THE PLAYERS Championship – Gambling/DFS Preview 2020

TPC Sawgrass (Stadium Course) – Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

Course Breakdown

7189 yd Par 72, Pete Dye course so its a placement course, you need to miss in the right spots, all of the Par 5s are reachable in 2 by most so guys will get eagle looks, the 12th hole is also a risk/reward driveable Par 4 for eagle looks, 17 water hazards (over 24 acres), 88 bunkers, overseeded Bermuda, narrow tree lined fairways with trouble in play on pretty much every tee shot, lot of mounds and undulation on the fairways, lots of different doglegs (a Pete Dye staple), average fairway % (~63%), average GIR % (~64%), less than driver course like most other Pete Dye courses (average driving distance: 278 yds), faster than average green speeds, very small and difficult multi-tier greens with a lot of undulation surrounded by water hazards and bunkers, most 3 putts of any non-major course on tour

Tournament Notes

  • “The Fifth Major”
  • This tournament is so hard to predict, any type of player could win here
  • THE PLAYERS used to be in May and last year was the first year it moved to March, so the course should play a bit softer now and more receptive due to the Bermuda throughout the course being more overseeded, the winds will be different so the final 2 holes could be more difficult
  • No defending champ has ever gone back to back here (and Rory has never defended a title in his career)
  • GREAT tournament to watch and this year the PGA Tour will be attempting to stream every shot for every player…let’s see if that works out
  • Top 5 Most SG Total here the last 5 years: Adam Scott, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day, Hideki Matsuyama, Webb Simpson
  • SG Approach is over 2.5x more important than SG: OTT and SG: ATG (0.43 per round) to T10 finishes over the last 6 years
  • Every winner here since 2010 (besides Si WOOOO Kim) had either a T25 the week before or a T10 in their previous event played (Si Woo was 22nd)
  • 10 of the last 13 winners were T60 in Scrambling for the season that they won

Key Stats

SG: Approach, Ballstriking, Par 4s Gained (450-500 yds), GIR

Main proximity distance ranges: 125-150yds (wedges), 200+ yds (long irons)

Corollary Courses

  • Pete Dye courses: TPC River Highlands (Travelers Championship), TPC Louisiana (Zurich Classic), Austin Country Club (Dell Match Play), PGA West Stadium Course (CareerBuilder Challenge), Harbour Town Golf Links (RBC Heritage)
  • PGA National (Honda Classic) – similar Florida conditions at this time of the year with overseeded Bermuda

Field

Best field of the year, all the stars are out (except an injured Tiger Woods) – Huge purse so everyone plays

Defending Champion: Rory McIlroy (-16)
Runner Up Last Year: Jim Furyk (-15)

One and Done: Jon Rahm
Alternate: Adam Scott

One and Done Considerations: Rory, Rahm, Cantlay, Adam Scott

Players

Rory: 11700: +650 – Defending champ, best elite player in the field, 9 T5s including 2 wins in his last 11 events, leads field in opportunities gained (GIR or fringe in regulation inside 15 ft) over past 36 rounds, has never defended a title, can’t bet him at this price
Cantlay: 9800: +1910 – 5th in SG Approach, 17th and 11th his last 2 events, short game has improved a lot
Adam Scott: 9600: +2000 – 12,11,6,12 his last 4 times here, has played well lately, leads field in SG total here over the last 5 years
Webb: 9200: +1600 – one of best in the field on approach, one of the best in the field putting on Bermuda, good in Par 4 and Par 3 scoring, good at scrambling, winner here 2 years ago
Hideki: 8800: +1810 – Very good ballstriking, one of the best in the field T2G, good on Par 4s from 450-500 yds and 3rd in Par 4s gained, good in proximity from 125-150 yds, 6th in SG: ATG, 8th in bogie avoidance
Casey: 8200: +3500 – Fantastic at ballstriking, gained average of over 5.5 SG: Approach and 2.3 SG: OTT his last two events, has won twice in Florida
Morikawa: 7900: +2200 – T10 last week, has been having a fantastic season, irons have been really good, 1st in SG Approach over last 50 rounds, 6th SG: T2G, his chipping isn’t the best, has never played here before but he’s had plenty of success at other course this year that he hasn’t played yet, huge value on DK if you compare his price with his odds

DraftKings/Betting Notes

  • Soft “major” pricing on Draftkings so don’t worry about leaving money on the table
  • Some big GPPs this week that typically aren’t offered for non-majors including the Milly Maker
  • There’s some nice betting numbers this week with value but if guys aren’t gonna win, don’t bet them. That simple
  • If theres any H2Hs vs. Harris English…bet them (ATROCIOUS track record by far at this course with 6/6 MCs here the last 6 years)

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