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Lucas Herbert
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FanDuel Strategy

FanDuel Fit: Fortinet Championship at Silverado Resort and Spa

by Josh Culp
Updated On: September 14, 2021, 11:49 am ET

A new season gets underway this week in Napa. 

Heading to Silverado Resort and Spa, we will have seven years of course history to work with. 

However, this event also brings a lot of new faces in terms of golfers that just graduated from the Korn Ferry Tour. We can look at some of their historical stats on the developmental tour to see if they might fit the course here in Napa. 

There are a few different course-fit angles we could look at but for today I will take a peek at performance on bent/poa greens and then see who plays well on shorter courses. 

 

Bent/Poa Greens

The greens at Silverado Resort are primarily poa annua but they have some bentgrass in the mix, as well.

Golfers that grew up in the Southeast are usually a bit uncomfortable on this turf, but that's not always the case. Let's look at the data to see what it says. 

Let's see who has gained the most strokes per round on courses with bent/poa greens, over the last two years: 

Jon Rahm
Hideki Matsuyama
Webb Simpson
Will Zalatoris
Kevin Na
Aaron Rai
Kurt Kitayama
Mito Pereira
Lanto Griffin
Cameron Tringale
Harold Varner III
Sebastian Munoz
Taylor Pendrith
Taylor Moore
Talor Gooch

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

Mito Pereira
Chez Reavie
Hank Lebioda
Jim Knous
Adam Schenk
Taylor Pendrith
Stephan Jaeger
Beau Hossler
Doug Ghim
Ryan Moore
Kurt Kitayama
Kyle Stanley
Aaron Rai
Michael Gligic
Luke List

Overlap List: names that show up on both lists include Aaron Rai, Kurt Kitayama, Mito Pereira, and Taylor Pendrith

These names all spent the majority of their time on other tours in 2021. Is there something to that in terms of comfort on bent/poa or just a coincidence? 

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Short Courses

The North Course at Silverado Resort and Spa is not the shortest course, in raw yardage, but it's a par 72 on the scoresheet which makes it very manageable for all players in the field. 

Distance is not a big factor here, so let's take a look at past performance on similar courses that put a lot of short irons and wedges into a golfer's hand. 

Here are the top performers per round, when playing short courses, over the last two years: 

Jon Rahm
Hideki Matsuyama
Webb Simpson
Lucas Herbert
Kevin Na
Brendon Todd
Dylan Wu
Will Zalatoris
Aaron Rai
Cameron Champ
Emiliano Grillo
Greyson Sigg
Charles Howell III
John Huh
Brandon Wu

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

Jim Herman
John Huh
Brandon Wu
Kiradech Aphibarnrat
Cameron Champ
Andrew Landry
Lucas Herbert
Justin Lower
Hideki Matsuyama
Sean O'Hair
Cameron Percy
Greyson Sigg
Nick Taylor
Stephan Jaeger
Brendon Todd

Overlap List: the names that show up on both lists include Hideki Matsuyama, Lucas Herbert, Brendon Todd, Cameron Champ, Greyson Sigg, John Huh, and Brandon Wu

As you can see from someone like Cam Champ showing up on the overlap list, it's not as simple as short hitter + short course = success. Champ often gets the job done on short courses by using a very aggressive strategy off the tee that allows him to feast on par 4s by giving himself around-the-green shots instead of short irons. 

FanDuel Focus 

Mito Pereira ($9,900): He doesn't have a large sample size on the PGA TOUR but he won three times on the Korn Ferry Tour last year. All three came on bentgrass or poa annua greens. He also finished runner-up at the Huntsville Championship last spring, another event played on bentgrass greens. That winning upside combined with comfort on the turf makes him a juicy option on the middle of the salary sheet. 

Lucas Herbert ($8,600): Distance is not required at Silverado but we've also seen Cam Champ and Kevin Tway win two of the last three years. Last year, it was Stewart Cink who won, after picking up lots of distance in the offseason. If someone is going to fit that mold of big hitter that heats up with the putter, Herbert might be that guy. The Aussie has been top 35 in driving distance in three of the last four years on the Euro Tour and also top 40 every season in Putts per GIR. 

 

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.