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

Zachary Turcotte
By Zachary Turcotte October 23, 2019 09:45

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

Justin Thomas continued his dominance last week in Korea, notching his eleventh win on tour and his second in the last two months as he cruised through the final couple of rounds. It was a great win to get this season going and I do believe it is a sign of things to come as he has really hit his stride and we could see him challenge for more major championships. Perhaps I am getting swept away by another incredible performance outside of the continental US, as it is his six such win out of his eleven, but it looks more and more like he might just be the best player in the world.

This week, the tour heads over to Japan for the first time in decades for the Zozo Championship. The entire Asian swing is filled with no cut events so this will be similar to last week in that we have another 78 man field which is fairly loaded compared to what we usually see in the fall. I imagine the sponsors are shelling out a lot of money to get the players over to Japan this week for the debut of this event. Golf has boomed in Asia over the last two decades so the tour is wise to jump on this trend to get an event in the three biggest markets in the region.

Getting many of the best players in the world onboard, and Tiger Woods in particular is a great way to bring eyes to an event. Unfortunately, DraftKings is not with us in trying to promote any events this time of year. Once again, DK has disappointed us this fall during one of my favorite times of the season for golf by lowering the size of most of the golf contests for the week. Every year, we get the same tired responses from the people over there about how it is the beginning of the NBA season and other such nonsense, as if the majority of PGA DFS afficianados care at all about that league. I usually pass this information on, but this year, I wanted to try something a little different.

You each have an assignment this week. I want you to copy and pastes the following and e-mail it to DraftKings Support (support@draftkings.com):

DraftKings,

Each year, I get really excited about the Asian swing of the PGA Tour. Each year, golf stays fairly popular throughout the fall. Each year, you inexplicably lower the size of the contests during this part of the season. These are popular events. If you look at the field for the Zozo Championship this week, you will notice that it is loaded with stars including Tiger Woods. Not only is he playing, but this information would have been readily available to you months ago had you done even a small amount of research.

In years past, your response to these inquires is to let people know that the NBA season is starting this week, but most people who play PGA DFS with any sort of regularity are not leaving golf to focus on a night or two of basketball this week. If people truly had to pick one or the other then I would not expect golf to be that popular in the spring and yet we know that is not the case.

When you lower the contest sizes unnecessarily, you help to kill interest in the event for the week turning your entire thesis into a self fulfilling prophecy. People see smaller contests and do not want to spend the time on them. Rather than choking off demand artificially, let the market speak on this issue. In fact, if you were to promote it at all this time of year with some bigger contests, PGA could have a couple of nice weeks during the fall season which would be a win for everyone.

Sincerely,

XXXXX

That is your homework for the day. It was disappointing to see such small contests again this week and though they will fill up easily, just the fact that they are much smaller than normal takes away interest in them, which in turn takes away interest in future weeks if the perception is that DK does not care about golf during the fall. Make your voices heard to these folks. They are always slow and sluggish in their response, but typically, as the people who track this industry closer than just about anyone else over the last five years, we know that there is an opportunity for golf to flourish during the fall if given a chance to do so and promoted properly. We just have to let DK know that the market is there.

For the Zozo Championship, we get a much different style of course this week over last. For comparison purposes, think of the way that The Heritage differs from The Masters each spring. Last week, big wide open fairways allowed for the bombers to have a field day off the tee and you can see by a quick glance at the leaderboard that the bigger hitters did very well and Nine Bridges compares favorably with Augusta. This week, Narashino is much more like Harbour Town, the event which takes place after The Masters each spring. We go from a longer course with lots of Par 5 scoring to a shorter, Par 70 course with narrow, tree lined fairways. The holes are very different in that they are doubled up with warm and cold weather greens (Bermuda vs Bentgrass) and we’ll see the bentgrass greens in use this week. While it is a Par 70 course, the setup is unusual in that there are ten Par 4 holes, three Par 5 holes and FIVE Par 3 holes. The course played soft during the Skins game, but I still expect that most players will club down off the tee and put accuracy and placement off the tee over distance. Where last week, the shorter hitters were at a significant disadvantage, here they should shine as the approach distances should be on the shorter side for the most part. Half of the Par 4 holes are under 405 yards and the rest are above 480 so there is a nice mix for the week. My strategy will be to feature the elite players up top that shine regardless of where they play and then to load up on the value players who are priced down after struggling last week on a longer course, but who should be a better fit this week.

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%
Driving Accuracy: 5%

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Zachary Turcotte
By Zachary Turcotte October 23, 2019 09:45

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