Stuie's SandBaggers, AT&T Pebble Beach
This is a weekly segment dedicated to providing value plays for daily PGA. We like to call those value plays sandbaggers. Each week I’ll take a quick look back at the previous weeks results of both my picks and the tournament itself to see where we can identify trends to take advantage of for the following week and beyond. While picking the winner is obviously very important, there is no better feeling then nailing a low cost option who was less than 5% owned and puts up a top 10 or 20. Picks like that go a long way in securing those elusive GPP wins.
Last week our picks fared pretty well, but the ultimate sandbagger of the week was JB Holmes placing T2 at just $5800. The best part is that he was just 2.2% owned. Looking back it’s a tough play to make, but we knew driving distance was going to be key stat and whenever that’s the case you have to consider JB. Of the 5 picks we gave last week three made the cut, same as the week prior. The difference this week was that J.J. Henry (T11), Lucas Glover (T24), and Daniel Berger (T24) all took home top 25 finishes. Our other two picks both ended up missing the cut right on the number. Michael Putnam did it in dramatic fashion bogeying three of his last five holes…not exactly ideal.
I mentioned last week that I was going to give Victiv a shot and I’m glad I did. One week is early to make a judgment, but the format and pricing are both attractive. For those of you who haven’t given them a shot I’d encourage you to do so. While I don’t expect to see any massive prize pools like at DK they have a few nice $3K GPP’s called the Condor and the Albatross. I ended up placing 2nd and 12th in the Albatross, a nice little return on my four entries, but my single bullet didn’t find cash in the Condor. Pat Perez’s smooth 83 on Sunday certainly didn’t help my cause, but still a nice weekend for me over there. The main difference is that you pick 7 golfers only your top 5 count towards your final score. Having your entire squad make the cut is still beneficial, but if you miss on someone like Jordan Speith your entire team isn’t sunk. The verdict is still out on this being a better or worse format then DK, but it definitely keeps everyone in it right until the last putt drops. One thing remains the same, the need for those cheap options to be able to afford the Jason Day’s of the world is just as important no matter where you are playing. I will say this, I think it’s a great place for beginners to start getting their feet wet.
This week we move on to the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am. Pebble Beach is one of the most iconic venues in all of golf , but for DFS purposes it poses a few unique challenges. First, this is the last event of the year that moves golfers to multiple tracks. None of the three courses this week are really over powering and all come in at less than 7000 yards. Distance is always helpful, but it won’t be a stat I look at as a difference maker this week. Instead you’ll want to lean on guys who keep it in the fairway and have strong short games and the ability to scramble. As always, putting is the great equalizer. We won’t see a huge disparity in scoring between the courses this week either. Whereas Torrey North was much more birdie friendly then the South course was last week we should see all three of these tracks play pretty close to even par, maybe +1. By using the multiple course format all golfers are guaranteed to play three rounds with the cut coming on Saturday. Only the low 60 will play golf on Sunday afternoon. These events typically lead to bunched leader boards across the industry, and I see it as an opportunity to take a few more chances than usual. Since the entire team is going to be accumulating points for three days and players that miss the cut are only losing one round instead of two it becomes more important to fill out your roster with players at the top of the leader board. This is one of the few tournaments where it is still possible to cash high in a GPP with a player or maybe even two who misses the cut as long as you have the eventual winner on your squad.
The other major difference here is that this is a 156 player field, not the 132 or 144 most tournaments use. Having such a large field gives us as players more to look at, but it also leads to more mid tiered options being a little higher priced than usual. This makes identifying the true value plays even more important. A good example of this are guys like Bryce Molder, Zac Blair, Michael Thompson and even Colt Knost. I had all four as early favorites for the article before the pricing came out and came to find they were all priced over the $6k mark. I’d recommend taking a closer look into those four options this week with Knost and Blair being my top two of the group. I don’t mind Daniel Berger either if you are looking for someone around the $6500 mark.
This week’s picks – I’m going to change it up a bit this week and give three DK plays and three Victiv plays so that we can start tracking results on both sites.
Greg Owen $5900 – Under most circumstances Greg Owen at $5900 is not an option for me. However this week, in this tournament, I like the play. Course history is in Owens favor has he has made his last 5 cuts at Pebble and has three top 10’s in his ten trips, with only a few MC’s mixed in. Owen thrives in tournaments where par is a good score, I like his chances to make it six in a row.
Michael Putnam $5900 – I’m going back to the well here for the second week in a row. Part of the reason is that I still can’t believe he didn’t see the weekend last week and part because the MC didn’t really scare me that much. That 73 he carded on Friday was his worst round since the Mayakoba in November. He’s three for three at Pebble and his game translates very well here. I like a bounce back.
Sean O’Hair $5700 – O’Hair is one of those what could have been stories who’s talent just never seemed to translate into the results we all expected. He’s made his last two cuts, although the T69 with a Sunday 78 isn’t exactly awe inspiring. What I do like is his past results here at Pebble. Six straight made cuts that include a T10 and T16. We know he has the talent and his head should be in the right place on a track he clearly loves. I wouldn’t be all that surprised to see O’Hair around the leader board come Sunday.
Victiv Picks – I’ll set the cutoff at $5k for the Victiv picks. I’ve only played here one week, but the pricing is definitely softer. Also, I’ll give my punt play of the week for those looking to just fill their last roster spot with the cheapest guy you expect to make the cut. Which is a strategy I fully endorse. Last week Lucas Glover was a great play for only $3600 and helped a bunch of my teams.
Colt Knost $4900 – Colt missed the cutoff to be included for DK, but qualifies here and I’m going to take advantage of it. Some say current form is more important than course history. If you agree, this pick is for you. His last three finishes are T17, T10, T17 and his profile fits the bill at Pebble. Not going to out drive a ton of guys, but he keeps it in play and gives himself a ton of birdie looks. This price seems like a steal to me.
Sean O’Hair $4300 – I liked him on DK for $5700, I love him here at $4300 for all the same reasons.
Punt Play – Blake Adams $3600 – Blake has been battling injury for the past couple of years, and is 0 for 2 to start the season. Not encouraging, but this is the type of course that really fits Adams game. We know he can put the lights out and he has made two of four cuts here in the past, one going for a T10. He’s playing this year on a major medical exemption so he needs to start cashing some checks to retain his card. Pebble presents a great opportunity for him to do just that.