It's prep time for the season's second major.
The TOUR is heading back to Trinity Forest for a second look at the links-style layout.
We have another full field of 156 golfers so it will be tougher to get 6-of-6 golfers through the cut this week.
As usual when in Texas, winds always have the potential to wreak havoc.
Let's take a look at the current weather forecast before jumping into some stats.
Thursday (R1): A 30% chance of showers with a high near 79 degrees. Winds at 10 to 14 MPH. Gusts of 20 MPH in the AM.
Friday (R2): A 30% chance of showers with a high near 71 degrees. Winds at 10 to 15 MPH. Gusts of 20 MPH in the AM.
Pre-tourney rains have the course relatively soft so they will be hoping to avoid any more precip. Thursday and Friday look pretty similar from a wind perspective. Interestingly, the wind gusts are forecasted for the morning on both days. If you are looking for First-Round Leaders or trying to play Round 1 Showdown contests then it may be worth looking at the PM wave.
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.
Beau Hossler (61.92 Projected Pts): Hossler has some local ties to the area and the course but everything else is stacked against him. He's lost 28.3 strokes tee-to-green over the last three months which is the third-worst in the entire field. He's posted just one top 30 over his last 12 starts. It may be tempting to take the Texan at home but the safer play is to avoid Hossler until he flashes a bit of form.
Jordan Spieth (67.2 Projected Pts): It's the same story as Hossler above. Has local ties to the course but his form is nowhere near his long-term baseline. Spieth has lost strokes off-the-tee in five of his last six measured events. That was one of the key predictive stats during last year's Byron Nelson. Spieth is not a terrible play but he's surely overvalued when you factor in the long slump he's still trying to snap out of. Until he fixes the driver, there is no reason to pick him inside the top 10 of a draft.
Scottie Scheffler (42.85 Projected Pts): He may be the flavor of the month but he's not just a flash in the pan. The Texas Longhorn product had elite pedigree as a junior and amateur golfer. That skill is starting to translate on the big stage as he enters with four straight top 10s on the Web.com Tour and a T20 at the Valero during that stretch. Playing a home game this week, he's easily a top-25 option in this field so don't let him go undrafted in mid-sized contests.
Sungjae Im (39.35 Projected Pts): The pre-ranking formula continues to underestimate the young Korean rookie. Im has 10 finishes of T31 or better this season and he gets the job done through steady ball-striking. That kind of skill is repeatable so we should keep rinsing and repeating.
Trinity Forest is called an Americans Links but one thing that separates it from traditional links is the turf. Trinity Forest features zoysia on the fairways and bermudagrass on the greens. Some golfers feel a lot more comfortable on these grainy greens.
Looking at sample-adjusted performance on bermudagrass since the start of 2014, the top 15 performers on a per-round basis looks like this:
Other than raw performance, we can also look at who shows the biggest improvement on Fast Greens (versus their baseline). Using that as the criteria, the following names pop:
It's really early in his career to definitively stamp out a bermuda split for Sungjae but the early results lean that way. Overall, these are three golfers you should feel confident in drafting this week.
Dylan Frittelli: The South African gained 7.6 strokes tee-to-green last week at Quail Hollow. He's now gained strokes tee-to-green in 11 of his last 12 measured events. That's the kind of ratio you'd expect from a top-tier talent so it's great to get such a salary relief. On top of that, Frittelli attended the University of Texas so he should feel comfortable on this Texas turf and with Texas weather. He's chimed in about bermuda in the past, "I play a lot of golf on Bermuda back home in America, and a few PGA Tour events, as well as a few mainland Europe events, but I felt at home. I felt comfortable." That was said during a Euro Tour event but his comfort on bermuda still applies.
Best of luck in all your contests this week!