PGA DFS First Look: The Northern Trust

The PGA First Look is complete with a course preview, odds, salaries, Official World Golf Rankings, and course history.

Editor’s note: If you’re looking for general golf betting tips, please refer to our PGA golf betting guide. And if you’re looking for a more in-depth golf betting tips strategy check out Golf Betting Picks: The Northern Trust.

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Event Preview

Huge congrats to J.T. Poston for taking down the Wyndham Championship last week. It wasn’t my finest week of DFS, but I luckily had a nice showing in the showdown contests on Saturday and Sunday. During the offseason, I’m going to put together an article that outlines my strategy for weekend and showdown contests and I plan to make it free, so be on the lookout for that. This week we have the first leg of the FedEx Cup Playoffs. The top 125 golfers in the standings are eligible to compete, but four have already withdrawn — Rafael Cabrera Bello, Sam Burns, Henrik Stenson, and Paul Casey. The top 70 golfers in the standings after this week will move on and play the BMW Championship and the top 30 from there will move on and play the Tour Championship to compete for the $15 million first place prize.

If you are looking for course history this week, you’ll have to go back a few years. Liberty National Golf Course hasn’t hosted a professional tournament since 2013 (The Barclays). It also hosted the same event in 2009, but there were so many complaints about the course that they had to give 12 of the holes face lifts and they essentially re-surfaced all the greens. I generally don’t look at course history that’s older than five years, so I will be taking it out of my model this week. With that said, it’s worth noting that Adam Scott won here in 2013 and Tiger Woods finished runner up in both 2009 and 2013. The course did play tough in those years, but reports suggest they had 20+ MPH winds at both events. The weather looks very calm for this week, so we can expect some fairly low scores.

The course itself is a Par 71 that measures 7,370 yards. It features three par fives and five long par fours, so long iron play will be critical this week. While golfers haven’t fallen in love with the course, the views are absolutely spectacular. You can see the Manhattan skyline behind a few greens and a couple of the holes feature nice views of the Statue of Liberty. We tend to think of New York courses as tree-lined, but this course is wide open. It almost looks more like links golf that your standard tree-lined course. The fairways are close to tour average when it comes to width and the rough is graduated, which means it gets thicker as you get farther away from the fairway.

Based on player interviews, accuracy off the tee will be important this week. Golfers don’t want to be hitting out of the tall fescue and there are plenty of water hazards (10) on the course. However, given the fact that this is a very long course, I do want golfers that have some distance off the tee. Rather than looking at accuracy or distance, this is a week to focus on total driving. The greens are pure bentgrass and are expected to run at 12-12.5 on the stimpmeter. As noted earlier, long iron play will be critical. When in doubt, I like to lean on strong ball strikers and that’s the plan of attack this week. Even in windy conditions here in the past, it’s worth noting that the top five finishers in both events were in the top 20 in strokes gained tee to green the year of the tournament.

Before we get out of here, I wanted to hit on a little strategy for the week. At least 70 of the 121 golfers will make the cut this week, so over 60% of the field will play the weekend. You will obviously need 6-of-6 to have a chance to win tournaments, but I would rather play scorers over cut makers this week. I expect there to be a high 6-of-6 percentage, so it will all come down to scoring and finishing position. And finally, good luck to everyone competing in the Fantasy Golf World Championship this week on DraftKings. If you don’t have a seat and want to root for yours truly, I’ll take all the help I can get. I was fortunate enough to win four tickets to the big dance.

Cut Rule: Top 70 and ties move on after the first two rounds. The MDF rule is in effect if more than 78 golfers make the initial cut.

Key Statistics (In Order of Importance)

1) Strokes Gained Approach
2) Bogey Avoidance
3) Strokes Gained Off the Tee
4) Birdie or Better %
5) Strokes Gained Putting (Emphasis on Bentgrass)

Sports Betting Picks

We have officially hit a cold streak. We didn’t have J.T. Poston as an outright, Billy Horschel and Joaquin Niemann missed out on top fives, and we missed all of our top 20 bets. It was the worst betting week of the year and it goes to show how hard golf betting can be if you don’t hit winners. We were rolling earlier in the season, but have had little luck every since. The good news is that there are three events left and they are some of my favorite events on tour.

YTD: 5 wins, -35.5 units

Outright Bets

Justin Rose 20/1
Patrick Cantlay 22/1
Rickie Fowler 22/1
Adam Scott 40/1
Tony Finau 50/1
Emiliano Grillo 130/1

Top 5 Bets

Adam Scott 8/1
Tony Finau 10/1
Patrick Reed 10/1
Rory Sabbatini 14/1
Joaquin Niemann 16/1
Emiliano Grillo 26/1

Top 20 Bets

Lucas Glover 4/1
Jim Furyk 5/1
Kevin Streelman 6/1
Bud Cauley 6/1
Emiliano Grillo 6/1

Salaries, Odds, and Course History (2009 & 2013)

Golfer DK Salary FD Salary FDRFT Sal Odds DK % FD % FDRFT % Cuts 2013 2009
Rory McIlroy $11,400 $12,000 $17,700 10 0% 0% 0% 1/1 19 500
Patrick Cantlay $9,200 $11,300 $16,000 22 10% -29% -29% 0/0 500 500
Brooks Koepka $12,000 $12,200 $18,500 8 0% 0% 0% 0/0 500 500
Webb Simpson $9,400 $11,200 $16,000 22 13% 13% 0% 2/2 15 8
Dustin Johnson $10,700 $11,900 $16,800 16 -33% -33% -33% 1/2 75 15
Justin Rose $9,600 $11,500 $16,100 20 29% 0% 0% 2/2 2 41
Jon Rahm $10,400 $11,700 $16,800 15 25% 25% 0% 0/0 500 500
Tiger Woods $9,000 $10,900 $15,900 25 8% 0% 0% 2/2 2 2
Rickie Fowler $9,300 $11,100 $16,000 22 11% 11% -14% 1/1 9 500
Justin Thomas $10,000 $11,400 $16,100 20 0% 17% 0% 0/0 500 500
Tommy Fleetwood $9,800 $11,000 $16,000 24 -67% 0% -43% 0/0 500 500
Collin Morikawa $8,500 $10,500 $14,900 40 12% 0% 0% 0/0 500 500
Hideki Matsuyama $8,400 $10,300 $14,700 42 6% 0% 6% 0/0 500 500
Xander Schauffele $8,900 $10,800 $15,600 29 8% 0% 0% 0/0 500 500
Matt Kuchar $9,100 $10,100 $14,700 46 -73% 0% -6% 2/2 19 28
Adam Scott $8,800 $10,700 $15,100 39 7% 0% 0% 2/2 1 58
Patrick Reed $8,100 $9,900 $14,500 49 -5% 0% 0% 0/1 102 500
Rory Sabbatini $7,700 $9,500 $13,500 79 -3% -3% -3% 1/2 13 87
Byeong Hun An $7,800 $9,700 $14,000 62 0% 0% 0% 0/0 500 500
Francesco Molinari $8,700 $10,600 $15,100 39 7% 0% -8% 0/0 500 500
Joaquin Niemann $7,500 $9,100 $13,400 82 0% 8% -13% 0/0 500 500
Billy Horschel $8,000 $9,800 $14,500 52 -5% 4% -5% 0/1 82 500
Tony Finau $8,300 $10,200 $14,800 46 0% -6% -12% 0/0 500 500
Marc Leishman $7,800 $9,800 $14,200 59 4% -4% 0% 1/2 71 102
Jason Day $8,200 $10,400 $14,900 41 20% 0% -7% 2/2 25 12
Jim Furyk $7,100 $8,600 $12,600 115 0% 0% -4% 2/2 6 15
Shane Lowry $7,900 $9,600 $14,000 63 -17% 0% -8% 0/0 500 500
Gary Woodland $7,800 $9,700 $14,000 63 -4% -4% -4% 1/1 2 500
Lucas Glover $7,300 $8,700 $12,800 104 -5% 8% 0% 0/1 500 115
Sungjae Im $7,500 $9,300 $13,400 82 -6% -9% -20% 0/0 500 500
Kevin Streelman $7,000 $8,300 $12,200 138 -9% -2% -7% 2/2 19 58
Scott Piercy $7,300 $8,700 $12,700 106 -7% 6% 0% 1/2 43 112
Tyrrell Hatton $7,500 $9,300 $13,400 82 -3% -6% -17% 0/0 500 500
Brian Harman $7,200 $8,800 $12,700 107 -2% -4% -4% 0/1 102 500
Chez Reavie $7,600 $9,200 $13,300 86 -23% -9% -6% 0/1 96 500
Russell Knox $7,000 $8,100 $12,000 155 -18% 0% -2% 0/0 500 500
Brandt Snedeker $7,600 $9,500 $13,400 80 -3% -10% -7% 1/2 75 12
Bryson DeChambeau $8,600 $10,000 $14,700 43 -13% 10% 0% 0/0 500 500
Charles Howell $7,500 $9,000 $13,100 90 -18% -3% -3% 2/2 33 70
Jason Kokrak $7,400 $9,200 $13,200 79 24% 17% 24% 1/1 9 500
Louis Oosthuizen $7,900 $9,900 $14,400 54 0% -9% 0% 0/0 500 500
Kyle Stanley $7,200 $8,500 $12,300 127 -22% -4% -2% 1/1 50 500
Jordan Spieth $8,000 $10,000 $14,600 48 5% -5% 0% 1/1 19 500
Matthew Wolff $7,700 $9,400 $13,400 81 -14% -6% -10% 0/0 500 500
Cameron Tringale $6,600 $7,800 $11,700 205 0% -1% -4% 1/1 58 500
Bud Cauley $6,800 $8,200 $12,100 153 2% -3% -5% 0/0 500 500
Vaughn Taylor $6,700 $7,900 $11,700 178 -1% 0% 1% 1/1 500 64
Sergio Garcia $7,400 $9,100 $13,300 85 3% 0% -3% 2/2 37 31
Emiliano Grillo $7,000 $8,300 $12,200 137 -7% 0% -5% 0/0 500 500
Adam Hadwin $7,100 $8,800 $12,600 108 4% -9% 0% 0/0 500 500
Sepp Straka $6,600 $7,900 $11,800 179 4% -1% -3% 0/0 500 500
Dylan Frittelli $6,900 $8,300 $12,100 147 -2% -3% 0% 0/0 500 500
Nate Lashley $6,800 $7,800 $11,700 199 -14% 0% -3% 0/0 500 500
Andrew Putnam $7,400 $8,900 $12,900 99 -11% 0% 0% 0/0 500 500
Aaron Wise $6,900 $8,500 $12,200 125 11% 0% 5% 0/0 500 500
Kevin Kisner $7,300 $9,000 $13,100 93 2% -5% -5% 0/0 500 500
Ian Poulter $7,600 $9,400 $13,400 79 3% 3% 0% 1/2 89 9
JT Poston $7,200 $8,900 $12,700 106 2% -7% 0% 0/0 500 500
Ryan Palmer $6,900 $8,400 $12,300 130 7% 0% -4% 1/1 66 500
Abraham Ancer $6,900 $8,400 $12,200 132 3% -4% -4% 0/0 500 500
Danny Willett $7,200 $8,700 $12,600 111 -9% -4% -2% 0/0 500 500
Bubba Watson $7,400 $9,000 $13,100 89 -3% 0% 0% 1/2 13 79
Russell Henley $7,000 $8,500 $12,400 126 2% -2% -2% 0/1 75 500
Mac Hughes $6,500 $7,600 $11,300 234 0% -1% 0% 0/0 500 500
Graeme McDowell $6,800 $8,100 $11,900 171 -6% -6% -3% 0/1 75 500
Ryan Moore $7,300 $8,800 $12,700 107 -14% -7% -7% 2/2 25 70
Brice Garnett $6,800 $8,000 $11,800 174 -8% -3% 0% 0/0 500 500
Jhonattan Vegas $6,700 $7,700 $11,500 218 -13% -3% -1% 0/0 500 500
Nick Taylor $6,600 $7,400 $11,300 238 -9% 5% -1% 0/0 500 500
Martin Laird $6,900 $8,200 $12,000 151 -5% -2% 2% 1/1 72 500
Peter Malnati $6,400 $7,100 $10,900 286 -14% -4% -2% 0/0 500 500
Keegan Bradley $7,100 $8,400 $12,200 132 -14% -2% -2% 1/1 33 500
Wyndham Clark $6,400 $7,400 $11,300 242 3% 2% -4% 0/0 500 500
Corey Conners $6,500 $7,600 $11,400 221 1% 0% 0% 0/0 500 500
Roger Sloan $6,400 $7,400 $11,300 241 5% 3% -2% 0/0 500 500
Kevin Na $7,000 $8,200 $12,100 150 -13% 0% -2% 1/1 500 24
Ryan Armour $6,500 $7,600 $11,300 242 -4% -5% -4% 0/0 500 500
Denny McCarthy $6,600 $8,000 $11,900 166 11% 1% 0% 0/0 500 500
Cameron Smith $7,200 $8,900 $12,900 100 7% -2% -2% 0/0 500 500
Andrew Landry $6,700 $7,900 $11,700 194 -4% -3% -1% 0/0 500 500
Si Woo Kim $7,100 $8,600 $12,600 121 -4% -4% -8% 0/0 500 500
Pat Perez $6,300 $7,000 $10,900 288 -7% -2% -3% 0/2 89 102
Matt Jones $6,300 $7,100 $11,000 271 1% 3% 0% 1/1 33 500
Nick Watney $6,700 $8,000 $11,900 167 3% 0% -1% 2/2 9 6
Keith Mitchell $6,500 $7,700 $11,600 207 6% 1% 0% 0/0 500 500
Carlos Ortiz $6,100 $7,000 $10,900 276 11% 3% 2% 0/0 500 500
Sebastian Munoz $6,400 $7,500 $11,300 245 1% -4% -6% 0/0 500 500
Brian Stuard $6,600 $7,500 $11,300 247 -17% -6% -9% 0/1 96 500
Charley Hoffman $6,500 $7,700 $11,500 216 4% -1% 0% 2/2 70 31
Harold Varner $6,400 $7,200 $11,000 271 -6% 0% 0% 0/0 500 500
Jonas Blixt $6,100 $7,000 $10,400 411 -10% -20% -3% 1/1 58 500
Troy Merritt $6,300 $7,300 $11,300 251 2% -2% -12% 0/0 500 500
Talor Gooch $6,000 $7,000 $10,600 368 3% -13% -2% 0/0 500 500
Sam Ryder $6,500 $7,300 $11,100 247 -9% 1% 3% 0/0 500 500
Scott Stallings $6,300 $7,000 $10,900 289 -9% -3% -4% 0/1 93 500
J.J. Spaun $6,200 $7,200 $11,000 278 4% -4% -4% 0/0 500 500
Aaron Baddeley $6,100 $7,000 $10,600 361 -3% -12% -1% 1/2 43 92
C.T. Pan $6,400 $7,200 $11,000 271 -6% 0% 0% 0/0 500 500
Max Homa $6,000 $7,000 $10,500 379 1% -15% -1% 0/0 500 500
Kiradech Aphibarnrat $6,600 $7,300 $11,300 247 -17% 1% -9% 0/0 500 500
Adam Schenk $6,200 $7,000 $10,800 292 -2% -4% 0% 0/0 500 500
Branden Grace $6,800 $8,100 $12,000 156 -2% -2% -3% 0/0 500 500
Michael Thompson $6,200 $7,000 $10,700 329 -7% -9% 1% 0/1 111 500
Scott Brown $6,100 $7,000 $10,800 321 1% -8% -4% 1/1 62 500
Joel Dahmen $6,300 $7,000 $10,800 300 -11% -5% -1% 0/0 500 500
Danny Lee $6,000 $7,000 $10,800 332 5% -10% -6% 0/0 500 500
Brian Gay $6,100 $7,000 $10,400 382 -6% -16% 1% 2/2 43 12
J.B. Holmes $6,700 $7,800 $11,600 209 -10% -4% -1% 1/1 500 31
Kevin Tway $6,200 $7,000 $10,800 316 -4% -6% -2% 0/0 500 500
Luke List $6,300 $7,500 $11,300 245 7% -4% -6% 0/0 500 500
Patrick Rodgers $6,000 $7,000 $10,400 403 -3% -19% -2% 0/0 500 500
Adam Long $6,000 $7,000 $10,300 500 -5% -22% 0% 0/0 500 500
Kyoung-Hoon Lee $6,000 $7,000 $10,500 374 2% -14% 0% 0/0 500 500
Patton Kizzire $6,200 $7,100 $11,000 279 3% -2% -5% 0/0 500 500
Phil Mickelson $7,100 $8,600 $12,600 119 -2% -2% -6% 2/2 6 52
Chesson Hadley $6,000 $7,000 $10,600 339 4% -11% 0% 0/0 500 500
Matt Every $6,300 $7,000 $10,900 284 -5% 0% -1% 1/1 9 500
Sung Kang $6,200 $7,000 $10,800 316 -4% -6% -2% 0/0 500 500
Chris Stroud $6,200 $7,000 $10,400 395 -15% -17% 0% 1/1 33 500
Cameron Champ $6,100 $7,000 $10,500 397 -8% -18% -4% 0/0 500 500
Kelly Kraft $6,100 $7,000 $10,400 413 -11% -21% -3% 0/0 500 500

Color Coding
Course history in BLUE indicates a top ten finish.
Course history in GREEN indicates a top 25 finish.
Course history in YELLOW indicates a made cut with a finish outside the top 25.
Course history in RED indicates a missed cut.

Legend

Term Description
Site % Odds The percentage differential between a golfer’s salary rank and odds rank. The higher the %, the better.
OWGR Official World Golf Ranking
Cuts Cut record of each golfer at this course in the last five seasons.
2014 – 2018 Columns Course history at this event in the last five seasons.

Cover Image Credit: USA Today Sports Images

About the Author

  • Derek Farnsworth (Notorious)

  • Derek Farnsworth, aka Notorious, is one of the most recognizable names and faces in all of DFS, thanks in large part to the great advice he gives on a daily basis in RotoGrinders.com’s Grind Down for NBA and MLB as well as the First Look column that gives a preview of the day’s games from a DFS perspective. Before joining the RotoGrinders team, Derek received a Masters Degree from the University of Utah. When he’s not busy providing content, he’s dominating the industry as evidenced by his consistent top rankings in multiple sports. Farnsworth provides expert analysis for RotoGrinders Premium members on a daily basis during the NBA season and has also been nominated for five different Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association (FSWA) awards.

    Interview after $100,000 Win

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