Daily Fantasy Golf Course Primer: The President's Cup
With the Hero World Challenge completed Saturday, the final stroke play event of 2019 is in the books, and the only thing left before the holidays and New Year is the biennial President's Cup.
The President's Cup is a match play event pitting the United States Team against an International Team composed of players from around the world, excluding Europe. The 2019 host course is Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Melbourne, Australia, a 7,032-yard par 71 that is the site of the International Team's lone victory in President's Cup history back in 1998. The United States avenged the loss with a resounding victory in 2011, with this year's Captain Tiger Woods winning the clinching matchup.
The President's Cup stretches four days, with 9 four-ball matches and 9 foursomes matches between Thursday and Saturday, and 12 singles matches on Sunday. A new rule this year requires each golfer to participate in just one match prior to the singles matches (previously all golfers had to play two matches).
Four-ball matches pit two two-man teams against each other, with each golfer playing his ball throughout the hole and the lowest score between each partner counting for the team. Foursomes differ in that the partners alternate shots until they complete the hole, with each taking turns teeing off.
Don't forget when locking your wagers and DFS lineups this week that the time difference means a 3:00 PM Eastern start.
|U.S. Team||International Team|
|Patrick Cantlay||Byeong Hun An|
|Bryson DeChambeau||Abraham Ancer|
|Tony Finau||Adam Hadwin|
|Rickie Fowler||Sungjae Im|
|Dustin Johnson||Marc Leishman|
|Matt Kuchar||Haotong Li|
|Patrick Reed||Hideki Matsuyama|
|Xander Schauffele||Joaquin Niemann|
|Webb Simpson||Louis Oosthuizen|
|Justin Thomas||Cheng Tsu Pan|
|Gary Woodland||Adam Scott|
|Tiger Woods (C)||Cameron Smith|
Course and Tournament Info
Course: Royal Melbourne Golf Club
Distance: 7,032 yards
Grass Types: Bentgrass mix and fescue, native areas
The Cup events will be played on the "Composite Course," a combination of the East and West courses at Royal Melbourne. The layout is slightly unusual for a par 71 with just two par 5s and three par 3s, and it is much shorter than the typical Tour track. Just two of the par 4s are longer than 455 yards, and four are shorter than 400 yards. Royal Melbourne's biggest defense is wind, with steady breezes all day along with gusts pushing 20 miles per hour expected each day.
Course comparisons can be dangerous when crossing the line between stroke play and match play, but it is hard not to see the link to Pebble Beach, given the length and windy conditions. The U.S. team boasts last year's U.S. Open Champion at Pebble, Gary Woodland, but both teams are loaded with recent good form at that hallowed course. Woodland is 1 of 10 President's Cup contestants to have finished inside the top 21 this past June.
These stats will be key to success in the President's Cup.
|Key Stats for the President's Cup at Royal Melbourne Golf Club|
|Strokes Gained: Tee to Green|
|Strokes Gained: Approach|
|Birdies or Better Gained|
|Strokes Gained: Par 4s|
Match play history will be important for some of the field, but many golfers in this year's Cup have such a small sample size that it is hard to ascribe too much weight. Consider also that match play record does not take into account quality of competition. Abraham Ancer is a fine player, but a singles matchup against him is not even close to the same as a head to head against Rory McIlroy in a Ryder Cup or, say, an American teammate at the WGC Match Play.
The stats we do prioritize this weekend include mostly evergreen fare. While typically the focus is long term form extending back through the last 50 rounds, match play is all about confidence. Even though we won't have specific statistics for these recent events, golfers who have played well for the past 30-45 days at events like the Hero World Challenge, WGC-HSBC Champions, and ZOZO Championship should draw extra attention when eyeing individual matchups.
Course History Studs
On the United States side, four golfers were on the winning 2011 team at Royal Melbourne -- Woods, Dustin Johnson, Matt Kuchar, and Webb Simpson. Adam Scott is the only member of the International team to return from 2011.
Of the five, only Simpson posted a winning record that year, going 3-2-0, including a win in each of his foursomes.
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.