I couldn’t resist getting a little something out there this week, so here it is. Tiger is back, and this week is fitting seeing as it’s his own tournament. It’s a very small 18-man field that is stacked with some of the best. My experience from a DFS standpoint with a field like this is basically nonexistent, so I am going to do my best to break down some key points and give you some ideas for those lineups. One way or another, this tournament is going to be a fun one to watch and I’m praying we get a solid performance out of Tiger.
The Course: Albany Golf Course, The Bahamas (7,300 yards) – The tournament was held here the past two years. Some say it’s somewhat like a links course. It’s dry, windy, has a lot of bunkers, and outside that, not very much trouble. A unique aspect, it has five par-5’s. There will be birdies and scores will be low. Here are the past results:
Key Stats: Strokes gained tee to green, strokes gained off the tee, strokes gained putting, strokes gained par 5, birdies gained – I’m looking at each of these over each guy’s last 24 rounds (yes, that skews things a bit for Tiger)
Studs: ($10,000+ on DK)
Justin Thomas: It’s his first time playing here, but he’s coming off of a dominant season and won his most recent start at the CJ Cup last month. He appears to have taken some time off since, but there is almost no way I can see him being a non-factor this week. For key stats, he’s 2nd in the field for birdies gained, 1st for strokes gained tee to green, 6th strokes gained off the tee, and 2nd in strokes gained off the tee. He’s also paired with Tiger (who made the pairings) – take from that what you want!
Jordan Spieth: I really like him at a course like this one mainly due to his putting and ability to make birdies. The past two years he’s finished T6 and 4th. However, he’s coming off of a sub par performance at the Australian Open last week where he shot 70-71-70-67 to finish 8th. He was much lower down on the leaderboard for the first three rounds, but managed that 67 on Sunday, brining him up into the top 10. I think he has a chance this week but he’s not my favorite option mainly due to his price. 24-round stats put him in 6th for birdies gained, 2nd strokes gained tee to green, 8th strokes gained putting, and 2nd strokes gained off the tee.
Mid-Range: ($8,000 – $9,900 on DK)
Brooks Koepka: This guy has been red hot as of late and has a game that should set up well here despite tournament history maybe stating otherwise. He finished 2nd at the WGC HSBC in late October and won the Dunlop Phoenix (Japan Golf Tour) last week, shooting -20 and winning by 9 strokes. For 24-round stats, Koepka is 1st in the field for birdies gained, 12th for strokes gained tee to green, 3rd in strokes gained putting, and 3rd in strokes gained off the tee. Tournament history consists of a 7th and a T13. Great option at this price.
Rickie Fowler: If Rickie is in the field, I write about him. He came in 2nd at the OHL Classic at the beginning of the month and has finished 3rd both times at this course. He hits the ball long, accurate, and has an above average short game. For 24-round stats, Fowler is 5th in the field for birdies gained, 11th for strokes gained tee to green, 1st in strokes gained putting, and 5th in strokes gained off the tee. I’d consider $9,600 a bargain, but we all know Rickie has some trouble taking 1st place. If I had to make a prediction, I’d mark him down for a lone runner up finish. Don’t quote me on that.
Justin Rose: He has been playing a ton this fall, and has been playing great. There is definitely a possibility that he’s worn out from playing week in and week out on top of flying around the world. Since late October he’s finished 1st at the WGC HSBC, 1st at the Turkish Airlines Open, 4th at the DP World Tour in Dubai, and 10th at the UBS Hong Kong Open last week. For 24-round stats, Rose is 3rd in the field for birdies gained, 4th strokes gained tee to green, and 2nd strokes gained par 5. Not a bad price, assuming he doesn’t fall asleep mid round.
Hideki Matsuyama: For starters, he won here last year. But he also finished tied for last the year before. Although he had quite a good 2017 season, it didn’t end in a pretty fashion. He’s surely not on top of his game. He is a fade in my book, but could be a flier if you’re looking for someone to possibly be on the lower-owned side of things.
Tiger Woods: I. Have. No. Clue. – he could win, he could come in last, he could WD. Anyone’s guess is as good as mine, but I sure hope he takes it down. How DK thought of pricing him at $6,500 is beyond me, but it’s cheap, and I’m sure people will be rostering him for both ownership advantage and for the sake of rooting for him.
Matt Kuchar: I don’t like trying to predict ownership percentages, but if I had to, I’d say Kuchar should go pretty low owned only because of his recent play. He finished 31st at the WGC HSBC and 29th at the RSM Classic, which didn’t have the strongest field. On the other side of things, he finished T3rd here last year alongside Fowler and DJ. It is definitely possible that people see him as a near-elite option at a very low price, which could throw ownership up a bit. For 24-round stats, he is 9th in the field for birdies gained, 10th strokes gained tee to green, 7th strokes gained putting, and 5th strokes gained par 5.
A few things to take note of:
- Jordan Spieth is playing new irons and with a new caddy as of last week when he finished 8th at the Australian Open. This new caddy is temporary and is
Spieth’s “long time coach and mentor” – I believe he’ll be on the bag again this week, please correct me if I’m wrong.
- Henrik Stenson has a rib injury, which people have called season ending. Not sure if you can call it season ending if he plans to play this week… Best part about it is that it happened during this photo-shoot:
- Patrick Reed should be having a baby real soon, possibly this weekend – take caution rostering him.
That’s all for now! Have a nice December – we’ll be back in 2018.
Follow on Twitter at: @donaldremington @LineupLogicDFS