Daily Fantasy Golf Course Primer: WGC-Bridgestone Invitational
We're just one week away from the PGA Championship, but did you also know that there are only three weeks left in the FedEx Cup regular season?
But, 550 FedEx Cup points are on tap for this week's winner, compared to 600 next week at the PGA, and this field is as loaded as any can be.
So with a loaded field, no cut, and a major lurking, we can't miss on our picks this week. Which types of golfers should we be targeting, based on the course?
Course and Tournament Info
Firestone CC South is a par 70 that runs 7,400 yards. It commonly plays pretty tough, relative to par, despite stellar fields.
|Year||Difficulty Rank||Course||Par||Yards||Avg Score||Avg O/U Par|
|2017||18||Firestone CC (South)||70||7,400||70.497||0.497|
|2016||7||Firestone CC (South)||70||7,400||71.416||1.416|
|2015||8||Firestone CC (South)||70||7,400||70.968||0.968|
|2014||18||Firestone CC (South)||70||7,400||70.389||0.389|
|2013||9||Firestone CC (South)||70||7,400||71.051||1.051|
|2012||16||Firestone CC (South)||70||7,400||70.695||0.695|
|2011||18||Firestone CC (South)||70||7,400||70.174||0.174|
|2010||15||Firestone CC (South)||70||7,400||70.556||0.556|
|2009||11||Firestone CC (South)||70||7,400||70.861||0.861|
|2008||22||Firestone CC (South)||70||7,400||70.550||0.550|
Why? Well, the bentgrass greens are fast (reading 13-plus on the stimpmeter) and feature false fronts and edges, via Future of Fantasy. Fairways and greens are also difficult to hit in regulation.
So, how can golfers take advantage?
These stats stand out as the most vital, based on historical performance at Firestone CC (South).
|Key Stats for the WGC-Bridgestone at Firestone CC (South)|
|Strokes Gained: Tee to Green|
|Strokes Gained: Approach|
|Par 4 Scoring|
|Greens in Regulation|
|Birdie or Better Rate|
Pretty darn straightforward list.
According to FantasyGolfMetrics, golfers finishing inside the top-10 since 2003 have averaged 1.62 strokes gained: tee to green. Those in the entire field (again, there's no cut, so it's hard to differentiate between cut-makers and trunk-slammers) averaged 0.01 strokes gained: tee to green.
Approach strokes gained stats were similar: 0.87 versus 0.00.
The par 70 lends itself more to par 4 scoring than usual. Naturally, it lends itself to par 3 scoring, but that's pretty flukey, and relying on it compared to par 4 scoring rarely makes sense.
And with the no-cut setup, we can embrace volatility by giving added weight to birdie scorers. A birdie and a bogey are worth more FanDuel points than a pair of pars, so we can give extra weight to scorers this week.
Past History Studs
Via datagolf, Keegan Bradley, believe it or not, leads the Tour in adjusted strokes gained per round (+3.08) at Firestone CC (South), since 2010. But Keegan isn't in the field this week.
Second on the list is Rory McIlroy (+2.93), who won here in 2014 before a two-year layoff. He returned last season to finish fifth, despite losing strokes on approach shots.
Then it's a sizable dip to Zach Johnson and Adam Scott (+2.11). ZJ's past five years at this event have resulted in a 4th, 23rd, 33rd, 10th, and 2nd. For Scott, the finishes are 14th, 8th, 45th, 10th, and 13th. He also won back in 2011.
Matt Kuchar (+2.05) is fourth in the field, though he has cracked the top 10 just once in the past five years (third in 2016).
Hideki Matsuyama (+1.99), Rickie Fowler (+1.98), and Jordan Spieth (+1.91) are next on the list.
Matsuyama's win came out of nowhere, based on his past finishes: 21st, 12th, 37th, 42nd. Fowler has been much more consistent, finishing 21st, 8th, 10th, 10th, and 9th the past five years. In Spieth's four tries, he was 49th, 10th, 3rd, and 13th.
Tiger Woods has four wins here since 2006: 2006, 2007, 2009, and 2013. He withdrew back in 2014 and hasn't played here since.