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PGA DFS: Desert Classic Course Preview and Trends

We’re heading back to the mainland on Tour after a couple of weeks out in Hawaii. This week’s newly named Desert Classic is being played at a trio of courses out in La Quinta, California. There are many different ways to look at this event given that there are multiple courses. We’ll go through a quick course-by-course breakdown, but the overall trends and stats we’re going to look at are from a tournament perspective. We’re focusing on the last three years of the tournament because that sample features the same course rotation that we’ll see this year.


Course Par Yardage Scoring Average


PGA West Stadium Course 72 7,113 Yards -0.819 Host Course – Cutmakers will play this course during one of their first three rounds and the final round on Sunday
PGA West Nicklaus Tournament Course 72 7,159 Yards -2.555 The entire field will play one of their first three rounds here.
La Quinta CC 72 7,060 Yards -3.169 The entire field will play one of their first three rounds here.


Golfer Year Winning Score DraftKings Points
Jon Rahm 2018 -22 132.5
Hudson Swafford 2017 -20 125.5
Jason Dufner 2016 -25 136


In the past three years, there’s been an advantage to length off the tee. Driving distance is three times more predictive than driving accuracy at this event. There have been 27 golfers that have scored 100 DK points since 2016. Of that group, 10 (37 percent) finished in the top 15 in driving distance compared to just six (22 percent) that met that threshold in driving accuracy. Strokes Gained: Off the Tee lies somewhere in the middle of the two so if you had to pick one driving stat, it’d be distance this week.

tee viz


Rank in 2018 Driving Distance Driving Accuracy SG: OTT
1 Luke List ($9,000) Ryan Armour ($7,100) Jon Rahm ($11,600)
2 Tom Lovelady ($6,800) Chez Reavie ($9,200) Luke List ($9,000)
3 Jason Kokrak ($7,100) Brian Gay ($7,300) Joaquin Niemann ($7,600)
4 Trey Mullinax ($6,500) Brian Stuard ($6,900) Patrick Cantlay ($10,600)
5 Grayson Murray ($6,600) Kevin Streelman ($7,000) Corey Conners ($7,500)
6 Robert Garrigus ($6,800) Ben Silverman ($6,700) Justin Rose ($11,000)
7 Brendan Steele ($7,600) CT Pan ($8,400) Aaron Wise ($9,400)
8 Nick Watney ($7,200) Vaughn Taylor ($6,700) Brendan Steele ($7,600)
9 Harold Varner ($7,400) Russell Henley ($7,300) Trey Mullinax ($6,500)
10 Ryan Palmer ($8,200) Adam Hadwin ($10,000) Abraham Ancer ($9,300)


Golfers that finish in the top five of DK scoring average 52-of-72 (72.2 percent) greens in regulation hit compared to just 67 percent for the whole field. Greens in regulation percentage explain 23 percent of the DK scoring during this week’s event. When we have winning scores at 20-under or better, we need birdie putts — plain and simple.

Rank in 2018 Greens in Regulation SG: APP
1 Patrick Cantlay ($10,600) Joaquin Niemann ($7,600)
2 Andrew Putnam ($9,700) Scott Piercy ($9,100)
3 Luke List ($9,000) Chesson Hadley ($7,600)
4 Jon Rahm ($11,600) Patrick Cantlay ($10,600)
5 Kevin Streelman ($7,000) Chez Reavie ($9,200)
6 CT Pan ($8,400) Sam Ryder ($7,100)
7 Corey Conners ($7,500) Daniel Berger ($7,700)
8 Charles Howell ($10,300) Robert Garrigus ($6,800)
9 JJ Henry ($6,000) Chris Kirk ($7,200)
10 Jason Kokrak ($7,100) Patton Kizzire ($8,700)

Key Stats

  • Strokes Gained: Tee to Green
  • Greens in Regulation
  • Driving Distance

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