Just a few short hours after sites released salaries for this week’s event, Adam Schenk withdrew from the field. He will be replaced by Zach Sucher. No injury news has been released at this point. Sucher should get added to the player pool within the next 24 hours.
Low scores were the theme of the day for the first round of The American Express. Much to the surprise of many in the DFS community many of these low scores were shot by players normally reserved as GPP plays only. Grayson Murray and Zac Blair share the lead after both posting rounds of 64. With 10 of the top 15 round one scores shot by golfers who are both cheap in price and low in ownership, there are quite a few unexpected names near the top of the leaderboard Thursday afternoon. If the weather pattern stays the same we will see more low scores this week, so those golfers who played well today will have to keep up aggressive play in order to keep pace.
It’s all quiet on the news front this week. Joel Dahmen took an early pass on the week and has been replaced by Dominic Bozzelli. Greg Chalmers has a big red O by his name on DraftKings but is expected to play. Good luck this week grinders, ResultsDb will be up and running shortly after lock. Please check back to see how your lineups stack up against the field.
After battling the winds in Hawaii over the last two weeks golfers will face near perfect conditions for this week’s event. According to Kevin Roth, we can expect pretty much ideal golf weather this week. Even if the weather were to become an issue there is not much of an edge in terms of stacking tee times. With three courses in the rotation, golfers will tee off in a two-hour window. This limited time frame means that golfers will face pretty much the same weather over the first three days. If you are playing the showdown slate there is an edge however in trying to avoid golfers who play rounds on the Stadium Course. While all three golf courses will yield some low scores, The Stadium Course typically plays harder than either of the two courses in the rotation. Greens in regulation is a strong corollary stat to shooting lower scores, and The Stadium Course finished as the 28th ranked ( higher the number easier the course) course in the category last year. La Quinta and The Tournament course finished 38th and 39th respectably in greens hit in regulation. The same type of trend exists in most scoring categories for the three courses. While that does not mean a low score or two can come from The Stadium Course, we typically just see better overall scoring from the other two golf courses.
Playing in his 8th start of this season, but his first in almost two months, Scottie Scheffler will look to build on what has already been a great start to his rookie season. With 5 top 25 or better finishes in 7 starts this season, it’s very easy to see why the DFS community loves Scheffler this week. Early in his career, Scheffler has proven to be a good young player with no notable weaknesses in his game. Currently projected to be the highest owned player of the week there is an opportunity to fade Scheffler from a game theory standpoint. Priced up in comparison to other proven players in his price range ( Francesco Molinari ), there will be plenty of decent options to pivot off Scheffler without changing a roster build. Pro-Am formats often favor the experienced golfer on tour, and this week is no exception. New golfers will have very little time to learn the three courses in play, and when you factor in the variable of extra patience needed to play rounds with amateur golfers it’s easy to see why experience can be a benefit for the week. That being said, Scheffler is a player that many are bullish on in the long run and it would not surprise anyone if he were to continue the strong start to his season this week. For those who like to go against the grain, a Scheffler fade is by no means a crazy play as there is an argument that projected ownership is inflated due to strong recency bias.
Sergio Garcia has decided to start the 2020 season as an equipment free agent. Garcia confirmed in a pre-tournament interview that he and Callaway golf mutualy split at the end of December. For now, Garcia has decided to remain a free agent and will play Ping irons and Taylormade wedges in Abu Dhabi. A future return to Callaway golf is not out of the cards for Garcia, as both he and the company seemed to have parted with no hard feelings. On an unrelated note, fellow European Tour player Matthew Wallace will join Callaway staff this season after signing a 3-year endorsement deal.
Joel Dahmen has decided to take a pass on this week’s event. At this time there is no injury news associated with this move. Dahmen has been replaced in the field by Dominic Bozzelli.
Entering this week Brendan Steele had not posted a top ten in an individual tournament in some 23 months. Fast forward to Sunday morning and Steele is now in a position to claim his 4th career PGA Tour win. Riding an extremely hot putter, Steele has a 3 shot lead heading into the final round of this year’s Sony Open. Priced at $7,800 for the round 4 showdown slate, it will be hard to get away from Steele in most formats. Due to the windy conditions this week, scores have not been overly low in comparison to years past, thus making finish points a bit more important than a normal week on tour. Both Steele and his nearest competitor Cameron Smith head into the final round in a tie for the most birdies through 3 rounds ( 17).
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