The Greenbrier Preview: The 2019-20 Season Tees Off
The Greenbrier Preview: The 2019-20 Season Tees Off

This article is part of our DraftKings Euro Tour series.

Just like that, we are back at it. Hey, at least we got a two-week break this year as opposed to the single week last year. And what have we learned since last season ended? Well, the only answer is nothing — it's only been two weeks. 

As for this week and the events that follow during the fall season, even though it's not the "silly season" that it once was, there's definitely a different feel to these events, and it's best to expect the unexpected. The favorites rarely come through during the fall season and at least one rookie usually wins before November. Just who that rookie will be this season is unclear, but there are plenty of good options from which to choose. 

This week we head to the Greenbrier and the Old White Course, which has been the only course used for this event, which means plenty of course history. As for recent form, well that's going to be tricky as most of these golfers haven't played in a professional event for weeks.    

This Week: A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier – The Old White Course, White Sulphur Springs, W.V.  

Last Year: No event last year. Kevin Na shot a final-round 64 on his way to a six-stroke victory over Jason Kokrak in 2017.

FAVORITES

Bryson DeChambeau (12-1) 

DeChambeau struggled to find his best form in 2018-19 and was undoubtedly affected by his slow-play critics, but a new season could provide a breath of fresh air. DeChambeau wasn't in great form when he ended last season, however, and he still may be a bit off from his best form entering this week. He's a contender, but probably shouldn't be the favorite. DeChambeau has played this event once and ended with a T14.          

Viktor Hovland (16-1)   

Speaking of rookies who could win during fall, Hovland comes in with high expectations. And from everything we've seen, he'll likely live up to them. Although he did not win this summer, he was often in contention and gobbled up plenty of high finishes. He took that momentum to the Korn Ferry Tour Finals and earned his card for this season, which he should easily parlay into a top-125 ranking this season. As for this week, he once again is teeing it up at a new course, but that hasn't slowed him at all in the few months since he turned pro.         

Jason Kokrak (16-1) 

Kokrak is coming off a great season and will look to carry that momentum into the new season. Kokrak has actually put a couple good seasons together recently, and his previous was bolstered by a runner-up to Kevin Na at this event when it was held in July. Considering he was in pretty good form throughout the FedEx Cup Playoffs, he should contend again this season.                

MID-TIER GOLFERS                      

Sungjae Im (22-1) 

Im played in nearly ever event last season. While we joke about the small break between seasons, Im has probably been going nuts having to wait two full weeks to play. With the extended break, perhaps he will come in refreshed this week and show the form that propelled him into the top-30 last season.             

Bubba Watson (25-1) 

Watson could be the poster child for "horses for courses" as he's generally in sync with a course or he's not, but as we all know, every rule has exceptions. At the Old White Course, Watson is just pretty good. Not great, not bad, just pretty good. He's also due for a bounce-back this season as he's rotated good and bad seasons the last four years. If you are in that camp, this might be a spot where he starts his "comeback" season.         

Russell Henley (30-1) 

Henley is coming off of his worst season on the PGA Tour, but that doesn't mean it was a terrible season. Henley still managed to finish in the top 100 on the FedEx points list and is in a good spot to get off to a good start this season. Henley has four starts at this event and has finished in the top 10 in three of those starts.               

LONGSHOTS

Harold Varner III (55-1)  

Varner III's struggles closing out events is well documented, but that's to be expected of a guy who doesn't have much experience in the spotlight. Now that he's been through that a couple times and in some big spots, he should be better the next time he's in position to win. The fall season is perfect for guys like Varner, who have no problem playing well early, but sometimes struggle late in the week as there just isn't as much pressure.          

Austin Cook (70-1)  

It's unclear if complacency set in last season, but whatever the case, Cook's production from year one to year two took a nosedive. Without the benefit of his card sewn up for next season, Cook will have to find his game once again. I think he finds it, and it starts early in the season. Cook carded a top-5 here in his only start at this event.          

ONE AND DONE GOLFER 

Highly Owned Pick: Viktor Hovland - He's coming in hot and there aren't many big names in the field this week. He'll win at some point this season, why not during the fall portion of the schedule? My opinion of Hovland might be higher than most, so I would save him for the regular season when the purses are higher, but I can't argue with this pick.                

Moderately Owned Pick: Jason Kokrak - It's always tough to gauge where the ownership will be during the fall season as many OAD players refuse to burn any big names, which is why Kokrak will probably have high ownership. Again, can't argue with this pick — in fact it might be the best one on the board as I'm not thinking about saving him for any specific spot during the 2020 portion of the season.          

Lightly Owned Pick: Austin Cook - After his subpar season, there's no reason to think that Cook will he highly owned this week, but if my hunch is right, he could burn a lot of owners this week. Cook has a lot of talent and for whatever reason, he never got going last season. Look for the fresh start to help with his mindset this week.                      

Buyer Beware: Bryson DeChambeau - DeChambeau is the favorite this week, but it's only because he's the biggest name in the field. Considering he's coming off a season in which he underperformed, it's probably wise to save DeChambeau for 2020.                     

This Week: Austin Cook - I'm not a fan of using big names early or in fall for that matter, which is why I always look for the golfers just off the radar this time of year. Cook fits the bill as he won't be highly owned, yet the upside is there as he has won on the PGA Tour and finished T5 in his only start here.                                               

FANDUEL PICKS  

High/Mid/Low: Viktor Hovland ($12,100)/Russell Henley ($10,700)/Doc Redman ($8,800) 

SURVIVOR PICK 

This Week: Russell Henley - Ownership comes into play when considering your OAD pick, but not so much when making your Survivor play, which is why I am playing it safe with Henley this week, even though he will be highly owned. Henley has four starts here and hasn't come close to missing the cut. 

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Greg Vara plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: lennykarl1, DraftKings: lennykarl1.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Greg Vara
Vara is the lead golf writer at RotoWire. He was named the FSWA Golf Writer of the Year in 2005 and 2013. He also picks college football games against the spread in his "College Capper" article.
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