WATCH: CHASE OR FADE – VALUE DEBATE
There is a lot of data to digest when researching for golf. Course characteristics can tell us whether we want to favor long hitters, great putters or the best scramblers. Weather is crucial as strong wind early on Thursday would mean we want players teeing off later in the day. Figuring out exactly how good a golfer is relative to his DraftKings salary and the field sounds simple but is crucial.
The two topics I’ll be focusing on in this weekly article are course history and recent form. Like every other stat in every DFS sport, these two topics are a piece of the puzzle rather than the whole pie. But knowing who historically plays well at a certain course and who comes into the event in good form correlate significantly with DFS success as long as we have a solid sample size.
*The Byron Nelson has been played at TPC Four seasons in Irving, Texas since 2008
Byron Nelson Course History: The Good
1. Dustin Johnson, $12,500
Dustin impressively battled to a 12th-place finish last week on a TPC Sawgrass course which doesn’t highlight his strengths. This week, the world’s No. 1 golfer is on a course he’s smashed. DJ has finished no worse than 20th in his last seven appearances, a run which includes 12th, eighth, seventh the last three years. I expect Dustin to deservedly be the most-owned golfer this week.
2. Jason Dufner, $8,800
Dufner has been a mainstay here at the Byron Nelson, playing it in each of the last six years. He’s also performed well, never missing the cut and booking three top-10s. Dufner also comes in with strong recent form as he’s made seven straight cuts – many of which came against very tough fields such as The Masters and THE PLAYERS.
3. Keegan Bradley, $6,900
Once salary is factored in, Bradley has arguably the best course history at TPC Four Seasons. Yes, he missed the cut last year. But before that he went 22nd, 29th, second, 24th, first. Still, we should note that Bradley comes in cheap in this weak field because of his recent struggles – he’s missed the cut four times already this year and has just one top-20 in his last nine events.
4. Ryan Palmer, $8,200
Similar to Keegan Bradley, Palmer is a wildly volatile player who has often found his form at the Byron Nelson. His last six results here are missed cut, 10th, 22nd, 33rd, ninth, second. Palmer, a Texas native who played his college golf at A&M, has flashed his ceiling recently with a sixth at the Valero and an 11th at the Heritage.
Byron Nelson Course History: The Bad
1. Jhonattan Vegas, $7,600
Vegas got off to a hot start early this year with five straight made cuts and four top-30 finishes. But he’s really struggled at TPC Four Seasons, never finishing better than 49th in four appearances. That includes a missed cut and two 69ths.
2. Brandt Snedeker, $8,400
There are a couple things working against Snedeker this week. First, he withdrew from last week’s PLAYERS Championship due to an wrist issue which has bothered him since the Masters. Also, Sned’s three results here at TPC Four Seasons are missed cut, sixth, missed cut.
COMING IN HOT: RECENT FORM
1. Kevin Tway, $7,700
I highlighted Tway in this space ahead of the Wells Fargo Championship, where he went on to finish fifth. So the son of Bob Tway remains hot with five made cuts in his last six outings and back-to-back top-5s.
2. Sung Kang, $7,400
Kang’s price keeps holding steady even though he’s shooting up in a ton of statistical categories. Kang has played four tournaments since April began, making the cut in all four with finishes of 30th, sixth, 11th, second. He’s beaten salary-based expectation in seven of his last eight outings.
3. Brooks Koepka, $10,200
The $10K-plus range has big names this week in Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia, Jordan Spieth and Jason Day. So perhaps Koepka will likely go underowned despite really rounding into form lately. The gifted rising star finished 11th at The Masters, second at the Texas Open and 16th in last week’s Players. Koepka also has shown well on TPC Four Seasons with a second last year and 16th in 2015.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is AdamLevitan) 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.