The Cheat Sheet provides fantasy golf players with course info, player history and the most noteworthy trends of the week to help them with their roster selections.
There was a lot going on last week DFS Golf-wise. In Rio we got to witness another nice duel between two of the top players in the world as Justin Rose conquered Mt. Stenson for the first gold medal in golf since the turn of the century. Meanwhile, in the States, another PGA event was going (the John Deere Classic) which saw Ryan Moore blitz the field with birdies and get his fifth PGA Tour win of his career. This week is really quite interesting as it’s the last official Tour event before the PGA playoffs begin which means there are essentially two tournaments going on this week… a race for first place and a race to stay inside the top 125 players. Those who don’t reach that top 125 standard this week will be out of the playoffs and have to fight to retain their Tour card later in the year.
This is a full field event and actually has quite a few bigger names attached to it. Rickie Fowler, Patrick Reed and Hideki Matsuyama are all in attendance, with the American players vying for some late season Ryder Cup points. In total, 150+ players will be in attendance this week with several players fighting to keep their Tour cards and get inside the vaunted top 125 in the FedEx rankings. Those that don’t will be in danger of losing their Tour cards for next year while those that do will get a shot at the money loaded FedEx playoffs. Some players who are in attendance this week and on the bubble include Whee Kim, Scott Stallings, Shawn Stefani, Matt Jones and Bud Cauley. Like most regular Tour events, the cut this week takes place on Friday, and the top 70 players and ties will make the weekend.
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 particularly long at 7,100 or so yards, and in past years it’s yielded some low scores. The greens here are now Bermuda grass (since 2012), and they can be slightly tricky, and, in general, play quite fast. This is important to note as players with affinities for Bermuda grass and quick greens will definitely have an advantage here as the green complexes tend to be one of Sedgefield’s best defenses against low scores.
The course itself is a nice mix of very challenging holes and some extremely moderate-easy ones. As a traditional par 70, there are two very reachable and very birdie-able par 5’s on this track, and any player hoping to be in the mix will have to play these two in well under par for the week. Additionally, there are numerous par 4’s where the players will generally be given short wedge opportunities into the green as eight of the twelve par 4’s on the course measure in at under 450 yards in length. While this means lots of scoring opportunities there are holes which will challenge the player’s ability to make par, including the finishing two holes which play as par 4’s and each measure in at over 500 yards off the tees.
All in all, Sedgefield will generally play very similar to what the players saw last week while at TPC Deere Run as the theme will be less about pure length or power and more about getting the ball in the fairway and proximity on approaches. A good approach game and a strong putter will generally make more of a difference than distance at Sedgefield.
Last 5 winners
- 2015—Davis Love III -17 (over Jason Gore -16)
- 2014—Camillo Villegas -17 (over Bill Haas and Freddie Jacobson -16)
- 2013—Patrick Reed -14 (over Jordan Spieth playoff)
- 2012—Sergio Garcia -18 (over Tim Clark -16)
- 2011—Webb Simpson -18 (over George McNeil -15)
- Four of the last Five winners of this event had recorded a top ten at Sedgefield CC before their respective victory.
Proximity 150-175 Yards
Par 4 Scoring
Birdie or Better Average
As mentioned already this is probably a good week to ignore power stats and focus on accuracy, and I would suggest looking at both Proximity and Driving Accuracy. According to the guys at @FGMetrics, over 30% of the approach shots over the past few years at this event have been from 150-175 yards (the most by far of any distance) which means looking at proximity stats from this length makes a lot of sense. Players will need to be accurate, and those who already rank well from this length should be favored. Additionally, as this is a par 70 course, looking at Par 4 Scoring is also a decent statistic to weigh. When Webb Simpson won here in 2011, he ranked 1st on Tour in this statistic for the year, and, generally, past winners have all had great weeks on the par 4’s at Sedgefield. 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.
Driving accuracy is also something I’ll be looking at this week. Past winners here since 2008 have hit over 73% of the fairways in their wins, and like last week, just getting the ball in the fairway, and in good placements for a solid approach, is key. As a result, I’d definitely weigh accuracy heavier than distance in off the tee stats for this event. Lastly, while Sedgefield does have some tough holes, the winning scores here have all generally been in the upper teens. Hence looking at Birdie or Better Percentages and finding those players who have higher than normal birdie rates isn’t a poor idea either, and it’s never a bad stat to look at for DFS considering how heavily birdies and birdie bonuses are weighted.
Odds to win are one factor to think about when picking players (but not the only thing, so be careful of putting too much weight on them). This section is going to detail a few of the players who have the best fantasy value comparative to their odds of winning this week.
|Kevin Na||33-1||$9,100||Russell Henley 50-1 and $9,000
Wesley Bryan 40-1 and $9,300
Tyrrell Hatton 40-1 and $9,500
|Jason Dufner||50-1||$7,900||J.B. Holmes 60-1 and $8,100
Ben Martin 60-1 and $8,000
Shane Lowry 70-1 and $7,800
HORSES FOR COURSES
- Webb Simpson has a terrific record at this event. Webb has never finished worse than 22nd at the Wyndham in his last 6 visits and is also the 2011 winner. Having gone 6-6-11 here on his last three starts, Webb is definitely the lead horse for this week.
- Bill Haas has a very solid record at this event as well, having made 6 of his last 7 cuts here and landing four top twenties in his last four visits (including a 2nd from 2014). Haas may not have a child named after this event, but he’s definitely still fond of it and looks like a very solid play.
- Jerry Kelly has been solid at this course having made all 6 of the cuts at his last 6 visits to this event. While Kelly doesn’t have a ton of huge finishes he does have a 4th from back in 2011 and was top twenty here last year. The veteran came close a couple weeks ago and could be a factor on this course again.
- Camilo Villegas has really had an awful season but I would be remiss if I didn’t at least mention his course history here. Villegas has made each of his last five cuts at the Wyndham and won the event back in 2014. He’s not a safe play though as his recent form has been truly awful.
There is an interesting dynamic this week in the top tier of players as two or three elite plays have entered this event who don’t typically make this stop. Fowler, Reed and Matsuyama all make for interesting options, but their prices and inconsistencies make them less appealing than many of the options underneath them in price like Jim Furyk, Brandt Snedeker and Bill Haas. Still, stacking one or two of those top three names in big GPPs could be a great strategy if one of them has a massive week as their prices should keep their ownership levels down. For cash game purposes, just going balanced this week seems like the easy choice. But, like I mentioned, in bigger tournaments, the way to differentiate yourself will definitely be to construct an extreme stars and scrubs lineup as most people won’t bother to spend up on two of the top salaried plays.
Top Performing Studs from Recent Weeks
- Ryan Moore
- Jon Rahm
- Jim Furyk
Top Performing Value Plays from Recent Weeks
- Bud Cauley
- Matt Jones
- Kelly Kraft
MY PICK: Kevin Kisner ($8,300)
I have to admit, I’m really bullish on Kisner this week. He’s struggled for portions of the season, but his last four finishes include three top 26 finishes or better and a really strong T18 at a tough, long Baltusrol course. On top of being in better form of late, the course this week seems to scream Kisner’s name. Accuracy is required off the tee, and that is generally Kisner’s strength, additionally, the greens here were changed to Bermuda grass a few years back, and that has always been a putting surface that Kisner has excelled on.
As a native of South Carolina, I don’t doubt that the Kis is also going to feel comfortable playing in this part of the world, as his last and only PGA Tour win to this point was also played in the South Eastern part of the States (Georgia). All in all, everything about Kisner’s game has been better of late, and on a course with smaller greens where accuracy and a good approach game will be rewarded, I like Kisner’s chances at a big week here. He’s my top play especially given his affordable price tag.
MY SLEEPER: Blayne Barber ($5,600)
Sleeper Qualification: must be under $7,000 in salary and projected by me to be less than 10% owned
Barber’s a player I’ve had my eye on for a couple of weeks. He’s someone who had a great Web.com Tour run in 2014 but has sometimes struggled for consistency since that year. Lately he’s been very consistent, however, and has now made 6 of his last 7 cuts on Tour. While I pegged Barber for a big week at the Deere last week, looking at the setup here, this might actually be a better setup for a big week from Barber. While his putter deserted him at times last week, Barber has proven to be a much better putter on Bermuda grass, and he actually has produced 4 out 5 of his top tens on the PGA on courses with some form of Bermuda Greens. One last reason to love Barber here, the fact he’s currently in 120 place in the FedEx cup standings and requires a decent week to stay inside the top 125. Altogether, I think Barber has the motivation and the right style of game for this course, and I like his price at only $5,600. You’ll struggle to find better bargains than him this week.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is wavegoodbye) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.