This article is part of our FanDuel PGA series.
WGC-Workday Championship at The Concession
Course: The Concession Golf Club (7,474 yards, par 72)
Winner: $1,820,000 and 550 FedExCup points
The first World Golf Championship event of 2021 is set to take place at a new venue. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, this event will move away from Club de Golf Chapultepec in Mexico City and say hello to The Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Florida. This WGC is expected to go back to Chapultepec in 2022. Several challenges will be different at this venue compared to teeing it up 7,800 feet above sea level in Mexico City. The Concession was designed by Jack Nicklaus and Tony Jacklin back in 2006 and was most recently on the national golf radar when it hosted the 2015 NCAA Championship won by Bryson DeChambeau. With the West-coast swing now in the review mirror, this week will kick off a four-week Florida-swing that will also take the Tour to the Arnold Palmer Invitational, The PLAYERS Championship, and the Honda Classic. The field for the WGC-Workday Championship at the Concession will be 72 players, including all of the top-15 in the OWGR. There will be no cut this week, so all players will be guaranteed four rounds. World No. 1 Dustin Johnson will be looking for his fourth straight odd numbered year win in this event. Rory McIlroy will also be looking to join Dustin Johnson as the only men to complete the career WGC-slam, which also includes the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, and WGC-HSBC Champions. The weather looks perfect this week with daytime temperatures expected to climb into the mid-80's with no significant chance for rain. Wind is also not expected to consistently blow more than 15 miles per hour any round.
2020 – Patrick Reed (Chapultepec)
2019 – Dustin Johnson (Chapultepec)
2018 – Phil Mickelson (Chapultepec)
2017 – Dustin Johnson (Chapultepec)
2016 – Adam Scott (Doral)
2015 – Dustin Johnson (Doral)
2014 – Patrick Reed (Doral)
2013 – Tiger Woods (Doral)
2012 – Justin Rose (Doral)
2011 – Nick Watney (Doral)
2010 – Ernie Els (Doral)
Key Stats to Victory
- SG: Approach
- GIR Percentage
- SG: Off-the-Tee
On almost any Nicklaus-designed course, you know that the second shot will normally be the most important shot you hit on that hole. That will be the case once again this week, as the greens at The Concession are on the smaller end and feature quite a bit of undulation. Players that are very precise with their iron play will likely be the ones that are giving themselves the most good looks at birdies. This course is also extremely well bunkered and features a few scary tee shots with water. If you can keep your ball in play, that should take precedent over pure distance this week. Typically par-5's are where PGA Tour players make hay, but The Concession's toughest holes include most of the par-5's. Players will really have to execute each shot to give themselves a good look a birdie on the long holes this week. Short game play and putting will be a change up with the Tour now heading to Florida after a month out West. The Concession features Bermuda greens, as compared to the bumpy poa annua greens at Riviera, Pebble Beach, and Torrey Pines. Grain is always important to account for in Florida, and those who grew up in the South are typically the best at it.
FanDuel Value Picks
Tony Finau ($11,200)
At some point it has to all come together for Finau. He has now gone 4th-T2-T2-2nd over his last four starts worldwide. The playoff loss last week to Max Homa had to be the most difficult, as he narrowly missed putts on both playoff holes that would have first won it and then extended the playoff. Finau's ball-striking is so good right now, ranking fifth in SG: Tee-to-Green and 10th in SG: Approach, not to mention his putter has been heating up as well. I'm not sure how you don't continue to ride Finau.
Tyrrell Hatton ($11,000)
This is an amazing field, but Hatton has played like a top-5 player in the world over the past year or so. The Englishman is coming in rested off a Middle East run that saw him win the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, finish T22 in Dubai and T6 in Saudi Arabia. Hatton is elite with both his irons and putting, which makes for a pretty stellar combination. He also had good vibes in Florida after winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational last year.
Daniel Berger ($10,600)
Berger took the week off after his win at Pebble Beach where he was dialed in across the board. It was his third top-10 in four starts this season. Berger ranks 10th in birdie average and 14th in scoring averaging this season. The 27-year-old also grew up and went to college in Florida, so he will be good at adjusting to the different conditions and grasses the players will face at The Concession.
Sungjae Im ($10,200)
It's almost crazy to think that the man that is known for playing everywhere took a whole two weeks off prior to this WGC. That rest may pay off for Im, who has been as good as anyone over the last two seasons in Florida. The 22-year-old won the Honda Classic and finished solo third at the Arnold Palmer Invitational last year. He also finished T3 at Bay Hill and T4 at the Valspar Championship in 2019. Im ranks 13th in SG: Off-the-Tee and 16th in birdie average this season.
Longer Shots with Value
Joaquin Niemann ($9,800)
Niemann at under five figures presents some nice value for how strong of a player he has become. The 22-year-old ranks 12th in SG: Tee-to-Green, 20th in GIR percentage, ninth in SG: Total, fifth in birdie average, and fourth in scoring average this season. Niemann's improvements with both his short game and putter have taken him to the next level. He has just one finish worse than T23 in nine starts this season.
Matthew Fitzpatrick ($9,500)
Fitzpatrick is coming off a strong top-five showing at Riviera where he was 22nd in SG: Putting and 12th in SG: Tee-to-Green. We've always known that the Englishman was elite with the flats tick, but his improved ball-striking is the reason he is knocking on the door of a spot in the top 15 of the OWGR. Fitzpatrick has also played well in Florida over the past couple seasons.
Harris English ($8,900)
The reason English is down this low is because he had a poor West-coast swing, but now going back to the Southeast and Bermudagrass he should be much more comfortable. Make no mistake about it, English has been a top-10 player in the world for the last 12 months. He is top-10 this season in birdie average, scoring average, scrambling, and putts per round.
Ryan Palmer ($8,600)
Palmer is in the mix of one of his best seasons on Tour. He already has racked up a trio of top-four finishes and only missed one cut in eight starts. The 44-year-old has been strong all the way through the bag, ranking 16th in GIR percentage, 22nd in one-putt percentage, and 23rd in SG: Total. Palmer is also averaging north of five birdies per round, which ranks second on Tour. He'd be a strong option to round out a lineup with.
Strategy Tips This Week
Based on a Standard $60K Salary Cap
The field this week is incredibly deep and should allow for a multitude of different options when constructing lineups for this event. The unfamiliarity with this venue also provides added difficulties when trying to filter through the top players in the world this week. Being a Nicklaus-designed course, I'm going to lean on players who have been fairing well in all the approach statistics this season and also taking into account success on courses in Florida. Word from some of the people who have seen this course before is that some of the areas around the greens are very tricky, so that would be one final thing I would keep in mind when putting together lineups this week.