What’s goin’ on fantasy golf fans?! I hope everyone enjoyed the Asian swing. We are back on North American soil this week with a full field event and a CUT!!! Finally.
It’s time for the Shriners Hospital for Children Open in Las Vegas Nevada. TPC Summerlin is the host course, which is a 7,255 yard Par 71 track. It has been the host of this event since 2008 and the scores typically reach the -20s. This is one of the easiest courses the touring pros will play so expect a lot of birdies and eagles, thanks to two very reachable Par 5s.
TPC Summerlin is a second shot golf course, so I will be weighting Strokes Gained Approach as the heaviest stat in my model. Recent winners and top 10 finishers at this event have exceeded in approach shots, rarely relying on the off the tee game. Since so many birdies do get made this week, Birdies or Better Gained will be extremely important. I will also sprinkle some weighting on Strokes Gained Around the Green, GIRs Gained and Bogey Avoidance to round out the rest of the stats.
Alright, let’s get to the picks!
My favorite golfers for the week – for Cash and GPP contests.
Kevin Chappell – $10,200
Kevin Chappell was an easy call for me at the top. The high priced golfers on DraftKings isn’t pretty this week, so Chappell immediately stood out as the best value in this range. He is one of the class players in this field and is coming off his first President’s Cup. You would have to think he already has Ryder Cup on his mind. He is one of the best birdie makers in this field and if he is on, can lap the competition this week. The savings you are getting on Chappell can allow you to built some really solid lineups despite the lack of talent in the field. He’s a no brainer in the $10K+ range.
Patrick Cantlay – $9,700
Patrick Cantlay continues to impress. He flew over to China to play in the HSBC Champions event and casually cruised to another T15. A 73 on Sunday took him out of the top 10, but it was still a solid performance to kick off his 2017-2018 campaign. He begins the quest to pick up his first win on the PGA Tour, and the Shriners Open feels like an ideal spot to get the job done. He is accurate off the tee, can dial it in with his approach game and avoids making big numbers. He is one of the few golfers that has the complete package in the field. His price tag of $9,700 can still be considered a value.
Charley Hoffman – $9,000
Rarely am I a Charley Hoffman guy, but for $9,000 in this field, he becomes a must play. Like Chappell, Hoffman is coming off of an impressive President’s Cup and will be looking to make the trip to France for the Ryder Cup. He may as well get the season started on the right foot this week. Not only is Hoffman one of the top five players in the field, he is also playing with some added incentive. Hoffman has pledged to donate 100% of his winnings this week to the victims of the Las Vegas tragedy. You would think this added motivation will help him climb the leaderboard, as no one in the field wants to make the cut more than Hoffman. I’m all in.
Seamus Power – $7,700
Seamus Power played remarkably well last week at the Sanderson Farms but was let down by his around the green game. That does worry me slightly, as SG:ARG is one of the stats I am looking at, but Power had his worst week of chipping so far in his career losing four strokes on the field. He was elite from tee to green and if he continues that play he will have no problem getting around TPC Summerlin. Power is one of the best scorers in this field and can definitely get to -20 if he is firing on all cylinders.
Harold Varner III – $7,200
HV3 is back. After a fantastic rookie season in 2016, Varner took a step backwards in 2017. However it seems as though he has a new focus for this season back to back top 26 finishes in the Asian swing after strong run in the FedEx Cup Playoffs. To finish the season, Varner gained strokes on approach shots in seven out of eight events, something we weren’t use to seeing in his rookie season. His price tag is extremely affordable and he offers a tremendous amount of DraftKings scoring potential.
Shriners Hospital Open Interactive Data
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Identifying the chalk, and going elsewhere.
Kevin Na – $9,200
Kevin Na has some interesting results at TPC Summerlin. In the past six years, he has missed the cut twice, withdrawn, finished T22, was the runner up in 2015 and won in 2011. It’s a second shot course which has Na written all over it. Perhaps his below average finishes in Asia have turned people away – he failed to post a top 40 finish in two tries this year. Na is now back at a course he has had lots of success on and no one will be playing him. He only has five tags on FanShareSports, one of the fewest out of the $9K+ range.
Martin Laird – $8,60
Martine Laird is a former winner of this event and only has five tags on FanShareSports. Perhaps his price is keeping people away, which is exactly what we are looking for when making a pivot. Laird is surrounded by chalky options Lovemark, Streelman and List, all drawing way more eyes and attention. Laird’s last time out was a T17 at the Safeway which isn’t anything to ignore. Take the low owned Party Marty in GPPs and who knows, maybe a repeat of 2009 is in the cards.
Scott Brown – $7,400
Has everyone forgot what Scott Brown did in both South Korea and Malaysia not that long ago? You could argue he is one of the hottest golfers entering the Shriners Open with a T23 and T5 in two pretty impressive fields. Brown has a top 10 at TPC Summerlin within the past three years, and has made 3/5 cuts. He only has one tag on FanShareSports so expect his ownership to be next to nothing.
Bad course fit? Highly owned for the wrong reason? Players I will have no shares of.
Anirban Lahiri – $10,300
It’s no longer the Asian swing, so it’s no longer time to be paying $10,300 for Lahiri. Yes, he played very well at the CJ Cup and CIMB Classic, but we have seen him have success in the past overseas. He hasn’t played in this event within the last five years and is known as one of the most inconsistent golfers on tour. At $10,300, I will let others pay for the enormous risk Lahiri carries.
Jason Kokrak – $8,800
There is no question this is a weak field, but to pay $8,800 for Kokrak seems a bit much. He did have a nice showing at the Sanderson Farms last week, but he has next to no success at TPC Summerlin in the past. In the past five years, he has three missed cuts, at 74th and a T38. Those are brutal results and is well within the range of outcomes again this week. Kokrak gained 4.7 strokes on the field putting last week, a result that will be difficult to replicate.
Ryan Armour – $8,100
Ryan Armour is definitely a feel good story. PGA Tour journeyman picks up his first win at age 41. Seems like an ideal let down spot doesn’t it? His price has jumped all the way to $8,100 and people will still roster him because of last week’s result. Like Kokrak, Armour gained 7.7 strokes on the field putting last week, a result that seems very unsustainable. I’d be shocked if Armour finishes inside the top 10 and for that, he won’t find his way onto a single roster.
So, you got burned?
Recently got screwed by a missed cut or a poor performance? Looks like a good time to jump back on.
Gary Woodland – $9,600
Only going with one this week because there aren’t many golfers who played in the main DK slate last week (HSBC Champions) and disappointed. Hell, Woodland wasn’t one of those guys either but he did let us down a couple of times in Asia. In two no cut events, Woodland failed to crack the top 25 both times despite being heavily talked about as a potential winner in Malaysia. Over his past 12 recorded rounds however, Woodland has been crushing it with approach shots, but his putter has been letting him down like it usually does. I’m willing to roll the dice with a low owned Woodland.
Thanks for reading the Shriners Open preview article! You can follow me on Twitter for more golf and betting talk! Also, make sure you check out @FanShareSports. They track and curate content produced across the DFS Golf industry, and highlight which players are being tagged or talked about the most, translating to an excellent ownership guide.
Good luck this week everybody!!