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The Field

The field this week will be slightly larger than usual with over 150 golfers competing, and the top 70 and ties making the cut.

From a strength perspective there isn’t a ton of top golfers here.  However 3 players from the top ten in the world rankings will be in attendance: Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose and Jason Day.  From a DFS perspective the open field will make things interesting and it should be a fun week.

Course Details

TPC Louisiana (Avondale, Louisiana)

Par 72 -7,300-7400 yards depending on setup

The TPC Louisiana is the second week the players get to play on a Pete Dye course.  His courses are known for featuring plenty of sand and some well-placed water, and this course is no exception.  However, even with the added traps TPC Louisiana generally plays quite easy which means you can expect a ton of birdies.  The course features many short par 4’s as well as four par 5’s that are all birdie holes and should be reachable by the big hitters.  The biggest test the players will have this week is on some of the longer par 4’s and 3’s, but with generally easy to put on Bermuda greens players will still need to be well under par to contend for the win.USATSI_8512248_168381090_lowres

Last Five Winners

Seung-Yul Noh—2014
Billy Horschel—2013
Jason Dufner—2012 
Bubba Watson—2011
Jason Bohn—2010


What will it take to succeed at TPC Louisiana?

Birdies, and a lot of them.  TPC Louisiana doesn’t necessarily favour a long hitter over an accurate one (although I’d chose power over accuracy this week for the most part).  But it does require a player to score low and that means giving yourself as many scoring opportunities as possible.  Hitting great approaches from the fairway or just off it might be the key to success this week.  As well, those players who can really limit their mistakes and not lose strokes to the field in the sand or water will likely pull through with the best fantasy scores.

Who has had success here?

Most players have a somewhat mixed record at TPC Louisiana but there are certainly some who have shined brighter than others.  Steve Stricker, who just came back from back surgery to make the cut at Augusta has made the cut at TPC Louisiana 4 out of 5 times and never finished worse than 13th when he did make the weekend.  Justin Rose, who is coming off of a T2 at the Masters has made the cut 4 of his last 5 visits to New Orleans and has gone 8-15-10 in his last three trips.  A cheaper player salary wise, Jeff Overton has made the cut all 6 out of his last 6 appearances at this tournament and has finished 2nd and 4th in that span as well.  And finally, proving that stars and lessor knowns can both have consistent success at TPC Louisiana, Tommy “two gloves” Gainey has finished 8th and 3rd at this event over the past four years.

Who has struggled here?

One player that you may not want to take a shot with this week is three-time tour winner Scott Stallings, he’s played here 5 times and failed to make the cut on all five attempts.  In much similar fashion, Ben Crane should not be anyone’s idea of a gpp play this week as he has also struggled at TPC Louisiana having missed the cut in five of his last 6 visits.  Rounding out this trio of futility is Will Mackenzie who also failed to make the weekend the past five times he has tee’d it up for this event.  Finally, it’s worth mentioning that even though Keegan Bradley finished 8th here last year, he missed the cut in his other two visits to this course.  Whether his success last year was a harbinger of things to come at TPC Louisiana or just a blip on the radar remains to be seen.

What statistics are important?

Given the importance of a player giving himself as many birdie opportunities as possible and limiting their mistakes Greens in Regulation is a decent statistic to start research with.  Many of the past winners here have not been great putters but have been good ball strikers and the players who find the green a ton will do well this week.  I also think par 5 scoring will come into play once again, as the par 5’s represent some of the best scoring opportunities on this course.  Given the past 5 winning scores have all been -15 or higher (last year -19) scoring well on the par 5’s will undoubtedly be very important once again.

My Recommendation:

Given the weaker yet very wide open nature of the field this week I think it’s likely we see some surprise names at the top of the leaderboard.  This might be a week where you ignore course history and really try and work some lessor known players into your team who might be a good fit for TPC Louisiana and its many birdie opportunities.  Try and look for players who can go low when needed.

My pick to win: Harris English

Harris English is unquestionably one of the better players in the field this week and he’s proven he can win in these type of weaker field events before.  He ranks high in par 5 scoring for the year and showed some good form in certain tournaments before the Masters.  He also finished 6th here in 2013.  I think its likely English has been motivated by his break and might see this week as a great opportunity to get back in the winner’s circle.