This week’s European Tour action heads to Diamond Country Club, located in Atzenbrugg, Austria for the Lyoness Open. The Course is a long Par 72 measuring out at over 7,500 yards with four par 5s, four par 3s and 10 par 4s. The two par 5s on the front nine are reachable while the two on the back nine challenge 600 yards. The course is better suited for “bombers,” those that are long off the tee, but you wouldn’t know it from the first seven holes. The two reachable par 5s, the three shortest par 4s, and the shortest par 3 all come within the first seven holes. The average hole distance during the first seven holes is around 372 yards, but balloons to over 445 yards over the final 11 holes. Distance is important on the back nine which features three par 4s over 470 yards and two par 5s over 590 yards.
The Lyoness Open has been held at the Diamond Country Club dating back to 2010 and past winners include Chris Wood ($11,500), Bernd Wiesberger ($11,600), Joost Luiten ($12,000), Mikael Lundberg ($6,600), Kenneth Ferrie, and Jose Manuel Lara ($5,700). The winning scores have ranged from -12 to -19 and we’re expecting more of the same this week with a likely winning score between -16 and -18. Most of the scoring will come on the front nine but without much water and wide fairways even the longer holes aren’t as intimidating. We expect a cut line to hover around -1 or -2. As a reminder, the European Tour will take the Top 65 and ties which is a little different than the PGA Tour where the Top 70 and ties advance to the weekend.
One of the ways we like to examine course fit is to project how many approach shots are going to come from different distances. We start with the par 3s which are easy to see the distances and then work through the par 4s and 5s by mapping out the course and estimate how many shots will come from each distance around the course. We do this by using an average driving distance for players (290 yards) and then deriving expected approach distances by hole. If you have a 155 yard approach 90% of that shot will go into the 150 bucket and 10% of that shot will go to the 200 yard bucket. This helps us eliminate arbitrary endpoints on buckets and more accurately assess approach shots.
Our search for value
Bombers will have an advantage on a course that plays over 7,500 yards. As a result, we’re looking for cheap driving distance as a way to cram in more expected value in our lineups. Dean Burmester ($7,500) fits the bill. Burmester has an average driving distance of more than 310 yards, and the price looks a bit discounted from other similarly skilled players. Burmester ranks just outside the Top 100 in the Official World Golf Rankings while James Morrison who ranks one spot ahead is priced at $10,000. Jose-Filipe Lima ($5,800), Pelle Edberg ($6,700), and Dimi Papadatos ($5,600) are additional cheap sources of driving distance that project as positive values in our projection system.
We’re projecting Bernd Weisberger ($11,600) as the favorite by a slight margin over Chris Wood ($11,500). These are the only two players in the field within the Top 100 in the OWGR rankings and they each have about a 9% probability of winning the event, according to our projections. The two also project atop our birdie leaders with over 17 but Dean Burmester ($7,500) projects for the fourth most birdies at just under 16.
The weakness in the field leaves a lot of differentiation at the bottom of the player pricing spectrum. We have a number of players below $7,000 with a greater than 60% chance of making the cut, but also a wide group of players that have less than a 30 percent chance of making the cut. Jin Jeong ($5,300) is our lowest projected player, and by a wide margin. Even in this thin field, he projects with less than 5 percent chance of making the cut.
With such a shallow field this is a great week for skill differentiation with so many unknown players at the bottom having wildly different probabilities of making the cut. If you need some help sifting through it, check out our projections at DailyRoto. We have scoring projections in DraftKings points as well as broken down by birdies, eagles, pars, etc., and we have place probabilities that include how likely a golfer is to finish first, Top 10 or even make the cut.