The Tour turns its attention towards Pebble Beach for the week. As I mentioned in yesterday’s article, we’re looking at a three-course rotation again this week. That means plenty of showdown strategy and a Saturday cut is on tap for this weekend.
|Finish Position Category||Average DK Score|
|26 – 50||67.3|
|51 – 75||55.5|
Buy or Sell
I’m going to sell Dustin Johnson ($11,600) for a couple of reasons. The main one is because fading the most expensive golfer on a slate is almost always in play. DJ has plenty of win equity, but is it enough to pay off $11,600? He likely will come in with plenty of ownership. He actually hasn’t overpowered shorter courses in the way that you might think. Johnson’s a class-golfer1 but if I’m paying for a highly owned, expensive golfer, I want no question marks. He’s a soft sell for me.
I teased the simulator in last week’s article, and it’s eking closer to being released. Brandt Snedeker ($10,100) is one of the stars of this week’s simulator results. He has the fifth-most wins and the eighth-most top fives in the sim. Snedeker has been all over the map with a T3 finish a couple of weeks ago and then an MC last week in Phoenix. He comes in with a 92 PRK score which puts him in very solid company, historically. Golfers in that group finish in the top five about 21% of the time.
Viktor Hovland ($9,100) over/under 22.5
Hovland disappointed us last week with a missed cut. It wasn’t an ejection, though. He had a shot at playing the weekend but he missed a birdie putt on 17 to seal the deal on his missed cut. I’m going back to the well with Hovland and going under on this number. The simulator has him finishing in the top 20 51.4% of the time. Historically, golfers that come into an event with a PRK Score of 90 – 100 have finished in the top 20 48.8% of the time.
Matt Kuchar ($9,900) vs Phil Mickelson ($9,500)
This is a matchup that caught my eye as I was going through each chunk of salary. Anyone who’s been following golf closely over the past year has seen a steep drop off in Mickelson’s form. When he won this event last year, he was up to 17th in the OWGR and now has fallen down to 72nd.2 Phil is a fan favorite, but his PRK Score of 57 doesn’t leave much room for optimism. All you need is a coin to figure out if golfers between 50 and 60 in the PRK Score will make the cut, historically.
Kuchar, on the other hand, has an 84 from the PRK and has played well lately. He gained strokes in every category outside of putting last week. Kuchar is eighth in the field in SG: Approach over the past 100 rounds.
I put Mickelson and Kuchar into the simulator to see how they’d fare against each other. Kuchar won about 62% of their head-to-head matchups.
Patrick Cantlay ($10,900) comes in with the best PRK Score of the week. In terms of raw score, he’s about 0.2 strokes per round better than the next highest golfer. The simulator and the base rate of his PRK Score point to a top-five finish more than 20% of the time. The ownership in the $10,000 range will be interesting this week. With so many popular options, it’s easy to see a scenario where Cantlay goes slightly under-owned relative to his upside. Even if he trends towards being a bit higher owned, I’ll be willing to eat some of the chalk when it comes to the 27-year-old rising star.
If it wasn’t for a poor around the green performance, we’d likely be talking about Matthew NeSmith ($7,100) quite a bit more this week. He’s now made five straight cuts and has climbed up into the 90s for PRK Score heading into Pebble Beach. Golfers in that range of PRK Score have finished in the top 20 nearly 49% of the time, which is a very acceptable outcome from a golfer with NeSmith’s price. He’ll likely go under-owned because of other popular plays in his range.
- Matthew NeSmith ($7,100)
- Matthew Fitzpatrick ($9,700)
Power Ranking Model & Ownership Projections - Pebble Beach
|Name||DK Salary||PRK Score||Ownership %|
|Rafa Cabrera Bello||8400||72.78||6.86|
|Harold Varner III||7000||72.41||1.84|
|Ted Potter Jr.||6900||51.72||1.65|
|Si Woo Kim||6400||38.48||1.10|
|Scott De Borba||6000||51.72||0.06|
|Bo Van Pelt||6000||37.02||0.06|