Tony Finau and the Long-Awaited Trophy: The American Express PGA DFS Breakdown
Image Credit: Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Tony Finau.

We have a three-course rotation for the first time this PGA DFS season. The American Express is played on La Quinta Country Club, Nicklaus Tournament Course, and the Stadium Course. Each of the golfers in the field will get a crack at each course before playing the Stadium Course for a second time in the final round. That means 54 holes from each guy that you roster even if they go on to miss the cut. Yesterday, I unveiled Expected Birdies which is a metric I’ve been working on for the past few months. Today, we’ll be looking at a few plays 

Buy Or Sell

Sungjae Im ($11,000) has the best combination of Expected Birdies and Power Ranking in the $10,000-plus range. He’s definitely a buy for me this week but you’ll have to find some low-owned options to balance out the total ownership of your roster. Im finds himself in the -1.5 to -1 group this week with just seven golfers above him. Historically, golfers in that group have finished in the top 10 over 15% of the time. 

I’m not crazy about Charles Howell ($10,100) at this price typically, but I get the argument for him. He’s right in the middle of the pack as far as Expected Birdies are concerned. Howell’s 23rd in the Power Ranking model. The issue is that his play has been so inconsistent. Howell flashed upside with a T4 at the Safeway Open to kick off his Fall Swing and then followed it up with a 68th place effort. Over the past 100 rounds or so, Howell’s Power Ranking has trended back down towards a Tour Average golfer. I’m pretty indifferent on Howell, to be honest. Nothing would surprise me because the fit is there, but his inconsistency has me leaning away from him. 

Over/Under

On Bogey Free, we set Kevin Kisner’s ($9,900) over/under at 18.5. 

Kisner has been on a steady climb back towards his 2017 form where he had a victory and seven more top tens in his 26 starts that year. We sam him play extremely well last week in Hawaii. He gained 5.3 strokes on approach and another 1.8 off the tee. With a stronger putting performance, we could’ve been talking about another tour victory for Kisner. 

Mid-Range Matchup

Brendan Steele ($7,500) vs. Harris English ($7,700) is our mid-range matchup this week. Steele is fresh off of squandering a 54-hole lead. English had a solid stretch of golf over the fall swing where finished in the top six in four of five events. 

English is another golfer that’s on the ascent over his past 100 rounds or so. Steele’s last performance was excellent and should be applauded but it’s very possible that his Sony Open performance was more of an anomaly. I’ll take English in this matchup and it’ll likely be at a significant ownership discount compared to Steele.  

GPP Play

Tony Finau ($10,500) is shaping up to be one of the lower-owned top-end golfers and playing him is making more and more sense as the week goes on. We know that he can score in bunches and he’s been close to that breakthrough victory. Since the start of 2017, he’s made 85 worldwide starts. During that span, he’s finished in the top 10 on 30 occasions. The lack of a win is troubling but even without getting the trophy on Sunday, Finau has shown his upside. 

Jhonattan Vegas ($6,800) shows up in birdie fests from time to time. This isn’t some statistically sound play, it’s just a gut feeling. Vegas is a walking GPP. It feels like he is either on the front page of the leaderboard or he’s packing his bags on Friday night. 

Cash Locks

Remember, the cash locks are guys we’re willing to go all-in on. They will definitely be in cash/single entry teams and often weeks they will approach 100% exposure on our GPP teams. 

Brian Harman ($8,600)

Vaughn Taylor ($7,900)

NameSalaryPowerRankingAvg
Rickie Fowler11500-0.919
Sungjae Im11000-1.3830.5
Paul Casey10700-0.9111
Tony Finau10500-1.286.5
Byeong Hun An10300-0.638
Charles Howell III10100-0.8316
Kevin Kisner9900-0.8512
Billy Horschel9700-1.059.5
Scottie Scheffler9500-1.1525
Cameron Champ9300-0.155.5
Francesco Molinari9200-0.415
Jason Kokrak9100-0.5218
Matthew Wolff9000-1.0919
Abraham Ancer8900-0.837.5
Brendon Todd8800-0.517
Phil Mickelson87000.649
Brian Harman8600-0.7420.5
J.T. Poston8500-0.8211
Alex Noren8400-0.7810.5
Ryan Moore8300-0.836.5
Lucas Glover8200-0.815
Russell Knox8100-1.1926
Chez Reavie8000-0.2913
Vaughn Taylor7900-1.3317
Andrew Putnam7800-0.6713
Kevin Na7800-0.0510
Harris English7700-1.3520
Zach Johnson7700-0.5812
Denny McCarthy7600-1.327.5
Rory Sabbatini7600-1.067.5
Daniel Berger7500-0.4212
Brendan Steele7500-0.69
Scott Piercy7400-0.317
Sebastian Munoz7400-0.925
Aaron Wise7300-0.657
Bud Cauley7300-0.877
Danny Lee7300-0.112.5
Carlos Ortiz7200-1.125.5
Adam Long7200-0.335
Nate Lashley7200-0.362.5
Joel Dahmen7200-0.792
Cameron Tringale7100-0.4911.5
Talor Gooch7100-0.317
Henrik Norlander7100-1.184
Brian Stuard7100-0.766.5
Austin Cook7100-0.111.5
Harold Varner7000-0.365.5
Nick Taylor7000-0.85.5
Ryan Armour7000-0.761.5
Kyle Stanley7000-0.482
Brian Gay7000-0.551.5
Si Woo Kim70000.422
Harry Higgs6900-0.544
Kevin Streelman69000.052
Lucas Bjerregaard69000.532
Wyndham Clark69000.231
Cameron Davis69000.262.5
Brice Garnett6900-0.711.5
Bronson Burgoon6800-0.55
Jhonattan Vegas68000.162.5
Bo Hoag6800-0.612
Doc Redman6800-0.460.5
Richy Werenski6800-0.640.5
Russell Henley68000.640.5
Tyler Duncan6800-0.260.5
D.J. Trahan6700-0.965
Matthew NeSmith6700-0.742
Bill Haas67000.424.5
Kevin Chappell67000.322
Stewart Cink6700-0.581.5
Hudson Swafford67000.350.5
Nick Watney6700-0.370.5
Peter Malnati6600-0.11.5
Michael Thompson6600-0.041.5
Beau Hossler6600-0.090.5
Charley Hoffman66000.821.5
Scott Stallings6600-0.250.5
Max Homa66000.670.5
Jimmy Walker66000.170.5
Patton Kizzire66000.470.25
Sam Ryder6500-0.197
Scott Harrington6500-0.283.5
Tom Hoge6500-0.220.25
Patrick Rodgers6500-0.070.25
Jason Dufner65000.290.25
Andrew Landry65000.540.25
Kramer Hickok65000.050.25
Roger Sloan65000.070.25
Greg Chalmers65004.280.25
Greg Chalmers65004.280.25
Xinjun Zhang6400-0.22
Steve Stricker6400-0.581.5
Aaron Baddeley6400-0.480.5
Cameron Percy6400-0.50.25
Luke List64000.570.25
Martin Laird6400-0.230.25
Troy Merritt6400-0.230.25
Fabian Gomez6400-0.240.25
Adam Schenk6400-0.250.25
Rob Oppenheim6400-0.120.25
Chase Seiffert6300-0.082
Ben Martin6300-0.020.5
Chesson Hadley63000.250.5
Seung-Yul Noh6300-0.060.5
Grayson Murray63001.150.5
Zac Blair63000.260.25
Mackenzie Hughes63000.580.25
Kyoung-Hoon Lee63000.210.25
Josh Teater6300-0.630.25
David Hearn6300-0.440.25
Anirban Lahiri63000.430.25
John Huh63000.170.25
Ted Potter Jr620010.5
Henry Lebioda62000.040.25
Mark D. Anderson6200-0.080.25
Maverick McNealy6200-0.585.5
Sepp Straka62000.341.5
Robby Shelton62000.471.5
Tim Wilkinson6200-0.240.5
Chris Stroud6200-0.190.25
Wes Roach6200-0.230.25
Scott Brown6200-0.010.25
Doug Ghim6200-0.230.25
Brandon Hagy62000.440.25
James Hahn62000.050.25
Mark Hubbard6100-0.070.5
Hunter Mahan61000.770.5
Ben Crane6100-0.080.5
Sam Burns61000.320.25
Robert Streb61000.050.25
Matt Every6100-0.120.25
Ryan Brehm61000.660.25
Rhein Gibson61000.10.25
Sebastian Cappelen61001.090.25
Michael Gellerman610010.25
Tyler McCumber61000.450.25
Joseph Bramlett61000.880.25
Ricky Barnes6100-0.090.25
Isaiah Salinda610010.25
Brian Smock610010.25
Brian Smock610010.25
Kristoffer Ventura60000.70.5
Kevin Stadler60002.20.5
Sam Saunders60000.520.5
J.J. Spaun60000.520
Akshay Bhatia600010
Nelson Ledesma600010
Martin Trainer600030
Chris Baker600010
Ben Taylor60000.590
Michael Gligic60001.520
Vince Covello600010
Rafael Campos60000.340
Vincent Whaley600010
Bo Van Pelt60002.340
Mark Wilson60001.580
Charles Reiter600010
John Senden60001.280
Image Credit: Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Tony Finau.
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