Daily Fantasy Golf Course Primer: The Northern Trust
Though the majors are in the rearview mirror, we're onto the FedEx Cup Playoffs. The Northern Trust -- sorry, THE NORTHERN TRUST -- kicks off the final four events of the PGA Tour's 2017-18 season.
The event this week is at a rotating course and comprises only 125 golfers (though just 122 are expected to play), so it's a bit of a unique beast. Let's dive into the course and tournament and see what stands out about Ridgewood CC.
Course and Tournament Info
Course: Ridgewood CC
Distance: 7,319 yards
Greens: Bentgrass and Poa Annua
Fairways: Bentgrass, Poa Annua, and Ryegrass
Ridgewood CC has hosted what was previously called The Barclays three times (2008, 2010, and 2014), so we have some recent data on the par 71 -- though not an overabundance.
At first glance, we can see that the course has played around the Tour average in difficulty in those three years, but the birdie-to-bogey ratio got the most fantasy-friendly in 2014.
|Year||Difficulty Rank||Course||Par||Yards||Avg Score||Avg O/U Par|
The course itself has plenty of bunkers to go around, and the par 3s are dispersed (155 yards, 190, 217, and 230). Overall, it's a pretty straightforward course.
These stats have done the most to separate the top 25 from the trunk slammers in the three events held here.
|Key Stats for The Northern Trust at Ridgewood CC|
|Strokes Gained: Approach|
|Proximity From 150-200 Yards|
|Birdie or Better Rate|
Golfers finishing top-25 averaged 0.50 strokes gained: approach, according to FantasyGolfMetrics. That gave it the most weight compared to strokes gained: off the tee or strokes gained: around the green.
Proximity from 150 to 200 yards actually had a bigger differential than proximity from even 200-plus yards, but you can just opt for proximity to the pin, too. Throwing it in close and converting birdie chances is going to separate the field this week from a fantasy perspective.
Top-25 finishers converted scrambling opportunities 65% of the time, compared to 49% for those missing the cut.
Driving accuracy didn't have much of a differential at all, but added distance helped separate the top 25 and the cut-missers.
There isn't much course form to go on, so we'll look at playoff standings instead.
The top 125 in the FedEx Cup standings earned an invitation for this week, and the top 100 will be in the field next week. These are the bottom 30, and all need a strong showing this week in order to advance.
|FedEx Cup Rank||Golfer|
|106||Harold Varner III|
The point standings are just a small factor this week -- we still want to target the best fits rather than those who need to play well -- but these options have something extra to play for this week. We'll update the list as the Playoffs move forward.