Golf Channel (NBC Sports Predictor App)
The Golf Channel has an exciting fantasy golf game for 2019.
The format is simple as you pick six head-to-head matchups. Then you pick a winner and winning score.
The winner/winners split this week's prize of $1,500. Anyone that earns 60 points for the week is also given an entry to the FootJoy $100,000 Championship which is a multi-week elimination-style contest that will take place later in the season.
We will provide our picks for the format below and then provide some notes about why we chose our matchup picks or why we like a certain golfer to win.
Top Weekly Score: 85 pts
Hideki Matsuyama (-20)
Jordan Spieth has bested Koepka in 48% of their career rounds when playing the same course on the same day. However, if we isolate that to performance over the last year then Koepka has beaten Spieth in 29-of-48 rounds played (60%). Spieth has the local knowledge but Koepka has the season-long form to outlast a struggling Spieth.
Matsuyama and Stenson is a battle of ball-striking but Matsuyama delivers the goods through elite driving and elite iron play. For Stenson it's really reliant on the irons.
Next up we have Leishman versus Grace. They bring a similar profile to the table and play well at similar style of courses. What's the tiebreaker, then? Well, Grace has lost 2.5 strokes tee-to-green over the last 3 months while Leishman is +8.5 in that category over the same span. I like Leishman's chances to get back into contention.
Mitchell versus Walker is an easy one for me. Mitchell has raved about his love for bermudagrass and he's backed it up by improving over his baseline metrics by over half a stroke per round when playing on bermuda.
Lastly, we have a battle of the 90s. Ernie Els has lost strokes to the field in five of his last six starts while Donald is showing a bit of form since returning from injury. He's gained strokes over the field in two of his last three starts en route to top 35s at the Valspar and RBC Heritage. I'll give a slight lean to the Englishman.
Top Weekly Score: 65 pts
Scott Piercy (-18)
Piercy ranks 19th on TOUR in the All-Around and 27th in Birdie or Better Percentage. He checks in off a T13 at the Zurich two weeks ago in defense of the team title with Billy Horschel.
The week prior, the 40-year-old went for a season-best T3 at the RBC Heritage (also on Bermuda greens), one of five top 10s this season in 15 starts, which slots him T7 in top-10 finishes on the season.
He tied for 32nd in last year's Nelson, the inaugural edition at Trinity Forest GC, which included a bogey-free 66 in R2. Overall, the Las Vegas resident is 5-for-8 in the tourney with three top 20s and one top 10, a T5 in 2013 (TPC Four Seasons).
Piercy's teammate at the Zurich, Horschel, won this event in 2017, and I'm looking for Piercy to follow in those footsteps this week.