Talor Gooch
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DFS Dish

DFS Dish: Arnold Palmer Invitational

by Josh Culp
Updated On: March 5, 2019, 9:53 am ET

This week's TOUR stop is in Orlando, Florida. 

The course is Bay Hill Club & Lodge. It's a par 72 that plays around 7,450 yards. The field is limited as it's an invite-only event. This year's field sits at 123 golfers. 

With top 70 and ties making it through the cut line, it should become much easier to find 6-of-6 lineups in DFS lineups this week. Keyword being 'should' because if two or three popular plays miss the cut then it becomes a mad scramble to find a 6-of-6 lineup. That being said, it does appear to be a good week to lean a little bit more on Stars & Scrubs lineups. That means you load up the top of the team and take a few chances in the bargain basement on golfers that have potential but lack consistent results.  

The course provides a lot of eagle opportunities so getting those 6-of-6 lineups is crucial this week. 

Let's look through the weather and find out who likes playing on bermuda then pick out a few value plays. 


Weather Update

Thursday (R1): Sunny with a high of 73 degrees. Winds at 7 to 10 MPH. 

Friday (R2): Partly cloudy with a high of 80 degrees. Winds att 7 to 10 MPH. 

It looks like the perfect balance for tee times this week. Good golfing weather all week. 



The best part about season-long leagues is the draft. You don't get that same rush with normal DFS contests but there is hope still. DRAFT has come along to fill that void and I'm having a lot of fun playing in their weekly golf drafts. 

The first place to start is to build your pre-draft rankings for the week. I will point out a few golfers I think are overvalued in the raw rankings and a few that are undervalued in the raw rankings. 


Bubba Watson (67.50 Projected Pts): He has held the 54-hole co-lead here before (2008) but his overall body of work is less than stellar. He's been outside the top 30 after 14-of-35 rounds played. Based on his previous quotes it appears the course isn't one of his favorites but he did become a member at the course but that seemed like more of a respect thing to Arnie. You can never truly count out Watson but this is a week where I will gladly pass. 

Kevin Na (64.56 Projected Pts): He's finished outside the top 30 in all three starts since returning from a finger injury. What's most concerning is his lack of accuracy since the return. Over the long-term he hits 1.2 more fairways than the field he faces but he hitting 3.6 fewer fairways versus the field in the three post-injury starts. He's never been the longest of hitters so without his accuracy he is putting himself in a huge hole to start the week. Until he proves he's back at full health, I will stay away. 


Luke List (60.76 Projected Pts): Growing up in the Southeast, these bermuda greens are right in his wheelhouse. He's backed that up with top 20s in both of his visits to the event. He gained 4.1 strokes putting in his 2017 API debut and gained 7.2 strokes on approach last year. If he can blend those two performances then we could have a Rory-like showing from last year. Of course, we shouldn't expect that, but a top 10 is certainly within reach. 

Aaron Wise (59.84 Projected Pts): As a big hitter that grew up in California you might expect him to like driver-heavy courses with bent or poa greens. That hasn't been the case early in his career, though. He's fared better on courses that force him to hit less club off the tee and also played pretty well on bermudagrass greens. In fact, he's gained strokes putting in 61% of his measured bermuda rounds but his overall baseline sits under 50% in that regard. It's been a slow start to 2019 but don't expect that to last much longer. 


Course Fit

We talked about performance on bermuda last week for the Honda and Keith Mitchell was one of the names that popped on the Performance versus Baseline list. With another week on bermuda, let's go back to that well to see if we can highlight some more longshots that might play their way into contention. 

Looking at sample-adjusted performance on bermuda since the start of 2014, the top 15 performers on a per-round basis looks like this: 

Rory McIlroy
Jason Day
Justin Rose
Henrik Stenson
Rickie Fowler
Marc Leishman
Bryson DeChambeau
Hideki Matsuyama
Francesco Molinari
Luke List
Lucas Glover
Ryan Moore
Tommy Fleetwood
Louis Oosthuizen
Rafa Cabrera Bello

Other than raw performance, we can also look at who shows the biggest improvement on Bermuda (versus their baseline). Using that as the criteria, the following names pop:  

Sam Burns
Keith Mitchell
Corey Conners
Lucas Glover
Chesson Hadley
Bryson DeChambeau
Brian Gay
Austin Cook
Luke List
Chris Kirk
Ryan Blaum
Ryan Moore
Si Woo Kim
Marc Leishman
Ted Potter, Jr.

Recommendation: Looking for golfers that crack both lists we find Marc Leishman, Bryson DeChambeau, Luke List, Lucas Glover, and Ryan Moore. All four of these golfers also have a least one top 10 here at Bay Hill. 



Value Spotlight

Talor Gooch: This week's course can mostly be described as a fairways-and-greens type of layout. You have to play conservatively for most of the week and just hit as many greens as possible....then attack the par 5s. Gooch is one of the best in the field at finding greens, at least recently. He's hit more greens than the field in 15 of his last 18 rounds played (83%). That's in elite territory. For comparison's sake, there are only three golfers in the field that eclipse the 70% mark in that stat, over the last year (Horschel, Stenson, Lashley). Of course, Gooch's sample is much smaller but it's always worth noting that he was T2 after R1 here last year in his debut and sat in solo 3rd at the midpoint. He faded to T26 over the weekend but still a very good debut. I like his chances to find another top 30 and maybe even sneak into the top 10 if the cards fall his way. 

Best of luck in all your contests this week! 

Josh Culp

Josh Culp joined NBC Sports Edge in 2014. The DFS enthusiast from Iowa State can be found on Twitter @futureoffantasy.