The Daily Spin – DraftKings Daily Fantasy Golf Preview – CIMB Classic

Zachary Turcotte
By Zachary Turcotte October 11, 2017 05:17

The Daily Spin – DraftKings Daily Fantasy Golf Preview – CIMB Classic

One event down, about 45 more to go before we crown our next FedEx Cup Champion, and Brendan Steele is once again out to an early lead after taking down the Safeway Open for the second year in a row. He was a core play for us last week which helped, although given his easy to roster price and his course history, we were hardly alone in owning a lot of stock in Steele last week. Overall, the tournament played out about as expected without the scores getting quite as high as we might have expected with conditions being a little drier than usual, thus hardening up the greens and making them play just fast enough to keep the scoring totals down over the weekend.

There were plenty of noteworthy performances to talk about last week which is important when analyzing these fall events. Our goal is to find the players who are starting fast and adjusting to being on the big tour quicker than their fellow competitors. Each year, as the Web.com playoffs end, there is always a lot of buzz around certain players that have played really well and are looked at to make a splash immediately during the fall season. Below are just a few observations on the good and the bad from what we observed in Week 1.

Tyler Duncan – The surprise of the week. Duncan has struggled for years trying to catch onto the PGA Tour, but the 28 year-old used a great stretch of golf, finishing in the Top-25 in six of his last eight starts on the Web.com Tour to secure his card for the season. He managed a 5th place finish in just his second ever start on tour and was leading at points late into the event. I am not jumping on this bandwagon yet. Duncan is playing well, but he’s been below average much of his career and has barely managed to hang on this far. It’s a great first effort and worth watching, but let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves.

Chesson Hadley – In 2014, Chesson Hadley was the Rookie of the Year on the PGA Tour before stumbling the next couple of seasons which forced him to spend much of last year trying to regain his tour card. To his credit, after starting slowly, missing the cut in three of his first five starts, Hadley came to life and had a nice season with two wins, two second place finishes and a third place finish, nearly pulling off the feat of Wes Bryan the year prior as three wins would’ve granted him an immediate bump up to the PGA Tour midseason. His 3rd place finish last week was impressive as he showcased steady iron and wedge play as well as solid putter. Almost all of the damage was done on Friday when he shot -11 for the round, which is something we’ve seen from Hadley before when he heats up. Watch his price carefully in the weeks ahead. If he ends up near $9k, we’ll probably stay away, but if we can fire away on him in the mid $7k range again, he’s definitely someone to target who has plenty of experience in these types of events.

Andrew Landry – I liked Landry last week as he was coming off of one of the most consistent seasons overall on the Web.com Tour where he missed just two cuts in 22 starts and had eight Top-10 finishes as well as a win. Landry was on the PGA Tour in 2016 for what was mostly a very forgettable season save for a brilliant first three rounds at the US Open where he was in contention until firing a fourth round 78 to fall back to 15th place. Landry has been around the game for a while and at age 30, is not a young player like some of the other college kids coming up, but his consistency last season was meaningful and to see him follow it up with a 7th place finish last weekend is something to take notice of for the events ahead. This is a make or break season for Landry, but his whole game is looking solid right now so we will continue to accumulate shares in future events.

Brandon Harkins – Harkins finished tied for 9th last weekend which was a bit of a surprise considering his slide down the stretch during the Web.com Tour this fall where he missed the cut in four of his last six starts. His season overall on the Web.com Tour was good, but not elite and he’s 31 so he is definitely approaching journeyman status at this point. I will not be buying shares until I see these types of performances consistently.

Brice Garnett – Jeff has always been a Brice Garnett guy, going back to 2014 when he warned me that he was not in fact a relative of Kevin Garnett and that his name alone should not attract my attention. Of course, this was back in the day when the scrubs were remarkably cheap, down in the $4000’s some weeks making the risk versus reward equation look pretty good. Garnett had a few okay years on the PGA Tour, but was always on the edge when it came to keeping his card. He finally had to go down to the Web.com Tour for 2017 to get it back and did so by rattling off two wins this summer. He did it with excellent approach play and a strong putter and he rallied back last week after a slow start to finish in a tie for 17th place. He was reasonably consistent late this summer, but has never been something that has lasted long during his career. Tread lightly early in the season.

Maverick McNealy – You knew I was going to have to include Maverick as he’s been someone I’ve been talking about in these pages for the last two plus years now. He started strong last week and was hanging around the Top-10 early before sliding back to finish 52nd. This kid is going to one of the better players on tour within the next few years so keep your eyes on him and let’s continue to own shares each week with the hopes that he pops before too many others catch on.

Keith Mitchell – This one was ugly from start to finish. Mitchell, who’d played excellent in the last two months on the Web.com Tour with five finishes of 11th or better in his last seven starts, looked out of sorts in Napa and missed the cut badly, finishing at +8. While it is just one event, it is still a little concerning for the 25 year-old, former Georgia Bulldog. I may lay off a bit here to make sure he gets a made cut under his belt before buying more shares or at least waiting until the tour heads back to the southeast where he is more accustomed to playing.

Rob Oppenheim – Another big swing and a miss came from Oppenheim last week who had seemed to be doing everything right in his run up to the season after a strong finish in the Web.com playoffs. Oppenheim had a couple of nice moments for us back in 2016 when he went on a run where he made 10 of 12 cuts, but he fizzled down the stretch in missing the cut in four of his last five starts to lose his tour card. He got his card back this fall by making the cut in 11 of his last 12 starts on the Web.com Tour, but immediately came apart last week in Napa. At age 37, he is what he is. I have my doubts about a resurgence at this point and will probably not be rostering him again unless he gets on a nice run the way he did two years ago.

Denny McCarthy – The 24 year-old Virginia alum hurt us as we overplayed our hand with this young player. McCarthy had made the cut in 9 of his last ten starts heading into the season with six of those finishes being in the Top-10. Had we looked a little closer at his stats and realized what a poor ball striker he was last season, perhaps it would have steered us away. Unfortunately, I think the tougher courses on the PGA Tour are going to be a lot for McCarthy to handle, especially until he gets his bearings. If he had trouble finding the fairway and hitting greens on the Web.com Tour, the transition could be pretty slow.

 

These were just a few of the guys that I was watching closely last week. Be sure to take some notes each week on how these new players to the tour are performing. Obviously, form will be important to look at, but also see how their games fit with PGA Tour style courses. Some of these guy play a year or two on the Web.com Tour and the strike the ball perfectly by the stats they put up. Then they arrive to the big tour and nothing works right or parts of their game really lag. The quicker we can pick up on these trends, the further ahead of the field we’ll be in January when the contests get really large again.

The course for the week is TPC Kuala Lumpur which has hosted this tournament four times beginning in 2013. It also hosted the Malaysian Open between 2010 to 2015. It is a short Par 72 course with three very short Par 5 holes where players tend to do a lot of scoring. It’s a hot and humid environment this week and generally, lift, clean and place has been in effect. Given the shorter nature of the course, most players will be looking to setup their second shot from off the tee pushing approach play to the forefront this week. There have only been two players to win this event: Ryan Moore (2013-2014) and Justin Thomas (2015-2016). Obviously, Thomas and Moore play much different styles of golf, but each plays really well from the mid range approach distances between around 125-200 yards, which is how you win here. Also, you need to sink some putts. The winning score tends to get into the middle -20’s each year, but the greens are slow and it tends to help everyone out with scoring.

We’ve got a really fun field this week with a few big names mixed in at the top, some solid veterans and plenty of young players filling in along with many players from the Asian Tour. I did my best to only include results from the CIMB in the course history this week. You can check out the results from the Malaysian Open if you like, but I am not going to go off of that too heavily for the week. The big reason is that the fields for those events just were not that strong which helps to inflate the results making it confusing to see a Top-10 finish or two for some players at the Malaysian Open and the a couple of 60th place or lower finishes at the CIMB. There are a couple of young players worth keeping an eye on this week from the Asian side, but be wary about rostering them and expecting to get similar results to what they’ve recorded on the Asian or Australasian Tour.

This is a no cut event with only 78 players in the field. This is very important in terms of the strategy that you use to approach your contests. Remember, our edge is lower in cash games this week as we will not be able to exploit the mistakes of others in the same manner that we do during the year when there is a cut involved. The biggest threat to your rosters this week are the players that fall behind early and then wave the surrender flag early as is often the case with cut free events. With little ability to work up the standings to increase their payday, you will see some outrageously poor scores at the bottom of the board. This is even more noteworthy for you fans of the weekend contests. Typically, you see the good players that just eek through the cut revert to form over the weekend to make a charge, but in these events without a cut, many times, the opposite happens and their play just continues to deteriorate all the way to the final hole. Stars and scrubs is usually the strategy of choice for these events, but do not be too liberal with your cheap selections as those are the ones that win and lose GPPs in these types of weeks.

Here are the key stats for the week as brought to us by our friends at Fantasy Golf Metrics:

Strokes Gained Tee to Green: 25%
Strokes Gained Putting: 25%
Birdie or Better Percentage: 15%
Bogey or Worse Percentage: 10%
Greens In Regulation: 10%
Par 5 Scoring: 7.5%
Scrambling: 7.5%

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Zachary Turcotte
By Zachary Turcotte October 11, 2017 05:17

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