This tournament is absolutely loaded on the top end, and I really can not find a reason to fade any of the top players. Rory, Rahm, Woods, Rose, Hideki, and Woodland all have a great shot to go out and win this week. Then we have players like Finau, and Xander who could be dark horses to win as well. Needless to say, I am pretty pumped up for this week!
Key Stats This Week: Ball Striking, Total Driving, Par 5 Scoring, Birdie to Bogey (B2B), and Strokes Gained Tee to Green.
This Week's Strategy:
- Cash: We can build a really safe build by building out of the 9.5K to 7.5K range. The likelihood of getting 6/6 across the cut line is the highest it has been all year. But if you believe 5/6 will be the norm and you want to get more upside in your build you can play one value play, and hope they make the cut.
- GPP: Play the core plays / high exposure plays - mix and matching them with the High Tier, and Value Tier.
*By playing value plays you're typically reducing the % chance to get 6/6 across the cut line.
Slate Confidence: Yellow - This is finally the first slate that is lining up well. This is essentially the exact opposite of last week. We have a ton of players checking all 3 boxes.
TOP PLAYS THIS WEEK
High Tier: I am literally fine with any of the top tier plays I mentioned above. The ones listed below are the ones I will have the most exposure to because they should provide the most value.
Gary Woodland: Woodland has an average finish of 15th on the season, which is somewhat skewed because he has 4 top 10 finishes in just 5 starts. He has an average finish of 14th at this tournament over the last 4 years here. He also ranks as a top 10 stat fit this week. Woodland is checking all of the boxes this week and has a strong likelihood to make the cut. He should be able to at the very least top 20 this week.
Hideki Matsuyama: Hideki keeps getting better each time he has played in this event going from an MC, T33, T12, and then a T3 finish last year. If putting isn't a huge factor this week (which is typically isn't) Hideki should have a great week again. He is 27th in Strokes Gained total, 5th in Strokes Gained off the Tee, 6th in BTB, and 11th in Par 5 scoring. Hideki has an average finish of 7th in his last 4 events. He should finish inside the top 20 this week.
Sungjae Im: Sungjae had a T52 in his first start at this event last year. Nothing great, but shot Even or below Par in every round. Im has an average finish of 19th in 8 starts this year with 0 missed cuts. If you're playing Sungjae that is why you are playing him to make a cut. Should be a safe made cut this week. Im is also a top 15 stat fit this week.
Cam Smith: Smith has a wide range of outcomes this week, and this is mostly due to the fact that he won in his last event, and we do not know where he is at mentally. Had he not won his that last event he would be a core play. He is basically just a Cheaper Hideki this week. Ascending Event History, great stat fit, and is in great form. 3 of Smith's last 4 starts have been top 10 finishes.
Ryan Palmer: Palmer is an elite play this week. Yes, that did feel very weird to type up, and it will hurt if he misses the cut. But Palmer has an average finish of 7th in 2 starts here in the last 4 years. He is an elite stat fit ranking T35 or better in every single stat except for putting. Palmer has an average finish of 16th on the season. I see Palmer being a safe cash play, and a play that should T25 or better.
Lanto Griffin: Griffin played this course once in 2018 and had a T12. Lanto has made 2 straight cuts, and has had 8 out of 9 straight rounds at or under Par. Lanto is ranking as a top 5 stat fit this week, and if you take out Rory, Rose, Rahm, and Wood (because they do not have enough rounds technically) he would rank as the best play according to my model this week. Because of the missed cut 3 events ago, Lanto is a borderline cash play, but makes for an elite GPP play.
Emiliano Grillo: Grillo is one of the players we can target when Total Driving matters and putting doesn't. This shows up in his course history where he has made 3 straight cuts. He has also made 4 straight cuts in a row, all being T41 or better finishes. I do worry about his upside, but he should make the cut.
Russell Knox: Knox may have officially become these years Scott Piercy. Just a guy that checks every box each week, and continue to be value each week. Knox has made 7 straight cuts in a row, is 2/2 in cuts made at this event in the last 4 years, and is a top 25 stat fit this week. Knox is a play that we continue to roster until he busts or the tournament is an absolute no go for him. (Which he shouldn't be playing in anyways)
Harris English: English is a great stat fit this week. He is top 20 in Total Driving, Strokes Gained, Strokes Gained Tee to Green, and B2B. English has played this event each of the last 4 years. He had a missed cut last year but did shot an opening round 69. (he followed it up with a 75). English is such a hit or miss play this week, but over half of his finishes, this season has been T6 or better. English makes for a great GPP play.
Value Tier: (Can I just copy and paste what I wrote last week, or really the past 3 weeks). This goes in order of how I would rank each value play.
Mathew NeSmith: Stat wise NeSmith is essentially Russell Knox, where his game does not have a weakness thus far. He has made 4 straight cuts in a row as well. He lacks course history, but I think NeSmith is going to make for a great play this week, and will probably be my highest owned value play this week. (Yes I did keep this the same)
D.J. Trahan: Trahan once again is a top 5 stat fit, but gets knocked in the model this week because there are a lot of players with good course history. Still ranks out very well this week. Given his stat fit, and his recent form he makes form a great GPP value play again this week.
Maverick McNealy: McNealy is not the best stat fit this week. He does, however, rank in the top 25% in the field B2B. McNealy had a made cut here in 2018 with a T29. He also has made 7 straight cuts in a row.
Scott Stallings: Stalling isn't a value play with huge upside. He has made two cuts, and miss two cuts at this event in the last 4 years. But this year he is in better form, having made 6 out of 8 cuts including his last 4. Stallings is just a play because he is price too cheap.
Doc Redman: Redman has really only had one bad round of the whole year. He is an elite stat fit this week, and could have some serious upside this week. I do not love the play but it would not shock me if he has a T20 this week.
For the rest of the plays in the player pool with exposures scroll down a bit!
*Basic stat pull for this week. Using Tournament History, Weekly Base Stats, and Core Stats for the Course.
* Typically the model should be used to determine which player you should be targeting based on their likelihood to make the cut, which is how I have this model skewed towards.
The more weeks we are into the season the more this will be accurate.
Player Pool Breakdown: The plays this week are properly presented where they should be unlike last week when I stated the "Core Plays" were grading out as Mid Exposure plays. This week is the exact opposite.
Player Pool is rank in order this week.
CASH AND GPP PLAYS:
Cash Play: Highest Likelihood to make the cut.
GPP Play: Reduced Likelihood to make the cut, but if they do they have a high likelihood to exceed their salary.
Cash: Knox, Woodland, Palmer, Smith, Hideki, Tringale, Grillo, Sungjae, Lanto
GPP: English, Jones, NeSmith, Dahmen, Trahan, McCarthy, Munuz, Champ
*This is a sample lineup for you to use as a reference tool. This is typically the first look lineup that I get onto for the week. Most of the time my main lineup will be adjusted throughout the week as I do a deeper dive.