The PGA Course Breakdown offers data-driven analysis for each week’s slate, using the Fantasy Labs Trends Tool and metrics to highlight stats for the upcoming tournament.
The second round of the FedEx Cup Playoffs are here, which means we’ll have a 70-player (roughly) event with no cut. That could change as Tiger Woods is dealing with an injury and Rafa Cabrera-Bello opted to not play last week due to the birth of he and his wife’s child. Kevin Na has also already withdrawn.
Let’s dive in.
This week’s tournament will be played at Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Illinois. This course is a par 72 and is lengthy at 7,613 yards. Similar to last week, there is no data in our Trends tool for this course so we don’t really have any numbers to go off.
With four par 5s back in play, that will be one of the primary metrics I am looking at. Distance will also help at this course since two of the four par 5s are over 600 yards.
Additionally, all four par 3s are over 190 yards, including one that is a whopping 245 yards. While I won’t be weighing par-3 scoring all that much, I think it’s worth looking at golfers who rate well in proximity from 175-plus yards since there are lengthy par 3s and 5s on the docket. Good long-iron golfers should be a priority this week.
Most of the length at Medinah come from the 3s (to a degree) and 5s, three of the par 4s check in at 475 yards or longer, while six of them are shorter than 450 yards. And similar to last week, there is a driveable par 4 at 331 yards.
Overall, this week seems straightforward: Target golfers who excel at par 5s, and who are good with their long irons.
Justin Thomas is a strong example of a player who fits this profile. Thomas leads the field with -6.0 adjusted strokes on par 5s, and over his last 50 rounds, he ranks fourth in Strokes Gained: Ball Striking and 23rd in proximity from 175-200 yards.
I guess I’ll have to single out Phil Mickelson for the second week in a row since his -2.9 adjusted strokes on par 5s is the worst mark in the field, and he ranks 69th in Strokes Gained: Ball Striking and 64th in proximity from 175-200 yards.
Key metrics: Par-5 scoring, proximity from 175+ yards, birdie or better scoring, Strokes Gained: Ball Striking.
And as usual, I like Long-Term (LT) and Recent Adjusted Round Score (Adj Rd Score) as catch-all metrics.
Strokes Gained data via Fantasy National
Pictured above: Justin Thomas
Photo credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports