Field

This is the final week before the playoffs and the last time we will get to see a full 156 man field until October.  Starting with the Barclays the fields will get progressively smaller until we hit the Tour Championship where only 30 will compete.  This week is interesting in terms of who is playing.  Many of the top players are here to gain points for the Fedex playoffs or to simply try and put a poor PGA performance behind them.  Some notable names that you might not normally see in a week field like this include Charl Schwartzel, Martin Kaymer and Adam Scott.  All three of these gentleman have had off years and need Fedex points with Kaymer (at 150th in the standings) needing a big week just to make the playoffs.  It’s not a bad idea to familiarize yourself with the Fedex standings this week in an effort to try and understand who might really be under the gun.

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Course

Sedgefield Country Club, Greensboro, North Carolina

Par 70, 7100-7200 yards

Sedgefield Country Club is a Donald Ross Designed course that’s hidden inside the suburbs of Greensboro North Carolina.  It’s been the host of this event since 2007.  Sedgefield isn’t particular long at 7100 or so yards and in past years it’s yielded some low scores.  The greens here are now Bermuda (since 2012) and they can be slightly tricky and play quite fast.  Putting is important this week and past winners have traditionally putted well for the week here.

While power hitters can certainly do well here accuracy does seem to be more important.  Length generally isn’t as big an advantage as it can be in other weeks as both of the par 5’s are reachable in two by 99% of the players.  There are a couple longer par 4’s on the back 9 (18 stretches out over 500 yards) but doglegs and undulations make those holes difficult for everyone.  The key on this course is traditionally about finding the fairway and then being able to either attack the hole with an iron or your putter.

Last 5 WinnersUSATSI_8740586_168381090_lowres

Camillo Villegas—2014 
Patrick Reed—2013
Sergio Garcia—2012
Webb Simpson—2011
Arjun Atwal—2010

DFS Strategy

This is the week before the Fedex playoffs start and so many players in this field are essentially in a “play well or go home” type of scenario.  Only the players inside the top 125 of the Fedex rankings will be allowed to compete next week (with that number dwindling every week thereafter).  Some names that are currently outside or just on the bubble this week include Martin Kaymer, Jonas Blixt, Charl Schwartzel, and David Toms.  My opinion would be to look for some cheaper players (or even a few expensive ones) who might be in real need of a good week.  Players tend to elevate their games when their tour cards are on the line.

Stats

Proximity, 175-200 yards, 200-225 yards
Strokes gained: putting
Driving Accuracy
Par 4 scoring

As mentioned already this probably a good week to ignore power stats and focus on accuracy.  I would suggest looking at both proximity and driving accuracy.  The par 3’s are long here, and so are a couple par 4’s, and so proximity in the range of 175-225 yards is a good area to concentrate on.  Additionally, as this is a par 70 course looking at par 4 scoring is also a decent statistic to turn too.  When Webb Simpson won here in 2011 he ranked 1st on tour in this statistic for the year.  Previous winners Ryan Moore and Camillo Villegas also ranked inside the 50 on tour for par 4 scoring in the years of their respective wins.  Finally I’d also put some stock in players who rank highly in strokes gained: putting.  With low scores needed and tricky greens a good putting week is essential and those ranked highly in SGP will be more likely to deliver a fine putting performance for you this week.

Horses for Courses
  • Webb Simpson loves this event. It was the site of his first win and his daughter is named after it (Wyndham Rose, seriously google it) He’s gone 5-11-22-1-8 here in the past 5 years.
  • Carl Pettersson doesn’t have a daughter named Wyndham but he also likes Sedgefield. Since 2008 Pettersson has three top 5 finishes which includes an outright win.
  • Bill Haas has made 5 of his 6 cuts at this event and has a 2nd 7th and 10th place finish in that span. He has local connections to this tournament as he’s from North Carolina.
  • David Toms has had a lot of success at this course. In his past 6 visits he’s only finished outside the top 25 once and also has a 2nd place finish in that span.
Players who’ve struggled
  • Boo Weekley might be popular after his performance last week but he’s never really had great luck here. In his last 5 visits his best finish is 37th and he’s had 3 missed cuts in that span.
  • Morgan Hoffmann is a good young player and priced cheaply this week but he’s played here three times now and never been better than 65th.
  • Chesson Hadley has also had trouble here, in three appearances he’s never made the cut, there’s probably better options than him this week.
  • Billy Horschel looked good last weekend but I’m not sure how well he fits this course. In three attempts he’s never missed the cut but he’s also never finished better than 30th.  At his price you need better play than that.
My Recommendation

This is a fun week as there’s a little tournament within the tournament.  Lots of players will be vying for a spot inside the top 125 and so will need a good finish.  I’d really look for some low priced fillers who might be on the bubble.  They should be motivated for a good week and might pay off big for fantasy.

My Pick: Paul Casey

I’m going back to one of my favourite players this week.  Casey has been trending to a win all year. He recently finished well at the Travellers (another easier par 70 course) and has really crushed par 4’s all year.  He was 18th here last year and in better form now.  I worry a little bit about his weaker putting stats but I still think there’s still a good chance he walks away with his first win of the year here.