Welcome to the 2019 Safeway Open DraftKings Fantasy Picks and Pro-Tip,
News and Notes
Perhaps the most relevant news is that the PGATOUR has a new cut line rule for the 2019-20 season with the cut to T65 and ties after the conclusion of play. For players that make the cut, there will be no more MDF (Made Cut Did Not Finish) which means everybody who makes the cut will be guaranteed two rounds over the weekend. From a fantasy perspective, it isn’t really going to matter that much in tournaments. You will still need the winner and 6/6 through the cut most weeks and particularly in large field GPPs you will still need the majority of your golfers inside of the Top 20. The rule change could benefit balanced rosters * slightly * in a small field or cash format. Regardless, our projections have cut probabilities factored in so that work has been done for you.
The Safeway Open is played again at Silverado Resort and Spa North as the PGATOUR heads to wine country. Silverado Resort plays as a Par 72 just under 7200 yards long making it one of the shortest courses in par adjusted distance but also ranks inside the Top 5 in fairway width with narrow fairways at the midpoint. It is a swing season event, so the winning score should still be in the mid to high teens but relative to other swing season events it is at least a little bit more challenging.
Course Fit and Course History
The chart below shows the strokes gained composition at this event compared to tour averages from DataGolf who powers our fantasy projections.
This event has historically played as a relatively neutral event with putting driving more of a deviation in scoring and approach a little bit less. This also aligns with the fact that courses and events with lower winning scores reward putting to a greater degree, and courses that are more challenging reward ball striking. Given the week-to-week volatility that feeds into putting it anecdotally feels like there is more randomness to the leaderboards and contrarian plays could be rewarded. Regardless, I don’t see any clear cut course fit adjustments to make to the baseline projections.
Like last week’s course, the majority of golfers haven’t even played 16 rounds at this event, with just 12 golfers play at least 16 rounds, which even in itself is a small sample for course history. Of those players, Brendan Steele (+0.12 strokes per round adjustment), Martin Laird (+0.08), Fabian Gomez (+0.06), Harold Varner (+0.05), Chez Reavie and Lucas Glover (+0.04 each) have the strongest adjustments in DataGolf’s work and fading course history narratives seems like a good path to go down again this week particularly since they are priced strongly into the betting markets and DraftKings pricing algorithms.
Here are the players leading into this event with the strongest recent form with their most recent round in parenthesis:
- Sungjaei Im 38-11-19-19-2 (9/22)
- Byeong Hun An 3-38-28-47-3 (9/22)
- Sebastian Munoz 11-48-43-7-1 (9/22)
- Brandt Snedeker 39-6-5-24-45 (9/22)
- Corey Conners 22-21-7-26-CUT (9/22)