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Patton Kizzire
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FanDuel Strategy

DFS FanDuel Fit: Valspar Championship

by Josh Culp
Updated On: March 16, 2022, 9:22 pm ET

The Sunshine Swing comes to an end this week as the TOUR has a quick turnaround ahead of the Valspar Championship. 

Looking at the host course at Innisbrook Resort, it has been played here since the inaugural edition. There is plenty of course history to look at this week. 

For DFS purposes, we may want to combine that history with some course-fit stats that can be applied to golfers without much of a sample at the Copperhead Course. 

Let's have a look at less-than-driver course performance and then see who can handle a tough course. 

 

Less-than-Driver Decisions

This week's host course is not a grip-it-and-rip-it layout. Don't trust me? Let's listen to the pros. 

"Luckily it’s a golf course where you don’t have to hit driver all the time so you can get away with hitting 3-wood and 3-iron on some holes and I started hitting better iron shots." -Louis Oosthuizen

"I’m able to hit 5-irons off tees and 4-irons off tees and get it in the fairway, get it in position and then be aggressive because I’m in the same part of the fairway as most of the guys, but with one maybe two less clubs." -Jason Kokrak

"Not a whole lot of drivers but lot of mid to longer irons into the green. Tough par 3’s." -Rory McIlroy

 

Here are the top performers from a strokes gained per round view, when playing on other less-than-driver courses, over the last two years: 

Viktor Hovland
Justin Thomas
Collin Morikawa
Abraham Ancer
Tyrrell Hatton
Webb Simpson
Matt Fitzpatrick
Jason Day
Christiaan Bezuidenhout
Sam Burns
Gary Woodland
Dustin Johnson
Charley Hoffman
Bernd Wiesberger
Xander Schauffele

We can also look at a golfer's performance versus their baseline to see who over-performs most. Here is that list: 

John Huh
Gary Woodland
Jason Day
Davis Love III
Chesson Hadley
Andrew Landry
Matt Kuchar
Abraham Ancer
Seung-Yul Noh
Jim Herman
Charley Hoffman
Brian Gay
Kevin Kisner
Richy Werenski
Kurt Kitayama

Overlap List: names that show up on both lists include Abraham Ancer, Jason Day, Gary Woodland, and Charley Hoffman.

Woodland is a past champ here while Ancer has a T16 and solo 5th in two tries. Day has nothing better than T20 in seven tries but has also played just once since 2013. Hoffman has six top 25s in 14 appearances but still searching for his first top 10 and also dealing with injuries this year. 

 

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Tough Courses

The Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club has played to 71.95 (+0.95 RTP) since the 2015 edition. There aren't enough scoring holes to really take it low here. 

Some golfers love these grind-it-out courses where par is a great score while others do their best work in a birdie-fest. 

Here are the top performers on tough courses (+0.75 RTP or tougher) over the last two years: 

Collin Morikawa
Xander Schauffele
Louis Oosthuizen
Matt Fitzpatrick
Viktor Hovland
Tyrrell Hatton
Christiaan Bezuidenhout
Aaron Wise
Webb Simpson
Justin Thomas
Dustin Johnson
Jason Kokrak
Brooks Koepka
Sam Burns
Kurt Kitayama

We can also look at a golfer's performance versus their baseline to see who over-performs most. Here is that list: 

Patton Kizzire
Aaron Wise
Francesco Molinari
Brendon Todd
Christiaan Bezuidenhout
Henrik Norlander
Mackenzie Hughes
Charley Hoffman
Adam Long
Jason Day
Carlos Ortiz
Matt Wallace
Brandon Hagy
Joel Dahmen
Russell Knox

Overlap List: names that show up on both lists include Christiaan Bezuidenhout and Aaron Wise

Wise settled for T68 in his 2018 Valspar debut and this will be his first return trip. For Bez, he is making his tournament debut this week and should like the tougher conditions. 

FanDuel Focus 

Patton Kizzire ($9,000): As you can see from the list above, Kizzire really ups his game when taking on a tough scoring environment. Kzizire flashed some of that upside here last year in round one when he opened with a 66, 5.1 shots better than the field that day. More recently, he has gained strokes on approach in six of his last seven starts. 

Abraham Ancer ($10,900): He's known more for his precision than his power. He will not be bothered by the tight corridors at the Copperhead Course and he's proven that with a T16 and solo fifth in two previous Valspar attempts. More recently, he was T8 at the WM Phoenix Open midpoint and T5 after two rounds last week. He's finished T33 or worse in six straight starts but those 36-hole positions suggest he may be closer to popping than the end-of-week results would indicate. 

 

Good luck with your lineups this week and check back tomorrow for some more course-fit analysis. 

Josh Culp

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