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The 7 most underrated players at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational



We commence one of the best two-week stretches on the PGA Tour on Thursday, with the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational before the pros travel to Whistling Straits for the year’s final major.

DraftKings has taken note of this week’s stellar field (48 of the top 50 in the world) and is offering a $400,000 contest. First place gets the usual $100,000, but runner-up takes home $20,000 and a bronze showing garners a whopping $10,000.

As usual, it’s a measly $3 entry fee. Enter HERE to play!

Next week’s PGA Championship is offering $1 million to the winner, so for this two-week stretch, it’s definitely time to dial in your fantasy picks and earn some big money.

Let’s start with my advice for the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

The Course

A par-70 that plays 7,400 yards, the South Course at Firestone Country Club is a long layout that some say tends to favor bombers. But the fairways here are tree-lined and the rough is no joke, so accurate drivers have been known to excel here, too.

Actually, combine those two and you see the long, accurate hitter really finds himself at a distinct advantage at Firestone. As Keegan Bradley noted, you have to hit a lot of drivers here and getting in the fairway is key.

Otherwise, Firestone has been characterized as a ball-striker’s layout, further promoting the idea of driving’s importance as well as trumpeting great iron play.

I created a five-year, top-10 sample at this event from 2010-2014 to check these assumptions, though.

What I found: Approach play and driving were paramount in the sample. Short game and putting mattered but not nearly to the same extent. Accurate hitters were advantaged, but short hitters fared just as well as bombers.

If you can hit it long and straight at Firestone, that’s still huge, but’s it certainly more important to be accurate than long.

This is indeed a ball-striking layout, where precision counts the most.

My Underrated Players

With the heightened and condensed field, the lowest DraftKings total for a given player is $7,000 — that figure is also inflated by this being a no-cut event. Consequently, I have several players in the $7,000s this week who I feel are underpriced.

With that caveat, here we go…

Keegan Bradley ($8,800)

Bradley had a miserable Open Championship (75-72 and a MC) but he had put together a great stretch previously.

He’s also a perfect course fit as one of the premier long, accurate drivers in the world with a robust approach game. Combine that with his results to show for it (1-T2-T4 in his past three Firestone starts) and he’s a no-brainer pick at any price this week.

Billy Horschel ($7,900)


The former Gator is a borderline long-hitter but commands outstanding accuracy. Horschel’s transformed into a great putter but he retains his roots as the precise tee-to-green player that the South Course favors.

Billy Ho has also put together an extended run of great golf since the Players Championship. All that’s missing from that run is a really high finish, and it’s time to capitalize on this week’s attractive layout.

Branden Grace ($7,800)

His play is all just too good right now to ignore; Grace has top-20s in five of his past seven starts, and at varied layouts as well. He should definitely be at a higher price given his form, we’re happily taking him here.

Ryan Moore ($7,600)

A T16-T23-T33-T8 slate at Firestone is honestly a pretty good one, but Moore should be better.

After all, he possesses a really accurate game tee-to-green that screams for Firestone. He really started to work off that in last year’s T8, but there’s still room to grow.

Moore’s play is up-and-down at the moment, but I have to go with a guy who’s bound to break out on this course quite soon. It should only help that Moore is overdue for a big performance this season.

J.B. Holmes ($7,500)


This is a total flyer pick. His course fit is pretty bad (not accurate and a poor approach player) and his last two events are CUT-MDF.

Holmes’ game was on point just last month, though, and when things have been clicking for him in 2015, the results have been wildly successful. I have a hunch his game returns this week. If it does, it will in a big way, enough to overcome poor course fit.

Shane Lowry ($7,500)

The Irishman really did have a good stretch going before a missed cut at the Open Championship.

And even then a fluke quadruple-bogey was really the only thing that stilted his week.

I just like the way he’s playing, which means I’ll gladly scoop him up here.

Ben Martin ($7,300)

The recent results (CUT-T64-T74) are misleading. Martin was near the halfway lead at the U.S. Open before faltering to T64 and was in line for a potential top-20 at the Open Championship before a final-day 77.

So he’s playing a lot better than you may think.

Martin’s first appearance at this event comes this week, but Firestone is the exact type of classic accuracy-based ball-striker’s course where his game excels.

Even if they’re buried, the positive signs for Martin at Firestone are overwhelming.

Don’t forget to enter the $400,000 contest here!

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Kevin's fascination with the game goes back as long as he can remember. He has written about the sport on the junior, college and professional levels and hopes to cover its proceedings in some capacity for as long as possible. His main area of expertise is the PGA Tour, which is his primary focus for GolfWRX. Kevin is currently a student at Northwestern University, but he will be out into the workforce soon enough. You can find his golf tidbits and other sports-related babble on Twitter @KevinCasey19. GolfWRX Writer of the Month: September 2014



  1. Chris Eckes

    Aug 5, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    I went with Na/Willett/Leishman/Horschel/Koepka/Fowler

  2. JD

    Aug 5, 2015 at 11:51 am

    KB….it’s over!

  3. Christosterone

    Aug 5, 2015 at 10:15 am

    Ryan Moore is an assassin with a beautiful tempo…
    It is befuddling why he has not done more on tour…while he has been solid, many of us thought he would take the tour by storm…
    My only thought is that his wrist injury(very early in his pro career) sent him into a rabbit hole…we all remember when he decided to start his backswing at 3 o’clock for about half a season…
    I am a huge fan of his and hope he can make a Ryder Cup at some point because Moore can curb stomp opponents in match play….

    • Christosterone

      Aug 5, 2015 at 5:13 pm

      Another solid post from the champ

  4. Pat M

    Aug 4, 2015 at 8:16 pm

    I cannot stand Keegan Bradley and his sidekick Pepsi. I do like the other guys especially JB Holmes.

    • Christosterone

      Aug 5, 2015 at 5:12 pm

      I’m a Mountain Dew man myself

      • Christosterone

        Aug 5, 2015 at 9:18 pm

        Mountain Dew is kinda gross…
        As the actual, original Christosterone, I love diet dr pepper…

  5. Martin

    Aug 4, 2015 at 7:04 pm

    Keegan underrated?

    Probably the most overrated US pro the past couple of seasons, and painful to watch.

    • Kevin Casey

      Aug 4, 2015 at 7:30 pm

      I’m not saying he’s underrated overall in the landscape of golf. I’m saying that he’s underrated for this week’s event. For Bradley, I think $8,800 or less is a pretty accurate price most weeks, but, like any player, if he really excels at a certain event, his value is worth a lot more than his average.

      I feel that is the case this week. Firestone is a really good course for him (and if you don’t take my word for it, he’s already said it’s his favorite Tour track) and his recent results here are, as I noted above, 1-T2-T4. This is a layout that really brings his game up, and thus his value for the week. While most weeks he plays like an $8,000-ish player, he’s generally competed like an $11,000-$12,000 player at the Bridgestone.

      So, that’s why I say Keegan is underrated at $8,800 this week. He’s underrated at $8,800 for the Bridgestone, historically his best event on the entire schedule. I’m only talking about his value and how it pertains to this event. Just wanted to clarify my point there. And yeah I agree with you on watching him play. Painful is definitely the right word there haha.

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