Pebble Beach Golf Links will be the star of the show this week. Even more so than usual, thanks to a one-year change to the tournament format.
Historically, they've had a three-course rota and then played the final day at Pebble Beach GL. That meant that any golfer that made it through the cutline played twice at the host course. This year they've removed one course from the rotation so golfers will have three tee times at Pebble Beach Golf Links if they make it through the 36-hole cut.
With a full field of 156 golfers, it won't be easy for DFS gamers to get all six golfers through the cutline. There are a few ways to approach this from a strategy standpoint. You can try to take a balanced approach and raise the floor of your value golfers. Or you can "punt" a spot or two and load up at the top. The second strategy is riskier but can provide a nice payout if your value plays squeeze through the cutline.
What kind of stats can we target when looking for value plays this week? Let's look at grass type and course length to see what we can find.
Performance on Poa Annua Greens
Both courses utilize poa annua on the putting surfaces this week. It's a tricky grass/weed that really haunts some golfers. Others, mostly those that grew up on the West Coast, might be more comfortable putting on poa.
Let's see who has performed best on courses with poa annua greens, over the last two years:
We can also look at a golfer's performance versus their baseline to see who over-performs their expectations. Here is that list:
Casey has spoken fondly about putting on poa annua in the past and his performance backs it up.
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Performance on Short Courses
The host course this week is just 7,051 yards and Spyglass Hill is a very similar length (7,041 yards).
There are plenty of holes where golfers can club down off the tee or holes where they can hit driver then a short iron or wedge.
Here are the top performers on short courses, over the last two years:
We can also look at a golfer's performance versus their baseline to see who over-performs most. Here is that list:
Burns is making his tournament debut but if his history on short courses is any indication, it may be love at first sight.
Patrick Cantlay ($11,900): He's the betting favorite now that DJ has withdrawn from the event. Cantlay ranks 1st in short course performance and 2nd on poa annua performance, over the last two years. If you're looking for someone to anchor your team this week, Cantlay is a strong option at the top.
Kristoffer Ventura ($7,700): If you pick Cantlay at the top, you may be searching for some low-owned value to differentiate yourself from the pack. Ventura will definitely do that because he's missed the cut in each of his last four starts. What do we like about him, though? He proved himself to be a winner on the Korn Ferry circuit and one of those wins came on poa annua (2019 Utah Championship). He followed that up with a third-place finish in Portland a month later, also on poa annua. More recently, he snagged a 7th-place finish at the Safeway Open last fall, another event with poa annua greens. This is a high-risk, high-reward type of option for gamers looking to save some salary.
Good luck with your lineups this week and check back tomorrow for some more course-fit analysis.