Daily Fantasy Golf Course Primer: Greenbrier Classic
The Greenbrier Classic makes its return to the PGA Tour after the 2016 iteration was canceled due to heavy flooding.
The field for this year's event is rather weak, as just six of the world's top 30 golfers by the Official World Golf Rankings are in action. Still, there have actually been events at this course from 2010 to 2015, so we have some history to draw from, unlike some recent weeks.
There were repairs to the course since the flooding, so not everything will be the same old same old with The Old White TPC, but we will be using past correlations to hone in on our key stats.
Let's break it all down, from the course to the past history to the key stats for The Old White TPC.
Course and Tournament Overview
The Old White TPC is a par 70, playing 7,287 yards. In the past five iterations, the course has played around average difficulty in most years.
|Year||Difficulty Rank||Avg O/U Par|
Despite mostly average marks in terms of scoring relative to par, the most relevant stats are actually those that emphasize safety (but we'll get to that later).
The Greenbrier is a 156-player event, with the top 70 and ties making it through the cut.
Recent Tournament History
Danny Lee won in 2015, the most recent Greenbrier Classic, with Robert Streb, David Hearn, and Kevin Kisner finishing tied for second. Russell Henley was the lone fifth-place finisher. Seven players tied for sixth, most notably the red-hot David Lingmerth.
The five prior winners to Lee include Angel Cabrera, Jonas Blixt, Ted Potter, Jr., Scott Stallings, and Stuart Appleby.
Strokes gained: tee to green and strokes gained: putting are always worth weighting -- same with birdie-or-better rate. But the past five events at the Greenbrier indicate the following stats as the ones to focus on most.
|Key Stats for the Greenbrier Classic at Old White TPC|
|Par 4 Scoring|
|Strokes Gained: Tee to Green|
|Good Drive Percentage|
Again, these all indicate somewhat of a safe approach for the weekend.
Taking advantage of the par 4s will be crucial, as will avoiding bogeys.
Scrambling and mustering good drives (fairways hit plus greens and fringes in regulation if the fairway was missed) to get par-or-better chances have correlated well with success at this course from 2011 to 2015.
And while putters can run hot and cold, targeting players who have gained strokes via putts on the year make a lot of sense, given the past link between putting and scoring at the Greenbrier. However, emphasizing tee-to-green play is likelier to yield more trustworthy results.
Course History Studs
We should probably start with Lingmerth, who finished T6 in 2015, T16 in 2014, and T9 in 2013. He's locked in right now, and he's thrived at this course in the past.
Lee was T16 in 2014 prior to his 2015 win. He missed the cut in 2012. Russell Henley finished T30 in 2013 and solo 5 in 2015, his two events at The Old White TPC.
Bill Haas missed the 2015 cut but was T23, T9, T33, and T2 in the four prior years.
Bubba Watson is three of three on cuts since 2013, when he was T30. He was T16 in 2014 and T13 in 2015. Chez Reavie is three for three here, too: T18 in 2011, T62 in 2013, and T22 in 2015.
Graham DeLaet has made all four cuts at the Greenbrier (T45 in 2010, T12 in 2012, T30 in 2013, and T37 in 2015). Kevin Na has also made all four cuts of his Greenbrier career: T36 in 2010, T7 in 2012, T52 in 2014, and T32 in 2015.
Tony Finau finished T13 in 2015, his only try at The Old White TPC.
Ted Potter, Jr. won in 2012 and followed that up with a T6 in 2013 and T26 in 2014. Do with that what you will.