dustin Johnson tearing up everything and playing a course that he can overpower.  The thing in the back of my mind is that it’s only a matter of time before things catch up with Johnson and he gets that one unlucky break or bounce that will keep him out of the winners circle.  I am also reminded that just two years ago McIlroy won a British Open, WGC-Bridgestone and a PGA Championship in a span of 4 weeks, so we could see the same thing from Johnson.  But I still don’t see Johnson winning this week.  I also don’t see McIlroy or Spieth winning, both don’t have much momentum and I don’t think the course is right for either of them.  But I think that Troon is perfect for Day and he is my top choice at $12,500.  So after picking the most expensive player, I scrolled down to the cheapest player and found one really good pick.  Not many folks will pick up on this unless you follow the Japan Tour, but Hideto Tanihara is the hottest player on that tour.  He has won the last two events and will play in the Open for the fifth time.  Now he has missed the cut in three of the four, but did finish T-5th in 2006 but more importantly I think he will at least make the cut.  So he is a very good quiet pick and at only $5,500 a bargin.  In scrolling up I found another hot player at the cheap price of 7,200, Andy Sullivan. He was T-6th last week in the Scottish Open and T-5th the week before in the French Open so he comes into Troon playing well.  Last year was his first Open at St. Andrews and he finished T-30th.  Many tell me he is also a good mudder, something that we have to think about with it raining every day.  So he was my 3rd choice.  After that I have enough money for two top picks, by first one is Henrik Stenson at $9,500.  He plays great at the British Opena and does well in poor weather so he was an easy pick.  My next one was a bit tougher, I have taken Lee Westwood at both the Masters and the U.S. Open and been successful with him.  But he was still a toss-up until I saw that he was T-10th at Troon in 1997 and 4th in 2004 so he plays the course well.  So after these five picks I am left with $7,000 in the bank and just happen to see a great pick at $7,000 Francesco Molinari.  He was 2nd a the French Open and T-8th at the Quicken Loans, so it was a slam dunk.

So I am happy with my six, see all of them not only making the cut but making lot’s of birdies this week.

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WGC-Bridgestone & French Open

Wednesday June 29th, 2016

Last week:

I have stressed how important it is to pick six guys that make the cut.  But last week I endured a even worst nightmare, one of my players withdrew the morning of the tournament.  Religiously before I go to bed on Wednesday evening, I check the field list to make sure nobody has withdrawn.  I did that but when I checked by European picks on Thursday morning I noticed at the Quicken Loans that in five of my six players they listed a tee time, but next to Ricky Barnes it was blank.  Found out that either Wednesday night or Thursday morning Barnes withdrew.  Unfortunately I didn’t find out until it was too late so I was reduced to playing with five guys.  Even when you have a guy that is playing poorly, you still getting points for pars he makes and you know that player will make a birdie or two.  But with a player gone it’s a big goose egg putting you in a spot.

I was lucky, I picked the winner Billy Hurley and Bill Hass finished T-3rd so for my three games I netted $65.  My European Tour picks didn’t fare well, three of my guys missed the cut and when that happens, forget checking your not going to win.

This week’s games

Playing both tours this week, but only playing two games for each tour.  My Bridgestone picks came easy, but I struggled getting players for the French Open.  So the main thing, if your uncomfortable, cut your loses and that is what I did, on the PGA Tour playing in the big $3 game with 117,000 people along with a $9 game that only will have 2,569 players.  On the European Tour, I went cheap with two $3 games, one that has a field of 9,800 and the other with a field of 588.  One other tip, if your uncomfortable with your picks, go with the game that has less folks in it.

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These picks were easy, once I realized that I didn’t like Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth or Adam Scott it was easy.  My first pick was Justin Rose, at $10,200 mostly because he always plays well at Firestone. But in deep thought I realized his back isn’t 100%, he didn’t play well at Oakmont so I went about things differently.  With a salary cap of $50,000 that means you can pick six guys in the $8,300 range.  We always seem to pick a high price favorite but this week I went for six guys that ranged in value between Jim Furyk at $9,500 to K.T. Kim at $6,200.  Now Kim was my first choice since he was so cheap, he has advantages like he is the best player on the Japan Golf Tour, but his game has never worked in America.  But he did finish T-6th in 2011 and T-24th in 2012, so I am happy with him.  Now why did I take Jim Furyk over guys like Day, Johnson and Jordan?  His awesome record at Firestone, he has been in the top-25 the last six years and was 3rd last year and 2nd in 2012.  But his performance at Oakmont finishing runner-up did the trick.  My top choice was Brooks Koepka, I really feel he can win this week.  I also like the defender Shane Lowry, who played great for about 67 holes at Oakmont.  My last two picks, Byeong-Hun An and Jason Dufner was easy because of their record of late and playing well at Firestone.  Remember one thing and that is Firestone is a great place but you have to look at players records because you would be surprised at how many good players don’t do well at Firestone.

French Open

Think that taking Rory McIlroy at $13,400 is way too much and we don’t really know what Rory will do.  Same with Lee Westwood and Danny Willett, no real track records in this event.  But Martin Kaymer does have a lot of good finishes in this event, including a win in 2009 so he is my top choice at $10,900.  Next up with $8,200 was Rafael Cabrera Bello he finished 5th last year and has played well this year.  I also like how Gregory Bourdy ($8.600) is playing, he has made nine straight cuts and finished T-6th at the Lyoness Open.  Next up is another Frenchman Raphael Jacquelin who was 3rd in this event in 2012, but I like that he was T-8th in the Nordea Masters and 4th last week in Germany, plus he was cheap at $7,300.  You will see that my choices are all mid-range players, Thorbjorn Olesen was $8,100 and even though he has missed three straight French Open cuts, he was T-2nd at this event in 2011.  But the swing vote was his T-2nd finish last week at the MBW International.  Last I went with my cheap superstar, Robert Dinwiddle.  His record in this event is not good but he was T-10th at the Lyoness Open and T-9th at the BMW International, those are what swayed me on him.

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Quicken Loans & BMW International

Tuesday June 22nd, 2016

Last week:

Many of you picked Dustin Johnson.  Matter of fact in the million dollar game someone picked all top-six guys Johnson, Jim Furyk, Shane Lowry, Scott Piercy, Sergio Garcia and Branden Grace.  Some will call this skill, some will say maybe this person was Marty McFly that flew his Deloren into the future and brought back a book with all sporting results.  Yes I can understand picking Johnson, Garcia and Grace on the same ticket, but also having Furyk, Lowry and Piercy is plain freaky and more blind luck than luck.  As for me, I picked two teams and again realized how dumb that was.  Having guys like Jason Day and Rory McIlroy wasn’t helpful, but both of my teams had three guys missed the cut and if I could of just had the players that missed the cut on one ticket would of made money.  But hey, what can you say it was fun to play.

This week’s games

Playing on both the European Tour and PGA Tour, at the Quicken Loans National the big game is the PGA $400K Drive the green, purse of $400,000 with a first place of $100,000.  The ticket is $3 but there will be 156,000 in this game, paying down to the 34,355th spot.  Also in the $5 PGA $5K Par 5, only 1,176 in the game that has a first place of $500, this game pays up to 225th spot.  Last in a $9 PGA $20K Back 9, this is my favorite 2,569 in the game with a first place of $1,500 and 510 getting paid.  For the BMW International I resisted getting into the $27 game.  I picked the Euro $1K Back 9 that for $9 has only 128 and pays 29 guys with the top only being $100.  Next is the $3 Euro $2.5 Hybrid, 980 in this game with a first place of $250 and 195 getting paid.  My last game is Euro $20K which is $3 and has 7,843 in it.  Top prize is $2,000, 1,540 will get paid.

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Quicken Loans National

Back to just one team, it’s really hard to pick this one.  Not many marquee players and not many players that make a lot of birdies.  Took Patrick Reed because he does make a lot of birdies and finished T-11th at Congressional two years ago.  Still his year has been up and down so he was a very hard pick at $11,700.  The rest of the top tier players like Rickie Fowler, Jim Furyk I am avoiding and frankly those between 10,900 like Marc Leishman down to Bryce DeChambeau at $8,800 are a joke, way too high.  So I went with Bill Haas at $9,200 because he has won at Congressional, Daniel Summerhays at $8,100 because of his good finish at Oakmont along with Ricky Barnes at $6,200, Billy Hurley at $6,400 (good record at Congressional and a local kid) along with Shawn Stefani (was runner-up last time it was played at Congressional.  The weirdest of my picks is that I left $1,400 of salary cap, a rarity to do

BMW International

Played in Germany, this event is played on a different course and this year it’s held at Golf Club Gut Laerchenhof, which held the 2014 and 2012 events on.  I purposely looked at each player to make sure his record were good in those years.  By top choice was Sergio Garcia, played well at the U.S. Open he was T-12th and T-29th at Laerchenhof.  He cost the most at $11,900.  Next was Rikard Karlberg, I picked him a couple of weeks ago and had a good experince, he was high at $9,600 with no experience at Laerchenhof but he has played really well the last three months.  Next was Fabrizio Zanotti, have to say I had never heard of him until I found out he won at Laerchenhof in 2014 and was T-12th in 2012.  As for the rest it was purely feel, Dinwiddle again had a good experince with, Dyson has played well at Laerchenhof and Wattel was T-12th in 2012.

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Enjoy the games for this week.


U.S. Open

Tuesday June 14th, 2016


Last week:

I won money on the European Tour game thanks to picking the winer Wu Ashun, then Joost Luiten and Chris Wood who finished T-6th and Robert Dinwiddie who finished T-10th.  But what stop me from really big money was Matthew Baldwin and Michael Jonzon missing the cut.  Baldwin was no a surprise, I needed a person and thought his past record at this event would help, it didn’t.  As for Jonzon, he played well the week before but it didn’t carry over, oh well.  At the St. Jude Phil Mickelson did his job by finishing T-2nd and Ken Duke played well on Sunday finishing T-9th.  But Camilo Villegas and Ryan Palmer finished toward the bottom and didn’t make many birdies.  Again I picked two guys that missed the cut, oh well

This week, the U.S. Open:

Ok, this week has some big games.  The major one is the $3.5 million dollar game that pays the winner a cool million.  Only problem is that you have to play with just over 201,000 of your closets friends.  Yes this game pays big time for the winner and down to 43,350, but there are a lot of players which really reduces your chances of winning.  Frankly this is nothing more than a lottery, just like when the Powerball gets over 400 million and makes it no chance of winning, the same with this.  But just like the powerball you have to play in it, you feel that you can pick all top-six players and you spend the $20.  The good news, last year these million dollar games were $27, they have been reduced.

Now I would advise you to not only pick the $3.5M fantasy Golf game but pick a couple of others that have smaller feeds.  Yes they have smaller payouts but your odds are better.  Here are the games I am in:

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You can see that along with the Million Dollar game I am also in three other games.  The first is the the PGA $20K Approach Shot.  It’s 12 dollars but I like it because there are only around 1,900 playing.  First place pays $2,500 but they pay up to 400 players.  Feel that my picks are best suited for this game.  Next up are a couple $3 games, first the PGA $40K Hybrid which has 15,000 in the game.  Small first place at just $3,000 but it pays up to 3,236 and the top-100 is good payouts for a $3 game.  The last game I am in is the PGA $500K Birdie, again a lot of folks in this game with 191,000 but it pays $50,000 for first place which isn’t bad for a three dollar game.  Think of it this way, if I played this seven times the cost would be $21 and the total of first place would be $350,000 but with a fourth of the number of players in the million dollar game.  This game also pays down to 38,250.

By picks:

I am breaking a golden rule, only pick one team.  As you can see I have picked two teams this week:

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Team #1

The reason is simple, I really feel that Rory McIlroy and Jason Day will finish 1st and 2nd this week.  Now to be able to chose those two, the total cost was $24,100 or half of my salary cap.  With just $25,900 left it leaves me with only $6,475 per player which turns into a big challenge.  First in which I see as the steal of the week, I took Kevin Chappell at $7,100.  Don’t have to tell you how good he is.  Finished T-46th at Chambers Bay last year, but in the 2012 U.S. Open he was T-10th and T-3rd in 2011 at Congressional.  Has had a good 2016, finished T-2nd at the Players Championship. He is my hero and I am looking for a top-ten out of him.  Next up is Chris Wood, I find him a steal at $6,600 because he finished T-6th at the Lyoness Open last week and before that he won the BMW PGA Championship.  So he is playing well and even though it’s his first U.S. Open I like him.  Next up is Gregory Bourdy, he is only $6,300 and I am looking toward him making the cut.  In his last eight starts he has accomplished that and he was T-6th last week at the Lyoness Open, T-15th at the BMW PGA and T-10th at the Irish so have high hopes on him doing better than making the cut.  Last I have my sentimental choice, Mike Van Sickle.  His father Gary writes for Sports Illustrator and I have know about Mike since he was in diapers.  I have followed his career playing golf for the last ten years and it’s a story of coming real close but not getting that cigar.  He is from the Pittsburgh area and has played a lot at Oakmont in tournaments so he has local knowledge.  A couple of years ago when he got his game rolling, he hurt himself and it took a couple of years to come back.  So I like the kid and as I told Mike’s dad Gary, I will kill the kid if he doesn’t make the cut.  So it’s plain a simple.  If he wins the first thing out of his mouth in getting the trophy will be “gosh Sal said he would kill me if I didn’t make the cut.”

Team #2

Have to break up Day and McIlroy so I have gone with Day.  The good news is I am able to keep Kevin Chappell.  By dropping McIlroy I open up the salary cap to get five solid guys in the $7,500 price range.  On top of Chappell, I get Paul Casey at $7,900.  Hasn’t been playing much, but always solid on tough courses.  He did miss the cut at the Memorial, but he was T-4th at the Masters.  Now one key for Casey, in 2007 he finished T-10th at Oakmont, in my mind it goes a long way.  Next up was Lee Westwood, at $7,700 he is cheap for his record.  Since the Masters were he finished T-2nd he was T-10th in Ireland, T-15th at the BMW PGA and T-8th at the Nordea Masters.  Has a nice record at the U.S. Open, he did finish T36th at Oakmont in 2007.  Next up is J.B. Holmes, he hits it long and should be well suited for Oakmont.  I like that he finished T-4th in his last start at the Memorial and also finished T-4th at the Masters.  Has played 13 times this year and only missed the cut at the Players, so he is a solid pick.  Last I go with Billy Horschel, he was just $7,300.  Lot’s of upside, is 35th on the PGA Tour in strokes gained tee-to-green but I like the fact that in 13 2016 starts he only missed one cut, his first start of the year in Palm Springs.  He was T-4th at the Valero Texas Open, another tough course and was T-4th in the U.S. Open at Merion in 2013.  So he also is a good choice and looking for a good finish from him.

So there is my picks, what do you think?  Below is our comment file, tell us you DraftKings picks or go to our Facebook page for your choices.


FedEx St. Jude & Lyoness

Tuesday June 7th, 2016

First off I need a favor from one of you.

We are doing a database on Draft Kings picks and wonder if someone has saved the weekly list going back to the Masters of each week’s salary for each player.  Need each tournament,  thought we had it and we don’t, so if someone has saved them please get in touch with me at Golfersal@aol.com



Last week:

A terrific week on the European Tour, of the five games I played in cash tickets in three of them for $90.  What was weird, it wasn’t like I had the winner, or anyone in contention, but had five guys make the cut and Lee Westwood and Rikard Karlberg made lot’s of birdies.  This is an important lesson, yes you want to pick the top players, but along with picking guys that make the cut, you want to see players that have lot’s of eagles and birdies.  At the Memorial, if you didn’t have Dustin Johnson who made 26 birdies you didn’t do well.  For those like myself, Matt Kuchar wasn’t a bad choice making 24 birdies but remember to stick with guys high up in making birdies.

This week is a mess on both tours.  First we didn’t do a preview of the Lyoness Open because it has a very limited field of players that can win.  So what happens, you have a non-winner, that happens a lot on the European Tour.  The favorites in the Lyoness Open is Bernd Wiesberger, Joost Luiten and last week’s winner Chris Wood.  So with the lack of marquee names you are looking for those that make the cut and make lot’s of birdies.

So with my first choices of Luiten and Wood, added Matthew Baldwin, Robert Dinwiddle (the best buy of the week) and Michael Jonzon who was 4th in Sweden.  Now my last pick was Wu Ashun, he is not a birdie machine but makes a lot of cuts.

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Over at the FedEx St. Jude, I again will take either glory or hardship with Phil Mickelson, who hasn’t shown much form but always plays well at TPC Southwind.  I take him along with Ryan Palmer, who is close and I think can win this week.  The rest are a combination of guys that have made lot’s of birdies at TPC Southwind, taking a chance on Brendon De Jonge, who has missed a lot of cuts and of course Will Wilcox and Camilo Villegas.  Also a gamble on Ken Duke, but he did play well last month at the Players.

One thing you will notice, I am being very cheap this week.  That’s because frankly I don’t like the contests and the fields, so it’s better just to tip my toes into the water and take a little taste.


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Next week we have the U.S. Open and there will be a lot of games to play and potential of making some money.

Have fun with this week’s games and get ready for Oakmont.


Memorial & Nordea Masters

Monday May 31st, 2016

First off I need a favor from one of you.

We are doing a database on Draft Kings picks and wonder if someone has saved the weekly list going back to the Masters of each week’s salary for each player.  Need each tournament,  thought we had it and we don’t, so if someone has saved them please get in touch with me at Golfersal@aol.com



Last week:

We can summarize last week in two words, it sucked.

The problem with this format, most of the time you will have players miss the cut and last week I picked a lot of players that missed the cut in both the Dean & DeLuca and the BMW PGA.  One thing that makes for a tough week is when a marquee name wins, that happened at Colonial with Jordan Spieth winning.  That makes it even harder because he was a very popular pick.  I can see that happening this week at the Memorial.

The favorites are Jason Day, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlory and I would have to think that everyone will have at least one in their picks.  I tried to pick two of the three, but at over $12,000 you are staking half of your salary cap on these two players.  That only leaves you with $25,000 for four players and at an average of $6,250 it doesn’t leave many good choices.

Let’s first talk about what games to play, I personally like the odds at the Nordea Masters.  I feel that I have a better shot and also their aren’t as many savoy players of the European Tour, an advantage.  As for the games I entered, I tried to enter three separate games but instead entered five because guess I must of double picked.  One big lesson in doing Draft Kings, it’s set up easy but you have to pay attention to what you are doing, if you try to do it too fast (like I did) you will find yourself making mistakes that can’t be fixed (Once you make a pick and play a game, you can’t change your mind).

So here are the games I am in:

For the Nordea Masters of course I got into the big game that cost $27 dollars.  Only 2,128 entries with 435 getting paid, not happy about the first place only being $3,000 but the low players in the field give us a better shot.

I also picked the Euro $40K Birdie game, cost is $3 and the purse is $40,000 with a first place paying $3,000.  The problem is there will be over 15,000 in the game with 3,236 getting paid.  As for the Euro $2K Hybird like the fact that for $3 I can get into a game with only 766 in it.  The purse is $2,000 but first place only pays $150 so I really need a top-ten with this game.

For the PGA Tour I am in three games.  Of course the big game is the PGA $500K Fore, now in past weeks it’s only been $3 but this week it’s $4, won’t break the bank.  Now there will be 143,000 players in it, the purse is $500,000 with first place paying $100,000 with 31,300 getting paid.  We play this game just in case we get really lucky and have six great players.  But I don’t expect much from this game with so many people in it.  Next game is the PGA $30K Hybrid, it will have 11,500 players with a purse of $30,000 with first place getting just $2,000.  It does pay off 2,302 so this gives some chance of making some money.  The last game is the PGA $5K Eagle, it cost $5 and have a purse of $5,000 with $500 to first.  What I like about this game, 1,150 in it with 225 being paid off.


So what are my picks for this week?


On the European Tour the two favorites are Henrik Stenson and Lee Westwood.  As for Stenson he is not playing well, but I really like Westwood at $11,300.  He has won this event three times and won on this course.  His game is close and really think this will be his week.  My next pick is Rikard Karlberg, he was the fourth highest pick at $9,700 but his game is good and he has played well in this event.  Next up at $8,200 is Scott Hend, he was leading the BMW PGA going into the weekend and playing well.  As for my last three picks, feel happy with Felipe Aguilar, Soomin Lee and Matteo Manassero.  Feel that these folks will make the cut and give me a solid finish, something I will be looking for.

As for the PGA Tour and the Memorial, your big choice is do you take Jason Day, Jordan Spieth or Rory McIlroy.  My reasoning for picking Spieth is his putter, he is hot with it and you have to putt well at Memorial.  As for not picking McIlroy, yes he won in Ireland but I don’t think he is that good of a putter.  As for Jason Day, he never has played well at the Memorial, never been higher that 27th.  Now this thinking screwed me up at the Palmer and the Players, Day overcame that poor play to win.  I am betting that this won’t happen a third time in two months.

Now my first pick was easy, it was Matt Kuchar.  He has won at the Memorial and is playing well, finishing in the top-six in his last three starts.  I think he will win, I am hoping for a win and a second between Kuchar and Spieth.  My next pick was Ryan Moore, a bit of a gamble since he has missed his last three cuts.  But he always is consistent at Muirfield Village and I am betting that good play continues.  Another gamble is Luke Donald, you never know what he will do.  Next up Francesco Molinari finished T-3rd last year in his first Memorial start.  He was T-7th at the Players and T-55th at the BMW PGA so I am looking for good things from him.  Now these first five picks left me with only $5,900 and Ricky Barnes just happened to be there.  Barnes did finish T-3rd in 2010 and I am hoping that he can find that groove again this week.

Again good playing and hope you pick some great players this week.


Colonial & BMW PGA Championship

Wed May 25th, 2016

DraftKings got better this week because they added games for the European Tour.  So I thought it be nice to talk about some of my observations on playing the game and some hints that could help you win some money.

I’ve been playing Draft Kings for about a year now, mostly in their big games with big payouts. This week there are two, first the PGA $250K Birdie game and then the PGA $300K Dogleg game. The $250K game cost $3 to play and has a first place payout of $20,000 while the 300K game cost $33 to play and has a first place check of $50,000.

On paper, this seems great until you notice the number of entries. The $250K game has over 95,000 entries and pays up to 19,550 places while the 300K game has 10,000 entries and pays up to 2,120. The norm for DraftKings games is a return to a fifth of those in the field. So that is our first problem, the higher payouts only happen in games that have a lot of players in them, yes the reward is great but the more that enter, the lower your odds come.

I feel that am a pretty good picker of players, but in the year that I have played in this high entree big games, the biggest payout I have seen is $60. So you wonder why I play them? Just like everyone that goes out a get a two dollar Powerball ticket when the prize climbs to over $300 million, you just hope that you are lucky enough that week. Hey, it’s only a three dollar a week gamble with DraftKings, and I do enjoy the challenge. So how is one to make a profit playing golf games on DraftKings?

It’s all about the math and numbers; you enter games with a lot of folks your odds decrease. Each week DraftKings has a couple of hundred games with a mix of entry fees of a quarter, up to one game that has an entry fee of $1,060 and a field of three players. Only one player of the three wins and he gets $3,000 which means he just about triples his money. But for most of you the entry fee of $1,060 is a bit steep. I stick to games between $3 and $10. Now and then for majors, I will do the big $27 game that has a first place payout of a million dollars, but again it’s like buying that Powerball ticket that pays out $300 million, the odds are not in your favor, but you buy it just in case you get lucky.

Here are some things for you to think about. The most important thing you can do with Draftkings is find the price point that is good for you and a game that has the lowest possible entree level and a good all-around payout.

As an example last week in the 300K birdie game, that had 115,000 entries with a $20,000 first place check, I had the combination of Keegan Bradley (Cut), Tim Herron (74th), Dustin Johnson (T-12th), Steve Marino (T-12th), Gary Woodland (T-12th) and Matt Kuchar (3rd). Pretty good week, five guys making the cut, a top-three finish and four of my six picks in the top-12. I came in 12,045 with a total of 466 points which got me $7. The winner of the $20,000 had a point total of 639.5 with a combination of Steve Marino (T-12th), Colt Knost (T-4th), Bud Cauley (T-4th), Matt Kuchar (3rd), Brooks Koepka (2nd) and the winner Sergio Garcia. Some nice picking. The guy in 2nd won $15,000 had Garcia and Koepka along with Scott Pinckney (T-24th), Gary Woodland (T-12th), Charles Howell III (T-4th) and Robert Garrigus (T-4th). Both players did great, but let’s look at the second place picks. I can see having a combination of Garcia and Koepka, but also picking Pinckney, Howell III, Woodland and Garrigus is a bit of a stretch. But here is the truth in the pudding. Just like a lottery, the more folks that participate, the odds increase that more of the combinations will be taken, thus increasing your chances on winning.
Now let’s go back to my six picks of Bradley, Herron, Dustin Johnson, Steve Marino, Gary Woodland and Kuchar. There was also a PGA $30K Back 9 game that only had 3,833 entries. The cost of that game was $9 but the payouts were good in the middle. First place may have only paid $2,500 but let’s be frank, the odds of you winning first place are slim and none. So with a field just under 4,000 I was looking for something in the top-80. For those that finished 10th, they got $200. For those that finished 80th they got $50. So how did I do? Remember in the big game my 466 points earned me $7, in this game I was 418th and earned $25. The guy in first place in this game earned 604.5 points thanks to having both Garcia and Koepka, along with Charles Howell III, who finished T-4th and then three other players that finished T-18th and higher.

So the point I am making is be realistic in your goals. Remember this, in Football and Baseball 1% of the players win 90% of the money in DraftKings. That’s because those games are true to form statistically. But golf is a different beast since it’s an individual game in which one person is the basis of your bet. It’s hard to understand how that one person will be when he plays. Does he feel super and ready to go out and do great things? Or did that player have a fight with his wife that morning and has his mind elsewhere because he has a small flaw in his swing that needs fixing?

But just like playing in your morning foursome and making those first tee bets, it’s important to look at all of the games and go with the game that gives you a realistic chance of making money. Of course, we want to win, but if you can finish in the top-100, you will win money in the right game. So pick that game that has less than five thousand in it. Of course nothing wrong with placing that $3 on the big game with the big first place check, but be sure also to pick a game that gives you better odds.

People ask me all the time, is it good to pick more than one team? Personally, I don’t like picking more than one team, every now and then I pick two separate teams but what you are doing is playing against yourself. Each additional team you pick, your odds on a return goes down so don’t pick more than two teams and frankly instead of picking six teams, pick just one and place them in six different games to help your odds on winning if one or two players don’t make the cut. In fantasy golf that is the facts of life, picking six guys to make the cut is harder than it looks and most of the time it’s best to find six solid guys instead of picking the top-two favorites and then being left with little money and having to pick guys that struggle to make cuts. Rule of thumb, look for players that have made 80% of their cuts.

Here is a list of those that have done that in 2016, with at least five events played:

Adam Scott has made 11 cuts in 11 events played
Bubba Watson has made 9 cuts in 9 events played
Chris Wood has made 5 cuts in 5 events played
Dustin Johnson has made 11 cuts in 11 events played
Colt Knost has made 16 cuts in 17 events played
Gary Woodland has made 13 cuts in 14 events played
Matt Kuchar has made 13 cuts in 14 events played
Billy Horschel has made 12 cuts in 13 events played
J.B. Holmes has made 10 cuts in 11 events played
Retief Goosen has made 10 cuts in 11 events played
Jason Day has made 9 cuts in 10 events played
Rory McIlroy has made 9 cuts in 10 events played
Sergio Garcia has made 9 cuts in 10 events played
Charl Schwartzel has made 8 cuts in 9 events played
Jamie Donaldson has made 7 cuts in 8 events played
Martin Kaymer has made 6 cuts in 7 events played
Ryan Palmer has made 12 cuts in 14 events played
Scott Piercy has made 12 cuts in 14 events played
Charles Howell III has made 16 cuts in 19 events played
Danny Willett has made 5 cuts in 6 events played
Davis Love III has made 10 cuts in 12 events played
Paul Casey has made 10 cuts in 12 events played
Soren Kjeldsen has made 5 cuts in 6 events played
Tim Wilkinson has made 10 cuts in 12 events played
Jason Dufner has made 14 cuts in 17 events played
Patton Kizzire has made 14 cuts in 17 events played
Francesco Molinari has made 9 cuts in 11 events played
Jordan Spieth has made 9 cuts in 11 events played
Justin Rose has made 9 cuts in 11 events played
Shane Lowry has made 9 cuts in 11 events played
Daniel Berger has made 13 cuts in 16 events played
Daniel Summerhays has made 13 cuts in 16 events played
Justin Thomas has made 13 cuts in 16 events played
Mark Hubbard has made 17 cuts in 21 events played
Branden Grace has made 8 cuts in 10 events played
Kevin Na has made 12 cuts in 15 events played
Patrick Reed has made 12 cuts in 15 events played


Ok, now in doing your picks it’s best to pick guys playing well, on our preview we have a hot index, we also have our player rankings for those playing the best.

This week DraftKings is starting new games on the European Tour, it’s a fun way of playing more games and if you keep up with the European Tour you may have a big advantage on those that don’t know that tour.

So here is the games that I am in this week: Again, important to play games with the less number of enteries:


Here are my picks for the week:



On the PGA Tour I like Adam Scott and Matt Kuchar the most, I couldn’t take both so settled with Kuchar because he has played great the last two weeks. Also took Colt Knost and Kevin Chappell for the same reasons. As for Ian Poulter, he plays well at Colonial, his game is based on not hitting the ball far and good iron play. As for Adam Hadwin, he finished T-5th at Colonial last year and despite high finishes has made five cuts in a row. As for Andrew Loupe, I needed someone under $6,800 and I felt he was my best shot at making the cut. I feel this is a strong team, looking for a top-three out of Kuchar and top-tens out of Chappell, Poulter and Knost with Hadwin and Loupe sticking around for the weekend.
As for the European Tour, these players were easy. Feel that Shane Lowry and Lee Westwood could win, the same with Jamie Lovemark who is playing on the European Tour for the first time this year. I really think that I can get top-25 finishes from Eddie Pepperell and Matthew Southgate, my only trouble area is Miguel A. Jimenez. I have labored between him and Marc Warren, statistically Warren is a better choice but my gut says Jimenez. Guess we will see.


The thing is have some fun, fantasy golf is a great way of enjoying and rooting for players while watching it.  And if you play smartly, you can win a few dollars.


  1. Why would you post your line ups before hand, now we’re just gona chop the milly maker lol

  2. Are you still in need of player salary files?

  3. Hey Sal, Great stuff as always. So from what I have been reading is that the weather will turn ugly Friday afternoon(more rain+wind) and the guys playing late/early wave will have an advantage. What are your thoughts on that when picking or editing your Dk lineups?

  4. British Open weather is not an exact science. I have been here a week and since Saturday, their forecast has been wrong. Today it was suppose to rain from 11 to 9, it rained for an hour and it’s been a great evening.
    I would not over-analyze this because it will drive you crazy. Go with what you want to do, but keep it in the back of your mind that there could be weather problems.
    One given Saturday is going to be super-bad, that is a given. But you can’t predict today for Saturday.

    Same with last year at St. Andrews, they were completely wrong and everyone went crazy because they picked guys for when it was suppose to be rainy and windy and it never happened.

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