Daily Fantasy Golf Course Primer: The Northern Trust
Few things derail golf research for daily fantasy purposes quite like a lack of information.
We rely on past history at courses not just to learn which players fared well but also which types of players fared well, and which types of shots were important.
We don't have that for the first week of the FedEx Cup Playoffs, as the PGA heads to Glen Oaks on Long Island, making it a first-time host.
Here's what we do know about the course.
Course and Tournament Overview
The par 70 should play around 7,350 yards. Water is in play on four holes to different extents, and bunkers require good placement off the tee.
The first par 5 (the third hole) runs 625 yards and should require a good second shot as well as proper placement off the tee. The other par 5 (the 13th) is a 540-yard eagle opportunity.
Nine of the par 4s range from 440 to 490 and seem to require accurate shots from the tee box. The 16th is a 400-yard par 4, and the 11th is a 315-yarder, giving golfers another good shot at eagle. However, the 11th does have some blowup potential with the water and bunker placement.
The four par 3s are split. Holes 2 and 17 span around 230 to 235 yards, and 6 and 15 run 185 yards.
Some call Glen Oaks the "Augusta of the north," if you're into that sort of comparison.
It's a 120-player field, and despite the playoff format, there is still a cut for the top 70 plus ties after 36 holes.
You can always benefit from seeing which players are picking up strokes tee to green as well as converting birdie chances, but these are the main stats to focus on for this week.
|Key Stats for the Northern Trust at Glen Oaks|
|Birdie or Better Rate|
|Strokes Gained: Off the Tee|
|Greens in Regulation|
|Strokes Gained: Approach|
It's basically looking like a ball-striker's course where placement off the tee will dictate how a golfer fares.
While the numbers generally suggest strokes gained: off the tee is the most important stat of the week, I don't think we should overlook greens in regulation. Picking up strokes off the tee and approach shots will help lead to GIRs, but there's probably something to be said for getting there no matter how you do it, even around the green.
And the greens are a combination of bentgrass and poa -- primarily poa -- so you can look into putting splits to dig deeper into the 120-player field.
Current Form Studs
Generally, we look at course form here, but we just can't do that. We could look at event history -- and Bethpage probably could help us learn a thing or two about this course -- but it never hurts to look at current form.
We could start with Hideki Matsuyama, but I'm starting with Paul Casey. Since the Masters, where Casey was 6th, he’s finished 12th at the Wells Fargo, 22nd at THE PLAYERS, 10th at the DEAN & DELUCA, 26th at the U.S. Open, 5th at the Travelers, 11th at the Open, 5th at the Bridgestone, and 13th at the PGA.
Matsuyama was 11th at the Masters, 22nd at THE PLAYERS, 45th at the Memorial, 2nd at the U.S. Open, 14th at the Open, 1st at the Bridgestone, and 5th at the PGA.
Matt Kuchar finished 9th at the Byron Nelson, 12th at the DEAN & DELUCA, 4th at the Memorial, 16th at the U.S. Open, 2nd at the Open, 32nd at the Canadian Open, 17th at the Bridgestone, and 9th at the PGA.
In all, 11 golfers have played in at least 7 of the past 12 events and finished in the top 25 in 50% or more of those: Rickie Fowler, Marc Leishman, Charley Hoffman, Xander Schauffele, Patrick Reed, Chez Reavie, Jamie Lovemark, Chad Campbell, Daniel Berger, James Hahn, and Kevin Chappell.