Fantasy PGA Preview: The Honda Classic

This week we say goodbye to the west coast swing and say Hello to the Florida swing with an event that is wedged between two World Golf Championship events. Speaking of WGC events, I would like to publicly thank Stlcardinals for making up a Grinders contest for that event. It was nice a different and fun way to track on a week where there were little fantasy options.

WGC Accenture Matchplay recap

Speaking of fun, that was a crazy final we saw on Sunday. Yours truly did not see all of it live though. I saw Jason Day 3up and thought he’s got this (because Australians never choke on Sundays). The sun came out for the first time in what felt months, so I took the kids to the park. Came home and checked the leader board expecting to see Jason Day the winner. I was amazed to see it was still going. Flicked on the TV and watched the final two holes. Low and behold Day did pull off the win, though the Frenchman put up a fight and never waved the white flag.

Day celebrating with his family

The picks I did for Fantasy Feud weren’t too bad considering it was an event that is hard to predict. My players I didn’t like went out early. Dustin Johnson and DeLaet in the first round and Rose and Jimmy Walker in the second round. Those I did like (Furyk and Day) went far, and even though I rarely try and predict a winner I managed to hit the nail on the head by saying Jason Day would win it all. A fun tournament, though I would not like this format on a regular bases.

The Honda Classic

Like I said before, we are now starting our Florida swing. The talent for this event is solid due to it being placed between two WGC events. We’ll finally get to see Tiger back on the PGA Tour. Last time we saw him he got a MDF (Made cut Did not Finish), at Torrey Pines. With only Jason Day and Dustin Johnson out, we have 8 of the top 10 ranked players in the world. With Tiger, Scott and and Stenson all playing limited events but still priced high, we get to see tons on value in the mid upper rankings.

Interesting tidbit
This is just a tidbit nothing is set in stone but just using the eye test when looking back on the previous years results there is one flag that stands out. Well actually there is two flags, its just they both look similar to each other. That’s right, the English and Northern Irish flags. They have absolutely assaulted the top ten in recent history. Looking over the last 10 years of results we only have the following number of English/Northern Irish players missing the cut.

Year Number of players Number of missed cuts
2013 9 3 (1 WD)
2012 8 2
2011 7 2
2010 7 2
2009 8 2
2008 5 2
2007 4 0
2006 4 1
2005 5 0
2004 5 0

So in 10 years there have been 62 English/Northern Irish entries and only 14 missed cuts (and 1 withdraw). A nice 78% made cut percentage (76% if you include the WD). Like I said, it is not set in stone that these players will make the cut, all 9 this year could missed the cut, but 10 years of history says they have a strong chance.

The Course

They are playing at the PGA National (Champion Course). It is located in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. It is a Par 70 course that runs 7,110 yards long. This course was the 5th hardest course on the PGA Tour last year and it has 78 bunkers and 26 water hazards. This course is home to the “Bear Trap”, a stretch of holes (15, 16 and 17) that is one of the most difficult in golf. Dreams can be crushed in this area on Sundays.

The weather should play a role in this as well. Rain and wind is in the forecast so hold on, it could be a bumpy ride.

Golfers

I might switch things up this week and give DraftKings some love. My Super Sleeper will be a Draftstreet pick.

Zach Johnson flag $9,700
Before the matchplay event Zach had not competed since the Humana. He was on a roll of three straight top 10 finishes. He has not played stroke play in a while, he has not played this course since 2008 and he got bounced in the first round on the Accenture. All these combined might turn people off Zach. I do not think the matchplay loss has any impact on a Johnson. They all know that you can get bounced if you play good and advance when you play bad in a matchplay tourney. Zach’s history here is two cuts made from two starts. His average finishing position is 29th. That is the 10th best average in this years field.
Luke Donald $8,200
I will get this off my chest early. Luke Donald screwed me last week. Plain and simple. But as the great Al Smizzle says “You need a short memory in daily fantasy.” Donald is a past winner here at the Honda, and in his 6 trips here he has an average finishing position of 18th. In this field that is good for 7th. Take out players that only have 1 year experience on this course and it is good for 3rd. Donald has a residence in the Palm Beach Gardens area. He needs to be on at least one of your rosters. This coming from a guy he screwed the week before.
Lee Westwood $8,900
Well I did mention above, I sort of like the English/Northern Ireland players this week. There is just something there. Oh just like Luke Donald, Westwood has bought a p[lace right near this course. When you look at Westwoods history here he is 9th in this field with an average finishing position of 21st. 5th if you remove those 1 hit wonders. Like Donald and Zach Johnson, Westy was a first round exit last week. Again I don’t care for that result, it means nothing. I’d rather focus on the 3 top 10 finishes in the last 4 years at this course. Westy placed 20th at the Northern Trust 2 weeks ago. He is priced very well across the industry.
Billy Horschel flag $8,000
Well we are in Florida, so on to some locals. Billy Ho (twitter handle) isn’t from this area of Florida but he isn’t that far north from it. He is one of the better Florida born-and-bred players currently on the PGA Tour. He will be looking to approve upon his best finish here of 46th. His other result 3 years ago was a missed cut. He has come along way since that missed cut. Look for Billy Ho to be a contender on Sunday.
Matteo Manassero $6,700
One thing about Draftkings—they tend to under-value those foreigners. So far they have been spot on. Gonzo and Joost did not make the cut in the tournaments they were priced low. I feel Matteo is different. He is a very talented golfer that is under-priced on Draftkings. Matteo finished 29th in his only start at the Honda. If he can get you a similar result at this price he is well worth the risk.

Super Sleeper

To switch things up, my “super sleeper” is one for DRAFTSTREET ONLY

Erik Compton flag $7,715
Miami born, Miami raised and resides in Miami. See where I am going with this guy. His record at the Honda is 3 cuts made in 3 starts, with 40th being his worst finish. If Erik can get you a 60th at 7k you are ahead of the curve. He came 4th last year and he has played pretty well recently. I am going to have him in my high risk, high reward squad. There is just too much upside with this pick.

So there you have it folks

My picks for the Honda Classic. Check Grinderslive for StlCardinals and I at 9 pm eastern for our golf show.

Good luck to all

Cheers

Gibb

Miami born, Miami raised and resides in Miami. See where I am going with this guy. His record at the Honda is 3 cuts made in 3 starts, with 40th being his worst finish. If Erik can get you a 60th at 7k you are ahead of the curve. He came 4th last year and he has played pretty well recently. I am going to have him in my high risk, high reward squad. There is just too much upside with this pick.

About the Author

  • Gibb Pollard (gibbathy)

  • Gibb Pollard has been a member of RotoGrinders since 2012. He is an example of the power of the RotoGrinders blog section, taking a little weekly PGA blog in 2012 and turning it into a two-time FSWA nominated column. In 2014 he took down the FSWA Golf Writer of the Year award. Originally hailing from Australia, he is a regular on our PGA GrindersLive shows, giving our cast of hosts some international flavor.

Comments

  • snowfighter

    DAMM I already had Compton, now the whole industry knows, that,s what I hate about these,s write ups. Easy way to get info with out doing nothing, oh well.

  • bdenn2

    Haven’t played on DraftStreet. What makes Compton only good on DraftStreet vs DK?

  • futureoffantasy

    • 515

      RG Overall Ranking

    Nice write-up as usual!

    bdenn2… It’s his salary. He is 14% of team salary on DK vs 8% on DS

  • dncolonna

    Same here w/ Compton, had him penciled in pretty early. Still a risky play though.

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