Daily Fantasy Golf Course Primer: WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play
The world's best golfers get a break from the stroke play format this week with the World Golf Championship-Dell Technologies Match Play. Only 2 of the top 64 ranked golfers in the world have declined the invitation, as Rickie Fowler and Adam Scott opted to skip the event. Round robin matches begin Wednesday, with three days of pool play determining the bracket for the weekend.
Austin Country Club in the Texas capital hosts the event for the fourth time. The 7,108-yard par 71 features a classic blend of both long and short par 3s and 4s, with the bombers gaining an advantage on the three par 5s, all of which measure at least 570 yards. Like the recent Pete Dye-designed TPC Sawgrass, well-rounded golfers are generally the way to go here, as no one style can overtake the strategy required for success.
While not quite as extreme as Sawgrass, Austin CC's primary defenses are tree-heavy rough, bunkers, and the occasional water hazard. Double bogey and birdie are in play on almost every hole, but in match play format each golfer only has to beat one other in any given round. Birdie is good enough to win most of the time, and going for it is encouraged if there is no difference between bogey or triple bogey.
Wind is always a factor in Texas, and the early forecast in Austin looks like double digit winds will be in play all week.
Course and Tournament Info
Course: Austin Country Club
Distance: 7,108 yards
Greens: TifEagle Bermudagrass overseeded with poa trivialis
Each of the last three winners has been a world class player with length off the tee. The sample size is small and the data incomplete given that strategy is much different here and strokes are only important relative to your opponent. A wayward tee shot that might make a golfer contemplate how he can save par at a normal event could elicit a completely different reaction in match play if the other golfer also shanks it.
Prioritize golfers who can put it in the cup a lot of different ways, and particularly ones that have a competitive streak in them.
These stats will prove vital to success in the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play at Austin Country Club.
|Key Stats for the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play at Austin Country Club|
|Strokes Gained: Tee to Green|
|Strokes Gained: Approach|
|Birdies or Better Gained|
|Strokes Gained: Par 4s|
Brace yourself, this may come as a shock: the best golfers will often beat other golfers head to head. Strokes gained: tee to green with an emphasis on approach is basically the tried and true recipe for success. The rankings for strokes gained: tee to green on the entire Tour looks remarkably similar to the rankings for this event.
Birdies or better gained is self-explanatory at a match play event - birdie will either win or at worst halve a hole the vast majority of the time. Likewise, scrambling to save par when the first two shots don't go as planned is essential for keeping matches close. Getting up-and-down from the bunker is huge when your counterpart lips his birdie putt.
Gaining strokes on par 4s is always important at par 71 courses, but especially in match play. In stroke play events, dominating the birdie or better opportunities on par 5s is a path to the top of the leaderboard. But in match play, outdueling one golfer at a time, one hole at a time, means dominating the par 4s.
Course History Studs
Bubba Watson is the defending champion and also made it to the knockout round in 2017.
Dustin Johnson completed the WGC sweep in 2017, winning the WGC-Mexico Championship and the Match Play. He won in Mexico a few weeks back and is primed to sweep again. He was a quarterfinalist in 2016 as well.
Unlike the other two champions since this event moved to Austin, Jason Day gets it done with primarily with the short game. Scrambling and putting are his M.O., and those skills will help him keep his matches from becoming blowouts.
Alexander Noren is the only man to make at least the quarterfinals in each of the last two years.
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.