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first cut

The First Cut for the Vivint Houston Open | PGA DFS Picks for DraftKings + FanDuel

Jason Rouslin

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The First Cut for the Houson Open, PGA DFS picks for the Houston Open | DraftKings & FanDuel fantasy golf, including Dustin Johnson.

This is the first installment in our weekly fantasy golf content for DraftKings, FanDuel and SuperDraft, breaking down the best PGA DFS picks and everything you need to know for the Vivint Houston Open.

If this is your first time reading the article, or you’ve forgotten all about PGA DFS, then I’ll give you a quick summary of what’s to come:

  • Tournament Intro
  • Course Breakdown and PGA DFS Sweat Sheet
  • Player Preview
  • Statistical Preview

PGA DFS Picks & Fantasy Golf: The Vivint Houston Open

With everyone’s eye on next week, the Houston Open will see an influx of good players looking to get that last tune-up in before next week’s Masters Tournament. Dustin Johnson will return from COVID after a three-week break and will hopefully be able to find form over the two-to four-rounds he plays here in Houston. Tony Finau is in a similar spot, although he performed well enough in his return after two weeks of being out due to COVID. They are your headliners this week here in Houston.

Not due to COVID but rather an injury, Brooks Koepka will also use this week to test out all his ailments. They looked decent last time out. Lastly, Francesco Molinari will be making just his second start since returning to professional golf.

The Tournament & Format

Obviously, anytime you get the No. 1 golfer in the world, that is more to follow. The tour has been coming to the Houston area for over 40 years, and for many of the recent years the event had been played at the Golf Club of Houston. It had lost its luster and title sponsor, having the lowest strength of the field in any tournament last year. Don’t tell that to Lanto Griffin, last year’s winner, who is also in the field in next week’s event because of this tournament. But the venue and date change have brought several good players back to the area.

There are 132 players and a cut after 36 holes.

The Course: Memorial Park Municipal Golf Course

One of the few true municipal golf courses on the tour’s rotation, as the pros will head to the newly Tom Doak renovation Memorial Park Golf Course. It is owned and operated by the city of Houston and was designed for both the best in the world and worst in the world to play there. If you are wondering how you can play the course and how much it costs, as long as you are a Houston resident, you can play 18 holes on this PGA Tour course for under $30. If under the age of 18, you can play for just $10. That pales in comparison to $400 out at Kapalua.

This will be the first year for the tournament here at Memorial Park since 1963, so we only have baseline data on the course. We should have more data on the course mid-week, Tuesday, and I will update the fact sheet once I do.

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Course Facts & Figures

Par and Yardage 

  • Par 72: 7,400 yards

Course Difficulty

  • N/A — But I’m predicting a score somewhere close to 69. That should bring the average score to -7 or 8 for the week, and the winner in the low 20s.

Hole Dispersion:

  • Five Par 3’s: 161, 208, 182, 240, 140,
  • 10 Par 4’s: 498, 490,440,443,456,496,406,476,382,503
  • 3 Par 5’s: 587, 625, 576

Grass Types & Hazards

  • Grass Type: Bermuda
  • Average Green: N/A
  • Water Hazards:  N/A
  • Bunkers: N/A
  • Rough Length: N/A

Facts and Figures

  • Off the Tee: Since we don’t have any data yet on this course, this will be all eye test, so bear with me. What I mean by eye test is I watched all 18 videos of each hole here and will give my best guesses based on that. So, with this being a municipal course that gets over 50,000 rounds a year, the course has to be somewhat approachable or else they wouldn’t get the play they do. That generally means forgiving tee shots. There should be only two spots on the course where water comes into play off the tee: 16 and 17. Fourteen may qualify as well, with the creek going up the left side.
  • Approach to the Green: With overly generous fairways, I suspect that greens in regulation will be a relatively high number this week.
  • Around the Green: The green complexes seem to be on the trickier side, but remember it is a municipal course, so I wouldn’t expect them to be anywhere near Augusta. About two-thirds of the holes also have some type of bunkering complex, which should add a little difficulty.
  • On the Green: As I just mentioned, this being a muni, there’s a slim chance these greens will get anywhere close to what Augusta will be running next week. But, I’d expect the greens crew and the PGA Tour to set it up as fast as possible to give the few players competing next week somewhat of a test.

Designer 

  • Tom Doak redesign — John Bredemus.

Fantasy Golf & PGA DFS Sweatsheet

*An earlier version of this article had shown the public version of this scorecard. For the championship, they have turned the first hole, a long par four, into a short par 5, and have turned the short par 4 13th and added 80 yards to it. *

*A second version of this article had shown the first scorecard released by the PGA Tour. They have since updated it with a new one that changes the par to a par 70. 

 

 

Player Preview

As I touched on in the opening paragraph, anytime you can get the No. 1-ranked player in the world in your field. It’s bound to be relatively strong. He’s joined by nine others ranked inside the top 40, including Tyrrell Hatton, Sungjae Im, Tony Finau and Sergio Garcia. All of them have decided to use this week as a tune-up for the Masters rather than heading to Augusta a week early. There’s plenty of reasoning on both sides, but in the case of Johnson, it makes sense for him to get some reps after having been out for the last little bit.

Plenty of other golfers ranked inside the top 100 are also here to compete, including Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth and Erik van Rooyen. 


Wanna Bet? 

There are some Top-100 golfers lining up in this week’s Houston Open PGA tournament, and finding the best odds and sportsbook to place your PGA bets on can be tough. The Awesemo OddsShopper tool has you covered, though. Find which book is giving you the best bang for your buck and track all your bets. Click on the image below to check out the PGA odds for this week’s tournament.

Jordan Spieth Houston Open PGA DFS Picks


Previous Winners for The Houston Open

  • 2019: Lanto Griffin (-14)
  • 2018: Ian Poulter (-19)
  • 2017: Russell Henley (-20)
  • 2016: Jim Herman (-15)
  • 2015: J.B. Holmes (-16) 

Statistical Comparison for PGA DFS Picks

Driving Accuracy vs. Driving Distance

It’s hard to do a comparison really cause we are playing a totally different course. Next week we’ll have plenty of data to discuss, giving this section a bit more substance.


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Jason established his roots in the littlest state that could...Rhode Island. But after 29 years of bitter cold, and only being able to play golf 4 months a year, upended those roots and moved to Florida. Now two years later, Jason is a husband to Sarah and father of James as well as two Labradors (Choco and Bella) and he dedicates his time to serve as the lead of PGA content at Awesemo.com. In the time he is not diving into the PGA stats and covering this week's current tournament, you can find him researching and trading stocks, on the golf course, or somewhere hopefully lost in nature with his dogs guiding him along the way. Want to chat? Have a question about Golf/Stocks or anything else? Hop on twitter and give him a message @dfsgolfer23. You can also contact Jason by emailing support@awesemo.com.

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