Welcome to the 2019 WGC Mexico Fantasy Picks and Pro-Tip
News and Notes
The 2019 WGC Mexico event will be played at Club de Golf Chapultepec which hosted the event the previous two years in 2017 and 2018. The course plays as a 7345 Par 71 that had the 8th narrowest fairways on tour and 13th longest in par adjusted distance. While the distance optically is long, the course is played at high altitude which makes the ball travel further.
— bubba watson (@bubbawatson) February 19, 2019
More on this later. The wind forecast looks benign and the conditions will be generally pleasant this week. The field this week is just more than 70 golfers and every golfer will get to play all four rounds. With the guaranteed golf this does remove some variance from the equation where one bad round won’t sink a player via missed cut (looking at you Oosty) and golfers will have four rounds to meet their expectation. This means that DK scoring elements like birdies, eagles and birdie streaks will separate value golfers more than a missed cut will. My first reaction is to play the projections a bit more straight up than a normal week, but its worth noting that if there is a more volatile low-owned but high upside golfer this week his floor will be higher than it would in a different event.
There are a couple of benefits to making contrarian plays or looking for leverage. In large field GPPs like the $5 Drive the Green with 120k entrants trying to generate unique rosters or at least duplicating lineups with fewer users is a primary goal. One way to avoid this is to leave salary on the table. Most users build to the salary cap or between $49800 and $50000 so you can avoid some full salary cap lineups simply by setting the maximum salary constraint to $49700. The other way is by using the maximum ownership constraint for your rosters which can accomplish the same goal but leave full salary cap unique lineups in consideration.
My estimates are that a lineup with 120% cumulative ownership in the 120k field will be duplicated an average of 15 times. 105% cumulative ownership will be duped an average of 7 times and 90% ownership an average of 2.5 and finally, at 75% ownership, you are very likely to have a unique lineup (but perhaps bad golfers!). However, in the 11k $44 tournament on DraftKings, the total ownership of 105% is expected to generate a unique lineup so you don’t need to go nearly as contrarian. In smaller fields like single entry or 3-max you are pretty unlikely to be duplicated and the benefit of leverage is more about identifying pivot players than it is running into identical lineups.
Andrew Putnam, Si Woo Kim, Brandt Snedeker, and Adam Hadwin withdrew or declined the event. Adrian Otaegui and Ryan Fox were late adds to the player pool on DraftKings.
As a reminder, DataGolf has revamped the projection model for 2019 and there are a few key changes:
- More alignment with the finishing probability
- Moving towards a decay model for Current Form and Long-Term form to weigh rounds
- Incorporation of specific strokes gained metrics based on the predictive power of each metric
Going for the Green Fantasy Golf Podcast – WGC Mexico Fantasy Golf Picks and Preview
Course Fit and Course History
From a descriptive perspective, the historic event data from DataGolf shows that the event the previous two seasons shows that it has over indexed in strokes gained off the tee and approach, but it is such a small sample.
In 2018 nearly 40 percent of strokes were gained via putting while in 2017 it was just 30 percent. In 2018 17 percent of strokes were gained off the tee and 30 percent on approach while the previous year had 15 percent off the tee and nearly 40 percent on approach. All of this shows that there is a lot of noise in “course fit” and leaning heavily on 2017 course fit to drive your 2018 results would have been a stone disaster. Will leaning on 2017 and 2018 course fit produce better results? My gut says no, particularly at the top end of the field where most of the golfers are capable of competing in any situation.
One additional element people are touting for “course fit” is the ability to make adjustments to their yardages based on the altitude. These narratives support Phil Mickelson’s performance, given his infamous Feherty interview where he rattled off complex factors impacting a golf ball’s trajectory and distance off the top of his head. These narratives will also be used to support Bryson Dechambeau being a tournament favorite as the physicist plots out the mathematically optimal clubs (narrator: Bryson is a favorite even without that). These same narratives would claim Dustin Johnson is too “simple” and disregard that he won this event in 2017 lapping the field tee-to-green. Its all fodder and content and shouldn’t distract you from making your DFS lineups.