GOLF

Daily Fantasy Golf Helper: Olympic Men's Golf Competition

Which golfers should represent their countries well this week at the Olympic Men's Golf Competition at Kasumigaseki Country Club?

By now, you've probably dabbled in daily fantasy sports, but if not, don't worry. Now is a great time to start, especially with FanDuel's daily fantasy golf offering.

Golf can be one of the most exciting DFS 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 -- and we have daily fantasy golf projections and lineup building tools, too.

Let's take a look at some golfers to target this week.

Key Stats for the Olympic Men's Golf Competition at Kasumigaseki Country Club

- Strokes Gained: Approach
- Driving Distance
- Birdie or Better Rate
- Strokes Gained: Putting on Bentgrass
- Strokes Gained: Around the Green

For a more detailed breakdown on the course, check out my course primer.

Daily Fantasy Golfer Picks for the Olympic Men's Golf Competition

All stats cited below originate at FantasyNational. Strokes gained data includes stats from the past calendar year and is adjusted based on my field strength and recency tweaks. Putting surface splits also come from FantasyNational and include the past 100 rounds when possible, unless noted. All ranks and percentile ranks are among the field.

Best of the Best

Xander Schauffele, United States (FanDuel Salary: $11,800 | FanDuel Sportsbook Win Odds: +950) - Schauffele is a small-field, no-cut stud with wins at the 2017 TOUR Championship, the 2018 WGC-HSBC, the 2019 Tournament of Champions, and the 2020 TOUR Championship (based on 72-hole scoring). He's also pretty easily the best long-term adjusted golfer over the past year and ranks in the 92nd percentile in adjusted tee-to-green strokes gained. The all-around game is great for a no-cut event. Over the past 50 rounds in no-cut events, via FantasyNational, Schauffele gains an average of 1.5 strokes per round, second-best in the field.

Justin Thomas, United States ($11,600 | +1000) - Thomas also has a bevy of small-field, no-cut wins, including two at the CIMB Classic (2015 and 2016), the 2017 Tournament of Champions, the 2017 CJ CUP, 2017 Dell Technologies Championship, 2018 WGC-St. Jude, the 2019 BMW Championship, the 2019 CJ CUP, the 2020 Tournament of Champions, and the 2020 WGC-St. Jude. I think I got them all, but who knows? Thomas leads the field in strokes gained at no-cut events (1.6) over the past 50 such rounds on the PGA Tour. Point being: Thomas should fit the format well and has an elite tee-to-green game (92nd percentile).

Patrick Reed, United States ($11,100 | +1400) - Reed is replacing Bryson DeChambeau and has a lot of appeal even when we're seeking birdies. Reed ranks in the 91st percentile in birdie-or-better rate gained over the past 100 rounds and can thrive at smaller-field events, too. He has two WGC wins (2014 WGC-Cadillac Championship and 2020 WGC-Mexico) plus the 2015 Tournament of Champions, the 2016 and 2019 Northern Trust, and even the 2018 Masters would fit as a field smaller than 150 golfers.

The Near Elites

Cameron Smith, Australia ($10,500 | +2200) - Smith enters as one of the best putters in the field (85th percentile in adjusted strokes gained: putting over the past year) and one of the best wedge players (79th percentile in adjusted strokes gained: around the green). Smith also has a heavy handful of top-10 finishes at small-field events himself. Overall, he's in the 84th percentile in birdie-or-better rate gained among the field and has bounced back from two straight missed cuts with a 30th at the Travelers and a 33rd at The Open Championship.

Joaquin Niemann, Chile ($10,300 | +2000) - Niemann enters with question marks with his wedges (23rd percentile adjusted strokes gained: around the green) but green lights in the three other, more important categories. Niemann most recently finished 59th at The Open Championship but has been heating up with the putter long-term, which leads to upside over four guaranteed rounds.

Corey Conners, Canada ($10,200 | +2700) - Conners' tee-to-green numbers are strong even in a top-heavy field (he's in the 85th percentile in adjusted tee to green, or 9th in the field). Conners hasn't shied away in high-profile events recently, either. He has finished 7th at THE PLAYERS, 8th at the Masters, 17th at the PGA, cut at the U.S. Open, and 15th at the British Open.

Mid-Range Picks

Sungjae Im, South Korea ($10,000 | +2700) - Im withdrew from the British Open to focus on the Olympics. Medaling this week would allow Im to forgo a mandatory two-year military stint in South Korea, so we shouldn't expect him to come in with questionable motivation. That pairs well with a strong enough profile that includes strong driver (87th percentile) and putter stats (81st percentile) and birdie numbers (85th percentile).

Garrick Higgo, South Africa ($9,300 | +4100) - Higgo's meteoric rise (two European Tour wins and a PGA Tour win at the Palmetto Championship at Congaree within a two-month, five-start span) has crashed to earth (four missed cuts in his past five starts). That's a concern. However, we are getting a golfer who has been able to snap out of cold streaks with high-end performances (he reeled off three top-20s after three straight missed cuts earlier in 2021).

Si Woo Kim, South Korea ($9,000 | +4500) - Kim, like Im, also withdrew from The Open Championship to prepare for the Olympics, so we have that angle going this week. Kim is rating out as one of the best values in my stats-plus-form model for this week's field, and that stems from above-average tee-to-green stats and strong birdie numbers (82nd percentile).

Low-Salaried Picks

Guido Migliozzi, Italy ($8,900 | +4500) - Migliozzi ranks 11th in datagolf's true strokes gained: approach numbers over the past 20 rounds across all Tours with Shotlink data, and he's 5th in overall true strokes gained in that sample. Spanning back 50 rounds, he's still 22nd in true strokes gained, pitting him as one of the better plays in the low salary range.

Jhonattan Vegas, Venezuela ($8,500 | +5000) - Vegas ranks in the 89th percentile in birdie-or-better rate gained over the past 100 rounds and should be able to rack up fantasy points regardless of how he finishes, a welcomed variation for lower-salaried plays. We're accessing elite ball-striking for four guaranteed rounds, so when the putter warms up, we're getting fantasy points and leaderboard positioning.

Carlos Ortiz ($8,400 | +6000) - Ortiz is the best long-term golfer in the field among those with a salary below $9,000, and he also has the best win odds among such golfers, per my win simulations. His iron play is just okay, but there are minimal red flags in his profile.

Antoine Rozner, France ($8,100 | +8000) - Rozner's $8,100 salary is on point for his overall recent stats, but over the past 50 rounds, datagolf has him ranked 9th in their true strokes gained: off the tee and 17th in true strokes gained: approach. The ball-striking appeal is way better than the overall game is, so that's something we could take advantage of in a no-cut event.

Mito Pereira, Chile ($7,800 | +15000) - Pereira has a similar case as Rozner, though his Shotlink sample remains small (14 rounds). That does show elite tee-to-green play, specifically with driver. After two Korn Ferry Tour wins, Pereira's PGA Tour finishes have been cut, 34th, 5th, and 6th.