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.
*This tournament has been played at Trump International Golf Club Puerto Rico since 2008. It’s a weak field as most of the world’s top players are competing at the WGC-Dell Match Play.
Puerto Rico Open Course History: The Good
1. Boo Weekley, $7,300
Weekley only has 30 career top-10s in 287 PGA Tour events played. So it’s very notable that three of them have come here in Puerto Rico (6th in 2015, 8th in 2013, 3rd in 2012). In five overall appearances, Weekley has never missed the cut and never finished worse than 35th.
2. Scott Brown, $9,800
This is an extremely high price tag for a journeyman golfer who has bounced between the minor-league tours and the big stage. But Brown has at least one top-3 finish in four of the last five seasons on the PGA Tour and showed his upside with a 2nd at the tough field Genesis Open five weeks ago. Brown won here in 2013, finished 10th in 2015 and was 5th in 2016.
3. Graham DeLaet, $10,600
DeLaet is one of four golfers priced over $10,000 this week. Wesley Bryan ($10,800)/Graeme McDowell ($10,300) have never played here, and Peter Uihlein ($10,100) has two missed cuts in three appearances. Meanwhile, DeLaet has made the cut in all four of his trips here and never finished worse than 24th. The Canadian is also in very good form so far this year, with three top-10s and five top-25s in just 10 events played.
Puerto Rico Open Course History: The Bad
1. Tyrone van Aswegen, $8,200
Van Aswegen has impressed lately with back-to-back 27th-place finishes at the Valspar and Honda. Those came at near-minimum price tags on DraftKings. Now he gets a far softer field but has struggled at the course. The South African finished 65th in 2016, 55th in 2015 and 37th in 2014.
2. Fabrizio Zanotti $9,500
Zanotti primarily plays on the Euro Tour. He won the Maybank Championship in February and impressively finished 12th at the star-studded WGC in Mexico just three weeks ago. However, Zanotti has missed the cut in two of his three appearances here, including last year.
COMING IN HOT: RECENT FORM
1. J.T. Poston, $8,600
Poston is just 23 years old, but was wildly impressive on the Web.com tour in 2016 and finished 10th on the money list. That earned him a PGA Tour card and he’s taken advantage with a 17th at the Genesis, 27th at the Honda and 14th at the Valspar. That’s three straight made cuts and strong finishes against very strong fields – now this relative unknown gets a Web.com tour-esque kind of field.
2. Graeme McDowell, $10,300
McDowell continues to be a cut machine, making six straight this season. That includes three top-15 finishes in his last five events. McDowell also has the fifth-best long-term adjusted round score in this field (via Fantasy Labs), behind only Wesley Bryan, Chris Kirk, Graham DeLaet and Luke List.
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.