Fantasy Golf: Play £1,000 contest for FREE at Paddy Power Fantasy

The PGA Tour gets back in action this week and Paddy's giving you a chance to win some free cash on Paddy Power Fantasy. Here's what you need to know

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You may have played fantasy football by now – remember picking your team back in August? – but Paddy Power Fantasy gives you a chance to play fantasy sports every week, and across a whole load of sports. Now is a great time to start, especially with Paddy Power’s FREE £1,000 daily fantasy golf contest on the Charles Schwab Challenge this week.

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Golf can be one of the most exciting fantasy sports to follow, as tournaments span four days and allow ample time to prepare each week. It’s a great balance between time to research and time spent tracking your team.

But whether you’re brand new to the PGA or daily fantasy sports in general, we have you covered.

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So pick six players under the salary cap, sit back and enjoy a (hopefully profitable) weekend at the Charles Schwab Challenge. Full details of points scoring are over on Paddy Power Fantasy. But who to pick? Let’s take a look at some golfers to target this week.

There aren’t many key stats to go off this week after the long PGA lay-off, but we can consider general course fit, and at Colonial, we are able to de-emphasize driving distance in favour of driving accuracy. There are fairway bunkers, and, well, here comes the other big variable that goes into this week: no fans.

No fans means balls could be lost, and we won’t be seeing patrons running after balls. I don’t think we should anticipate that this event will be decided by lost golf balls, but it’s definitely something to think about. Fans also won’t be tamping down the rough anywhere, so good around-the-green play won’t hurt. Of course, hitting these small greens in regulation is the preferred play, anyway.

I’m kind of taking a step back here and am playing for a semblance of safety: guys who hit fairways and can get up and down from sticky situations.

Stats cited below come from FantasyNational and include the past 50 rounds on the PGA Tour unless noted. Ranks are among the field.

Best of the Best

Rory McIlroy (£12,200) – The heavy favourite, McIlroy is really a cut above the rest of the field, and for just £300 more than Jon Rahm, we shouldn’t take him lightly. He leads the field in strokes gained: off the tee and ranks fourth in strokes gained: approach over the past 50 rounds. He’s also 10th around the green and has neutral putting splits on bentgrass over the past 100 rounds. I love Rahm, but McIlroy is the better process play and should be owned at a super high rate.

Xander Schauffele (£11,300 | 28/1) – Schauffele has a lot of appeal here. He’s long off the tee but is also accurate enough not to worry about. X ranks sixth in bogey avoidance and is up to 23rd in strokes gained: around the green over the past 50 rounds. The youngster had plenty of time to work on his game and has the mentality to have taken advantage of the hiatus.

Others to Consider:

Brooks Koepka (£11,600 | 22/1) – Elite upside and some good history returning from layoffs and a very good bentgrass putter.
Sungjae Im (£11,200 | 28/1) – Similar to Schauffele, a young grinder with elite ball-striking and time to work on the small areas; 24th in fairways gained.
Collin Morikawa (£10,400 | 33/1) – Field leader in approach over the past 50 rounds and, just 23, now had time to figure out the short game.

Sep 3, 2018; Norton, MA, USA; Rory McIlroy lines up a putt on the second hole during the final round of the Dell Technologies Championship golf tournament at TPC of Boston. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Mid-Range Options

Scottie Scheffler (£10,200) – Scheffler, only 23 years old, entered the hiatus with dreadful putting — and that could be better with time off. Scheffler ranks top-40 in all three tee-to-green stats entering this event and is 57th in fairways gained and 22nd in good drive rate. He should be able to plod his way to a made cut, and if the short game improves, he can hang.

Viktor Hovland (£9,800 | 55/1) – Hovland knows he sucks at scrambling, and so he should have had time to work on that. Over a small sample of 25 bentgrass rounds, he ranks 35th in strokes gained: putting on the surface. Hovland is super accurate (13th) and can pin seek (11th in greens in regulation).

Others to Consider:

Jason Day (£9,900 | 40/1) – Great short game and long off the tee (not super accurate). Has plenty of experience with layoffs.
Billy Horschel (£9,600 | 66/1) – Horschel is 20th in fairways gained and 22nd in bentgrass putting.
Abraham Ancer (£9,200 | 50/1) – Has an all-around game that could keep him in play but has been iffy on bentgrass.

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FLORIDA – MARCH 12: Adam Hadwin of Canada watches his drive on the fifth hole during the first round of The PLAYERS Championship on The Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass on March 12, 2020 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)

Low-Priced Picks

Adam Hadwin (£9,000 | 100/1) – Hadwin’s at the top of this tier in pricing, but it’s not a super strong tier given how good the rest of the field is. Hadwin doesn’t have a ton of win equity (he’s at 0.7% for me), but he’s accurate (26th), good on bentgrass (18th), and good from the sand (11th). I really want to emphasize some balanced lineups this week, given how good the top of the field is.

Erik Van Rooyen (£8,600) – Van Rooyen’s a top-tier ball-striker who certainly does struggle in the short game, which is problematic. EVR does rate out as a balanced driver (52nd in distance and 54th in fairways gained), so he could avoid trouble both off the tee and on his approach shots. He has the best win odds (1.4%) in my sims among golfers priced at or below $9,000.

Others to Consider:

Emiliano Grillo (£8,400 | 125/1) – Grillo, an elite ball-striker, is really only playable on bentgrass and has good form at this course.
Matt Wallace (£7,900 | 150/1) – Good in a small sample on bentgrass putting and a great short game in general.

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*All odds correct at time of publication

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