Hello Degenerates and welcome to my first weekly article previewing the Draftkings PGA slate for the upcoming tournament. Every week I’ll give a brief course preview and let you know which stats I’ll be focusing my models around. I’ll give 2-3 plays I like in each the $10k+, $9900-$8500, $8500-$7000 and sub $7k. Without further ado let’s jump into this week’s preview.
Welcome to the biggest party on the PGA Tour…this week’s event is none other than the Waste Management Phoenix Open played at TPC Scottsdale. The caddie races at the 16thwere outlawed a few years back but that still hasn’t stopped the fans from turning the 16thhole into one of the most unique scenes on tour every year. After all where else on tour can you hear audible booing after pulled iron shots and missed 3 footers?
The Course and Key Stats
TPC Scottsdale is a par 71 that plays just over 7,200 yards. 10 of the 11 par 4’s play over 400 yards with 5 of them being over 450 yards. With yardages like that you might assume immediately that this course favors the long hitters. Previous tournament history tells us that this is not true. Looking back at past winners shows us a who’s who of ball strikers with Gary Woodland taking the crown last year preceded by back-to-back wins for Hideki Matsuyama. The par 5’s are all scoring holes and played as the 1st, 2nd, and 4theasiest holes on the course. It’ll be important for these guys to score on these holes. With that being said these will be the 5 key stats I’ll be focusing on this week.
- SG: Approach
- SG: Ball Striking
- Opportunities Gained
- SG: Par 5’s
- SG: Par 4’s 450-500
Justin Thomas ($11,000)
JT showed up at the top of my model and this was no surprise as he’s the highest ranked player in the Official World Golf Rankings in the field, and he’s coming off a successful, albeit slightly disappointing Hawaii swing. He’s top 5 in the field in all key stats I’m looking at this week and gained a ridiculous 16.5 stokes on the field with his approach game over his 2 starts in Hawaii. I’ll be targeting Thomas both in GPP and Cash this week as his ownership may be driven down by the popularity of…
Hideki Matsuyama ($10,700)
How can you not mention a guy who has 4 top 4 finishes, including 2 wins in his last 4 finishes at this tournament? He W/D’d last year after the first round with an injury but his course history is absolutely stellar. His recent form and stats are among the best in the field as well. He shows at #2 in my model and is coming off an impressive weekend at Torrey Pines where he finished T3. Hideki will without a doubt be one of, if not the most popular play in the field this week. He’s a lock for me in cash games and I’ll have some exposure to him in GPP’s as well, despite his high ownership. Fade at your own risk.
Gary Woodland ($9,900)
Last year’s defending champion pops in my model as well. His approach game has been stellar in the 2019 season thus far and outside of a hiccup at the Sony Open, his putter seems to be coming along as well. Woodland used his strong tee to green game to prevail over Chez Reavie in a playoff last year. His iron play should once again carry him to a good finish at TPC Scottsdale. He should also be highly owned this week, but I’d have a hard time fading him in GPP’s considering his up side.
Rickie Fowler ($9,400)
After a somewhat lackluster start to his 2019 calendar year season, Rickie returns to a course where he has finished inside the top 11 the last 3 years. Rickie is an elite scorer on long par 4’s and while his performance at Torrey Pines left many asking for more, it was the first time he had made the cut in that event in his last 4 starts. He’ll look to redeem himself after squandering a Sunday lead last year. Rickie is a GPP play for me this week, as I need to see a bit more consistency from him before putting him into my cash lineups.
Billy Horschel ($8,800)
Horschel has been as consistent as they come to begin this wrap around season. He’s 6/6 in made cuts, and has come in the top 25 in each of his last 4 events including an 8thplace finish at Torrey Pines last week. His consistency makes him a cash lock for me this week.
Keegan Bradley ($7,800)
Keegan is another elite ball striker. He’s top 10 in the field in both SG: APP and SG: BS. He’s 6/6 in made cuts for the wrap around season and if his putter gets hot he can really go low. He’s in play for me this week in both cash games and GPP’s as this range of the field is crowded which should spread out ownership.
Jason Kokrak ($7,300)
Kokrak has been flying under the radar the last couple weeks despite posting back-to-back Top 20’s. He was making a charge in the final round at Torrey before a few bad shots took him out of contention. More popular plays like Niemann, Im, and likely Gooch in this range make him a perfect GPP play.
Joel Dahmen ($6,800)
It’s not every week I have a guy who comes in the top 5 of my model, coming off a top 10 finish the week before in this range, but here we have Mr. Dahmen. He hasn’t missed a cut since last year’s Dell Championship and his game seems to be trending in the right direction. If you want to pay up in cash for the $10k+ range, I like him the most as an under $7k cash play. He’s also a strong GPP play, which should give you some flexibility.
Trey Mullinax ($6,700)
Mullinax is a bomber who scores well on par 5’s, but it was his ball striking that carried him to a top 25 finish last week. He gained 6.8 shots on the field with his approach game at Torrey. If his irons stay hot this week he’s as god a bet as any in this range to make the cut and provide some birdies. I’ll be on him in GPP’s this week.
Anders Albertson ($6,300)
Albertson finds himself in the top 20 of my model this week, and his price is an absolute bargain. He’s coming off a missed cut last week but still gained strokes on the field with his approach game. There is substantially less trouble off the tee at TPC Scottsdale than there is at Torrey Pines so he should be able to right the ship this week. He had made 5 straight cuts prior to last week so he’s another guy that could make a cut and give you savings to pay up in other places.
This brings us to the end of this week’s preview. Feel free to contact me on twitter @DFSduncan with any questions or suggestions.
I wish you all luck and green screens!