I am not a great golfer. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not terrible. I regularly shoot low to mid 90s and can hold my own usually when playing with guys who are better than me. But golf is a tough sport and a large reason why is because it is so mental. When you’re confident, your swing feels great and you are hitting every fairway but the second you doubt yourself, you have no idea where your ball will end up with each swing.

A few weeks ago, I got paired up with a group of three men. Two brothers in their 40s and their father in his 70s. Now immediately I could tell the brothers were very good. It’s normal to get a little nervous when playing with good golfers that take it a bit more serious than you, but I wasn’t overly worried as I played this course regularly and knew I could hold my own. But boy was I wrong.

First hole, I snap hook one in the trees and lose a ball. Great start. I take a drop and hit my approach into the bunker. I miss my putt to get up and down for bogey and tap in double instead. Meanwhile, both brothers make birdie and even the old man taps in for par. Cool.

Next hole, I pull my driver again and nearly lost it in the woods but managed to find it and punch out of the thick stuff. You can already tell how this round was going though. I proceeded to play the worst golf of my entire life and it didn’t help that one of the brothers was putting for birdie every hole and even their old man was blitzing the course.

I kept trudging along hoping that my embarrassing play would turn around at some point. It never did. In fact, it got worse. By the time we reached the back nine, it looked like I had never picked up a club before that day. On one of the last holes, I even sliced an iron so badly that it nearly hit the brothers sitting in their cart as they were 20 yards ahead of me on a diagonal 45-degree angle.

You see, from the beginning of the round I lost my confidence and I let my mental game spiral out of control to the point where I could no longer hit normal shots that I had done 1000 times prior. I was too worried about keeping up with my opponents or eventually trying to have them not think I suck.

But in reality, who cares what they think? I was not competing against them but against myself. Why would I need to impress someone else when I am just playing for myself? It happens a lot though as it can be human nature to care what others think and that is why groupthink is so common in many circumstances. As it pertains to this DraftKings slate, there are multiple matchups that I think we can gain leverage but just playing for ourselves and avoiding the fear of others thinking you don’t know what you’re doing. At the end of the day, you are trying to win for you and nobody else so who cares if they think your lineup sucks or if you never should have played that fighter.

Michael Morales vs Max Griffin

Michael Morales is likely going to be a popular target on DraftKings as he is an undefeated fighter and has won by knockout in both of his UFC fights. He has scored well both times with 99+ points in each of those. But I have more interest in the underdog, Max Griffin. Not only am I expecting Griffin to be the lower owned side of the matchup, I truly believe he has a good chance at winning. From a skillset standpoint, they match up very well and Griffin arguably has just as much knockout power. This is an easy leverage spot that I am willing to get away from the popular consensus that Morales is a stud prospect that is going to run through the division.

Brunno Ferreira vs Nursulton Ruziboev

This one is perhaps my favorite leverage spot of the card if ownership shakes out how I expect it to. On the surface, we have two very similar fighters as they both have a ton of first-round finishes but both have seemingly multiple holes in their game as well. But the general consensus is that Ruziboev is a fraud with a padded record and we have seen Ferreira’s betting line get steamed all week. I expect that to be reflected in ownership with Ferreira being the much more popular fighter despite this being a high variance matchup where both fighters have finishing equity. This is basically a coinflip fight and I would not be surprised to see Ferreira double Ruziboev in ownership which seems obviously wrong. It never feels good to get away from the trendy pick that everyone is taking but remember, who cares what they think?

Ismael Bonfim vs Benoit Saint Denis

This one is not going to feel good as Bonfim has gained popularity from a highlight reel first-round knockout victory over Terrance McKinney in his UFC debut. But now he is being treated as another stud prospect despite facing a tough matchup in Saint Denis who we know is extremely durable. Saint Denis is also likely to have the grappling advantage and it is hard to know whether or not that will give Bonfim issues. I expect Bonfim to be more popular and Saint Denis to be one of the lowest owned underdogs despite having a high-upside grappling path if he were to pull off the upset. Most people expect Bonfim to torch Saint Denis in this fight but what happens if they are wrong?

The theme of this article each week is that we are trying to exploit ownership and gain leverage. You are not going to win a tournament by doing what everyone else is doing. We are not trying to impress everyone else, we are trying to win. Who cares what others think and go shoot a 108 proudly next time you hit the links. Best of luck this weekend, I’ll see you in the streets.