PGA DFS in the 2016 Zurich Classic of New Orleans
We are going back to the old-school articles this week for the 2016 Zurich Classic of New Orleans. Don’t worry, Tee 2 Green will be back next week.
What do I need to know about this tournament?
Once again, this field is relatively weak. We have Jason Day, Justin Rose and Rickie Fowler, who are three superstars and Top 10 in the Official World Golf Rankings. However, the next few most-expensive names on DraftKings are Charley Hoffman (34th), Billy Horschel (44th) and Daniel Berger (47th). Yes, they are good players, but it is a pretty decent drop off. All these tournaments post Masters are all a build up toward the Players Championship in two weeks, and we shouldn’t see any superb fields until then.
Where is this tournament? What are the specifics?
The Zurich is played at TPC Louisiana in Avondale, Louisiana (a suburb just South of New Orleans). It’s a par 72 and tips out at 7,425 yards. This is a relatively easy course with the winner usually posting between 15 and 20-under-par.
This track is similar to a Florida style golf course. It’s flat and has quite a bit of water. It’s also a Pete Dye design course, which means target golf. There are a lot of bunkers strategically placed to make you think about your tee shots.
This course makes you hit every club in your bag. All four par 3s are over 200 yards. The par 4s vary from 355 to 492 yards. All four par 5s are hittable in two, but most will come from thee longer hitters. #2 is 548, #7 is 561, #11 is 575, #18 is 585. There are usually about 30 eagles for the tournament.
What type of golfers are we seeking? What stats are important?
If you look at past leaderboards, you’ll find a wide variety of players near the top between longer and shorter hitters. I would focus on birdie or better percentage along with bogey avoidance. In some respects, this could be looked at contradicting each other, but it’s more that you want aggressive players who are also hitting the ball well.
Longer hitters do give you an advantage here because of the shorter approaches to the greens on the par 4s and par 5s. This helps for more eagle opportunities and realistic birdie chances. However, if they are guys who are not playing well as of late or having trouble finding the fairway and the green in regulation, that’s a red flag. Shorter hitters generally speaking are more accurate off the tee, but they must rely more on their longer approaches and short game. This is perfectly fine as well as they are more likely to dodge the bullets on the golf course, and they play the course strategically in the way Dye designed the course. It’s a higher floor, but a lower ceiling.
Essentially, in your DraftKings lineups, I would go for a balance in terms of longer and shorter hitters.
Overall, here are the stats and keys I would look at:
– Recent performance (keeping in mind the strength of the field for how they placed and perhaps what specifically happened to them in that specific tournament)
– Strokes gained tee-to-green
– Proximity to the the hole
– Birdie or better percentage
– Bogey avoidance
– Going for the green
– Going for the green – hit green percentage
– Going for the green – Birdie or better
The rough isn’t too bad at TPC Louisiana, nor are the difficulty of the greens. There’s a reason why you see players of all skill levels near the top of the leaderboard each week going well under par. I wouldn’t worry about short game stats too much this week.
It’s supposed to be windy Thursday and Friday afternoon while being windy all day over the weekend. There is the potential for some rain Thursday and Sunday. Players who typically do well in wind should have a little bit of an advantage this week.
As for tee times, we will visit this in the forum Wednesday night. I am thinking no real advantage for now, but this could change by then.
Jason Day – $12,500
Justin Rose – $11,800
Daniel Berger – $10,100
Charles Howell III – $8,700
Jamie Lovemark – $8,400
Patton Kizzire – $8,200
Si Woo Kim – $7,700
Jamie Donaldson – $7,600
Luke List – $7,400
Lucas Glover – $7,200
Will Wilcox – $7,100
Michael Kim – $6,000
Hit me up on the PGA forum for more picks.
Rickie Fowler is one my favorite players. As a golf fan, I want him to win every week. But I am on the SB2K16 hangover train. I’m not saying Fowler will play horribly and he always has a chance to win everytime he hits the links, but I do think of the top three players, he is the most likely to miss the cut, and he should have pretty high ownership. Plus, I think this is more of a warm up to him for defending his Players Championship title. This is more of a gut feeling than anything with this being his first tournament since the Masters and he didn’t get to New Orleans until Tuesday evening.
Nevertheless, I couldn’t stop watching Fowler’s snapchat feed. It was epic, and I actually think more athletes should do snapchat stories like these.View all posts by Nick Juskewycz