All stats from Fantasynational.com!!! Ownership projections also provided by FantasyNational as well as data and trends from Fansharesports.com! Follow @fantasynational @fansharesports @sscherman
Go follow BigBucksNoWhammie (@BPSnow11 on Twitter) for an AMAZING course preview and please check out my 2018 recap and 2019 preview on amateurhourgolfpod.com for most exciting moments from last season, young guys I’m excited for in 2019, early Major predictions, and much more!
The Genesis Open will always be one of the better tournaments of the year, at least skill wise, as many want to be a part of a fantastic course, a great location, and involved with a tournament that is organized by Tiger Woods; however, this year it fell like one of the most marred I’ve seen in quite some time. Rather than see solid coverage and exciting shots and a good finish, we find ourselves discussing our big of an issue slow play is, how the committee handled the weather issues (not well in my opinion), and talking about a popular player’s “collapse,” if we want to call it that. It’s already been discussed as nauseum by many Twitter personalities and others in the golf industry, but as Adam Scott said best, “nothing is going to change until sponsors and officials actually do something about it and give out penalties for slow play.” Personally, I think it is a serious problem in a sport where they’re trying to entice young generation interest and when they no longer have guys like Tiger or Phil headlining tournaments and automatically drawing fans, they can’t just accept 6-hour final rounds. Further, as address by Pat Mayo, how the committee dealt with 3rd and 4th round pairings and timings seemed way off to me as they felt the need for everyone to finish every single round despite many guys safely inside the cut, which could have lead to a much better structured 4th round and had guys playing a normal 18, or 20 holes at most, rather than 30 or more. I’m not a J.B. Holmes fan in the slightest, but good for him getting his first win in 4 years and beating out an elite field. Onto the first WGC event of 2019.
Course and Weather Notes: This is the 3rd installment of the tournament at this course, Club de Chapultepec, and we’ve seen the elite rise to the top over the two previous years. This course may seem long, but once adjusted for altitude, it is actually one of the shortest courses on TOUR. Below I did a calculation to take around 10% off the holes as listed to give some more “true” yardages to help keen in on key stats.
|Hole||Par||Length||Rank||Avg. Strokes||BoB%||O/U Par|
As we can see, the Par 5s are easily reachable, there are 4-5 holes that play 350 yards or less, and we need to target elite wedge players who can keep it in the fairway (fairways only average around 27 yards of width).
Key Stats – Last 8, 12, 24, and 50 Rounds (courtesy of FantasyNational.com)
In order of importance (excluding SG: T2G since it’s ALWAYS key):
- SG: BS
- SG: APP Blend (<150 yards)
- Good Drives Gained
- SG: Par 5s
- GIRs Gained
- Fairways Gained
- BoB/Opportunities Gained
- Bogey Avoidance
- Putting (emphasis on Poa and <15 feet)
Players I’m Targeting This Week (and my approximate exposures):
9K and Above:
Justin Thomas ($11,800): Far and away the number one player in my overall model, JT should once again contend here as he comes in with elite form, solid course history, and near perfect stats. 1st in SG: BS, 1st in the SG: APP blend, 3rd in SG: Par 5s, 1st in BoB/Opps. Gained, and coming off a 2nd, 3rd, 16th, 3rd, and 12th in his last 5 starts. Oh yeah and he almost won here last year, but ultimately finished 2nd to Phil in a playoff. Couldn’t see any reason to not play JT during this stretch… 50-75% exposure minimum.
Hideki Matsuyama ($9,000): Similar theme here this week as Hideki and JT are two guys I wrote up last week as well but I don’t see why not go back to these two studs. Hideki is ranked 2nd, right behind JT, in SG: BS, 4th in the SG: APP blend, 14th in Bogey Avoidance, 4th in GIRs Gained, 10th in Good Drives Gained, and 6th in Scrambling. We all are waiting for a superb putting week from Hideki and if he can do just that, it’s not far fetched to see him do what he’s done in previous WGCs and blow the field away. I will look for 50-75% exposure.
Others plays in this range: Rickie Fowler
Mid-Tier Options (7.0K to 8.9K):
Marc Leishman ($8,700): Not someone I normally play, but Leishman has a 4th, 43rd, 3rd, 4th, and 2nd in his last 5 starts… whoa. When you think of an ideal DK scorer you want a guy who makes birdies in bunches, can make bounce-back numbers, and has the ability to shoot a 63 or 64 on the weekend; that is Leishman who has average about 106 DK Points per tournament in his last 10 starts. Stats wise, Leishman shows elite form with the putter, ranking 6th in the SG: Putting blend and also ranks 9th in BoB/Opps. Gained, 14th in Bogey Avoidance, 18th in SG: Par 5s, and 13th in Scrambling. 30-50%.
Sergio Garcia ($8,000): Woof. Talk about a guy I never play, it was scary to see Sergio rate out well this week, but alas, we can’t be bias against good plays and Sergio has shown strong performances here the last 2 years with a 12th in 2017 and a 7th last year. Always an elite ball striker his whole career, if Sergio can show some signs of putting ability he should be able to follow up with another solid showing as he ranks 23rd in the SG: APP blend, 15th in SG: BS, and 15th in GIRs Gained. Since everyone hates his guts, his ownership should be quite low and I can easily see another Top 10 or Top 5 performance. 25-30%.
Gary Woodland ($7,900): I would argue very quietly, Woodland has 4 Top 10 finishes in his last 5 events, including a near win at the ToC which was halted by an all-world 4th round from Xander Schauffele. Woodland hasn’t torn this event up but his stats show that he definitely possesses all the facets to as he ranks 3rd in SG: BS, 2nd in SG: Par 5s, 14th in GIRs Gained, 14th in Good Drives Gained, and 10th in Fairways Gained. If he can avoid the big numbers around the greens and putt average or slightly above average, I see another solid DK scoring performance out of him. 25-30%.
***Other guys I like in this range: Webb Simpson, Cam Smith, Charles Howell III, Ian Poulter, Chez Reavie, Matt Kuchar***
Low Tier Options (Under 7K):
Emiliano Grillo ($6,900): I understand this is a very strong field, but wow this is a low price for Grillo. He ranks 4th in the SG: APP blend, 12th in SG: BS, and Top 20 in GIRs Gained, BoB/Opps. Gained, Good Drives, and Fairways Gained. He hasn’t had incredible finishes as his last 3 starts have resulted in 33rd, 52nd, and 22nd; however, I love how he’s striking the ball as he just needs to iron out the putter. I’m not sure how much buzz he’ll garner through the week, but I will probably target 15-20% exposure.
My Favorite Cash Game Plays (FULL DISCLOSURE: I don’t normally play cash in no-cut events)
1) Hideki Matsuyama
2) Matt Kuchar
3) Sergio Garcia
4) Gary Woodland
Fades for Me
Phil Mickelson: Will get some buzz due to the win here last year but if he doesn’t get a free drop from every single hazard like last year he could struggle!
Tommy Fleetwood: Not fading due his poorer finish this past week but he’ll gain mega-chalk and I think it’s a fine hedge to go away from potential 20-25% ownership
Matthew Fitzpatrick: Will get ownership as a guy who’s played well at the Omega Masters which is also at altitude although I think he sucks and will therefore full fade
Jon Rahm: Have faded him the last 5/6 weeks and he’s finished Top 10 every time… that’s amazing and I might as well submit myself to more pain and fade another time!
My DK Power Ranks – Generated using 35% Key Stats, 45% Recent Form, 10% Course History, and 10% in Average DK Points in their last 5 events
- Justin Thomas
- Rory McIlroy
- Jon Rahm
- Matt Kuchar
- Gary Woodland
- Xander Schauffele
- Dustin Johnson
- Paul Casey
- Hideki Matsuyama
- Rickie Fowler
- Justin Thomas – 22%
- Tommy Fleetwood – 20%
- Hideki Matsuyama – 18%
- Rory McIlroy – 17%
- Dustin Johnson – 15%
Betting/One and Done
Wanted to add to this article to provide possible betting insights and some options for any One and Done pools that you’re in as well as some pivot options. Please note that these are not always one’s that I personally have bet; however, I will note when I have bet them and at what number. Hopefully you either find better numbers, fade me completely, or let me know who you’re betting!
Sergio Garcia: 40/1
Pros: Great ball striker, can get hot, scores well on Par 5s
Cons: Awful putter, is an ass and destroys greens
Cameron Smith: 66/1
Pros: Strong birdie maker, great approach player, good scrambler
Cons: Weak putter and can miss big off the tee
Matt Kuchar Top 20: +150
Emiliano Grillo Top 10: +650
One and Done: Note that not all chalk is bad but if you want to differentiate here are some options
Predicted “chalk” for OAD – Rory, JT, Rahm, DJ, Hideki, Fleetwood
Cam Smith: People will be off after a lackluster performance and I think this course sets up well
Rickie Fowler: I think many have either already used him or are waiting to use him at a major; his course form is fine but not elite
Webb Simpson: Sets up great but hasn’t played a ton so people don’t see much form; he also has only finished a lackluster 37th here last year
Follow me on Twitter @sscherman and follow @AmateurHour_Pod too for picks, podcasts with FIRE guests, and weekly picks to win!!