a few long shot PGA Tour bets that tickle our fancy. Chicks dig the long shots! shots! shots!
European Tour Fantasy Golf is back and so is the Spanish Open but unfortunately it will still be a couple of weeks before the full write up returns. Hopefully by then DraftKings will have increased the contest sizes a smidgen and I will have passed all of my end of year assignments and exams for the PGA. Until then rest assured the research has still be done and all of these picks feature in my pre last minute weather check short list.
Jon Rahm $12,200
Paul Dunne $10,300
$9,000 - $10,000
George Coetzee $9,800
Dean Burmester $9,000
$8,000 - $9,000
Matt Wallace $8,900
Victor Dubuisson $8,600
Jorge Campillo £8,500
$7,500 - $8,000
Adrian Otaegui $7,900
Matthieu Pavon $7,900
Mike Lorenzo-Vera $7,600
$7,000 - $7,500
Erik Van Rooyen $7,400
Thomas Detry $7,300
Scott Jamieson $7,300
Richie Ramsay $7,300
$7,000 or less
Matt Southgate $7,000
Christian Bezuidenhout $6,700
Daisuke Kataoka $6,600
Mark Foster $6,500
The greatest week in golf is upon us, so I though we'd get a little ahead of ourselves & do a quick dive into what we're looking at.
I'd like to start with a side rant though, is it just me or is the Butler cabin green jacket exchange/handshakes the most painfully awkward thing in sports? The handshakes are always awkward & forced, the winning golfer is jacked with adrenaline & just wants to high five the world, but then has to go sit in grandma's (dead silent) basement while we interview the low amateur that no one cares about....and the interaction of last years winner putting on the jacket to this years winner with no fans around is just so so painful to watch. My god just watch this & if you can look me in the eyes & tell me you didn't cringe then your a cyborg: Bubba leaves Billy Paine hanging or this Spieth just being sad as shit after he handed Willet a Masters Victory. The tradition of someone putting the green jacket on the winner is cool, but if were being honest it's really just straight up mean to make last years winner do it. Every other thing about the Masters is perfect, is this really the best we can do guys??? Never forget......(look at Nantz's face....looks like he is watching a champion horse with a broken leg being put down)
Masters DFS/Betting Insights....We Dug Deep on Some of These Boys!
I probably enjoy being able to bet on really good golfers at long odds in majors more than DFS itself. Two years ago Danny Willet was playing some really good golf across the pond leading up to the Masters, & he was generally about 100/1 before the tournament began. Same could be said for Zach Johnson in a weird weather year. Trevor Immelman, Angel Cabrera, & ole Charl could have been had at 65/1 in 2011.....so long shots have had a nice history at the Masters.
A couple things that backtest well for Masters success:
Driving Distance-the course yardage isnt 'that' long, in fact the Masters is generally around the 20th longest course on the season, but it plays much longer with many elevated greens, & a need to bring your approach shots in high & soft in order to land them on the right quadrant of the greens. As many players & caddies have told us, there are plenty of hole locations where a missed GIR is much better than a GIR hit in the wrong place. For example on #4, a long par 3 with a huge false front on the left & bunker protecting the front right, if the pin is in the back right...most players would rather miss short in the bunker than hit the false front & watch your ball roll back to the base of the green making for a difficult 3! putt.
GIR/Approach- So this is funny because we just talked about how it doesn't matter on a lot of holes, but we have a good idea as to why this backtests so well. It would make sense that if your good at hitting lots of greens, then your probably MORE able to place the ball in the right quadrants of the greens at Augusta.
Recent Form- just for fun I went back & looked at the last 10 Masters champs form from the beginning of the calendar year they won in, to the Masters. Below is the results:
2007 Zach Johnson-45, W/D, 33, 33, 14, 42, 9, Win Masters
2008 Trevor Immelman- Cut, Cut, T17, Cut, T65, T48, T40, T2*, Cut, Win Masters
2009 Angel Cabrera- Cut, T13, T33, T32, Cut, Cut, Win Masters
2010 Phil Mickelson- 19, T45, T8, T24, T14, T30, T35, Win Masters
2011 Charl- 4*, Win*, 8* (those 3 were SA tour), 14, 24, 47, 30, Win Masters
2012 Bubba- 18, 13, 5, 13, 2, 4, Win Masters
2013 Adam Scott- T10, T33, T3, T30, T6*, Win Masters
2014 Bubba- T23, T2, 1, T9, T2, W/D, Win Masters
2015 Spieth- T7, Cut, T7, T4, T17, 1, 2, 2, Win Masters
2016 Willet- 54, 1, 45, 3, 22, 22, Win Masters
2017 Sergio- 11, 1, 49, 14, 12, Win Masters
*indicates non PGA Tour event
So its really hard to say that you HAVE to be in good form to win the Masters, because clearly you don't. But it does look like you need to at least be in OK form, with Immelman & Cabrera being exceptions as they were in straight up shit form. On the other hand though, dating back to Phil in 2010, there is only one missed cut in the weeks leading up to the Masters victories for the last 8 winners.
Par 3 & 4 scoring- At first glance this also seems counterintuitive because everyone always talks about the par 5's, and while you certainly have to score on the par 5's to even make the cut, EVERYONE scores on the par 5's because they are all gettable & as long as you have slightly above average distance you can go for all of them in two. To drive the point home, the 4 par 5's were the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, & 4th easiest holes relative to par last year AND are the only 4 holes on the course that played UNDER par. So now it makes sense why these (3's & 4's) would pop more, especially the par 3's!
Putting-everyone also talks about the greens, and they are def tricky...you genuinely can not appreciate just how much slope is in some of the greens unless you are standing next to them. This is really where the experience can come into play, and why first timers generally do struggle here. We've had several of our caddie's playing this week tell us that you literally don't read a lot of the putts, you have to play them from memory. Which might explain why you DON'T have to be an elite putter to win. In fact since 2003, only three Masters champions were what I would classify as 'elite' putters at the time of their win (gaining at least .5 strokes per round putting), AND several others are what I would consider downright bad putters. Immelman was losing about .5 strokes per round putting when he won the Masters which would make him one of the worst putters on tour at the time. Now in saying this, there is data that suggests that if your in 'good putting form' leading up to the Masters that 'should' boost your performance. On the flip side, since the dawn of DFS golf (2014), there have really only been 3 (that I could find) guys that were averaging 30 putts per round or more & had a good showing (Rose 15', Westwood 16', Chappell 17').
Above is a great example of how Augusta National can demand such precision with your iron play even with a very large green. This is #14, the only hole on the course without a bunker. It's a UUGE green & fairly easy to hit, but with this hole location you can see your landing area is basically where I've circled in red. Anything short roles all the way back in the fairway, left is a snaking double breaker down hill, carry it 5 paces over the flag & it rolls off the back, as does a miss to the right. So basically your working with a 20 X 20 green in this example, if that....easy right? Again this is why I think GIR/Approach stats are so important here & why you don't need to be an elite putter to do well...put it on the right part of the green, & Augusta will reward you.
Random Masters Facts that may or may not apply to DFS/betting
1. Every Masters champion since 2009 has scored a cumulative total of 1 over or better on the par 3's, with 6 of those 9 past champions being under par on the par 3's for the week.
2. Danny Willet is the only Masters champion that I could find in recent history (I stopped looking past 1998) that did not play the par 5's in at least 3 under par (he was even on the par 5's!)
3. There have only been 4 Masters champions in said period that played the par 4's over par....so basically 85% plus of the last 20 champions have been under par on the par 4's.
4. Fun trivia fact, who holds the Masters record for most birdies in one round??? Answer: Anthony Kim w/ 11 in 2009....lets all pour one out for our homie Kim...he's the next great comeback story now that we got Tiger back!
5. If you can just PAR holes 1, 11, 18 (all par 4's) then you've historically gained a FULL shot on the field.
6. The par 4 scoring average YTD leaders is basically the world golf rankings...but there are a couple guys that stick out: Harman, Chappell, Steele, ZJ, Webb, Perez, Cam Smith all rank in the top 20 on tour.
7. Average number of attempts before someone breaks thru for their first Masters Victory? Six
8. It's well known that there has only been one real first timer to win the Masters, but recently their has been 3, 2nd timers to win (Charl, Spieth, Willet)
9. There is a 'secret service' certified house on the grounds of Augusta. Speaking of which, something that doesn't really get talked about but is absolutely nuts.....when Reagan was playing out at Augusta one day, a guy crashed through the gates & took hostages in the pro shop!
10. Bobby Jones, god bless him, had originally planned a 19th hole (short par 3), the area between the 18th green & the clubhouse that was to act as the 'bet settling' hole....a man after my own heart!
Some Longshot Values
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Kevin Chappell 125/1- Man I hate this guys face and his stupid flatbill hats.....but his tee to green game right now is elite, if he can just get a couple putts to drop I LOVE this price on him, not to mention he was 8th last year!
Jimmy Walker-175/1-He's shown signs of life, and has never missed a cut here...great price for a major champ that has the distance & putting to get around Augusta
Patrick Cantlay-80/1-He's already a world class golfer, just doesn't have the trophy case yet
Oost-60/1-Has really played well to start the year, has the history, has the game, great price
Fleetwood-45/1- Top 10 golfer in the world at a great price
Elite guys with a little meat on the bone- Rahm, Casey, Rickie are all about 20-25/1, & I like their price much better than the other guys up top.
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If your gonna be in Augusta, holla
Pat, David, & myself will all be there for the duration, we'd love to met up with anyone & have a cold beverage either on the grounds or around Washington Rd. @ us....@Tourjunkies or @TRUmav
Well Ladies and Gents were back at ... so time to cross those fingers and hope your plays have the rub of the green and avoid disaster on the European Tours version of crazy golf.
This Gary player design course according to the card measures 7,379 yards, reduced from 7,642 yards last year. However, once again it will play nothing close to that length and unfortunately due to various options the tour have for tees and even greens its anyone guess as to what the exact layout will present this year for each day. Especially as no doubt after last years scoring there will be quite a few alterations to how certain holes play.
What the tour have very little control of and why I'm trimming back my investment this week is the amount of bad luck lurking around every corner on this course. Last year I made reference to the course either being the work of a genius or that of a mad man, no doubt you can already work out what my thoughts are now but I will leave it up to you to decide what you think after play completes on Sunday.
Shubhanka Sharma - $11,400
Chris Wood - $10,400
$9,000 - $10,000
Emiliano Grillo - $9,900
Pablo Larrazabal - $9,500
Andrew Johnston - $9,100
$8,000 - $9,000
Scott Jamieson - $8,900
Stephen Gallacher - $8,400
Matt Wallace $8,300
Shaun Norris - $8,000
$7,500 - $8,000
Prom Meesawat $7,900
Wade Ormsby - $7,800
Prayad Marksaeng - $7,800
Oliver Fisher - $7,600
Nino Bertasio - $7,500
Less Than $7,500
Poom Saksansin - $7,300
Adilson da Silva - $7,200
Ricardo Gouveia - $7,100
Soomin Lee - $6,800
Whilst the bigger names gather in Mexico for the WGC event. The European Tour and Sunshine Tour combine in South Africa for the 3rd time this season to co-sanction the 6th edition of The Tshwane Open. Once again our host for this event will be Pretoria Country Club, with this being their 4th time of hosting.
Although many of the big names are away competing for bigger prizes including last years winner Dean Burmester (Who by the way plays fantastic golf this time of year, loves courses at altitude. hits the ball miles and has fantastic magic hands on the green.... Book makers offering 250/1 is madness especially if you take him as an e/w bet). We still have a superb field assembled, mainly compiled of fantastic talent from South Africa and the Sunshine Tour. There will of course be plenty of names you will recognise as well including home favourites George Coetzee and US favourite Julian Suri.
Par: 71 (Only 3 par 5's on offer this week with two of those coming in the back 9)
Length: 7081 yards
Greens: Bent and Poa expected to be running around 10'6"
Fairways: Narrow in places, tight tree lined and guarded by thick punishing rough, well placed bunkering and water hazards featuring throughout.
Rough: Thick Sticky Kikuyu (If you haven't already seen it, check out Clement Sordet's twitter post)
This tight traditional parkland course, is a real thinkers track. Firstly the players have to do their upmost to keep the ball on the short grass here. Hitting fairways and greens is going to be a tough challenge this week, but for those that are successful in this task are going to have the easiest ride to gain weekend golf and will find themselves creating plenty of chances to hopefully get them in contention come Sunday afternoon. Secondly players will have to accept that they will not hit all greens this week and will have to rely on a sound short game to keep their card in tact.
With the weather being perfect for golf in South Africa and the course really well prepared I'm expecting some incredible scoring and with my line ups I have decided to side with proven course form, recent form across all tours, recent birdie conversion rate, scrambling and ball striking.
George Coetzee $11,700
Alexander Bjork $11,500
$9,000 - $10,000
Richard Sterne $9,600
Sean Norris $9,400
Jacques Blaauw $9,200
$8,000 - $9,000
Haydn Porteous $ 9,000
Jacques Kruyswijk $8,700
Jeff Winther $8,200
Kyle McClatchie $8,100
$7,500 - $8,000
Peter Karmis $8,000
Hennie Otto $7,900
Toby Tree $7,800
Justin Walter $7,700
Max Kieffer $7,700
Scott Jamieson $7,600
$7,500 or Less
JC Ritchie $7,500
Trevor Fisher Jnr $7,400
Ockie Strydom $7,200
Christian Bezhuidhout $7,200
Jack Singh Brar $7,200
Keenan Davidse $7,100
As always I hope you all have a great end to your week and I see you all at the top of the leader boards come Sunday
Due to an incredibly busy schedule trying to study and complete assignments as part of my PGA degree training I haven't had the time this week to give you all the full write up.
However that doesn't mean that my research has slipped when making my picks, I love Green Screens as much as the next person
Anyway lets see if we can get some more winners this week and as always the very best of luck to you all.
Andy Sullivan $11,500
Jeunghun Wang $10,600
$9,000 - $10,000
Thomas Detry $9,700
George Coetzee $9,200
$8,000 - $9,000
Jordan Smith $8,700
Nicolas Colsaerts $8,200
$7,500 - $8,000
Eric Van Rooyen $8,000
Maximillian Kiefer $7,800
Matthieu Pavon $7,600
$7,000 - $7,500
Richard Sterne $7,500
Eddie Pepperell $7,500
Thomas Bjorn $7,200
Charlie Ford $7,200
Less Than $7,000
Anthony Wall $6,900
Daniel Im $6,800
Soomin Lee $6,800
After five years of successfully hosting Challenge Tour events, Oman now gets its chance to join the list of 43 other nations to have held a European Tour event.
Although the field is far from the strongest you will see, this will still be an event to enjoy. Golf on Links style courses usually offers up plenty of excitement and this particular course will no doubt provide us with a similar offering, especially if the winds get up.
Course Design and Layout
Description: Designed by Greg Norman and opened for play in 2012
Along a two kilometre stretch of pristine coastline , flanking the Indian Ocean and with the stunning Hajjar mountain range in the background, lies a striking oasis of lush green grass, accented with bunkers, water hazards and natural dunes. At 7,342 yards long, the 18 hole Championship Course at Al Mouj Golf is Oman’s first links style course offering the professionals a challenging, yet rewarding, game of golf.
International golfing legend Greg Norman is responsible for the magnificent design of the Championship golf course at Al Mouj Golf.
The Shark, as he is affectionately known, visited the site back in 2006 and could instantly see in his mind’s eye the course that he wanted to create. After carefully studying the topography and weather conditions of the site, and using his years of experience playing top golf courses around the globe, Greg and his associates from Greg Norman Design produced an inspiring plan. The Greg Norman course offers truly unique characters with each hole offering something different from the last. He and his design team were mindful of maintaining the panorama of the ocean and the spectacular vista of the Hajjar Mountains. On a clear day you almost feel as if you can touch the mountains.
Par: 72 (4 x par 5's and 4 par 3's
Course Length: 7365 yards.
Rough: There is very little penal rough in play, however errant shots are punished heavily by the natural waste areas and abundance of water either in the form of the Indian Ocean or by one of many man made water hazards that feature throughout
History: This will be the first time that the European Tour have hosted an event here. However the Challenge Tour have been competing here since 2013 and just over one third of the field have experienced tournament play on this course.
Weather: With any costal course it is wise to pay attention to the weather and make your best judgement at the very last minute. The difficulty of the course will depend heavily on the winds and this could present a fantastic edge if you call it and play it right.
Shubhankar Sharma $11,300
Joost Luiten $10,000
$9,000 - $10,000
Matthieu Pavon $9,200
David Horsey $9,000
$8,000 - $9,000
Jeff Winther $8,900
Jorge Campillo $8,800
Nino Bertasio $8,400
Lucas Herbert $8,200
Clement Sordet $8,100
$7,500 - $8,000
Richie Ramsay $7,900
Matt Wallace $7,800
Andrew 'Beef' Johnston $7,600
Wu Ashun $7,600
$7,000 - $7,000
Ricardo Gouveia $7,300
Jens Dantrop $7,200
Matt Southgate $7,200
Daisuki Kataoka $7,000
Sam Brazel $7,000
Less Than $7,000
Personally I'm not playing anyone in this section this week however if I was the only players I may take a gamble on are local resident Azaan Al Rumhy $6,700 or Andrea Pavan $6,900
David decided to call & find out how serious the folks at The Greenbrier were about their Falconry activities. The answers may just surprise you...
Realizing full-well that there is a certain stigma attached to Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS for short), we are here to dispel those notions and persuade you to give Daily Fantasy Golf a try. DFS is certainly not for everyone (read on to see if you fall into that group). The following is an intro to PGA DFS and why you should play, followed soon in another post via "One Groove Low" to look at some tips on how to play and who to look out for this season (also applicable to regular fantasy golf).
We're firm believers in the great hipster millennial-mind of Simon Sinek, who says “start with why.” So, why would anyone choose to invest time & money in playing DFS? Naturally this answer varies to some degree depending upon the person, as does the veracity with which people play DFS. It's a wide spectrum, which is great. You do you, man. Here’s why we play:
As I'm sure holds true with anyone visiting this site, we LOVE golf. Playing golf, reading golf, going to golf tournaments, indoctrinating our kids in golf, etc. Simple enough.
When it comes to watching golf on TV, we used to only watch the majors, Ryder Cup, and then a few random events with passing interest. We tried to go deeper, but just couldn’t get excited about the actual golfers. It wasn’t the act of watching golf that was less than stimulating. It was the act of watching #LPCP poster boy, Matt Kuchar, headline an event with Shawn Stefani and Cameron Tringale right on the heels of his Sketchers on moving day. We just couldn’t do it. But now that we've got some skin in the game and know the players it's a whole different ballgame. Watching the Sanderson Farms Championship is now akin to watching a Thursday night Jaguars/Rams game with the sole intent of seeing if Bortles feeds in garbage time for my fantasy squad or if the Rams can protect the under.
We're competitive. Aside from church league basketball (We're from Georgia, it's a big thing here) and actually playing golf, this is where we can let our competitive juices run wild. We play in a couple of DFS leagues with only friends. Who doesn’t love taking his friends' $5 week in and week out? Winning is fun. Doesn't matter what. Hell, one of us won a Potty Putter at the office party this past Christmas. The feeling I get when I win in DFS is especially rewarding, regardless of if the payout is $3 or $30K - just want to see the screen turn green (which happens when you're winning)!
We like the numbers, stats, and research. The process of digging in to the course, the key stats for success, and the players that either line up or don’t each week is the best part. It's the same reason people enjoy tracking the stock market. We dig deep every week before we record our podcast, and you can do the same or just rely on experts that you are keen to trust.
One of the things we didn't mention above: “I like winning millions of dollars while seeing my handsome mug on the side of a DraftKings bus in downtown BeanTown." Of course we enjoy winning. But, we're not doing this to quit our day jobs and neither should you. We only spend what we can afford to lose - think of it as an entertainment expense. Hell, you're more likely to lose $29 and 2 hours of your life going to see some dumpster fire movie with your wife. Is DFS gambling? Yes, unequivocally. As is playing fantasy football for free on Yahoo! while having a side pot with your homies. However, there's nothing wrong with responsible gambling. As humans, we gamble on various and sundry things all the time. Golfers gamble. Gambling is as much a part of golf as Johnny Miller’s ego.
In the intro we mentioned we'd tell you if you should stop reading this. Here you go...If you have a problem with gambling, spending too much money, or an addictive personality, then don't play. If you literally don’t have 15 minutes a week, a positive balance in your checking account, or any friends, then don't play.
Okay, you're still reading? Currently, if you want to play PGA DFS, you will only be able to play through the DraftKings website or app. However, FanDuel will likely be adding PGA to its offerings in the very near future, as both companies have now merged and DraftKings continues to see tremendous growth in the number of people playing PGA DFS. Every Monday afternoon before a PGATour event, DraftKings will release the player prices for that event based on odds. Each player is given a dollar amount typically ranging from $5K to $13K.
Ostensibly your job is simple: fill six roster spots without spending more than $50K in salary cap. Points are earned or lost on a hole-by-hole basis, with players earn points for pars, birdies, eagles, an albatross, an ace, and conversely lose points for bogeys, etc. Players also earn points for where they stand on the leaderboard at the end of the week. If one (or more) of your players don't make the cut then they don’t earn your team any points over the weekend. This point structure greatly rewards players who tend to make birdies and play aggressively (think modified Stableford scoring). But keep in mind that they need to hang around and play the weekend. Roll into the weekend with your full compliment of six players having made the cut and you enjoy a tremendous advantage. Amazingly, picking six golfers out of a field of 140+ is much harder in practice than it is in theory.
If PGA DFS sounds like something that you'd enjoy then get started by signing up for DraftKings and wait with bated breath for our follow-up article where we'll outline viable strategies and highlight some guys you NEED to know to get that "Green Screen Disease" in 2017...
"One Groove Low" is the new home for Tour Junkies musings on all things golf. David & Pat will write ONLY when inspired. Inspired writing is the only writing worth reading. We aren't going to force ourselves to put out garbage each week or month. But, when there's a golf take burning in our heart, OGL is where it will reside.
The phrase, "One Groove Low", is a favorite of ours used to indicate literally that a golf shot was hit just a little low on the club face resulting in a less than stellar outcome. However, we also recognize that for hack golfers like us to use this term, is in and of itself ridiculous. We aren't that good. We plan to use it here on the site to describe our more irreverent approach to golf that may not be all that popular with the masses.
While perusing the pages of OGL you can expect to find refreshing takes on the PGATour, EuropeanTour, DFS, DraftKings, FanDuel, other forms of golf betting, and just golf culture in general. We're here to inform & entertain. We're here to talk about the game we love the most.
This is also the weekly write up home of EuropeanTour DFS Degenerate, Ashley Morrisson. Ash grew up and currently resides in the U.K. He plays on mini tours and coaches golf professionally while keeping his ear close to the ground for any EuropeanTour news. He's quite familiar with the courses, conditions, and players. This brings an edge to his Euro DFS content that few provide. May your screens be green!