The field this week might help the PGA Tour pat themselves on the back, but outside of DJ & Rickie this field is pretty trashy. Rickie is here to fulfill a Rocket Mortgage sponsorship but has had a mixed bag of results in sponsorship events over the past year or two.
The event itself is brand new so we don’t have any course history to go off of this week. The event will be held at Detroit Golf Club, a club which boasts 36 Donald Ross designed holes. The event will be played on the tougher of the two courses – North Course as the South only plays around 6,000 yards. The North course features a fairly bland layout of tree-lined fairways and strategic bunkering.
Water comes into play on only four holes but isn’t a huge threat. The greens are fairly small and are comprised primarily of poa annua grass, though they do contain a small amount of Bentgrass (as is necessary in the Midwest due to the climate). The greens should be fast this week which should play to a lot of “bad putters” hands. I expect the PGA Tour players to destroy par at this course and next week’s venue (more on that next week).
o The Course
· Detroit Golf Club (North Course)
· Par 72
· 7,300 yards
· Poa greens
o Location: Detroit, MI
o Corollary Courses/Performances:Donald Ross Courses – Plainfield CC closest comp
o Past Champions: None – First time event
KEY STATS TO TARGET
o Strong Emphasis – SG: APP, Par 5 Scoring, P4 Scoring 350-400, Birdies or Better
o Important – SG: P (Poa), Scrambling
THIS WEEK’S SUGGESTIONS
Dustin Johnson (DK $12,000)
· Form: DNP – 35th– 20th– DNP
· Stats: 3rd– SG: OTT, 15th– SG: APP, 27th– SG: P, 2nd– SG: T2G
· Analysis: Poa is his friend, the course doesn’t look too challenging and he’s now had the two worst performances in a row to date. I don’t see any reason not to play DJ this week especially with how weak the field is after Rickie.
Rickie Fowler (DK $11,200): 43rd at the US Open was very disappointing as I liked his game a ton for Pebble, but now we get him on an easy course with wide fairways and poa greens. I like him more than Gary and slightly less than DJ, so playing him is more about where his ownership comes in. As of right now, I’d be leaning on him in cash builds and throwing about 20% exposure to him in GPPs.
Gary Woodland (DK $10,900): Woodland’s US Open win was cool and it was nice to see him finally hang on after holding the 54 hole lead (I didn’t expect him to do it), but where can he go from there? There’s only one place to go in my opinion and it’s not winning back-to-back events. I’ll be passing on him this week in all formats.
Byeong Hun An (DK $7,900)
· Form:MC – 16th– DNP – 17th
· Stats: 36th– SG: OTT, 49th– SG: APP, 202nd– SG: P, 11th– SG: T2G
· Analysis: It’s tough to suggest anything outside of a Top 20 finish for BHA, but his game looks solid for the course and he has the poa splits to support a good week putting. We know his ball striking is on a whole other level, so really, we’re just hoping he doesn’t let us down on the greens. We won’t be alone in this play as he’s already being talked up quite a bit on Twitter.
Viktor Hovland (DK $8,400): Last week’s performance was a bit of a disappointment, but it should keep his ownership down in all formats (as should the price bump). If not for a balky putter, I think he finishes inside the Top 25 and the narrative around him this week is much different. He was 13% owned in GPPs last week which was quite a shock, but I get that everyone was pumping his tires after the US Open.
Jimmy Walker (DK $7,700): The form isn’t at a place where he stands out as a chalky value play, but he does have four cuts made in his last six events and has finished inside the Top 40 in three of those events. He’s a strong poa putter and he’s long enough off the tee to take advantage of this course.
Freddie Jacobson (DK $6,500)
· Form: 30th– DNP – DNP – DNP
· Stats: 199th– SG: OTT, 112th – SG: APP, 73rd– SG: P, 194th– SG: T2G
· Analysis: 30th last week after some time off and while his form this season has been sporadic, so has his appearances. Over his last 24 rounds on poa, he ranks 30th in SG: T2G and 1stin the field in putting. The highlight of his game is scrambling and based on where he ranks in most categories it’s the reason he actually makes cuts. He’s best reserved as a one-off in GPPs only this week.
Matthew Wolff (DK $7,500): Wolffie fell victim to the MDF last week, but it was destined to happen as he lost strokes from tee to green and was bailed out by his scrambling and putting. Detroit Golf Club should suit his game a bit more and I expect the stats to correct themselves to the plus side of things. He’s a go in GPPs and shouldn’t be used in cash until he makes five straight cuts or more.
Hank Lebioda (DK $6,900): We’re going back to Hank again this week following last week’s 51st place finish. He’s rarely owned in GPPs or cash games and has the poa putting splits in his favor this week. His approach game continues to bail out his off the tee game and the putter hovers around field average. I like him in all formats.
CONTRARIAN CORE (GPP PLAYS)
Hideki Matsuyama (DK $10,200): “More expensive BHA” means we get an elite tee to green player with a balky putter (though he has poa putting splits in his favor) at a higher cost and while he’s not an obvious value play he is at a value at this price this week and we need to take advantage. I hate to say he’s due for a win, but I think it’s pretty obvious that he is since he hasn’t won since the WGC Bridgestone in 2017 and he does play better in the summer (if you need more narrative to play him).
Brandt Snedeker (DK $9,900): I thought we were going to get the bounce back performance last week, but it never came. That being said, we’ve been on him now for three straight weeks and jumping ship seems like asking to lose money considering the course fit and the form. He’s close to putting it all together for four rounds, he just needs to clean up the one area that breaks him each week.
Patrick Reed (DK $9,300): 30th – 32nd his last two events seems like the best indication that his game is clicking as he’s the type of player who doesn’t show us much before he pops off a win. He has yet to see ownership over 10% in GPPs so getting 30%+ leverage on him in MME GPPs is great considering how well he can play when everything is working.
Sungjae Im (DK $8,800): If I’m suggesting BHA and Matsuyama, it would be a disservice not to include Im as he’s in the same realm of player as those two. There should be slightly less steam on him this week as the price is higher than I’d prefer, but I plan on playing all three in a couple lineups where I can fit them. His poa and easy course splits are massively in his favor so hopefully we finally see him break through in a spot where he’s expected to.
Thanks for reading and good luck this week from the FGI team!
– Pari (@hitthehighdraw)