Last week was a gross tournament, although we were high on Rickie Fowler and it was great to see him get a win. A lot of my picks made some noise, headlined by Fowler, Gary Woodland, Jimmy Walker, Billy Horschel, and Wesley Bryan, but ultimately it was a losing week. Let’s move on to our first WGC of the year, the newly-minted WGC-Mexico.
Daily and weekly fantasy sports have become all the rage. Battling it out over an entire season is fun, but sites like DraftKings offer a quicker payoff and big payouts for winners! Not only do they offer daily action in the four major professional sports (MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL) as well as college basketball and football but also the PGA Tour.
Your DraftKings lineup is made up of six golfers you select from within the $50,000 salary cap.
Each week DraftKings offers a wide selection of games to enter at a variety of price points. You can even get a feel for the game in a freeroll contest. Before you put your cash on the line, I'll offer my Top Values and Steals in this space every week, specifically geared to help build a winning DraftKings squad. I'll also give you my Overpriced golfers to avoid and a couple of “Vegas Says…” tips to help you find those players for GPPs.
The Club de Golf Chapultepec hosts this week’s WGC-Mexico and is marked at 7,330 yards, but will play significantly less than that due to the high altitude at which the course is located. There are a lot of ways to try to calculate altitude, but my best estimate is that the course will play about 600 yards shorter than the posted yardage. That tends to even the field in terms of distance, and the tree-lined fairways further skew this course towards the more accurate hitters. I have several comp courses that I’ll list later, many of which are applicable to the European Tour players in this field. The course features kikuyu fairways and rough – which we’ve seen recently at Torrey Pines and Riviera – and poa annua greens. I noticed that the par-5s are very long, which again may mitigate the advantage of the bombers. Par-4 scoring is going to be critical this week, since we have 11 par-4s this week, some of which are extremely short. It should be a birdie fest, and I think the winner will be the player who wins par-4 scoring for the week.
Recent Tournament History
We are going to ignore recent tournament history because the event has moved from Doral to the Club de Golf Chapultepec, in Mexico. We will have to rely on recent form and statistics this week.
Current Form Review
Each week, we’ll look backward at the last three tournaments on the PGA and European Tours. I have included the top-20 from the past three events: the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, the Genesis Open, and last week’s Honda Classic.
Birdie or Better % (BoB%): There are really not many weeks where we aren’t going to target birdie or better percentage, because that’s what fantasy golf scoring is all about. Guys like Justin Thomas, Daniel Berger, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, and Hideki Matsuyama come to mind in this week’s field when targeting birdie makers. Bombers, you see. It’s possible to have a player finish top-10 in fantasy points while not finishing anywhere close to the top-10 in the actual event.
Strokes Gained Approach (SG:APP): Because this course is new to us, targeting strokes gained metrics is a great place to start. The course is narrow and greens will be tough to hit, so SG:APP should isolate some ball-strikers who will give themselves the most birdie opportunities. If you have a player who sticks approach shots inside 10’ consistently, he’s going to shoot up the leaderboard and contend on Sunday. Some names that stand out in the field are Kevin Kisner, Justin Thomas, Jimmy Walker, Brendan Steele, and Francesco Molinari.
Par 4 Scoring (P4): Since we have a par-71, players will contend with an extra par-4 this week. Because of that, P4 scoring will be key. Guys like Justin Thomas, Jason Dufner, William McGirt, Francesco Molinari, and Rickie Fowler pop out as names to target in this metric. Par-3 scoring will also be crucial, but I think par-4 scoring will separate the winner from the other contenders.
Correlating courses that I’ll take a small look at this week are Riviera and Torrey Pines (due to similar grass types), TPC Kuala Lumpur (CIMB Classic), and three European Tour venues: Crans Sur Sierre (Omega European Masters), Wentworth (BMW PGA Championship), and Woburn (British Masters rotation).