DraftKings preview: A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier
September 09, 2019
By Reid T. Fowler, DraftKings
- September 09, 2019
Daily Fantasy preview for A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier
Fresh off a two-week hiatus, the new PGA TOUR season kicks off with a stop at The Old White at TPC in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia for A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier. The field will consist of PGA TOUR vets such as Zach Johnson, Bubba Watson, Jason Dufner, Marc Leishman and Jason Kokrak; the highest-ranked world golfers playing this week are Bryson DeChambeau (No. 10) and Marc Leishman (No. 24).
Conversely, this allows for a bevy of past and recent Korn Ferry Tour graduates like Tom Lewis, Scottie Scheffler, Doug Ghim and Viktor Hovland the opportunity to get off to a solid start. Sungjae Im, the only 2018 rookie to make the TOUR Championship last season, also will make his first of six starts over the next eight weeks.
The Old White at TPC will play as a par 70 and measure just south of 7,300 yards. The fairways have been relatively easy to hit, recording 10% higher here than PGA TOUR average, and the highest approach shot distribution historically has been hit between 125 to 150 yards, putting a priority on wedge play. We also have seen Strokes Gained: Approach the Green play an important role here as well as Strokes Gained: Putting, which was the highest strokes gained category among top-five finishers at this tournament.
As with most par-70 courses, performances on par-4 holes also will be a key statistic we should be focusing on when building our lineups. Lastly, we want golfers who can rattle off birdies or better on a course that recorded the ninth most total birdies on the PGA TOUR in 2018.
Bryson DeChambeau ($11,000)
He’s the highest-ranked player in the field by a long shot and played well throughout the summer, finishing with a top-12 at the TOUR Championship. We’ve seen DeChambeau start off strong in his past season openers with a top-20 at the Safeway Open in 2017 and a victory at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in 2018. DeChambeau has made eight of his past 10 cuts and has been solid with his irons, ranking top-15 in greens in regulation over the past 24 rounds. DeChambeau is an excellent player on Bentgrass greens, ranking fifth in birdie or better and just outside the top-25 in Strokes Gained: Putting. Of his five wins on TOUR, four have been on Bentgrass greens.
Sungjae Im ($9,800)
With all the buzz focused on Viktor Hovland, Matthew Wolff and Collin Morikawa lately, we might’ve forgotten how good Im played in his rookie campaign. Of the 35 tournaments he entered last season, he made the cut 26 times and recorded seven top-10s. Sungjae has positive Strokes Gained: Putting results in nine of his past 10 events and ranks fifth in the field in Strokes Gained: Putting in the previous six starts. Im got off to a great start in his first tournament last season, finishing fourth at the Safeway Open, which happens to be a course we see a lot of leaderboard crossover with this one.
Scottie Scheffler ($9,300)
The hottest Korn Ferry Tour graduate will be fully exempt on the PGA TOUR this season and should tee off Thursday feeling confident. Last season, he tied for second in ball striking and fifth in greens in regulation, which lead to winning twice and ranking first on the Korn Ferry Tour’s “The 25” Point List. He also made three of four cuts on the PGA TOUR last season with a top-20 finish at the Valero Texas Open. Over his past 24 rounds on the PGA TOUR, which dates back to 2014, he ranks fifth in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green.
Harold Varner III ($8,700)
Varner should have familiarity with the course after a top-five finish here in 2018 and a top-30 the previous year. His best finish of his career came last month at the Northern Trust Open, where he gained 9.5 strokes through Strokes Gained: Approach the Green and 11.3 in Strokes Gained: Tee to green. Varner also has two top-15 finishes at the Safeway Open’s Silverado, a course with a lot of similarities to The Old White at TPC. His putting needs improvement from his 146th ranking last season, but hopefully he (and we) can rely on his ability to score ranking inside the top 25 in birdies or better gained over the past 24 rounds.
Sepp Straka ($7,600)
If we’re looking for birdies, look no further than Straka, who ranks fourth in birdies or better gained over the past 24 rounds. Even though he made just 13 of 25 cuts last season, Straka finished with two top-15 finishes and a top-three, resulting in a solid rookie season. He’s a strong player on par 4s, ranking just outside the top 30 in par 4 scoring average and hits his wedges well, ranking just outside the top 15 in proximity from 125-150 yards.
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Writer’s bio: “I’m a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is reidtfowler) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.”