Daily Fantasy Golf Course Primer: Waste Management Phoenix Open
The PGA Tour heads to TPC Scottsdale this week for the Waste Management Phoenix Open, one of the more lively environments golfers will face this year. The 7,266-yard par 71 has been the site of exciting finishes recently, with the past three editions all coming down to a playoff to determine the victor. The course also breaks the faux decorum so often invoked at golf events, with loud cheering (and jeering) at the stadium-style par-3 16th hole.
As has become the norm, a strong field has made the trip with 22 of the top 30 golfers in the FedEx Cup standings participating this week. There are worse ways to spend a weekend, after all. Scottsdale routinely has pristine weather conditions, but there is actually some rain in the forecast this week. Scoring is pretty friendly every year, and if the course is going to play soft that will help the bombers who loft the ball further off the tee, as well as mitigate putting disadvantages.
Let's dig into the course and see what stats we can use to build our daily fantasy lineups this week.
Course and Tournament Info
Course: TPC Scottsdale
Tees/Fairways/Rough: Bermudagrass overseeded with ryegrass and fine fescue
Greens: TifEagle Bermudagrass overseeded with ryegrass and poa trivialis
|Season||Par||Yardage||Average Score||Avg O/U Par||Rank|
After having to contend with multiple courses the past couple events, golfers and DFS players alike rejoice at the site of a single venue for this week's action. TPC Scottsdale rates out as a middle-class course in terms of difficulty by average score relative to par, skewing slightly on the easier side the past two seasons. The field strength plays a part - average o/u par doesn't factor in that a strong collection of top level talent is participating year in and year out.
This is by no means a cakewalk, but as seen last week at the Farmers Insurance Open the world's best golfers are capable of taking advantage of every course on the circuit. The winner will likely flirt with 20-under par again this week.
These stats have proven vital to success at the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale.
|Key Stats for the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale|
|Strokes Gained: Off the Tee|
|Strokes Gained: Approach|
|Strokes Gained: Par 5s (550-600 yards)|
|Proximity Gained 150-175 yards|
Strokes gained: approach is always going to be a bedrock statistic, but strokes gained: off the tee also stands out this week as vital to success. Everyone is bombing it out here, with the average driving distance more than 295 yards compared to the Tour average of about 282, according to stats on Fantasy National Golf Club. Approach is still more valuable, but prioritizing one and giving little or no weight to the other would be a mistake this week.
Opportunities gained is a new stat offered by Fantasy National this year, calculating not only good old greens in regulation but also giving special weight to those scoring opportunities on the green or fringe from inside 15 feet. It follows then, that proximity with mid-to-low irons would point DFS players to golfers who create a lot of birdie opportunities by knocking it close.
Par 5s are always a priority on par 72 courses, but even at this par 71 scoring on these holes in particular will be essential to victory. The past two winners of this event, Gary Woodland and Hideki Matsuyama, rank second and third, respectively, in strokes gained: par 5s (550-600 yards) over their last 50 rounds. Woodland led the field in strokes gained on par 5s last year and Matsuyama was 1st and 12th in his back-to-back wins the prior years.
Course History Studs
Hideki Matsuyama withdrew last year due to a wrist injury that threw off much of his season. He killed a lot of lineups as rightful mega-chalk on DFS sites. He finished T2 and T4 before that and has as good of form at this course as any golfer does anywhere.
Phil Mickelson makes his 30th(!) appearance at the Phoenix Open, a site where he has enjoyed three victories in his career. He hasn't captured the title since 2013 but has good recent form here, with three straight finishes of T16 or better.
Brendan Steele has played this event every year of his professional career and has quite a fondness for it. Since 2012 he has just one finish outside the top 25, and that was T26 in 2015.
Rickie Fowler plays himself into contention every year and over the last three years has finished T11, T4, and solo 2nd after losing in a playoff to Matsuyama in 2016.
Mike Rodden is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Mike Rodden also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mike_rodden. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.