Written by: Scott Schaeffer
Four of the five NLU crew members have a very real chance to emerge victorious in this 2019-2020 "reach"-around season. Soly's living on a prayer. TC will hope to perform in wake of the controversy stirred up by an accounting error that took place following last week's results. All picks are highlighted below:
"THE READ": An advocate for the first round leader bets, DJ is used to having a lot of his bets settled within the first couple days of the week. This week, however, he is passing that baton to Neil and delaying his potential gratification until Monday's finish. An eagle at the 72nd for the eventual champion could also crown DJ as the 2020 DK Sportsbook champion.
Billy Ho will start the week at even par, a full 10 shots behind Dustin Johnson. However, he will only be a few shots out of the Top 10, giving him a chance to cash DJ's pick to Top 10 pick at a venue Billy has obviously been successful on in the past. JT is one of the few with a chance to emerge victorious this week realistically. If DJ is to unexpectedly stumble, JT may have the most realistic shot to overtake him. If all goes to hell in a handbasket, Berger to beat the big golfer will be DJ Pie's last chance to hang on to the NLU DK Sportsbook title.
"THE READ": Have you been paying attention? Harris English is absoulutely flushing it. And in a matchup with Hideki and his stinky putting, no one would be surprised to see Harris top him this week. Similarly, Berger and Morikawa have been flushing it all year. Expect more of the same if either or both is to finish the week in the Top 5 and cash a 7-figure bonus check.
The beefy boy Bryson has had a slow start to the playoffs, falling down the standings and also on the starting leaderboard this week. However, his slip has allowed Randy to scoop him up to Top 3 at what may be inflated odds at 5.5:1. As mentioned in the video, he will now likely need to root against his JT pick knowing that DJ has also picked Thomas for more units.
"THE READ": Neil's week will be wrapped up quickly. Starting 1st and 3rd on the leaderboard respectively, Neil has chosen Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas to lead after Friday's opening round. Neither would be a particularly surprising leader after the opening 18, but Jon Rahm could be primed to jump up and completely spoil Neil's week before Saturday even rolls around.
Should DJ hold his lead through round 1, Neil's wager likely isn't enough to pass DJ Pie and Randy unless they have entirely fruitless weeks. Interesting strategy...
"THE READ": Again zigging while others zag, TC has his eyes on Springfield, IL and a former NCAA champion in Braden Thornberry to turn in an impressive week. Tron is backing Braden to win and hedging with Top 10 while the others have their eyes solely on the Tour's supposed "Super Bowl" in Atlanta.
Sungjae has struggled to find the form since returning from the COVID break. TC is hoping he turns the corner this week and moves up from his starting T6 position into the Top 5. JT may have a hard time topping DJ given his three stroke deficit. However, if he's able to close that gap at all, it may be enough to earn him the title of low gross for the week, matching Tron's prediction above. A large "patent" hit could catapult TC from 4th to 1st in the standings, though I'm sure others will beware of his accounting methods if that is the case.
"THE READ": Look, he's built himself a grave. He's climbed in it. But don't bury him yet. Soly is taking three big, albeit unlikely swings at an incredible turnaround this week. Xander particularly loves East Lake, entering this week having turned in rounds of par or better in 8 straight rounds at ELGC. Unfortunately, spotting DJ 7 shots may be too much of a gap to overcome this week.
Bryson and Finau also are forced into the unfortunate task of chasing down golf's hottest player starting the week at a deficit. Bryson is certainly capable of taking it deep at any time with the combination of his driver and much improved putting. I just don't see his profile meshing well at East Lake where the bermuda rough is so penal. Finau has been Soly's ride or die, but if he can't win a tournament where everyone starts with the same score, I can't imagine him overcoming a deficit to break his recent trend.
"THE READ": Rors may be "freed up" now that his wife and newborn daughter Poppy are both healthy and happy at home. I believe he'll go out and play some impressive golf this week even though he's likely too far back to win. I believe the same will be true for Xander, who should be "freed up" at a comfortable venue for him even despite decidedly not becoming a father this week. Hideki and Finau showed dramatic improvement on the greens last week that I'm hoping will travel with them from Chicago to Atlanta. DJ has had his share of struggles around East Lake, which is why I'll take my chances on Rahm to make it back to back wins to capture his first FedEx Cup this week
The standings below are as of completion of play last week. I know they are not at all the same as the graphics that appeared in the video...but trust my accounting methods have been thorough and above board. If you like my perspective and want more content related to the crew's picks and year-to-date status, I can be found on twitter and instagram @total_misread.