The PGA Tour makes its way to Texas and the TPC Four Seasons course after an exciting week at TPC Sawgrass. The TPC Four Seasons course is different than many on tour in that it’s a par 70 course that only plays around 7,100 yards. When you see that par 70 in the course description it is safe to assume that there will be four Par 3s but only two Par 5s, which is the case this week. There will be a premium on ball-striking this week so we will be targeting golfers that hit greens in regulation and score on par 3s to go with the grain. Targeting golfers that may miss some greens but can recover nicely with scrambling or score well on the few par 5s can be a good contrarian strategy to go against the grain this week.
Going With the Grain
Everyone will be looking at Dustin Johnson ($12,500) this week because it’s impossible not to point out what he’s done lately. In his last five starts, he has three wins, a runner-up and a 12th-place finish to his credit. Johnson is fourth in Strokes Gained: Approach and first in Greens in Regulation. His ownership will likely be high as usual but it’s becoming harder and harder to fade him, especially in cash games.
Jordan Spieth ($10,800) is our third-most expensive golfer this week, only behind the No. 1 golfer in the world and this year’s Masters winner. In Spieth’s six events here, he’s never missed the cut but he’s also never been inside the top 10. Spieth is fourth in Strokes Gained: Approach and second in Greens in Regulation. He is in a prime spot to bounce back from last week’s disappointing missed cut.
Brandt Snedeker ($8,400) has taken the last few weeks off and should be ready to go. He’s made his last five cuts in a row, all of which have been 28th or better. His course history has been boom or bust with two missed cuts and a sixth place finish in his last three starts at TPC Four Seasons. Snedeker currently sits at eighth in par 3 Birdie or Better and is inside the top 50 in Greens in Regulation.
J.J. Spaun ($7,300) was one of the highest-owned value plays at the Valero Texas Open. He is 9-of-12 in making cuts on the season and has become a popular play in DFS this year. Spaun is within the top 50 in Greens in Regulation so far this year despite falling outside of the top 100 in OWGR. He is also 11th in Par 3 Birdie or Better percentage in 2017. Spaun will most likely be popular this week but his course fit will warrant much of that popularity.
Honorable Mentions: Sergio Garcia ($11,000) and Louis Oosthuizen ($9,700)
Going Against the Grain
As we look to go against the grain this week, we’ll be looking for some golfers that have a combination of Driving Distance, Scrambling and Par 5 Scoring to look for some potential under-owned options. Gary Woodland ($7,700) fits the bill across all of those categories. He sits at 16th in Driving Distance, 55th in Scrambling and 22nd in Par 5 Birdie or Better. Woodland has made seven straight cuts at this event, including three top-25 finishes. He’ll look to bounce back from a disappointing 75th-place finish at THE PLAYERS Championship last week.
Jhonattan Vegas ($7,600) makes his second straight appearance in Reading the Grain even though he broke the hearts of many (mostly myself), missing the cut by one stroke on a putt that fell three inches short at THE PLAYERS. He moves over to Against the Grain this week with the focus on Driving Distance, Par 5 scoring and Scrambling. Vegas’s distance off the tee and Par 5 Scoring is well documented. An underrated part of his game lately though, has been his short game. His Scrambling is up 7% over the past three months compared to the previous three months.
Tony Finau ($9,200) is a golfer that gets unfairly characterized as a bomber by many casual observers. While it is impressive to watch the 122 mph swing of his driver, he’s underestimated as a ball-striker. His all-around game has taken a step forward this year. He finished 2016 ranked 120th and 141st in Strokes Gained: Approach the Green and Around the Green, respectively. This year he is 19th and 64th in those categories. He’s been steady all season, making 8-of-11 cuts. Finau has played this event the past two years and has 12th- and 10th-place finishes to show for it.
Honorable Mentions: Jason Day ($10,100) and Brooks Koepka ($10,200)
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is matt13jones) 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.