Some Thoughts on golf this week and preview items in Golfstats during December
By Sal Johnson
So 2016 is just about history, the Hero World Challenge is the last event of the old year.
In past years we start getting ready for the new year and the Tournament of Champions the first week of January. We’ve gotten a lot of mail on where the previews are, frankly since the Hero is not an official event that is on Golfstats we have never done it. The same with the early European events, even though the Australian PGA has been around for over 110 years, it just became a co-sanctioned event last year and we don’t have the results going back, yet.
We also have a problem with next week’s Hong Kong Open, it was played several times twice in one year, when our database can’t handle. So that’s why we don’t have a performance chart.
Ed and I have talked a lot about the needs of folks doing fantasy golf. The one thing everyone says is that they want information that helps them make decisions. We have that in our Performance charts, who’s hot charts, 8 year glance chart and previews. In 2016 we introduced a new chart in looking at each course to see when stats are needed to win and came up with Key Fantasy stats. It will return when the tour resumes in Kapalua in January.
Ed has also done formula’s for boss of the Moss and Horses for courses, in our IQ Golfstats section it’s format for those that play Draft Kings games and help you choose players with their game in mind.
One of the things we realize is most of the time players have skills on special courses with special grasses and even weather conditions. So in the coming weeks we are going to have stories related to this to help you in 2017, who plays the best on Bent or Bermuda, who plays the best early in the season and who plays the best in the summer heat. We are also going to put more items on our Facebook and Twitter pages, we hope to get you all to participate telling us how you feel for each week’s events. We cover the PGA Tour each week and are making an effort to cover more European Tour events, again it’s up to you folks in helping us to determine which ones are important and which ones aren’t worth the time and effort to do.
For those looking for some preview stuff, here is a short look at the Hero World Challenge and why I choose certain player in Draft Kings this week.
Hero World Challenge:
This is an event that has been played since 1999 and is basically a money grab for the 18 lucky ones that are in the field. For the winner it’s a million dollar pay day, for last place it’s $100,000, not bad for playing four days in the Bahamas. One of the disadvantages in picking a winner is that this event has played on three different courses in the last four years. Albany Golf Club will be played for the second time and it’s hard to base anything on such a small sampling. In looking at last year’s results it’s easy to see that the top three from last year, Bubba Watson, Patrick Reed and Rickie Fowler all have great records on Florida courses and they have all played well at Doral. Look at last year’s winner Bubba Watson, he has been runner-up three times at Doral in the last five years. As for Patrick Reed he won in 2014 and as for Rickie Fowler he won the Players Championship.
As for Jordan Spieth he may of finished 4th, but he shot four rounds of 68 or under. One of the things about Albany, you can land 747s on the generous fairways so hitting greens and getting the ball close is easy. So the players that do well are the ones that putt well, that is the reason I like Spieth this week. Many will wonder why I like them more than Dustin Johnson or Henrik Stenson, I think Spieth is playing the best after winning in Australia both Johnson and Stenson haven’t shown us much. I also like Brooks Koepka, he won two weeks ago in Japan and don’t like Hideki Matsuyama who won in China but has never been good in these putting exhibitions.
Now for many the big question mark will be how Tiger Woods does. He hasn’t played in 15 months, I am afraid of his chipping and putting. Rumor has it that he withdrew from the Safeway the first of October because he was having chipping problems. Remember how bad he was two years ago in this tournament, double chipping and not making many putts? Tiger is also playing with a new golfball, he has picked Bridgestone for the week and probably be playing new clubs. So there are a lot of unanswered questions like if he plans on playing a full schedule early on, will he play in San Diego and Phoenix, possibly some of the Florida events leading up to the Masters. Tiger has never overplayed before the Masters, but I think that he could possibly play in as many as six events leading to the Masters, this will tell us the question if Tiger can really come back. But for this week it’s probably best to take a pass on him.
So here are my six DraftKings picks for the week:
10,300 – Jordan Spieth: Just like the way he is playing and how if the putter gets hot he will be tough to beat.
8,900 – Brooks Koepka: He won in Japan and can go low, he proved it at Phoenix two years ago.
8,600 – Patrick Reed: Runner-up last year, won at Doral a course that is a lot like Albany.
7,900 – Rickie Fowler: Good finish last year, plays well on Bermuda and Florida courses was T-6th in China his last start.
7,400 – Russell Knox: Three top-tens in his last three starts, good value at a low price.
6,800 – J.B. Holmes: needed a low price player and I he would play better than Tiger, Jimmy Walker and Zach Johnson.
Alfred Dunhill Championship:
A tournament with not a very good field. Other than Charl Schwartzel, Branden Grace and George Coetzee must of the players are not very well know. As for Schwartzel, he has won this event in three of his last four starts. The sole exception was in 2015 when he finished T-26th. As for the rest it’s a grab bag pick on how the player has done in the past on the course and if he is playing hot or not.
So here are my six DraftKings picks:
12,000 – Charl Schwartzel: if for the fact that everyone else will pick him and if you don’t and he wins your screwed so go with the flow and take him.
8,299 – Pablo Larrazabal: Is playing ok and I know he will make the cut.
8,000 – Benjamin Hebert: Was third last year, been consisten of last making cuts.
7,600 – Dean Burmester: Was T-11th last year and T-8th last week in the Lion of Africa Cape Town Open
7,500 – Paul Dunne: Just a feeling, yes he missed the cut last year and his last European event he missed the cut at Portugal Masters
6,700 – Matthieu Pavon: Needed a low price guy, he has a T-3rd in his last Challenge Tour start and a runner-up last month.
Australian PGA Championship:
Another poor field, yes they have Adam Scott, Danny Lee, Ian Poulter and Rod Pampling but after that the field is pretty obscure Of course eveyone is going to pick Adam Scott, but one person I would seriously look at is Australian Cameron Smith. He lost in the playoff at the Australian Open last week and he has shown on more than one occasion that he could win. Also watch Marc Leishman and Scott Hend who has won on the European Tour in 2015. My longshot for the week in Australia is Romain Langasque.
So check back for more of our previews of events in 2017.