This article is part of our FanDuel PGA series.
Workday Charity Open
Course: Muirfield Village Golf Club (7,392 yards, par 72)
Winner: $1,116,000 and 500 FedExCup points
There's a chance to make up a lot of FedExCup points the next couple weeks for those players who really like Muirfield Village Golf Club. Jack Nicklaus' masterpiece will host the best players in the world for two consecutive weeks. The traditional Memorial Tournament was moved to next week, while the Workday Charity Open was implemented as a replacement for the John Deere Classic, which had to be cancelled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Seven of the top-15 players in the world will be teeing it up this week in Dublin, Ohio. Included in that will be Brooks Koepka, who returns to tournament actions after withdrawing two weeks ago at the Travelers Championship as a precaution when his caddie Ricky Elliott tested positive for COVID-19. Temperatures are expected to extend into the mid-90's on Thursday and Friday with almost no wind to speak of. The weekend should see temperatures fall to the mid-80's with a greater threat of thunderstorms and winds that could be upwards of 15 miles per hour. The course set-up will be slightly easier this week than the players will face next week for the Memorial.
Key Stats to Victory
Muirfield Village Golf Club is one of the great second-shot courses on the PGA Tour. The landing zones are generally pretty friendly, but the approach shots challenge even the best iron players. The greens are typically pretty firm and you have to be very precise to get the ball to stop on the correct tiers to give you reasonable chances at birdies. Thick rough around the greens will be a challenge for players trying to get the ball up and down. You can really pay a big penalty for just barely missing a GIR. The greens at Muirfield Village typically are among the fastest players see all season, tipping at nearly 14 on the Stimpmeter for the Memorial, but green speeds should be down for the Workday event. Much like we've seen in every event since the restart, you're going to have to make a lot of birdies to have a chance.
FanDuel Value Picks
Justin Thomas ($12,000)
I'm rolling with the top-priced player in the field this week, just as I did a week ago with Bryson DeChambeau. Thomas ranks top-10 this season in SG: Approach, SG: Tee-to-Green, birdie average, and scoring average. Somehow it still feels like JT has been quiet, but all he's done is score two top-10's in three tries since the restart. Thomas owns two wins and seven top-10's in 11 total starts this season. He is also figuring out Muirfield Village, finishing top-10 in two of his last three starts at the Ohio track. I think a slightly softer course only plays into the 12-time PGA Tour winner's hands.
Patrick Cantlay ($11,700)
Cantlay is the defending champion of the Memorial Tournament at 19-under, which is just one stroke off the all-time tournament low 72 hole score. He was T4 at Muirfield Village back in 2018 as well. Cantlay is inside the top-50 in every strokes gained category this season. His iron play makes him extremely appealing at this course, ranking top-five in SG: Approach and GIR percentage. The former UCLA standout finished T11 two weeks ago at the Travelers in his first start since the resumption of tournament play.
Xander Schauffele ($11,200)
Another very well rounded player, Schauffele ranks top-20 this season in SG: Off-the-tee, SG: Tee-to-green, GIR percentage, scrambling, and birdie average. He's made the cut in all three of his starts since tournament play got going again, adding a T3 at Colonial and a T20 two weeks ago at the Travelers. The San Diego State product finished top-15 last year at Muirfield Village.
Justin Rose ($10,800)
Muirfield Village is perhaps Rose's best course, so he has to be thrilled for this double-dip in Dublin. In 13 career starts, the Englishman has nine top-15 finishes, including a win back in 2010 and a pair of runner-up's in 2008 and 2015. Only Tiger Woods ranks higher in all-time earnings at this course. Rose has also flashed since the restart. He finished T3 at Colonial and T14 at the RBC Heritage. Rose ended up inside the top-10 both of those weeks in SG: Tee-to-green, showing that his long-game is really coming around after his split with long-time swing coach Sean Foley.
Longer Shots with Value
Kevin Streelman ($9,600)
We last saw Streelman collect his third top-five of the year with his solo second at the Travelers Championship two weeks ago. Much like TPC River Highlands, Muirfield Village is a place where the veteran thrives. Streelman owns five top-20's in Dublin, including a T4 last year. He can be inconsistent with his results at times, but the stats say Streelman is positive in every strokes gained category.
Joel Dahmen ($9,300)
Dahmen brings excellent value this week for what he has shown to be all season. The iron play has been the difference, as this year he ranks 13th in SG: Approach and second in proximity. Dahmen keeps it in play off the tee, which is all you need to do at Muirfield Village to set up the second shot. His recent form is excellent with five top-20's in his last six starts on the PGA Tour. Dahmen is quietly 17th in SG: Total and 21st in scoring average.
Ryan Armour ($9,000)
The Ohio native went T6-T4 the last two weeks with a cumulative total of 31-under-par. Armour has gotten it done in different ways. At the Travelers Championship he ranked second in SG: Putting and first in putts per GIR, while at the Rocket Mortgage Classic he ranked fifth in SG: Tee-to-green. Armour is the second-most accurate driver on Tour this year, which bodes well at Muirfield Village because the big numbers come for those that miss these generous fairways. Armour has also finished top-25 in his last two attempts at this course.
Emiliano Grillo ($8,700)
Grillo is a sneaky play this week. His short-game and putting numbers are really disappointing, but the ball striking is exactly what you're looking for at this course. This season he ranks 13th in SG: Approach, 27th in driving accuracy, third in GIR percentage, and 18th in proximity to the hole. Grillo has also done well here in the past, going 4-for4 with three top-25's, including a T9 last year. The slightly slower greens should help the 27-year-old gain some confidence.
Strategy Tips This Week
Based on a Standard $60K Salary Cap
Approach game and course history typically go hand in hand at Muirfield Village. Those that are strong iron players will pile up strong results here year in and year out. Distance always helps, but that advantage won't be quite a eye-popping as it was in Detroit last week. You can get yourself in trouble easily if you don't take advantage of the generous landing areas. For that reason, my attention is more turned towards accuracy this week off the tees. There are three top-tier players I am fading this week: Jon Rahm, Brooks Koepka, and Hideki Matsuyama. Rahm has not finished inside the top 30 since the restart, Koepka has just one top-30 all season, and Matsuyama has the course history and ball striking, but he can't make a putt to save his life. Matt Kuchar, Marc Leishman, and Gary Woodland are other mid-tier players who have had success here and are good ball strikers that I would go after this week.