Desert Classic Recap
It was quite an interesting finish this past weekend at the Desert Classic, with PGA rookie Adam Long coming from behind to take the title at -26. He played in the final group on Sunday with Adam Hadwin and Phil Mickelson. He entered the day trailing each of them and was able to take them both down with the help of two chip-ins on the back nine and a tremendous approach shot and birdie putt on 18. He was listed at 600 to 1 at several books last week, and as high as 1000 to 1 in some spots. He had showed almost no form having missed his prior 3 cuts. Congrats to anyone who was able to pick Long at those odds!
Farmers Insurance Open Preview
The PGA Tour stays in California this week for the Farmers Insurance Open. This is what many would consider the first big event of the year, given the no cut events and weak field tournaments that have taken place so far. This week 12 of the top 20 golfers in the world will be teeing it up at Torrey Pines. This includes the likes of Tiger Woods, Tony Finau, and Rickie Fowler, who will all be playing for the first time in 2019.
The tournament will be played on two courses over the first two days, the South course and the North course. Each golfer will get a crack at both courses over the course of Thursday and Friday. For those who make the cut (yes, a normal Friday cut this week), the South course will be the host for the Saturday and Sunday rounds.
Both courses have a par of 72. At 7,698 yards, the South course is the longest course on the PGA tour, and one of the toughest. It ranked as the 8th most difficult course in 2018. The North course, at 7,258 yards, was the 28th most difficult on tour last year. It’s very important for players to take advantage of the one day they get to play on the North course. As an example, Jason Day won the tournament last year at -10. He shot an 8-under 64 on the day he played the North course. Note also that we’re moving off of Bermuda greens this week. The North course has bent greens and the South course has poa greens.
Given the distance of the South course, distance is clearly important this week. That doesn’t mean you have to be one of the longest drivers to win the tournament (Brandt Snedeker has proven that), but it certainly helps. I also recommend considering guys who play well in tougher scoring events, as the winning score won’t be nearly as low as the last weeks. From that perspective, it’s worth looking at bogey avoidance.
If you are playing the FRL market this week, focus on the North course. It played 1.4 shots per round easier than the South course last year. As for the tournament itself, the last 8 winners played the South course on Thursday. I wouldn’t place too much emphasis on that fact, but it is interesting. On to the plays for this week…
Tony Finau 20/1
Hideki Matsuyama 50/1
Kyle Stanley 70/1
Jason Kokrak 150/1
Abraham Ancer 4/1
Kyle Stanley 7/1
JJ Spaun 9/1
Joaquin Niemann 80/1
Jason Kokrak 80/1
Sam Ryder 125/1
Anders Albertson 125/1
Course Scoring (South)
Course Breakdown: Holes that will score the most points that should be focused on are:
#6 – Par 5 – 560 yards – 40.2% Birdies / 49.6% Pars #18 – Par 5 – 570 yards – 33.5% Birdies / 54.9% Pars #13 – Par 5 – 614 yards – 30.5% Birdies / 54.3% Pars #9 – Par 5 – 614 yards – 28.8% Birdies / 62.3% Pars #2 – Par 4 – 389 yards – 18.2% Birdies / 65.7% Pars (** All other holes have under 15% Birdie Rate. **)
Golfers to consider for your lineups!
Rickie Fowler - $9,300 (DK) He ranks 38th and 1st in the two Par 5’s on the course that will feature a ton of scoring. He also ranks 1st in the P4: 450-500 holes which make up another 5 holes on the course. His proximity numbers are also stellar with 21st in 200+, 5th in 175-200 and 16th in 150-175. His numbers fit the course really well but for the bad news he has 3 straight missed cuts here in 2015, 2016 & 2017. However with his price tag down I’m going to ride him as a core golfer this week and hope he can break the streak!
Hideki Matsuyama - $8,000 (DK) Hideki flies to the top of our cheatsheet priced at only $8k and he has finished 12th and 33rd here the last two years. So the first thing I want to do is check on his P5: 550-600 and P5: 600-650 scoring since those make up a massive amount of birdies on this course. He ranks 20th and 9th so check and check! How is he on the P4’s? He ranks 48th and 45th, so not terrible at all. He is 1st in proximity from 200+ yards and 4th for 175-200 so those are going to fit this course really well. He’s struggled a little bit with the putter as he is ranked 77th over his last 36 rounds but I’ll ride with him due to the extreme pricing discount on the 33rd ranked golfer in the world.
Billy Horschel - $7,700 (DK) His recent form on the course is 54th, 64th, 8th, MC and 23rd. Excellent numbers for his proximity as he is 1st for 150-175 yards, 11th for 175-200 yards and 27th for 200+ yards. He also ranks 10th in the P5: 550-600 over his last 36 holes but 91st on the P5: 600-650.
Here are some other fun stats for this week
CUT MONSTERS: (Golfers who have made 5 cuts in the last 5 years at this tourney!) 1. Gary Woodland – Finished 12th, 20th, 18th, 45th, and 10th. 2. J.B. Holmes – Finished 4th, 33rd, 6th, 2nd and 23rd. 3. Charles Howell – Finished 6th, 2nd, 16th, 5th and 37th. 4. Brandon Steele – 29th, 20th, 49th, 45th and 28th.
PAR 5 MONSTERS: (Golfers who are ranked high in the last 36 rounds in the P5’s on the course.) 1. Pat Perez – Ranked 3rd and 18th. 2. Justin Rose – Ranked 7th and 10th. 3. Tony Finau – Ranked 11th and 2nd. 4. Denny McCarthy – Ranked 13th & 17th. 5. Hideki Matsuyama – Ranked 20th and 9th.
PAR 4 MONSTERS: (Golfers who ranked high in last 36 rounds on the P4’s that make up 8 of the 18 holes on this course.)
1. Justin Rose – Ranked 8th and 3rd. 2. Tony Finau – Ranked 4th and 5th. 3. Danny Lee- Ranked 5th and 7th. 4. C.T. Pan – Ranked 2nd and 10th. 5. Aron Wise – Ranked 11th and 21st.
CONSECUTIVE CUT MONSTERS: (Golfers with the highest consecutive cut streaks.) 1. Gary Woodland – 17 cuts 2. Patrick Cantlay – 14 cuts 3. Tony Finau – 13 cuts 4. Keegan Bradley – 13 cuts 5. Marc Leishman – 12 cuts
Thank you for reading and good luck!