Joshua Grenier, aka @GrantBushman on Twitter and jpgrenier on DraftKings and Fan Duel, starts the week in bringing you the Tour Level’s unique prospective, with the “First Cut”. Josh is a top ranked father of twin boys and uses zero of his several degrees in his day job. He loves to chat about golf, DFS and music on Twitter so feel free to hit him @GrantBushman.
As with all of our content and tools here at Tour Level, we aim to help you make better decisions in all of your fantasy golf and golf betting related items. The main purpose of this article is to kick the week off and shake of that case of the Mondays. The emphasis of the article is to simply familiarize yourself with the course and start to get an idea of specific stats that have been both indicators of past and future success at this weeks tournament . For a more in depth analysis on cash games check my brother from another mother @Scottimac11 and then for the inside track on the GPP takedown, be sure to check out top ranked @DFSgolfer23 “Against the Grain” series on Tuesday, and Kelly McCann’s “Chalk…or not” report due out on Wednesday.
This week’s post major hangover takes place at a tournament formerly known as the Greater Greensboro Open. It was originally founded in 1938 and has been played since 2007 at Sedgefield Country Club, which is a short 7,127 yards – par 70
The course was designed by the great Donald Ross http://rosssociety.org/. Below is a scorecard giving you a general sense of the routing and hole yardages.
This score card, however, presents the course as it is normally played by its members at Par 71 and the tour set-up will result in the 18th hole playing as Par 4 and thus overall a Par 70. As evidenced by last year’s winner Si Woo Kim’s final round scorecard below.
The course only features two par fives with 12 par fours and four par 3s. Both of the par 5s are reachable and are featured in the specific hole images in the above Si Woo Kim screenshots. The 5th hole is a very gettable 529 yards and the 17th which features some of the only water on the course is also very manageable at 545 yards.
The greens are smaller than average and will be firm greens but unlikely as firm as we saw this past weekend at Quail Hollow. The fairways are narrow and historically the rough is grown thick and can prevent accurate approaches shots. The course is certainly not long, even for a Par 70, and there will be a lot of short irons into the undulating greens and accuracy will be key. The greens are Bermuda grass so again they will be firm and fast even if it rains, which is not necessarily in the forecast.
So we are looking at a shorter course that will be firm and fast and the weather is unlikely to change that in any material way. To combat the length of the course, or lack there of, the tournament staff will likely try to tuck pins on the difficult green complexes. They will likely have little luck protecting par, as the average cut is under par and the winning score is often well into the double digits under par. We want guys that can and will SCORE.
Strokes Gained Tee 2 Green (SG:T2G): We will continue to beat the drum, this is the most important stat on tour and the ability to find golfers who are at the peak of this stat each week will be a driver of both DFS and punting success.
Strokes Gained Putting: (SG:P): Its simple, Birdies means good putting. Those who have recently had a hot flat stick will help them make the needed birdies.
Good Drive Percentage (GD%) and Driving Accuracy (DA): Golfers will need to hit tee shots (often Less than Driver (LTD) to certain strategic areas to give them the best chance at scoring on these firm and fast green complexes. Hitting it in the rough off the tee will make getting it close much more difficult. However, keep in mind, that it will not make it impossible because the course length, but its always easier from the fairway.
Proximity from 125-150 (about 30% of approach shots come from this range) and Overall Proximity (Prox); With the course being on the shorter side, many approaches will be from the 125-150 yard area. Players will have to hit it close from this yardage to excel.
Par 4 Scoring (P4): If you have read this article before you know how we feel about Par 70s with twelve par 4s. P4 scoring must be an important stat. Since there are only two par 5s on the course and players also have to shoot under par, birdies must come from the par 4 holes to give a golfer a chance at success.
Birdie or Better Percentage Since the winning score has been very low (it was -17 and -21 in the last three years) this often used metric can do us some good this week to find players who can go “low”.
Greens in Regulation (GIR): Over time the GIR% at Sedgefield CC is very high, at over 70% and one of the higher averages on Tour. Golfers need to be around this average to keep up with the field and higher if they want to really contend. Birdies are needed and more often than not the ball must first get on the green in regulation to make birdie.
As always we should keep in mind that regardless of the course breakdown players may have other factors that could affect performance, lets call this “narrative street”. Such factors present this week are; (1) players who might be hungover from last week’s week’s major and could be less likely to try to grind a cut or for a weekend for top 20 and (2) those battling to make the Fed Ex Cup as this is the last week and we will hear a lot about these bubble boys.