PGA DFS Picks: Welcome back to another edition of The First Cut for the WGC-HSBC Champions, the third and final tournament of the Asain Swing. It’s a star-studded field with Justin Rose & Rory McIlroy making his much-return to the course following a few quality starts on the European Tour, and Xander Schauffele looks to go back to back in China and looks to kick start another multiple win season.
Here’s what you can expect to see in the article:
- Tournament intro
- Course commentary
- Sweatsheet & scorecard
- DFS preview
- Player and statistical preview
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PGA DFS Opening Remarks
The PGA Tour has a rare, very rare, week off, other than the holiday season in December, so our only option for golf is to turn our attention to the European Tour Playoffs. This week we head to Turkey for a 75 man field, where each golfer will play 72 holes. The field is comprised of the top 70 players from the Race to Dubai standings, that wish to play, and then five sponsor invites.
Before we dig in, it’s worth noting that there’s plenty of interest this week to play, DraftKings just reposted all of their contests at all price levels, if you missed the first wave.
Tournament Intro: Turkish Airlines Open
This Week’s Course(s): The Montgomerie Maxx Royal
Course & Tournament Commentary
The name of the course gives away who the architect is, at least to those of you that have enjoyed your golf for some time. Colin Montgomerie teamed up with European Golf Design in 2008 to create this seaside gem. The course has hosted the first three events of this tournament before switching to Caraya for a couple of years, now making it’s here. It’s not overly long, and has five par 5’s, and will play under 7200 yards. Looking at previous winners, Victor Dubuisson and Brooks Koepka, driving distance would seem to matter a bit more this week.
Its tree-lined fairways will be reminiscent of what the golfers faced last week in China, as precision off the tee will be paramount again.
Since we don’t cover many tournaments on the euro side, and some of them can be in quite obscure places I decided to add in a tiny google map so I could showcase where the golfers are heading this week:
Course Difficulty: The three winning scores from 2013-2015 were: -24, -17, -22
Stimpmeter (how fast the greens are running): N/A
Most Important Approach Proximity by average # of shots:
No Bias Driver heavy.
- Bent Greens
Montgomerie & European Golf Design
PGA DFS Sweatsheet
PGA DFS Preview
A couple of 5K up top contests…
Fantasy Golf Player & Statistical Preview
PGA DFS Commentary
Justin Rose has won this tournament a couple of years in a row now, but he’ll have to do it at a different course if he wants to complete the three-peat. Other top names in the field include Francesco Molinari, Shane Lowry, Matt Wallace, Bernd Wiesberger, Eddie Pepperell, and Americans Patrick Reed & C.T. Pan.
Fantasy Golf Statistical Preview
Since we don’t typically cover the European tour, I’ll do a little bit of a deeper dive into this section. You can also check out my model this week that covers all of these stats, and more!
First, let’s take a look at Driving Distance:
Now, Driving Distance can always be a bit skewed based on what holes they track it for how many, so we always try to match that up with SG: OTT. Here are the results from this field:
And one more…Since you know after all you drive for show and putt for $$$
Putting Last week
And last but certainly not least, we take a look at whose iron game might be able to save them if they aren’t driving it well.
GIR Last week:
PGA DFS Turkish Airlines Open
Plenty of data to go through above, and I’ll disseminate a bit here, and more in tomorrow’s Winning Element article. The first thing I noticed is that Shane Lowry, typically a very good putter was 68th in putting last week. That’s got to turn around for him. His ball-striking seems to be on, as he hit over 70% of his greens last week. The lowest driving distance rank and highest number of strokes gained off the tee goes to Sean Crocker while combing putting and driving gives us Erik Van Rooyen as the top pick.
Lastly, it’s good to see Patrick Reed return to form hitting the most greens out of anyone in this field last week, an 81% number for the week.
For now, that’s all!
As always, message me on Twitter or in our Premium PGA Slack Chat if you have any fantasy golf questions.