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FanDuel Strategy

FanDuel Fit: Vivint Houston Open

by Josh Culp
Updated On: November 4, 2020, 1:30 am ET

It's another week with no course history to lean on. That makes it three out of the last four weeks where a new course was being used. The other was Port Royal last week where we had just one year of tournament results. 

It's a good time to be relying on course fit over course history. 

This week, we head to Memorial Park Golf Course which is not technically a new course on the PGA TOUR schedule but it should be treated as such since it hasn't hosted since the 1960s and it's been heavily renovated since then. 

What should we expect from this new track? First, it's a par-72 municipal course that will play around 7,432 yards this week. Golfers will see three par 5s and a five-pack of lengthy par 4s. That should result in plenty of driver usage to go along with bermudagrass turf. Let's dive into those two specific angles to see who might like the course this week. 

Bermudagrass

Golfers will see bermudagrass all across the property this week. A comfort for many that live in the area or grew up in the South.  

Let's see who has performed best on courses with bermudagrass greens, over the last two years: 

Dustin Johnson
Sergio Garcia
Brooks Koepka
Shane Lowry
Lee Westwood
Sungjae Im
Jason Day
Rory Sabbatini
Adam Scott
Corey Conners
Denny McCarthy
Tom Lewis
Hideki Matsuyama
Jhonattan Vegas
Viktor Hovland

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

Maverick McNealy
Dawie van der Walt
Jhonattan Vegas
Rory Sabbatini
Sergio Garcia
D.A. Points
Jamie Lovemark
Ryan Armour
Tom Lewis
Keith Mitchell
Chris Kirk
Tyler Duncan
Shane Lowry
Denny McCarthy
Lee Westwood

Overlap List: names that show up on both lists include Sergio Garcia, Shane Lowry, Lee Westwood, Rory Sabbatini, Denny McCarthy, Tom Lewis, and Jhonattan Vegas

Vegas is a local to the area and is probably one of the few in the field that has actually played the course before this week. That being said, he's arriving without any form to write home about. 

 

Driver-Heavy Courses

"Well it's a really fun course. Players can absolutely bomb drives. The key will be their approach shots and how they navigate the sticky rough and very tricky green complexes." That is what the tournament director told SportsMap in a recent interview. 

Considering there are three par 5s and five par 4s over 490 yards, the driver should be heavily used this week. 

Here are the top performers on driver-heavy courses, over the last two years: 

Dustin Johnson
Adam Scott
Brooks Koepka
Hideki Matsuyama
Jason Day
Scott Piercy
Max Homa
Scottie Scheffler
Mark Hubbard
Talor Gooch
Tony Finau
Vaughn Taylor
Charley Hoffman
Corey Conners
Doc Redman

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

Mark Hubbard
Max Homa
Kyoung-Hoon Lee
Scott Piercy
Scott Brown
Sung Kang
Talor Gooch
Dustin Johnson
Scottie Scheffler
Charley Hoffman
Ollie Schniederjans
John Huh
Adam Scott
James Hahn
Xinjun Zhang

Overlap List: names that show up on both lists include Dustin Johnson, Adam Scott, Scott Piercy, Max Homa, Scottie Scheffler, Mark Hubbard, Talor Gooch, and Charley Hoffman

As you can see from the names above, power helps but it's not always raw power that gets the job done at driver-heavy courses. 

FanDuel Focus 

Rory Sabbatini ($8,200): The South African has been scuffling with six finishes outside of the top 50 in his last seven starts. The exception was a T12 at the Sanderson Farms Championship, another event played on bermudagrass. That is the angle we are shooting here. He ranks 8th in this entire field when it comes to performance on bermuda courses over the last two years. That puts him ahead of big names like Scott, Matsuyama, Hovland, etc. Of course we need to factor in his lack of form when considering how safe of a play he is. With fall winners including Cink, Sergio, Laird, and Gay, the 44-year-old Sabbs would fit right in. 

Shane Lowry ($9,900): The Irishman was slumping with three missed cuts in a four-event stretch not too long ago, which included a MC at his home open back in Ireland. He's rebounded with a T13 at the BMW PGA Championship and a T28 at THE CJ CUP @ SHADOW CREEK. He's flashing some form just in time to take on a bermuda track with easy scoring conditions. That should suit him well because he ranks 4th in bermuda performance over the last two years behind only the big three of DJ, Sergio, and Koepka this week. Not bad for a golfer that costs less than the average price of a roster spot.

Josh Culp

Josh Culp joined NBC Sports Edge in 2014. The DFS enthusiast from Iowa State can be found on Twitter @futureoffantasy.