European Tour DFS is here, and DraftKings has launched with one of the premier tournaments on the European Tour! We’re really excited about the first weekend of European Tour DFS, and in honor of DraftKings’ launch, we’ve launched free Euro Tour projections for the BMW Championship over at DailyRoto.com.
The BMW PGA Championship will take place on the West Course at the Wentworth Club in Virginia Water, Surrey, England where it has been held since 1984. The BMW Championship is one of the premier events on the European Tour, which makes our venture into European Tour DFS all the more exciting. The West Course at Wentworth is a 7,300 yard Par 72 track. It features three very reachable par 5s for players of all lengths: Hole #4 (552 yards), Hole #12 (521 yards), and the finishing Hole #18 (538 yards). The 17th Hole is also a par 5 but only reachable for the longest hitters in the field as it plays at 610 yards. Back-to-back par 5s to finish should provide an exciting finish particularly for DFS players.
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 projecting how many shots will come from 0-50 yards, 51-75 yards, 76-100 yards, 101-125 yards, 126-150 yards, 151-175 yards, 176-200 yards, 201-225 yards, 226-250 yards, 251-275 yards, and 275 yards or greater.
In this tournament, we have a relatively uniform spread of approach shots between 75 and 275 yards with a few shots in each bucket. (See below)
This is a bit unusual relative to typical PGA Tour events where we often see shots more concentrated in specific sections. The most popular area this week will be around 175 yards away where we estimate the average player will take around 3.75 shots per round from this distance. Because the shot buckets are so spread out, it’s difficult to identify a specific type of player that should perform best here. This is also apparent in the wide ranging strengths of past champions which features a notoriously long player (Rory McIlroy) and a notoriously short player (Luke Donald).
Our search for value
Without a player prototype in mind, we’re forced to assess raw value on overall skill set. Many players – including a bunch of hardly-known European players – stand out as elite values on this slate. Our favorite on the entire slate is Richard Bland ($6,700). Though he’s on the wrong side of 40, the man has gained over 200 Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR) places since 2014. In 2016, he’s strung together a slew of impressive finishes T23, T3, 19, T11, MC, T6, T36, T7, T52, and T28. This is a player who has shown the consistency and the upside of a player priced far greater than $6,700.
Bradley Dredge ($8,200) is another very strong value. Dredge had cracked the Top 50 in the OWGR before falling off the map in the early 2010s, while overcoming an injury in 2013. Since then, he’s recovered nicely, and his play of late has been scorching. His past 6 starts, all on the Euro Tour: T2, T15, 7, T34, T18, and T4.
For this week, we’ve got all of our projections up free 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. Here are a few tidbits from our projections.
We’re projecting Danny Willett ($12,000) as the favorite by a wide margin, winning the tournament just over 12 percent of the time. Willett also projects to lead the field in birdies and has the highest probability to make the cut.
We’re giving defending champion Byeong-Hun An ($10,100) about a 3.5 percent chance of repeating and an 80 percent chance of making it to the weekend.
Unfortunately, things don’t look so rosy for min-priced Jin Jeong ($5,000). He rates as our worst golfer in the field and we’re projecting him for just 1.5 birdies with very little chance of making it to the weekend.