PGA Hall of Fame - Lesson 02 - Tournament Strategy

Derek ‘Notorious’ Farnsworth is one of the top daily fantasy writer in the industry, with the majority of his work done as the featured writer on RotoGrinders.com. He covers nearly every sport, with a focus on NBA, PGA and MLB daily fantasy content. He has been nominated for multiple Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards and took one home for his PGA Weekly Series in 2014.

Daily fantasy golf is a volatile sport. Variance day-to-day and week-to-week is extremely high. The best golfers in the world can make around 90% of cuts, but the average golfer makes cuts at a much lower rate. In a typical full field event, only half the field ends up making the cut each week. With six roster spots on DraftKings, it’s difficult creating a lineup that doesn’t end up with at least one golfer missing the cut. In a sport with such volatility, we can afford to take more risks, especially in tournaments.

Salary Distribution

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We’ve touched on this subject in a different article, but salary distribution is typically where the biggest difference between cash game and tournament strategy lies. In general, it is better to construct a well-rounded roster for cash games, as the odds of each player making the cut goes up drastically. In tournaments, we want to score as many points as possible. This is typically done by picking the winner of the tournament, along with other golfers that are able to make some noise on the weekend.

Since our goal in tournaments is different than it is in cash games, we can afford to be a little more aggressive with our salary distribution. It’s hard to pick the winner of the tournament each week, but the favorites are always a great place to start. In order to roster one or two of the most expensive golfers, we need to target a few of the cheaper golfers in hopes that they can make the cut. Taking the stars and scrubs approach is riskier than the well-rounded approach, but it gives up more upside, which is what we are concerned with in tournament play.

Fading the Obvious

Fading the obvious picks each week is another great way to differentiate your lineups and possibly gain an edge on your opponents in tournaments. If you are new to daily fantasy golf, you’d be surprised how many of the obvious picks end up missing the cut each and every week. That’s just the nature of a sport with such great variance. Sometimes golfers catch a few bad breaks that can end up being the difference between them making or missing the cut.

Each week, there are typically 2-5 golfers that will have a lot of buzz coming into the tournament. Whether they are under-priced, coming into the event in great form, or have had a great track record at the event, it’s easy to spot the obvious plays each week. In tournaments, it can really pay off to fade the trendy picks of the week because when a golfer that is highly owned misses the cut, you will have a big advantage over the rest of the field.

Lineup Diversification

My final piece of advice for tournaments is to diversify your lineups. In full field events, there are typically 140+ golfers in the field. All of which have the same opportunity to make the cut and win the tournament. Seeing as most events feature a cut that only includes the top 70 and ties, only half the field typically makes the cut each week. We don’t want to put all of our eggs in one basket. Having too much exposure to one, or a set of golfers, can really backfire if he fails to make the cut. If you are building a large number of tournament lineups, make sure to lower your risk by diversifying your lineups.


Continue Reading PGA Training Camp

PGA Hall of Fame – Lesson 01 – PGA Scoring Bonuses
PGA Hall of Fame – Lesson 02 – Tournament Strategy
NEXT LESSON PGA Hall of Fame – Lesson 03 – Understanding Courses and Tournaments
PGA Hall of Fame – Lesson 04 – Advanced Stats

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