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.
We had an exciting finish last week at WGC-Mexico, but now the Tour begins its annual Florida swing with the Honda Classic at PGA National, which is notoriously one of the harder courses these players face each year.
Let’s dive in.
As always, I back-tested various metrics in our PGA Models to find out those that have been the most valuable at PGA National. Per our Trends tool, here’s how the top 20% of golfers in various metrics have done at this course (in Plus/Minus valuation).
Historically, this course has yielded averages of 41.65 DraftKings points and a -6.94 Plus/Minus with a 42.3% Consistency Rating to the field.
Metrics that tested with at least a positive Plus/Minus:
- Recent Bogeys: +5.21
- Recent Greens in Regulation: +4.04
- Recent Birdies: +2.36
- Long-Term Bogeys: +1.65
- Long-Term Greens In Regulation: +0.91
- Long-Term Eagles: +0.80
- Recent Scrambling: +0.75
- Recent Adjusted Round Score: +0.48
- Recent Par-5 Scoring: +0.38
- Recent Eagles: +0.15
As you can see from the DraftKings scoring averages, PGA National is consistently one of the toughest courses on Tour. Looking at the metrics, the two most important things this week will be bogey avoidance and being able to hit greens in regulation (GIR). A lot of the metrics that also popped involve recent form, so ideally the people we decide to roster will head into this tournament with respectable form.
Aside from having strong approach and around-the-green games, golfers will need to take advantage of the only two par 5s on this course. Only three holes have birdie rates above 20% (Fantasy National) and the par 5s represent two of those three holes. And even though it didn’t show up in the back-testing, I’ll also put some weight into par-4 scoring because they’ll need to minimize damage on those holes to succeed this week. This is especially true for hole No. 6 and hole No. 10. No. 6 checks in as a 479-yard par 4, while No. 10 is a whopping 508 yards. Both holes boast bogey rates above 28%, historically.
Golfers will also be tested at the Bear Trap (holes 15, 16 and 17), all of which played over par last year. But in reality, they’ll all be tested on this entire course that has bunkers and water hazards littered throughout the venue.
One golfer who may fit this mold is Byeong-Hun An. Over his last 50 rounds, he ranks 23rd in Strokes Gained: Approach and leads this field in Strokes Gained: Around-the-Green. And while he’s always been a subpar putter, he’s much better on Bermuda greens compared to the POA greens he’s been seeing of late.
Key metrics: GIR, bogey avoidance, par-4 and par-5 scoring, Strokes Gained: Approach, Strokes Gained: Around-the-Green, scrambling.
And as usual, I like Long-Term (LT) and Recent Adjusted Round Scores (Adj Rd) as catch-all metrics.
Pictured above: Byeong-Hun An
Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images