The second event of the 2024 PGA season is here with the Sanderson Farms Championship, taking place at the Country Club of Jackson which is in Jackson, Mississippi. This course places a bit longer, and due to it being a Parkland style course it does present interesting scoring opportunities in which many different golfers can be successful. It is tough to really dial in which golfers to be on as well this week simply because it is just the second week back to tournament play on the season. With that I have listed 3 reasons below as to why early season PGA DFS can create high variance.
1) A lot of golfers have not played since the playoffs started. (Which is why they are playing in this event to hopefully get some FedEx Cup points early.) More time off = more variance.
2) Golfers that played in the FedEx Cup playoffs went through 3 straight weeks of different goals, some just trying to move on, some trying to secure a PGA Tour Card, some trying to win it all. After 3 straight event of mental grinding it is not a surprise to see someone struggle to be mentally sharp again in the first event back.
3) A lot of "new" golfers on the tour season, whether that being rookie golfers or KFT grads. A lot of the KFT guys had been playing some great golf leading into this event, but mentally where will they be will they be content with making the Tour or will they have the mental strength to continue to play well.
As you can see we have a lot more pieces to the puzzle this week compared to end-of-season golf when it is just, great course history, great stat fit, and great form - a great play. This is why we see a lot more early season variance.
*Based off of which key stats led to golfers winning but also making the cut in previous years at the course tournament. When no course history is available I will difficult to comparable course history. I look for which one or two Strokes Gained stats matter the most. Look to see whether this is a wedge fest or a long iron event. (175-125 stats don't really matter in terms of predicting who will play well in a given week) Find out which scoring stat matter the most (BOB, B2B, or BA). Find if this is a course in which accuracy or distance matters the most.
- SG AP
- Par 5 Scoring
- BOB (Birdie or Better %)
One of the tough parts about this week is that we do not know for sure what the key stats are simply because this typically have a pretty poor field, thus different golfers tend to win, and we see different key stats leading to those golfers winning. Like a typical week we do see that Strokes Gained Approach will be key. Golfers that struggled to make the cut were golfers that struggled to score on the Par 5s. This course typically is a little bit easier to score on thus we see BOB % pop.
200+ scoring was interesting to me, but makes sense given the setup of the course and the length of the course.
Going forward Course History for an event with go by H1, H2, H3, and H4. For most weeks that will simply be 2023, 2022, 2021, and 2020 course history. (Last 4 years is course history is when the data is the most significant)
Last 4 years of course history.
SLATE CONFIDENCE RATING: Yellow
I like this week much more than I did the first week, but the field is still ugly, and it is still early in the season. I do not believe this will be an easy week to predict for DFS.
Beautiful weather this week for fall golf.
First Round Leader
AM Tee Times
I will be targeting AM Tee Times that rank out top 7 for FRL betting using the NineToFive betting sheet until further notice (basically if weather tells us not to)
3 Ball Bets:
Available by clicking on either the Ownership Leverage, or Props page on NineToFive, then click on the 3 person Icon.
Picture 1 = Golfers that are the statical best Outright Bets. This is determined by looking at which data points were the most predictable in regards to players that won the past two seasons. These golfers meet at least 80% or more of the statical thresholds used to determine winners.
Picture 2 = Same as above but these golfers only meet 70% of the threshold.
Peter Malnati 74/1
Core Plays + Outright Bets
Core Plays are the golfers that I am prioritizing the most
Stephan Jaeger is coming in as the top play on the board this week, and I see no reason as to why we should not trust him this week. He has made 13 straight cuts on the PGA Tour, and made 2 straight cuts at this event. He is the 2nd best stat fit, and the #1 specialist. The worry I would have would be the lack of upside recently if you will but at the same time we would certainly take safety this week, and that is what he presents for us.
Emiliano Grillo is also seemingly going to be a safe play this week, which is always scary to say when referring to Emiliano Grillo. He has however made 5 straight cuts in a row on the PGA Tour now, and has made the cut at this event over his past 4 starts here while having a top 10 finish here last year. The one knock on Grillo this week would be that he is not an elite stat fit, but thankfully none of the key stats would suggest that he is going to struggle.
Nate Lashley seems to be the only mispriced golfer this week, and that is why I am treating him as a core play. He is someone that we know is a consistent golfer, when he makes the cut he gives us a good chance at a top 30 finish, when he misses the cut it typically isn't a bad performance, and given the field that we have this week I see him being able to make the cut.
Lashley ranks as the 3rd best stat fit this week, ranking T21 or better in all the key stat this week.
Players that I am still going out of my way to roster, but have a slight pause for whether that be course history, recent form, stat fit, safety, upside or price.
Eric Cole would be a core play if it were not for his missed cut at this event last year. Personally I see having course history as a plus this week so I am not too worried about the fact that it was a missed cut. He ranks out 2nd in BOB %, 11th in SG AP, and 8th in Par 5 Scoring, if he is on the top of his game he could easily see himself in contention to win on Sunday. The upside that he holds is the appeal, it is just tough to get to him over Jaeger, or Grillo.
Doug Ghim is a good picture of what this week is on paper, on a normal week Ghim would not be a great play like he is projected to be this week. This is not a normal week however, and Ghim being good enough in even data going this week has him popping as one of the better plays this week.
The play that I like a TON this week is Adam Svensson. I will start with the bad, Svensson has only made one start here in the past 3 tries, and he finished 54th. Alright the bad is over, now the good. Svensson ranks out top 10 or better as a Specialist, Stat Fit, and in Recent Form. He has finished 15th, 37th, and 7th over his past 3 starts and has made 6 straight cuts in a row. Like Cole the course history is knocking him slightly but it is easy to see why he is a good play.
Tom Hoge sort of feels like a better version of Doug Ghim and we can get him for cheaper, he is a play that makes a lot of sense in fair and balanced builds.
Sam Ryder I find to be an interesting play as well this week mainly due to his stat fit, and the fact that he has a little bit better recent form than someone like Tom Hoge. Ryder has finished 14th, 31st, 38th, and 7th over his past 4 starts. He ranks top 10 in BOB and SG AP, so if he is on his game we could find him having another upside week.
Garrick Higgo is a very much more of a GPP play rather than a safe play. Higgo finished 3rd at this event last year, he ranks top 10 in 2 of the key stats that we are looking at. He has missed his last two cuts on tour but they were not bad missed cuts, and prior to that he had two top 20 finishes. Very much a hit or miss play.
Ben Griffin is a golfer that last year had himself a great fall golf season. He showed part of that with a 24th place finish at this tournament last year. Stats wise he is a good play across the board.
Bhatia is very interesting given the upside that he could present. He is an elite stat fit this week, and he has shown upside recently. Very much a risk/reward play.
Dylan Wu is a better very of Bhatia in terms of safety. He has finished 14th, 51st, and 5th over his past 3 starts, and he is also a top 10 stat fit. Course history has not been great here, but once again I like that he has at least played this course.
Kevin Streelman is in play because of his strong course history, and his price, nothing more.
Greyson Sigg is casually popping, and it is because of his good finish last year here finishing top 10, and him not being a terrible stat fit. The worry is the form prior to his last two starts.
Peter Malnati, DARKHORSE? Malnati has made the cut at this event the last 4 years which includes a runner up finish. He also in coming in off of an 11th place finish. We are purely cashing upside with this play which sounds weird to say for Malnati.
Russell Knox is at such a strange price tag. He has been playing solid golf, and he also ranks out top 10 in SG AP this week. On top of that he has finished top 30 at this event the past 2 years. Even if he doesn't make the cut this week Knox feels like the correct play.
Risk/Reward Plays, Plays to get a made cut, Shoulder Shrug Plays, or Fomo Plays
All these plays are good enough to consider in regards to their price, but they are all full of risk.
Player Pool Breakdown:
Player Pool is rank in order of how I am prioritizing a golfer as a play this week
CASH AND GPP PLAYS:
(Finalized on Tuesday Member Writeup)
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: Core + High Exposure minus Higgo + Knox
GPP: Sigg, Malnati, Hoffman, Higgo, Gerard, Bhatia
*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. (Finalized on Tuesday Member Writeup
I am probably not running this lineup out, but at the same time I do not mind it, we know that it is going to be a risk/reward week as is. We get the 3 super safe high end golfers, add on Knox who seems like a free square and we are sitting great. The only thing I dislike about this build is not getting Nate Lashley.
Taking a look at the players that are under-owned, and too high owned. Talking about why. \
*Tool Update Alert* New to 925s Ownership Leverage Tool - Return Value for Finishing Position: Measuring where a golfer needs to finish to return value based on their current ownership projection at their price point. (Comes out Tuesday Evening)