Going For The Green: Arnold Palmer Invitational

“Going for The Green” – five golfers that fit the course well and have good form or course history, and would fit most lineup builds on FantasyDraft (stars & scrubs or balanced).

ADAM HADWIN – $17,400

Now I fully realize that there is nowhere to go but down after hitting Hadwin last week at the Valspar, but the guy is just too good to ignore right now. Last week played lights out, ranking fourth in Strokes Gained: Putting, fifth in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green, and second in Strokes Gained: Approach; every facet of his game was on point. Despite the courses being different in terms of terrain, many of the stats that were key at Copperhead will be relevant at Arnie’s Place.

  • Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green – 56th (.537)
  • Strokes Gained: Approach – 40th (.462)
  • Birdie or Better % – 18th (24.85%)
  • Scrambling – 5th (70.10%)

Despite being a better putter on Poa Annua greens historically, Hadwin is still far above average when it comes to Bermuda surfaces, currently averaging .631 SG:Putting. The newly ranked 51st golfer in the world will hold a distinct advantage this week on a course where a hot flatstick alone can carry to your success. This might be the last time to exploit Hadwin’s price tag because it won’t be long before he’s a couple thousand more.

 

KEVIN KISNER – $17,300

Kisner has made eight starts on the season and has missed the cut just once which came back in November at the RSM Classic. Since then he’s played in five PGA events, bringing home a top 25 in four of them. Just two weeks ago we saw Kisner in Mexico City battling many of the same elites that are playing this week and he brought home an 11th place finish.

On the season Kisner ranks ninth in SG:T2G (1.537) and fifth in SG:APP (.971), both of which will be a great measurement of success this week. Putting is normally one of the strongest parts of Kisner’s game, however this year he has struggled by his standards. Last year he finished the season ranked third in SG:Putting, but he currently sits just 80th on Tour.

However, there is reason to believe this will improve as the Tour heads to a course with Bermuda greens. For his career Kiz averages .762 SG:Putting on Bermuda, which ranks 27th in the field. Kisner joins Hadwin in what will be a very balanced lineup build with an extreme focus on getting 6/6 through the cut at FantasyDraft. On a week where nearly 60% of the field plays the weekend, having anyone fail to get through will leave you at a major disadvantage.

 

KEVIN NA – $17,300

Despite Na missing the cut at Copperhead, there is a case for him this week. Over his last three starts at Bay Hill Na has finished 6th, 14th, and 4th… solid. The years in which Na has found success here have been the same in which he’s boasted a strong approach game; Kevin currently ranks 25th in SG:APP (.624).

The biggest trouble for Na this year has been his ability to get off the tee. Although he’s only ranked 158th on Tour in terms of Driving Accuracy, he now heads to a course with very generous fairways which saw a field average of 65% DA last year. If Na can keep it in the short grass then he can put his strong long iron play to work; Na currently ranks 20th in Proximity from over 200 yards.

Another reason to jump back on bandwagon with Na is how well he typically performs in Florida. On the courses featured during the Sunshine State swing, Na ranks eighth on Tour in SG:Total. The Bermuda greens that are so widely featured across Florida will be a welcome sight to Na as he ranks 11th among the field in terms of SG:Putting on Bermuda (1.379).

 

LUCAS GLOVER – $16,200

Most weeks when pulling up key stats Lucas Glover’s name pops off the page. He’s got an exceptional tee-to-green game making him a statistical wizard on paper. However, if you look at his performance once he hits the green, it’s a totally different story. On weeks where he putts just mediocre he finds success, and there is no better example of that then when looking at this tournament alone.

YEAR SG:T2G SG: PUTTING FINISH
2016 1.54 -0.57 T-27
2015 0.83 -4.13 MC
2014 2.26 -0.56 T-14

Rostering Glover certainly comes with that chance that he forgets how to putt for the week, but his performance at Copperhead shows that the flatstick is working for the time being. On his way to a T-18 finish last week Glover actually gained strokes on the field while putting (.453). Glover’s performance on Bermuda is significantly better than when on Poa Annua; he gains over .8 more SG:Putting on Bermuda.

The key stats check out for Glover, as they usually do:

  • Strokes Gained: Tee to Green – 15th (1.385)
  • Strokes Gained: Approach – 29th (.590)
  • Birdie or Better % – 31st (23.86%)
  • Scrambling – 98th (60.25%)

The Scrambling performance certainly leaves a lot to be desired but if Glover continues to hit 74% of Greens-in-Regulation then there won’t be much concern there. The former U.S. Open winner hasn’t missed a cut since last October which eliminates some of the concern that he won’t play the weekend here. Glover is always somewhat of a lottery ticket, but it is certainly one that can pay off.

 

STEWART CINK – $14,900

To say Bay Hill hasn’t been kind to Cink would be an understatement. His last five starts here have resulted in five missed cuts and finishes of 63rd and 66th. So why on Earth would I recommend a guy who has barely seen the weekend here? Because his recent form has never been as good heading to Arnie’s Place. Stewart has been the model of consistency throughout the early portion of this season reflected by his eight top 36 finishes in eleven starts. Cink’s four top 25s is already more than he had all of last year.

The 43 year old has apparently learned some new tricks as he’s shown vast improvement in both SG:T2G and SG:Putting. In fact, Cink currently sits tied for 21st in SG:T2G at 1.077. Alongside his strong tee-to-green game has been his great performance on both the par-4s and par-5s; Stewart currently ranks inside the top 30 in Scoring Average for both categories.

 

 

These five golfers leave you with $16,900 on FantasyDraft for your final roster spot, which leaves about 75% 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 both GPPs and cash games.
Make sure to check out our site DFSDatalytics.com. Also be sure to get in the PGA LIVE FINAL EVENT for a chance to go to Quail Hollow!

Josh Burkett

Josh Burkett

Josh Burkett is the lead PGA Analyst at DFSDatalytics. Josh can be reached on twitter @GWBuffalo7.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply