The Scorers Tent: To enhance our weekly offerings we decided to recap most of the articles here in the “Scorer’s Tent” in order to provide more room for strategy in the current weeks’ article.
At the start of the final round of the Travelers Championship, likely no one thought Bubba Watson would grab his 3rd win of the season and 3rd win at TPC River Highlands. No one except maybe Bubba who had been in this same position when he first won this event in 2010. Just as he did eight years ago, Watson started today six shots off the leader and knew he was going to need to go low to event come close to Paul Casey (who began today with a four-shot lead on the field). Watson made eight birdies today, including the near hole out on 18 which he converted for a birdie and the outright lead by one. Paul Casey was even par on his round through 15 holes before he missed a short put for par on 16 and found the water off the tee at 17 sealing the victory for Bubba. This is Watson’s 12th PGA Tour win, and with this win, he becomes the only Tour player with three wins this season. He moves to third in the FedExCup points race, behind two-time winners Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson.
Watson’s stats for the week:
R1 – 5 of 14 fairways, 12 of 18 greens in regulation, 3/6 scrambling, 30 putts.
R2 – 9 of 14 fairways, 16 of 18 greens in regulation, 1/2 scrambling, 28 putts.
R3 – 6 of 14 fairways, 13 of 18 greens in regulation, 1/3 scrambling, 30 putts.
R4 – 9 of 14 fairways, 13 of 18 greens in regulation, 4/5 scrambling, 24 putts.
Other fun facts and things to keep in mind moving forward:
- Russell Henley is playing very well right now. In fact, he played 62 holes without a bogey (from No. 5 in round one through No. 12 in round four).
- Two time Travelers Champ, Stewart Cink, tied the low round of the week today shooting an 8-under 62.
- Monday qualifier Chase Seiffert (T4) was T2 after 36 holes at the 2017 Travelers Championship after Monday qualifying. Finished T43 that year. In other words, he likes this course. Note to self for next year!
- Kevin Tway of Texas form reappeared this weekend as his T6 finish marked his third top-10 in his last five starts
- After a Thursday round of 63, defending champion Jordan Spieth, looked like he found his game again. Friday he posted a 73, ten strokes worse than his opening round and reminded us all of the Spieth we’ve been used to lately. Boy just isn’t right.
- Back to back US Open winner, Brooks Koepka, finished the week T19 and posted four rounds in the 60s. Not too bad for a guy coming off a major win the week before.
DFS Winning Lineup Recap:
The optimal lineup this week was pretty balanced and did not require the use of the entire $50,000 salary cap to get the six highest scoring DK players this week. It is interesting to see that the optimal line required you to eat the chalk with two players (Bubba and Casey) but included some low owned leverage plays to go with them. All I know is that after a low DK scoring affair the week before at Shinnecock, it was nice to see the top 6 golfers this week all score over 100 DK points. Makes you feel like you are getting your money’s worth, I know!
The winning lineups in both the GPPs this week were able to see Beau Hossler as a good fit for this week’s event. He wasn’t even on my radar, admittedly, nor was Kevin Tway after a string of disappointing finishes lately. The winning lineup in the $444 this week had 4 of the players in the optimal lineup but did not have Bubba Watson! It goes to show you that you don’t always need the winner’s finishing points in order to take down a GPP, especially if you have a nice mix of lower owned plays.
The $44 $500K Club Twirl ($100,000 to 1st) Winning Lineup:
The $444 PGA $400K Pressure Putt ($100K to 1st) Winning Lineup:
Below are the top 20 DK point earners and their ownership %
To keep our content fresh and actionable each week, we’ve moved the recaps to one convenient place, allowing for each article to be focused solely on the current week’s tournament.
Making the Cut: (DFS Cash Game Focus)
Another week in the books for Making the Cut and another week where the cash game article highlighted the winner. Yes, it isn’t hard to name cash gameplay that also happens to already have two wins at this event, but Bubba did work on Sunday to get himself into the winner’s circle. He has a fondness for this course and event which is sometimes all you need to know when picking cash game plays. We did have three missed cuts this week with the most disappointing MC coming from Mr. Reed who couldn’t recover from an opening round of 72. C.T. Pan had been the talk of the town leading up to the event but ended up being a lot lower owned than I anticipated. The biggest shock for me was seeing Grillo’s ownership in the $25 single entry 50/50 this week. Coming off a missed cut the week before where he was also very high owned, I figured his ownership might be a little depressed this week. Boy was I wrong! Overall, a really solid week again for those who used the picks in cash games or as GPP anchors!
Against the Grain: (GPP Focus)
This was a rough week for our game theory signature article, Against the Grain. The article highlighted 18 players this week, and just 6 of those players made the cut. The actual results may look worse than they so hear me out on this. The point of this article is to help highlight players who will be lower owned and provide you with good upside overall. Looking at those players mentioned this week, Russell Henley was the highest owned golfer of the entire bunch, and he was strictly said as part of a stack option in that price range. Of those players that were mentioned that did make the cut, we had Rodgers at 4% owned, Mullinax at 1% owned, Tway at 3% owned and Hughes under 1% owned. So, those were all great leverage plays that did exactly what you needed them to do in your lineups. Sometimes losing plays are still made for the right reasons and therefore +EV overall. Don’t forget that!
Wow! Another week in the books for the Winning Element and a great one at that. Bubba Watson was part of the core plays in his price range and boy did he deliver. Not only that but of those players that were mentioned who also made the cut over 50% of the players finished T25 or better! That is exactly what the winning element is all about. Hopefully, you took advantage of the excellent plays this week and are continuing to grow that bankroll!
Tour Level Tech Review:
As we have been doing for the last few weeks, we will take a quick look at home the cheatsheet is doing at predicting the right plays. Inside the top 20 ranked golfers this week, just 7 of them missed the cut. Webb Simpson and Patrick Reed were probably 2 of the more disappointing plays of the week. Particularly Simpson, who was well inside the cut line after his round Thursday before imploding a bit on Friday’s round. Reed was just one shot off from making the cut but sadly just couldn’t make a birdie on his last hole to get to 2-under. Again, Grillo’s ownership was a shock to everyone as he was projected to be far lower owned than he ended up being even in GPPs this week. If he had missed the cut, it would’ve been disastrous for a majority of GPP players this week.
Next, let’s take a look at how the top 20 DK scorers were ranked in the CS this week. Looking at the rankings, only six players that finished inside the top 20 DK scorers this week fell outside the top 50 in our CS. And honestly, sometimes that is going to happen. Golf is a mental game and guys can randomly pop for seemingly no reason other than they are just “feeling it” in a given week. Steward Cink maybe made more sense than we realized given his history at this event and the fact that in his previous start he finished T4 but otherwise I doubt many people were considering Fabian Gomez or Ryan Blaum. You can’t predict them all!
Quicken Loans National
After a birdie riddled week at TPC River Highlands, 120 players will now head to TPC Potomac in Potomac, Maryland for the 2018 Quicken Loans National. The field is highlighted by the tournament host, and 2009/2012 tournament champion, Tiger Woods; World No. 8 Rickie Fowler; Quicken Loans National defending champion Kyle Stanley; World No. 15 Francesco Molinari; World No. 16 Marc Leishman; 2016 Quicken Loans National champion and Annapolis, Md. resident Billy Hurley III and 2013 tournament champion as well as the 2011 FedExCup champion Bill Haas. Other players of note include Billy Horschel, 2017 U.S. Amateur winner Doc Redman, Jimmy Walker and Stewart Cink. The field is exciting, and we should have a good week ahead of us for both DFS and PGA fans.
TPC Potomac 7,107 yards, Par 70
Last year’s return to TPC Potomac, after the course had been extensively revamped, saw players and spectators alike praise the course for being a tough but fair test. The course has immaculate greens, perfect fairways, and firm/fast greens typical of those seen in major events. The overhaul, which took two years and $20 million and took input from such names as Pete Dye, Tom Fazio, Fred Funk and Davis Love III, left no hole untouched and made major changes to at least a dozen. Before the redesign, the course was constantly criticized for drainage issues as well as issues with the turf. Since reopening in 2009, TPC Potomac has played host to the Senior PLAYERS Championship as well as a few Web.com events. Players enjoyed the course last year with Justin Thomas being among those who said the course was in such great condition that it could host a US Open immediately.
The Tour Level Cheatsheet features 2 “Key Stats” every week, typically a combination of a few important stats, which the Tour Level team has deemed relevant to consider based on the course description above. The stats below may or may not include Strokes Gained (SG) stats, but they are ALWAYS our main statistical focal point each week, especially SG: Tee to Green (SG: T2G). Don’t forget, while SG: Putting is usually very important, it is a stat that has proven to be very elusive and very difficult to predict week to week.
Key Stat 1: SG:T2G + SG:APP + BoB% 125-150 + Proximity
Key Stat 2: SG:BS + GD% + Par 4 Scoring + BoB%
Looking ahead to next week, here are the top 10 finishers in each stat category at the Travelers Championship that will also be in the field this upcoming week:
There were four players who’s names showed up in at least 5 of the eight stats which make up the two key stats for the week. J.B. Holmes and Stewart Cink are both coming off T2 finishes at the Traveler’s Championship. Both guys should be on your radar again this week, but I expect both of their ownerships to be a little higher than we saw last week. The other two guys who popped? Tyler Duncan (T33) and Ricky Werenski (T26) who both had respectable weeks in Connecticut. They both grab my attention as great Par 4 scorers which will again be important this week. Be sure to keep these guys in mind this week as you are building lineups.