We are back at the biggest party in golf for the Waste Management Phoenix Open. The golfers will be tasked with taming TPC Scottsdale. TPC Scottsdale is a par 71 course that plays about 7,260 yards. The course features 7,000-plus square foot greens which run about 12 feet on the Stimpmeter. That can lead to low scores as the winner has averaged 17.45 strokes under par here since 1990. If you want to check out the Expected Birdies preview, head to yesterday’s article.
|Finish Position Category||Average DK Scoring|
|25th – 50th||67|
|51st – 75th||57.3|
Buy or Sell
Jon Rahm ($11,400) is coming off of a near-win at the Farmers Insurance Open and he gets the “home-field” narrative. Rahm went to ASU is basically the “Ryan Fitzpatrick went to Harvard” or “Antonio Gates used to play basketball” of this week. Rahm has the fourth-highest PRK Score of the week with a 91.2. Golfers in the 90-100 Group have made up 15% of the golfers to finish in the top 5 despite making up just 4% of the population in the sample. Since missing the cut1 at the Charles Schwab Challenge, he’s made 14 of 15 cuts with 12 top 10s and three wins worldwide. Rahm is a very clear buy assuming you can find the salary for an $11,400 golfer in your lineup. He’s also taken advantage of courses shorter than 7,400 yards, per the Splits App.
It’s not the first time that Hideki Matsuyama ($10,100) has appeared in this section. He’s an interesting test case every single week because his name value in DFS is certainly worth something but it feels like he’s underpriced most weeks. Matsuyama is on a streak of seven straight made cuts with a couple of top-three finishes during the Asian Swing in the fall. He comes in ninth in the field with a PRK Score of 84. Golfers in his group finish in the top 20 just over 25% of the time and make the cut 70% of the time. Matsuyama likely won’t find his way into many of my lineups because of his proximity to Webb Simpson ($10,300) who has the Top PRK Score this week.
Tony Finau ($9,600) – Over/Under 20.5
Finau is a fan favorite and is typically one of the highest owned golfers every time he’s in the field. He comes into the week with a PRK Score of 84. Since 1995, golfers that fall between 80 and 90 finish in the top 20 at a 33.4% rate. In the next few weeks, I’ll be releasing results from a simulator that I’ve been working on for each event. It runs on the PRK Model,2 and out of 3,000 sims, Finau finished in the top 20 2,209 times. I’m going under here for that reason, among a few others. In his two events stateside, he’s finished no worse than T14 so far in 2020. Finau did much of his damage3 around the green at The American Express, but his irons trended up this past week.
Adam Hadwin ($7,200) vs. Martin Laird ($7,200)
This is a little bit lower priced than our typical matchup but I thought it was interesting. I was shocked when doing my first pass through of ownership and it seemed like they could get somewhat popular.
Laird has the magical course history dust this week, with three top 10s over the past five years. The issue is that he hasn’t cracked the top 40 since July. Even that performance wasn’t terribly impressive as it was at the Barracuda Championship.4 Laird comes into the week with a PRK of 63. Golfers in the 60-70 group have only finished in the DK Bonus5 about 45% of the time.
Hadwin, on the other hand, comes in with a 76 in the PRK Score. The 70-80 group base rate for hitting the DK Bonus is 51.4% which is a slight advantage. More importantly, though, the top 5 rate is nearly double that of the 60-70 group. We haven’t seen Hadwin in a bit but he’s on a streak of seven straight made cuts.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that I’m fading the course history narrative here and taking Hadwin.
Webb Simpson ($10,300) is at the top of the heap in the PRK Scores this week. He’s sandwiched in between Matsuyama and Rickie Fowler ($10,500). I call that an ownership vacuum. There’s no way that three guys within $400 of each other all end up as chalk, especially when they’re at this price. That puts him in pretty elite territory as a price pivot.
Harry Higgs ($6,900) is coming off of a top-10 finish at the Farmers Insurance Open. Higgs finished the season strong on the Korn Ferry Tour and took a little bit to get his sea legs under him. He has the fifth-best PRK Score, largely because of his small-sample combined with a great performance last week. Higgs pops in the expected birdies metric, as well. Historically, 85 PRK golfers have found the top 10 just under 20% of the time.
- Viktor Hovland ($8,400)
- Tom Hoge ($7,400)
Recap of the cash locks so far this year:
WMPO - Power Ranking Model
|Byeong Hun An||7600||62.1|
|Harold Varner III||6800||62.2|
|Si Woo Kim||6200||53.8|
|Ted Potter Jr.||6100||43.4|
|Bo Van Pelt||6000||22.7|