The First Tee – Hero World Challenge by Adam Daly

Fantasy Golf Insider Staff
By Fantasy Golf Insider Staff November 28, 2017 02:14

The First Tee – Hero World Challenge by Adam Daly

This Week

Big Cat is back! That’s about the only exciting thing happening this week, as the Hero World Challenge is an 18-man, no-cut event which means your core will have to be perfect, and scoring will matter more than finish position outside of the top-2.

THE COURSE

The Hero takes place in the Bahamas at the Ernie Els-designed Albany Course, which is a par-72 listed at 7,302 yards. It’s a links-style course, with wide fairways with essentially no rough but loads of sand dunes that will cause issues for golfers that (somehow) miss the fairway. One of the more interesting things about this course is the scorecard: it’s not a typical par-72, in that it has five par-5s and five par-3s.

Off the tee, golfers will have those wide fairways to shoot at, but trouble abounds for any errant shots thanks to the dunes – some of which can end up very steep for second shots. Beyond the sand, one of the features of Albany is the water hazards: the 9th, 17th and 18th all have a massive body of water that can punish tee shots, while the par-3 12th also brings water into play. Accuracy off the tee will be a small factor, but the fairways will typically be easy to hit. Being close to water and with a fairly wide-open layout, wind could come into play.

The greens here are TifEagle Bermudagrass, and are incredibly tricky – often compared to Pinehurst #2. They’re lightning-fast, and are in the “turtle-back” form, which means a nice landing area in the middle that runs off on all sides for any balls that don’t hit the sweet spot. Luckily, approach shots will typically be fairly easy, especially for golfers closer in that can hit into the green with a wedge – rewarding distance hitters off the tee, as the higher loft shots will land much more receptively than longer irons in. Around the greens are a few tough bunkers, and with the way the greens are shaped, there’s more of an emphasis on around-the-green play.

STATS

No ShotTracker information, so stats are based on the course & not history.

The Strokes Gained stats to focus on in order (not including Tee to Green):

  • Approach
  • Off-The-Tee
  • Putting
  • Around the Green

Counting stats to focus on in order:

  • Birdie or Better %
  • Driving Distance
  • Scrambling %
  • Greens in Regulation %
  • Par-5 Birdie or Better %

The Golfers

Justin Thomas ($11100): There’s a reason JT is the most expensive player in this field – which includes DJ, Spieth, etc. – and that’s just how disgustingly good the reigning Player of the Year has been: winning at the CJ Cup, T17 at the CIMB, 2nd at the Tour Championship are his last three PGA events. He had FIVE wins last season, and is a stud on courses with wide fairways.

Some of his stats to consider when plugging in the most-expensive player (which is always tough):

  • 6th in SG: Approach
  • 8th in Driving Distance
  • 28th Around-the-Green, which you don’t typically see from the bomber studs
  • 1st in BoB%, 35th in Par-5 BoB%
  • 2nd in Holes per Eagle

Thomas is best in class in terms of short approaches – 1st from 50-125, leaving just 15’6” to the pin – which will be key to get a wedge in hand on this course.

Also consider: Jordan Spieth ($10500)

Values:

Kevin Chappell ($6400): Kevin Chappell is a long hitter – 305 yards off the tee, good for 23rd – that scores tremendously well on par-5s (46.62% P5 BoB) and ranked 15th in Holes Per Eagles last year, both factors that would go a long way to a good DK showing this week. He had the 48th-best BoB% last season at 21.23%, was 51st in SG: Approach, and was very strong in the 100-150-yard range.

Other values: Fleetwood ($6800) …Tiger? Are you bold enough?

Good luck this week! You can follow me on Twitter @adalyfrey if you have any questions, and my DMs are always open.

Fantasy Golf Insider Staff
By Fantasy Golf Insider Staff November 28, 2017 02:14

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