The PGA TOUR has one more start before heading to Pebble Beach for the season's third major.
It's a full field with 156 golfers which gives gamers a tough task in DFS when trying to get all 6-of-6 golfers through the cut. Just look at last week where it was a limited field and still, less than 5% of lineups got all there golfers through in most contests.
Let's take a Tuesday look at the weather and then go hunting for some value across the industry.
Thursday (R1): Chilly in the morning (mid-50s) before reaching 70 degrees by midday. A small chance of showers but nothing extreme. Winds calm at 5-to-10 MPH.
Friday (R2): Basically a clone of Thursday except for a bit more sunshine. Winds remain calm and the threat of rain remains low.
There is some rain in the lead-up which might lead to low scores out of the gate but winds are set to pick up on Saturday and help keep things in check.
With winds being calm all day on Thursday and cool temps in the morning, that does lend its hand to an afternoon waver grabbing the first-round lead. However, these are poa annua greens at Hamilton which tend to get bumpy as the day goes on. Should be a good mix of both waves inside the top 10 by day's end.
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.
Kevin Tway (58.81 Projected Pts): If you leave him alone in the pre-ranks then he falls at No. 16 on the board. It may be tempting to pick him with his dad winning at Hamilton but Tway doesn't grade out as well. He's hit fewer fairways than the field in 15 straight starts and it's not close in most weeks. With tree-lined fairways and thick rough this week, I don't want to take my chances on him getting lucky in the rough.
Brian Gay (58.39 Projected Pts): Just two spots down from Tway you will find Mr. Gay. Amazing what a few months can do to a golfer's grade. He rattled off top 25s in 4-of-7 starts at one point this season but now finds himself with finishes outside the top 45 in 7 of his last 8 starts. He's circled more birdies than the field in just one of his last six starts which is not the kind of scoring form we want from our picks. The less-than-driver nature of this week's course does play into his favor but overall his form is too poor to trust.
Sergio Garcia (52.85 Projected Pts): Growing up in Spain, he's always been a fan of tight, tree-lined courses but and as he ages that should continue to suit him. He doesn't need to keep up with the big bombers this week but he can use his steady driving to play a bit more aggressive on some tee shots and then let his elite iron game go to work. What I'm trying to say is that Garcia should easily be considered a top-10 option this week but his DRAFT projection has him far outside of that bubble. Give him a boost.
Bud Cauley (53.81 Projected Pts): Riding a wave of momentum after an emotional week at Muirfield Village. "I can’t thank everyone enough for all the kind comments on the course. You all honestly made me feel like i was playing at home with all the support. Thank you to Memorial Golf or the opportunity to play this week too. looking forward to keeping it going in Canada next week!" Adding to his current form, Cauley also finished T4 at Hamilton back in 2012.
Hamilton G&CC hasn't been used since 2012 but there was a clear profile when reading the quotes from that event.
It's a course that doesn't let you pound drivers. Scott Piercy won that year but called it "boring golf." Robert Garrigus said he hit about six drivers a round and that was an aggressive approach. Let's see who likes these type of courses.
Looking at sample-adjusted performance on less-than-driver courses 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 Less-than-Driver Courses (versus their baseline). Using that as the criteria, the following names pop:
Niemann and Noren have both had down years so far but both of them are also trending upward in form. This might be a course that can get them back in contention.
Nick Watney: They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks but this old dog still has plenty of tricks up his sleeve. Watney has struggled to find top-heavy finishes over the last few years but he enters with 4 or more strokes gained over the field in three of his last four starts. That's something he accomplished just once in the 12 starts before that. He's getting the job done with elite ball-striking. He's gained more than 2 strokes off-the-tee in four straight starts and has also been positive in the approach department in those starts. Let's ride the hot hand because his price remains low across the industry.
Best of luck in all your contests this week!