There is a lot of information 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 each 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 recently played at Glen Abbey in 2015, 2013, 2009 and 2008.
RBC Canadian Open Course History: The Good
1. Charley Hoffman, $8,900
Back in 2013, Hoffman had just eight top-25s in 25 events played. One of them came at Glen Abbey, where he finished 16th. Last season, Hoffman had seven top-10s and again one of them came at Glen Abbey. Throw in a 28th-place finish way back in 2008, and we know Hoffman likes playing this course. He’s likely to be lightly owned as he has zero top-30 finishes in his last five events.
2. Chad Campbell, $6,800
The 42-year-old Campbell finished 11th at this course last year and 16th in 2013. He’s also made the cut in five straight overall events and flashed upside with a 10th at Dean & DeLuca and a 12th at the Byron Nelson. Campbell, who will be even lower-owned than Hoffman, is quietly in the midst of his best season since 2009.
3. William McGirt, $7,700
McGirt has only played this course twice (2015, 2013). In those appearances he’s finished 34th and 2nd, impressive results for a player who has a career missed-cut rate of 36.3 percent and just two top-2 finishes across 168 career events. McGirt has also had big results against difficult fields lately with a win at The Memorial and a 7th at WGC Bridgestone.
RBC Canadian Open Course History: The Bad
1. Graeme McDowell, $7,800
McDowell’s bumpy season (six missed cuts in his last 12 events) continued last week as he finished a disappointing 63rd in his home major. It doesn’t figure to get any easier this week as he has played Glen Abbey twice (2015, 2013) and missed the cut both times. He’s going back in a desperate effort to earn Ryder Cup points.
2. Robert Garrigus, $8,300
Garrigus is the kind of streaky player who I like to play when course history is on our side. I highlighted him ahead of the Quicken Loans National and he went on to finish 8th at just $8,000. However, Garrigus’ history at Glen Abbey is the opposite. He’s played the course four times and gone missed cut (2015), missed cut (2013), withdraw (2009) and 44th (2008).
3. Kyle Reifers, $8,000
Reifers’ career arc is trending up as he has more top-10s this year (5) than he has in his previous 93 events combined (3). So perhaps he’s a different golfer now at age 32 than he was when he was when he previously played this course in 2015 and 2013. Still, at $8,000 with two missed cuts in two appearances, there’s reason for pause.
COMING IN HOT: RECENT FORM
1. Dustin Johnson, $12,500
Even if we look at recent form in relation to salary, Johnson is absolutely on fire. He has seven top-10s in his last nine events and six top-10s in that span. DJ also finished second on this course when he last played it (2013). Even at a very high price tag of $12,500, I expect Johnson to be the most owned golfer in all formats this week.
2. Harold Varner, $7,800
The consistently underpriced Varner has made nine straight cuts. Even better for Varner, his Recent Average Adjusted Round Score of 68.7 is eighth-best in the field, yet he is priced as the 23rd-most expensive golfer. Varner’s ownership should be kept low by a 66th-place finish at the British.
3. Emiliano Grillo, $8,500
Kevin Streelman ($8200) is priced similarly to Grillo and also in good recent form. But Streelman has been off for nearly a month while Grillo has been grinding. The 23-year-old Argentinian has four top-15s in his last five events and is also a nice course fit here as a an accurate striker of the ball.
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.