The Career Builder Challenge is hosted in sunny southern California, in the Coachella valley, where the sun’s out and the buns are out all year long. The tournament is played on three different courses, so it is going to be tough to rely on a course fit.
I think it also brings into question the validity of course history, as we don’t know which course the player capitalized on unless we do an in-depth study and also look at the various types of golfers who have won here. This means the strokes gained key stats will be relegated to tee-to-green statistics, focusing on strokes gained approach. However, the average score among the past five winners is 24 under, so we know that our guys have to go low.
This means we will need to factor in birdie-or-better percentage and bogey avoidance. Most importantly, we need to heavily key in on form, especially tee-to-green. Targeting players who have competed in a professional event recently will remain extremely crucial, just like last week. When we aren’t targeting a specific skill set, we need to make sure we get the most golfers for our buck as well and exploit the misprices on DraftKings and find value.
Courses: TPC Stadium (Par 72, 7,113 yards), TPC Tournament (Par 72, 7,159 yards), TPC Country Club (Par 71, 7,060 yards)
Fairways: Bermuda on all three.
Greens: Bermuda on all three.
Winning Score Average L5: -24
$11.8K John Rahm
Although we usually get shorter odds on a guy than 11-1 to win when we pay near $12K for a golfer, he’s easily the class of the field. He made this evident finishing second on the tournament of champions among an insanely strong field consisting of all winners from the past year. In addition, the other guys in the five-digit range are fellas that usually hang out in the $8K or $9K range. This makes it pretty clear to just plug Rahm in and figure out the rest later, so the build will be similar to last week. We know he can go low, being seventh on the tour in BOB% last season.
$8.5K Russell Knox
Unfortunately, Knox is very popular among well known golf betting touts and is almost guaranteed to be popular this week (although I see him projected below 10 percent owned in some places, so I may be wrong). Knox is a great golfer who had two wins at strong-field prestigious events in 2016, the Travelers and the WGC HSBC, but had a horrendous 2017 season. He showed signs of a return to form last week where he was top-10 tee to green and around the green, as well, parlaying that into a 10th-place finish.
$7.7K Kevin Chappell
Chappell is an extremely strong tee-to-green player who did not play well in his first event of the season, and he is probably one of the plays I feel the least confident in, but in this field his price makes no sense. He is 40-1 to win in the range of guys that are 100-1. If he comes back to form at all and plays well after tuning his game up at the Plantation Course in Kapalua, he will very likely outperform most of the golfers in this range.
$7.5K Jhonattan Vegas
Vegas put on an incredible performance on his way to the greens at the Plantation Course in Kapalua at the Tournament of Champions, showing no signs of rust. He has won here before, is a scoring machine when on, and is 65-1 to win. This is a great value play with a ton of upside.
$7.4K Ryan armour
Armour is still striking the ball really purely, being in the top 20 in the field in SGT2G, SGOTT, and SG approach last week, but had horrible short game play, especially putting, which is the most variant part of golf. Let’s hope people just look at the finishing position and his putting comes around a bit.
$7.4K Scott Piercy
Piercy is a quality golfer who had a terrible season last year. He was in the top five last week in SGT2G and had one of the worst putting performances of those who made the cut. The layoff from competition may have helped him get back to being himself. We want to be the first ones back on board to capitalize on this extreme value.
$7.4K Kevin Na
Na missed the cut last week due to a horrendous putting performance, even though he was decent tee to green. He didn’t blow up necessarily, finishing Friday at two over. Just like we used the Tournament of Champions as a get-right spot and played guys that didn’t have the best week there, that was Na’s first event since The Shriners on November 2nd. Kevin Na was 35th in birdie or better percentage last year and is a good value at this price, in this field, at odds of 80-1 to win.
$7K Tom Hoge
Hoge is an up and comer who is coming off of a third-place finish at the Sony where he was top five in the field in SGT2G and approach as well. His ball striking is impeccable right now, and we need to ride this form, especially when DraftKings failed to bump up his price after such a stunning performance. He may be high owned, but at 100-1 to win around guys that are 150-1 to win, he is a huge discount play that has upside.