FantasyDraft PGA: Greenbrier Classic
The PGA Tour kicks off of its 2019-20 season with the Greenbrier Classic this week. Since it’s been a short two-week break from the TOUR Championship, the majority of the top-ranked golfers in the world have chosen to sit this one out. Bryson DeChambeau headlines the field, with some exciting young talent in Viktor Hovland, Sungjae Im, and Joaquin Niemann teeing it up. The past three winners of the event are Kevin Na, Xander Schauffele, and Danny Lee.
The Greenbrier Classic will be played at the Old White TPC in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. The course has played host to the tournament since 2010 so there is plenty of course history to look at. Old White TPC is a par-70, 286 yard-long course that has massive fairways. Players hit fairways here at a much higher percentage than tour average. The course is naturally 2,000 feet above sea level, so expect some extra carry on drives.
- Course: Old White TPC
- Par 70
- 7, 286 yards long
- Bentgrass Greens
Known as a second-shot course, strong approach play will be critical this week. Wedge play, in particular, will need to be sharp among golfers, as the majority of approaches come from the 125 to 150-yard mark. There are 12 par 4s on the scorecard that are relatively short in length. Birdie-or-better rates on par 4s will be a stat to zero in on.
The challenging holes are three of the par 3s since they measure over 200 yards. Golfers will be more than happy to walk away with a par on these. The greens are very difficult here and the event has turned into putting contests throughout its history.
- Strokes gained: approach
- Par-4 scoring
- Performance on bentgrass greens
Due to the fact that this field is not overly strong, pricing this week is very conservative and it gives us plenty of flexibility with our roster construction. Bryson DeChambeau (#12 in the world) is the highest priced golfer this week at $17,700. Followed by Bryson is young phenom Viktor Hovland, priced at $17,100.
After these two golfers, the salaries level out. Jason Kokrak, Joaquin Niemann, Marc Leishman, Bubba Watson, and Sungjae Im round out the $16,000+ range. On FantasyDraft, the average amount of money you have to spend is $14,286, so this week gives you the ability to have a well-balanced lineup, but you will have to take a stand on your players.
Best Plays in the $16,000+ Range
Viktor Hovland ($17,100)
The young talented golfer is leading the entire PGA in strokes gained off-the-tee since June. This guy is the real deal as an elite ball-striker and has one of the best approach games in the league. In fact, Hovland is second in strokes gained approach since June, gaining 1.01 strokes on the field. Hovland had an impressive showing on tour last year, finishing in the top 20 in five of his last six events to end the season. This tournament has been known to produce some first-time winners and this could be Hovland’s week.
Jason Kokrak ($16,800)
Kokrak is first in the entire field in strokes gained approach. He has very elite long-irons, which will help him on the long, challenging par 3s. He had a very solid finish to the 2018-19 season and worked his way into the TOUR Championship. Kokrak finished third at this event last year and will hope to kick off his 2019 campaign with another solid showing.Kokrak finished 14th in strokes gained tee-to-green, 11th in strokes gained off-the-tee, and 17th in driving distance.
Joaquin Niemann ($16,100)
Niemann has always been known for his elite ball-striking and approach play. He finished 25th last year in strokes gained approach and 33rd in strokes gained tee-to-green. Eighth in par-4 scoring, Niemann should be able to make plenty of birdies this week to put himself into contention. Not to mention, he finished fifth at this course last year.
Sungjae Im ($16,000)
This course sets up very well for him, as he has been one of the hottest golfers in both approach and putting. In my custom model, Im is top-10 in both strokes gained approach, and strokes gained putting over the last 10 weeks. He is 22nd in birdie-or-better, 23rd in par-4 scoring, and finished 17th in strokes gained total in his rookie season!
Best Plays in the 14,000+ Range
Byeong Hun An ($15,800)
An is second in the field in strokes gained tee-to-green, third in strokes gained ball-striking, and sixth in stroked gained approach in my rolling stats model. He had a solid finish to his 2018-19 campaign and seems poised for a big win.
Russell Henley ($15,700)
Henley has a very elite course history at this track. He finished 10th here last year, fifth in 2017, and fifth in 2016. He is one of the sharpest approach players in the PGA. In my rolling stats model, he is currently third in strokes gained approach. He will just need a mediocre putting week to compete again.
Robert Streb ($14,500)
Another golfer with an elite course history, Streb had back-to-back runner-up finishes here in 2017 and 2016. He is known for his solid approach play and is currently in excellent form.
Best Plays in the 12,000+Range
Andrew Landry ($13,800)
Coming in with excellent form, Landry is a sneaky good play this week. He is 11th in the field in proximity from 125-150 yards and his strong wedge play should come in handy here. In my rolling stats model, Landry is ninth in strokes gained total in the field.
Cameron Tringale ($13,800)
One of the best all-around golfers in the entire field, Tringale is another good pivot this week. 10th in my model in strokes gained total, he is in excellent form of late. He knows this course well as he has played it in five straight years — highlighted by a fourth-place finish in 2014.
Roger Sloan ($12,600)
This is an extremely good value for a golfer in excellent form of late. Sloan had seven top-25 finishes last year and caught fire at the end of the year. He is eighth in my rolling stats model in strokes gained total and 10th in strokes gained putting.