Michael Kim (+250 = Top 20) … Ultimate trick or treat. Although this endorsement is relative to the field like any other, his recent form glides just above grading on the curve. Since reconnecting with form strong enough to hang at this level in 2022, the 30-year-old has proven to be streaky. It’s one of the many pathways that spills into the same destination, but while he’s benefited, so have bettors who understand why he’s more attractive for this finish than perhaps most expectations. Bridged the regular season and the FedExCup Fall with a T5 at the Wyndham Championship and a T18 at the Shriners Children’s Open before a forgettable T41 at the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP where a second-round 75 disrupted. The sinister irony is that he’s one of the most balanced performers statistically over time.
Nate Lashley (+333 = Top 20) … The 40-year-old is scary good in these climes. After cutting his teeth on the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica with wins in Mexico, Ecuador and Miami in 2016, he prevailed at Puntacana Resort & Country Club’s Corales Golf Course in the Dominican Republic on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2017. He’s since add a pair of top 15s at Corales on the PGA TOUR as well as three top 10s in Puerto Rico, a T7 in Hawaii and a T11 in Mexico. While not all tracks are the same, of course, wind is a through line for which a confident approach game can yield so much success. Currently 24th on TOUR in greens in regulation and T17 in proximity. The bonus at El Cardonal at Diamonte is that he’s T14 in par-5 in scoring.
Matti Schmid (+120 = Top 40) … After securing his 2024 DP World Tour card with a solo second at the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucia Masters two weeks ago, this cat from Germany is poised to reach for the same on the PGA TOUR. Although 148th in the FedExCup, the 25-year-old hasn’t budged after opening the fall 1-for-3. His only payday was a T26 at the Shriners, but that’d pay off this prop at plus-value in the wake of the fresh injection of confidence and elimination of previous pressure to perform on his native circuit.
Kelly Kraft (+140 = Top 40) … It’s kind of spooky how certain rank-and-filers rise to the occasion when their backs are against the wall. If only being so clutch could translate in the long-term, they wouldn’t be sprinting to the finish line, but that’s a topic for another time. All that matters right now is that he’s been in his position before and delivered. He’s in it again right now and, well, once again he’s rising to the self-inflicted challenge. At 151st in the FedExCup, the 35-year-old is this close to securing conditional status at worst in 2024. Without having an appreciation for his past, that wouldn’t have been the smartest of bets when he concluding the regular season slotted 191st, but with top 25s in all three appearances in the fall, he’s suddenly a mild force. He’s always been among both the most accurate off the tee and the elite with the putter, but his most recent surge is due to an improved approach game.
Chris Gotterup (+240 = Top 20) … He won’t be dressed up as a non-member much longer. The 24-year-old is among the 30 grads of the 2023 Korn Ferry Tour, so this week’s opportunity at the World Wide Technology Championship is a free play. With nothing to lose, he can lean on his muscle off the tee and precision on approach on a course that rewards it to do something special.
Source : PGA Tour