The Daily Spin – DraftKings Daily Fantasy Golf Preview – BMW Championship

Zachary Turcotte
By Zachary Turcotte August 14, 2019 08:48

The Daily Spin – DraftKings Daily Fantasy Golf Preview – BMW Championship

The first leg of the FedEx Cup is complete and the field is now down to 70 players for the next round. Patrick Reed came through for us over the weekend and delivered what felt like a very fitting win with Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty in the background. With chants of ‘USA’ and ‘Captain America’, Reed saved his most inspired performance of the year for this moment, vaulting him up the standings for the playoffs as well the President’s Cup where he now sits in 12th place, threatening to automatically qualify with another big performance. We talked about motivation last week. While a lot of golfers would look at the President’s Cup as a step down from the Ryder Cup, which it is to some degree, Patrick Reed built his brand on his performance at the 2016 Ryder Cup where he crushed the spirits of the Europeans again and again, punctuating his weekend with a dramatic win over Rory McIlroy. No matter how much controversy swirls around Reed throughout the rest of his career, for decades to come, fans around the US will look back at that moment and feel pride in the victory that Reed inspired. That is why even as I look at the President’s Cup as being somewhat of a secondary honor for many players, in Reed’s case, it has added meaning and therefore, I do believe that his play the last couple of months was focused towards an automatic qualification slot.

Overall, it was another great weekend for me as my cash team cruised to another easy win. I cannot recall a time over the four years that I have been writing this column that I have ever run so hot in cash games. It’s been 11 weeks since I’ve had a true loss with my cash team which in golf is almost unheard of. It’s been so much fun to see the FGI Cash Game Brigade (FGICGB) charging up the leaderboards with me over and over. Seeing those logos up near the top is the best reward possible and then hearing from folks that have followed the strategy all season really pushes me to stay motivated to try to stay ahead of the rest of the pack. Typically, this is the time of year when I start to feel ready for a little break from PGA events, but this year, I am actually a little sad to see the season winding down since we’ve been able to grind out such nice profits this year. Then again, a break in golf means about two weeks off and then we are right back into the fray the second weekend in September as a new season tees off and we will have a full slate of about 10 events, plus the Hero to fill up the rest of the calendar year.

Obviously, the biggest reason for why we made money last week was that we owned Reed everywhere and he was a vital part of our cash game team as one of my four core plays for the week. $8100 was just a bizarre price considering his recent form coming in. A lot of golfers go into cruise control when the playoffs hit. Some even skip events as Paul Casey chose to last week. That is not Patricks Reed’s style as he’s played eight of the last nine weeks in an attempt to make a big move at the end of the year. Owning him in cash and having him in our GPP core paid off nicely. Jon Rahm and Justin Rose were two other golfers that I targeted near the top of the salary tiers and both played well. Rahm really should have won the tournament, but faltered on couple of easy holes on the back nine and then could not deliver a birdie on 16, which dropped him to third place for the week. Other solid core performers included: Adam Scott,Webb Simpson, Patrick Cantlay, Billy Horschel and Jason Kokrak. I talked myself into Jordan Spieth while doing the podcast last week and amazingly enough, it paid off as he finished in 6th place. While I cannot say I expected him to play that well, I did know that his ownership number would be very low and so my 15% share gave me about 2x on the field.

The only real disappoint in the core was Xander Schauffele and to a lesser extent, Brooks Koepka. Xander typically shows up in big spots, but really fell apart on Friday to blow the cut. It was a surprise that he missed the weekend, but we’ve seen that from him from time to time where he just gets a little out of rhythm and things just never come together. I am hoping that will present us with a contrarian play opportunity this week. Brooks was also disappointing. He was not bad in any of his four rounds, but had too many big numbers to compete. He still scored enough birdies to push his DK point totals up and it looked like a fast start on Sunday would give him a shot to salvage a Top-15 finish, but when you pay 12k for a player, you need a Top-3 finish to get value and Brooks certainly did not deliver that for us last week.

The only real spot where my player pool came up short was that I needed to hit one of the big value names that finished near the top at low ownership and it did not happen. I’ve probably thrown 10-15% shares at Abraham Ancer in about 60% of his starts this season. However, after a couple of missed cuts, I thought maybe he was just happy to make the playoffs. Wrong. Same story with Sneds as he is a golfer that I typically take some shots with, but he seemed to be slowing up so I skipped him. And of course. I did not own any shares of HVIII. He’s been a little erratic this year (15/25 cuts made) and had only two Top-10 finishes this season so he was never really someone I considered. While I had plenty of golfers that made the cut for me (I think I was 29/35 or something like that), my value players never made the big move for me into contention so I ended up with a bunch of teams that started: Rahm, Scott, Reed or Rose, Cantlay, Scott, Reed, they all ended with golfers like Sabbatini, Sungjae Im, Niemann, Piercy, Morikawa or Glover. It was still a profitable week on the GPP side of things, but when you have that much of the winner and plenty great supporting cast members up top, it hurts not to have it pay off in a huge way.

Moving on to the action at hand this week, the tour heads to the Chicago area for the BMW Championship at Medinah. The last time we were at Medinah for a big event was in the fall of 2012 when the US had one of the most epic collapses in golf history, blowing a huge lead on Sunday to lose to the Europeans by 1 point. Before that, the PGA Championship was played here in 2006 and 1999, both of which were won by Tiger Woods, though the course has certainly had its share of changes since then. In any case, it’s a much tougher layout than our normal tour course and plays as a long, Par 72 course that checks in at over 7,600 yards. Much of the distance added comes on the Par 3 and 5 holes. The shortest Par 3 is over 190 yards and the longest is over 240 yards. The Par 5s also have two holes that are around 610 yards. Five of the Par 4 holes play at 449 or greater, but overall the ten Par 4s are about average in length for what we are used to seeing each week.

Some folks are talking about this playing as a less than driver course this week as the fairways are tree lined and the rough could be higher than normal. I am doubting that this turns into an event where iron or wedge off the tee will be the preferred play. I am not seeing high winds coming into play and with the rains that are expected to hit this afternoon and evening, that should keep the course plenty soft and receptive to the big stick for most players. Keeping it in the fairway is certainly preferable, but these guys are not going to lay back on the Par 5s so those players that can go 320-330 off the tee should stay in attack mode trying to pick up birdies when able. This should be the type of course where the big names can really shine. I am sure there will be a couple of plodders that play elite golf with their long irons that hang around and contend this week and we will be rostering some of them, but in a smaller field like this, you are not going to be able to get away with fading the big hitters up top. This should play a lot like a PGA Championship type of event with scoring getting to the minus double digit zone, but it is challenging enough so that I am not expecting the winner to get past the -14 to -15 range. We want to focus on the golfers this week that can gain strokes off the tee and then players with above average mid to long iron play, those who excel beyond 150 yards. Finally, the greens are below average size, bentgrass greens. The rains today should keep them soft and temperature looks to be pretty mild until Sunday so it will be interesting to see if the greens get tougher over the weekend as they dry out.

KEY STATS

Strokes Gained Tee to Green: 25%
Strokes Gained Putting: 20%
Birdie or Better Percentage: 20%
Proximity: 10%
Scrambling: 10%
Par 5 Scoring: 10%
Strokes Gained Off the Tee: 5%

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Zachary Turcotte
By Zachary Turcotte August 14, 2019 08:48

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