Out of the Rough: WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play
The Valspar Championship did not disappoint. Last week I deemed it one of the most underrated tournaments on tour. Sam Burns secured his second straight victory at Copperhead Course edging out David Riley in a playoff. Our lineups last week were consistent but the lack of placement from our more expensive picks kept us out of the money. All around, it was a decent week on the Out of the Rough forefront and it sure was a fun tournament to watch all weekend long. We’re onto the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play in the season’s first World Golf Championship event.
Valspar Championship Results
Viktor Hovland (-6) - T33rd
Tyrrell Hatton (-9) - T21st
Keegan Bradley (-2) - MC
Mito Pereira (-7) - T7th
Austin Smotherman (-8) - T25th
Collin Morikawa (+1) - T68th
Matt Fitzpatrick (-14) - T5th
Kevin Kisner (-6) - T33rd
Mackenzie Hughes (-1) - MC
Nate Lashley (-7) - T27th
The WGC Match Play is a unique tournament and one that tests our DFS knowledge. We’re looking for holes won and halved here in this match play format.
Golfers will be drawn into pods based on world rankings. From there, they will play in a round robin format where the best record of the pod moves onto the single-elimination 16 man round into the weekend.
The premise of the tournament is to have the world’s top 64 golfers attend. We’ll see the vast majority of the world’s best with some players choosing to either rest or are forced to miss this year’s installment due to injury.
Also please note that the tournament begins on Wednesday so you have one less day to prepare your lineups and place your bets. Don’t be the one who forgot to get their lineups in.
This year’s event will be held at the Austin Country Club in Austin, Texas which has been the host to this event three times.
This is another Pete Dye-designed course that plays at around 7,000 yards, which is on the shorter end compared to the PGA tour.
Austin Country Club’s front nine offers several elevation changes and then switches to a flatter landscape on the back nine.
The par-fives on this course are reachable, which plays in favor for some of the tour’s longest drivers. Bryson DeChambeau, Bubba Watson and Jon Rahm have all had impressive rounds here in the past due to this.
This course also offers an over-the-water Par-four towards its end and has many risk-and-reward style holes, making it most suitable for a match play style tournament.
The greens are Bermuda as well.
There is a chance of some rain early on on Wednesday and Thursday. Wind will almost certainly be a factor throughout the tournament being in Texas, especially over the first two days. Wednesday and Thursday too will be on the colder side for that area and temperatures will rise into the weekend.
Statistics to pay attention to this week include Strokes Gained: Approach (SG:APP,) Strokes Gained: Off the Tee (SG: OTT,) Strokes Gained: Pete Dye Design (SG: PDD,) Birdie or Better Gained and Strokes Gained: Putting (Bermuda) (SG:PUTT.)
Trends to follow include four of the last seven winners have recorded a stroke play victory in the same calendar year and the other winners have had at least one top five in that same time span.
With the DFS scoring being different due to it being match play, it will be scored as following:
Holes Won - +3 points
Holes Halved - +0.75 points
Holes Lost - -0.75 points
Hole Not Played - +1.6 points
Matches Won - +5 points
Matches Halved - +2 points
Streak of three consecutive holes won in a match (Max of one per round) - +5 points
No Holes Lost in a Match - +7.5 points
These types of tournaments are so hard to predict with the way the outcomes usually happen. In 2018 we saw a final that included Kevin Kisner (32nd) and Bubba Watson (35th.) We also saw a Matt Kuchar (23rd) versus Kevin Kisner (48th) final in 2019. I’m going to lead off here with the World #4 Patrick Cantlay ($10,200.) Cantlay’s style fits this course well as he’s T21st in SG: OTT and currently fifth in birdies or better gained. Since the turn of the year he has three top five finishes and one top ten in six events. He has a very nice price point too at $10,200. I think Cantlay will be heavily used in my lineups this week. Also consider Dustin Johnson ($10,000.) The former World #1 has found himself at a discount after a slow start to the season and calendar year. He’s still 34th on tour in SG: APP and T21st in SG: OTT. He’s currently third on tour in the SG: PDD as well. He does not have a top five finish this calendar year or a victory but does have a top ten at The Players. He’s being underrated currently but is still the World #11 right now.
I’m going to go with the easy pick here and go Bryson DeChambeau ($9,300.) The price point is too ideal not to. He has been recovering from a wrist injury and we haven’t seen him since late January. This is playing a part in his ownership and price point for sure. We don’t have statistics to go off for this season right now due to his lack of qualifying rounds but if you’re reading this article, I think you know what type of golfer he is. Over the last 24 rounds he’s tops on tour in SG: OTT and SG: PDD. He’s also fourth in birdie or better gained. Let’s hope that wrist holds up because this could be the value play of the year. Also consider Xander Schauffele ($9,600.) Beyond Bryson, there isn’t much in this price range I like all that well. I’m going Schauffele mainly because he is the least owned golfer in this price range. On top of that he is 38th on tour in SG: APP and 29th in SG: OTT. As a basis taking all we consider statistics wise, he is one of the better choices as well. He’s one of those golfers that’s so well rounded that he’s going to be in contention and hard to beat. There is no glaring weakness in his game, but there is also no glaring bright spot. He does have a top three at the WM Phoenix Open this calendar year as well.
I’m going back to one of my favorite golfers on tour in Will Zalatoris ($8,600.) I’m not sure why DraftKings still doesn’t have a player photo for him because he deserves it. He’s consistently one of the best ball strikers on tour and will always be near the top in terms of SG: APP. He’s currently second on tour in that statistic. He’s also ninth on tour in SG: OTT. Zalatoris is another golfer that doesn’t make many mistakes with his elite ball striking and will always be in contention due to that. He doesn’t have a huge “wow factor” around him for doing anything flashy but in match play, avoiding mistakes and simply putting the ball where it needs to go can be the difference. Also consider Sungjae Im ($8,200.) Im is very good off the tee. He ranks 16th on tour currently in that category but is third on tour over the last 24 rounds. He is top 100 in SG: APP so he’s not as bad there as he has been in previous years. As well as his ability to simply get off the tee, he’s actually one of the best on tour in putting on Bermuda grass. He’s third in SG: PUTT on Bermuda over the last 24 rounds. His combination of getting off the tee with his elite putting on Bermuda is a deadly combination, especially at a $8,200 price range.
There’s a name that I think is a fantastic value here this week and that is Tony Finau ($7,800.) He is 27th on tour in SG: APP and T57th SG: OTT. He’s third best on tour in birdies or better gained over his last 24 rounds. Finau is a fantastic all-around golfer and his all around abilities has him ranking high in formulas and modules made around success at Austin Country Club. Also consider Abraham Ancer ($7,900.) Ancer is another great value play in this $7,000 price range I am eyeing consistently this week. He’s 59th on tour SG: OTT. He also does extremely well at Pete Dye designed courses as he ranks fourth in SG: PDD over his last 24 rounds as well. He’s ninth on tour in Hit Fairway Percentage which too is great to see. I think I also have to include Kevin Kisner ($7,600) here as he has won the event in 2019 and took second in 2018 at Austin Country Club. That type of continued success simply cannot be ignored. He excels on Bermuda greens where he’s fourth on tour in the past 24 rounds
Time to make our money. Let’s go with Tom Hoge ($6,800) here. Hoge won at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am back in early February. He’s seventh on tour in SG: APP and top 75 in SG: OTT. He also has a second place at The American Express and has made 12 of 16 cuts so far this season. As a top seven approach guy, he’s a clean ball striker. Like Zalatoris, he can keep himself out of trouble this week and that can be the difference. Also consider Luke List ($6,400.) List is currently seventh on tour in SG: OTT. List is also seventh on tour in Average Driving Distance which can be beneficial in reaching those short par fives for a chance at eagle or birdie. He does have a victory on the season with a win at the Farmers Insurance Open. He has had a tough run of things recently with two missed cuts and then a withdrawal from The Players due to a neck injury. With a few weeks rest leading into this event, he should be good to go.
Strokes Gained: Proximity to Course
Strokes Gained: Proximity to Course
Strokes gained: proximity to course (SG: PTC) is the patented statistic developed by Lenny of the Out of the Rough Podcast. Each week, we will pick a golfer local to the course to be his SG: PTC choice. Last week was Sam Ryder who missed the cut last week at the Valspar Championship at -1.
This week, Lenny is going with Sergio Garcia. Garcia moved to Austin, Texas in 2018. Garcia lives just over 30 minutes away from Austin Country Club, making him the closest SG: PTC we’ve seen thus far.
SG: PTC Past Results
The Honda Classic - Chase Seiffert (+1) - T25th
The Arnold Palmer Invitational - John Pak (+8) - T52nd
The Players - Billy Horschel (WD)
The Valspar Championship - Sam Ryder (-1) - MC