Daily Fantasy Golf Course Primer: Valspar Championship
Anything is possible on the PGA Tour, and that includes a Phil Mickelson win, which we got for the first time in years at last week's WGC-Mexico.
This week, the field reverts from a limited number and a no-cut event last week to the full-on 140-plus golfer, standard cut variety. What do you need to know about the course?
Course and Tournament Overview
The course this week is Innisbrook Resort (Copperhead) -- formerly Westin Innisbrook (Copperhead). It's a par 71 that runs more than 7,300 yards (it's listed at 7,340). In case you forgot, last week's course (Club de Golf Chapultepec) was a par 71 that measured 7,330 yards.
Innisbrook grades out as a difficult track year over year and has been one of the 10 most difficult courses relative to par in four of the past five years.
|Year||Difficulty Rank||Course||Par||Yds||Avg Score||Avg O/U Par|
|2017||17||Innisbrook Resort (Copperhead)||71||7,340||71.512||0.512|
|2016||6||Innisbrook Resort (Copperhead)||71||7,340||72.618||1.618|
|2015||10||Innisbrook Resort (Copperhead)||71||7,340||71.863||0.863|
|2014||6||Innisbrook Resort (Copperhead)||71||7,340||72.433||1.433|
|2013||7||Innisbrook Resort (Copperhead)||71||7,340||72.222||1.222|
|2012||30||Innisbrook Resort (Copperhead)||71||7,340||70.732||-0.268|
|2011||27||Innisbrook Resort (Copperhead)||71||7,332||70.817||-0.183|
|2010||13||Innisbrook Resort (Copperhead)||71||7,340||71.722||0.722|
|2009||9||Innisbrook Resort (Copperhead)||71||7,340||72.157||1.157|
|2008||8||Innisbrook Resort (Copperhead)||71||7,340||72.970||1.970|
As for the tournament itself, the field comprises 144 golfers, with a top-70-plus-ties cut after the second round. Which stats stand out?
|Key Stats for the Valspar Championship at Innisbrook|
|Strokes Gained: Approach|
|Strokes Gained: Putting on Bermudagrass|
|Greens in Regulation|
|Par 5 Scoring|
It's a long list this week, but it's pretty important that you select a strong group of six golfers out of the 140-man field on this tough course.
Strokes gained: approach and second shots look to matter more than play off the tee when examining the splits between golfers finishing inside the top 25 and those who missed the cut, via FantasyGolfMetrics.
Understandably, strokes gained: putting help identify those who score well here, but it's also important to know who putts well on Bermudagrass, which you can do at FantasyGolfMetrics and Future Of Fantasy.
Greens in regulation and scrambling go hand-in-hand to ensure golfers aren't missing these small greens, and avoiding bogeys is key, as the average cutline here has been 1.5 strokes over par since 2003, per FantasyGolfMetrics.
Lastly, the four par 5s play under par, so scoring well on them will go a long way toward making the cut and pushing for a top 25.
Course History Studs
Henrik Stenson has three top-11 finishes in the past three years at Innisbrook (4th in 2015, 11th in 2016, and 7th last year). Jordan Spieth didn't play here in 2017 but finished 7th, 20th, 1st, and 18th since 2013.
Jason Dufner has racked up six straight top 25s and hasn't finished worse than 28th at this course in nine consecutive tries.
Luke Donald won in 2012 and followed it up with two straight fourth-place finishes before posting a 53rd, 22nd, and a missed cut last year.
Charles Howell's past four finishes at Innisbrook read 14th, 10th, 5th, and 49th. Charl Schwartzel missed the cut in 2012 but won in 2016 and was sixth in 2017. Patrick Reed's past three are 2nd, 7th, 38th, and Kevin Na's past four are 2nd, 10th, 22nd, cut.
Ryan Moore seems to have figured this one out. He missed four cuts in six tries from 2008 to 2013 but was 5th, 3rd, and 18th the past three years. John Huh was cut three straight times from 2012 to 2014 before improving year over year with a 33rd, 22nd, and 9th the past three seasons.