FantasyDraft is pleased to present Josh Burkett’s “Going for the Green” – five golfers that could fit in with the Weekend Warriors, but also make great stand-alone GPP plays. These are five golfers that fit the course well and have good form or course history, and would fit most lineup builds (stars & scrubs or balanced).
RICKIE FOWLER – $19,600
Perhaps there is some recency bias creeping in here, but it’s very hard for me to avoid Fowler this week. Rickie was lights out with the putter last week, knocking home some impressive putts from over 20 feet, while also being perfect from inside of seven feet. If he can continue to roll the rock like he did last week while maintaining his already superb tee-to-green game, Fowler will once again find himself at the top of the leaderboard; his 1.703 Strokes Gained: Tee-to- Green has him ranked seventh on the year.
As we saw last week, Fowler typically performs very well on courses that require less than driver from the tee box. Since 2013 Rickie ranks 12th in SG:Total on tracks that take the big stick out of golfers hands. Rickie’s proficiency on par-4s will be a big factor this week as well; scoring average of 3.91 is ranked fourth on Tour.
A decrease in salary on FantasyDraft from last week is a welcome sight and makes Fowler that much more appealing. Even though he’s the sixth most expensive golfer in the field he provides major relief from both Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth. For a guy who is coming off a win, it appears Fowler may be going over looked by many, which could prove to be costly.
JUSTIN ROSE – $19,200
If trying to find a golfer who can score in bunches, particularly on par-4s, look no further than Justin Rose. Currently scoring Birdie or Better 27.08% of the time has Rose ranked fifth on Tour and his 3.92 par-4 scoring average is good enough for eighth. A fifth overall rank in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green and Rose is hitting all of the key stats for this week.
Taking a look at tournament specific stats only reinforces the idea that Rose is in for a good week.
- Less Than Driver Courses – 9th (2.203 SG:Total)
- Poa Annua – 8th (2.198 SG:Total)
- Par 71 – 12th (2.144 SG:Total)
- Strong Fields – 10th (2.378 SG: Total)
There should be zero concerns over Rose’s recent form as he’s brought home a pair of fourth place finishes his last three events. Pairing Rose with Fowler provides an extremely solid core that can easily be built around due to the pricing nature of this event.
FRANCESCO MOLINARI – $16,300
Anytime distance doesn’t appear to be a factor Molinari instantly becomes a good play. Although listed at over 7,300 yards, the elevation will cause Chapultepec to play somewhere around 6,500 yards, right in Molinari’s wheelhouse. His performance across this week’s key stats is incredibly consistent:
- Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green – 27th (.964)
- Birdie or Better % – 16th (25.25%)
- Par 4 Scoring Average – 12th (3.93)
- Good Drive % – 23rd (87.01%)
- Proximity 50-125 Yards – 6th (14’4”)
In Molinari’s six starts during the 2016-17 season, he’s only finished outside the top 14 once. A pure ball-striker in every sense of the word, the Italian’s game lines up very well for a good week here in Mexico.
PAT PEREZ – $14,700
Time to get back on to West Coast Pat. Perez found incredible success during the West Coast swing, bringing home three top 28 finishes. The greens here at Chapultepec are made of the same Poa Annua that Perez thrived on in California; his current Putting Average is 18th on Tour.
Pat has also been scoring very well in the early portion of this season, picking up Birdie or Better over 25% of the time. His ability to score on the par-4s will benefit him as well this week; currently ranked 18th at 3.94. With the majority of the par-4s being very short, the apparent money range for approach shots is from 50-125 yards; Pat is ranked 25th in proximity from this range.
Although he sits fourth in the FedEx Cup points standings, over half the field is priced above him on FantasyDraft. There may not be many other opportunities to jump on Perez this year so use him while he’s still in good form and his price is low.
KEVIN NA – $15,000
The last tournament we saw Na compete in was two weeks ago at the Genesis Open, where he managed a fourth place finish. Riviera Country Club, which hosted the Genesis Open, features the same Poa Annua/Kikuyu combination found this week at Chapultepec. Na has averaged 1.824 SG:Total on courses featuring Poa Annua since 2013.
Glancing at Na’s performance off the tee leaves a lot to be desired; he currently ranks outside of the top 100 in all of the major driving categories. However, on courses where golfers are forced to club down off the tee, Na ranks seventh in SG: Total at 2.347. Despite his wayward accuracy from the tee box, Na ranks 34th in SG:T2G.
Kevin is another golfer who has been performing very well on par-4s so far this season. His scoring average of 3.92 has him sitting in eighth place on Tour. If this turns into the birdie-fest that’s being projected than Na’s Birdie or Better percentage of 24.44 will become beneficial.
These five golfers leave you with $15200 for your final roster spot, which keeps about half of the field in play. Using the “Going For The Green” picks alongside the “Weekend Warriors” on DFSDatalytics.com makes for many great combinations that can take down GPPs.
Also be sure to get in the PGA LIVE FINAL EVENT for a chance to go to Quail Hollow!