Trinity Forest hosts another edition of the AT&T Byron Nelson this week as we’re just a week away from the season’s second major. The course looks kind of fun as I’m more of an “American links golf” fan where you can spray the ball off the tee and not worry about being blocked out by trees on your second shot (I’m sure Jordan Spieth will like this as well).
The course features three par 5’s, which make up three of the five easiest holes. The bunkering at Trinity is basically what you’d expect from an American links-style course, deep fairway bunkers, some random pot bunkers that you hope your ball doesn’t find and typical greenside bunkering.
The greens are undulated, making the target on approach shots an area rather than targeting the flag. I’d expect a lot of twitter touts to try to incorporate “Strokes Gained: Imagination” this week because of the heavy contours (joking, obviously), but it’s not too far off as the correct shot when around the green may be chipping or pitching to a hill and watching the ball roll back to the hole.
For 1AD this week, I’m looking to reserve Brooks for next week (or the US Open), Leishman will probably be popular as will Wise. Someone like RCB (who didn’t make my initial run through) would be a high upside play as would Matsuyama (even without any previous experience here). Keith Mitchell would be my dark horse play for those trailing and in need of a deeper pull, and if you’re looking for a super deep shot, I’d look at Bjerregaard.
o The Course
· Trinity Forest Golf Club
· Par 71
· 7,400 yards
· Bermuda greens
o Location: Dallas, TX
o Corollary Courses/Performances:
o Past Champions:
· 2018: Aaron Wise -23 over Marc Leishman
· 2017: Billy Horschel -12 in a playoff over Jason Day (TPC Four Seasons)
· 2016: Sergio Garcia -15 in a playoff over Brooks Koepka (TPC)
· 2015: Steven Bowditch -18 over Charley Hoffman, Scott Pinckney & Jimmy Walker (TPC)
· 2014: Brendon Todd -14 over Mike Weir (TPC)
KEY STATS TO TARGET
o Strong Emphasis – SG: APP, Par 5 Scoring, Birdies or Better, SG: OTT
o Important – Par 4 Scoring 400-450y, APP 200y+, Scrambling
THIS WEEK’S SUGGESTIONS
Jordan Spieth (DK $10,800)
· History: 21st
· Form: DNP – 54th– 21st– 30th
· Stats: 205th– SG: OTT, 120th– SG: APP, 50th– SG: P, 180th– SG: T2G
· Analysis: Spieth’s game has been a glimmer of what we’ve come to expect from the Golden Child this season, but that doesn’t mean that he hasn’t been working on things since The Masters. His 21stplace finish here last year was a bit of a surprise considering his skillset and lack of course fit, but with everyone off of him this week I think he’s in play as a GPP pivot near the top of the board. He’s also a member at Trinity Forest and works with Cam (his swing coach) at the course.
Jimmy Walker (DK $7,700)
· History: 6th
· Form: 45th– DNP – 36th– 30th
· Stats: 175th– SG: OTT, 109th– SG: APP, 151st– SG: P, 112th– SG: T2G
· Analysis: Walker’s run-good in Texas is well known, as he’s won a few times in his home state. Last year’s debut at Trinity Forest was a bit of a surprise considering how bad he had been playing and while he’s a guy whose season long stats don’t really tell us a story as to when he’ll be good or not, I do think he’s a guy who just plays well on courses where he’s comfortable (specifically in Texas and Hawaii). We could get another outlier finish this week, but I think he’s best suited for cash games.
Marc Leishman (DK $10,000): The “Aussies in Texas” narrative lives on again this week as Leishman sets up as a strong play for many reasons. He’s a good wind player, finished well here last year, and has played well in the state of Texas the last two years. The current state of his game isn’t ideal, but that may mean we get him at reduced ownership this week.
Sungjae Im (DK $9,600)
· History: None
· Form: 31st– MC – DNP – 20th
· Stats: 26th– SG: OTT, 40th– SG: APP, 90th– SG: P, 23rd– SG: T2G
· Analysis: Im has the course fit for Trinity Forest as he possesses a strong OTT game, an elite approach game and can scramble when he’s up against it. The biggest hole in his game continues to be the putter, which has shown up about every other tournament this season and after seeing him game six strokes on the greens at Valero, I think maybe the Texas grasses suit him best. He’s a tough sell for cash games, but looks to be an ideal, yet chalky, GPP play.
Dylan Frittelli (DK $7,500): Frittelli’s form has been decent enough to warrant the recommendation this week, especially as we head back to Texas (where he played his college golf). As far as course fit goes, I think he hits three of the four categories (OTT, APP, ARG) and if he can putt at field average (something he’s typically done on bermuda greens), we could get a ceiling finish of a Top 20, which is all we’re looking for at this price.
Wyndham Clark (DK $7,300): Last week’s missed cut doesn’t inspire much confidence, but he just didn’t have it. It marks the first missed cut for Clark since January at the Sony Open, and I think maybe a rest was due. He typically gains strokes from tee to green and has the ability to get red hot with the putter, especially on bermuda greens.
Ryan Moore (DK $8,800)
· Form: 41st– DNP – 3rd– DNP
· Stats: 64th– SG: OTT, 23rd– SG: APP, 30th– SG: P, 32nd– SG: T2G
· Analysis: Moore’s a course fit for most courses due to his strong tee to green game and above average ability to putt. His history in Texas over the last two year’s is the best in the field, and we’re getting him while he’s in form so a strong performance this week wouldn’t be a surprise at all.
Hideki Matsuyama (DK $11,000): Matsuyama hasn’t had much experience in the state of Texas outside of the WGC Match Play event, so I’m scratching my head as to why he feels the need to play again this week as he typically takes the week off before a major. His game is extremely fitting for success at Trinity as he’s long off the tee, an excellent ball striker and can scramble when he puts himself into bad situations. We know how bad the putter is, but when on bermuda, I think he’s a bit more reliable (at least this year he has been).
Adam Schenk (DK $7,000): Schenk is a good ball striker, which is actually being bumped up by his strong driving game as his approach game has been a bit suspect. His putter is reliable enough to bail him out of some bad scores, and is typically the deciding factor when carding birdies or better. He’s best suited as a GPP value play, but could be someone to look at in cash games if you’re in need of some salary relief.
CONTRARIAN CORE (GPP PLAYS)
Brooks Koepka (DK $11,400): Not much to say about Brooks that you don’t already know. I think a lot of people will pay down this week because of Brooks’ “BIG GAME HUNTER” narrative, which is exactly why we’re going to have leverage on him this week.
Aaron Wise (DK $9,400): Wise looks to be back in our good graces after another strong week in Charlotte and his game is much better suited for Trinity Forest (obviously, as he’s the defending champion). His ownership spiked a bit last week, which was a surprise, and while he’s a bit more expensive this week I think we can expect more of the same again this week with the rise in his play, which is why we’re going a bit heavier on our exposure.
Keith Mitchell (DK $9,100): Trinity rewards a good off the tee game and the ability to putt on bermuda grass greens, and that’s exactly what Mitchell does well. Last week’s spike in ownership had a lot to do with minimal accountable options in his price range, and while there are a few more to choose from this week, I think we can expect higher ownership on him again after a strong performance in Charlotte.
Thorbjorn Olesen (DK $8,100): Thunder Bear shouldn’t be a chalky play this week as most people just throw his name out when they’re grasping for straws. He’s a perfect GPP play in my opinion as he’s a typical brand play for this article – Strong APP game, poor putter. He’s similar to Brooks in his better finishes come in majors & WGC events, but this could be his coming out party on the PGA Tour.
Thanks for reading and good luck this week from the FGI team!
– Pari (@hitthehighdraw)