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2018 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open preview
The PGA Tour is back in the United States for one week, heading to Las Vegas for the Shriners Open. It’s a pretty top-heavy field at TPC Summerlin, but Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Tony Finau, Patrick Cantlay and Bryson DeChambeau head it. Then you have Webb Simpson, Ryan Moore, Matt Kuchar, Gary Woodland and more on a solid second tier.
We had some good calls last week in the WGC-HSBC, but we also had a real stinker (namely, Rory McIlroy was awful). We killed it in the Sanderson Farms, and hopefully you stuck with us on Cameron Champ. As we get to the tail end of this portion of the season, we’ll get some real data from the Web.com Tour grads in the next few weeks to build profiles of them for 2019.
2018 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open DraftKings picks
Each week, we’ll offer players in 3-5 buckets of pricing so as to offer some mix-and-matching with your lineups based on our recommendations.
Recent PGA Tour Trends
We start by looking at the recent past, back at players who have finished inside the top 15 in the last five individual PGA Tour events.
Event Finish History
Here are the players who finished in the top 15 in this event in the last five years:
- Alex Cejka – 2
- Chesson Hadley – 2
- Ryan Moore – 2
- Webb Simpson – 2
It seems to me the best way to use Strokes Gained data is to give a sense of a course fit. My working theory is a player is a course fit — or a potential course fit, at least — if their Strokes Gained breakout when they finish in the top 25 is similar to the average for top-25 finishers at this week’s event. (This week, I’d say top 15 finish.)
Of course, current form then informs thinking around these possible course fits. However, in concept, many of these names make some sense and help narrow down a potential list of golfers.
TPC Summerlin places a little more emphasis on tee-to-green play than many other courses, and perhaps that’s the penal nature of desert golf. Big misses get big punishments. However, the emphasis isn’t even on driving, as you might guess. You have to hit great approach shots on a course susceptible to wind.
Here’s the breakdown:
- Tee-to-green: 69%
- Putting: 31%
- Approach: 34%
- Off the Tee: 16%
Based on these numbers, here are some players we like:
- Dominic Bozzelli
- Jason Dufner
- John Huh
- Nick Watney
- JJ Spaun
- Rickie Fowler
- Bronson Burgoon
- Andrew Putnam
- Matt Kuchar
2018 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open DraftKings recommendations
$10,000 and up
We have five players in this group, and I think you have to look at Webb Simpson as the best value at $10,300. The others bust budget.
We have 16 players in this group, and I always love building your team in this range. Patrick Cantlay is a strong choice at $9,900 to anchor your team. Aaron Wise is coming back to his level, and Andrew Putnam is a good fit. Beau Hossler is a solid, if unspectacular, option; same for Ryan Moore.
DraftKings basically breaks the rest of the field in half at the $7,000 mark. Denny McCarthy and Bronson Burgoon are names I like at the top for completely different reasons. McCarthy is a liability on the approach in this early season, though. Sam Burns and Dylan Meyer are great younger players to have. Nick Taylor is a potential cut-making value.
Below or at $7,000
We’re looking for bargains in this range, but there’s not much to love here. Jason Dufner fits the profile of a winning player here. Hunter Mahan is playing well overall. Bud Cauley could be a HUGE steal at his price.
My primary DraftKings lineup
- Webb Simpson – $10,300
- Patrick Cantlay – $9,900
- Bronson Burgoon – $7,800
- Sam Burns – $7,600
- Dylan Meyer – $7,300
- Bud Cauley – $6,800