As we roll into late February, then into March, the level of golf events really starts to pick up. It started this past week at the Genesis Invitational, and now rolls into the first WGC of the new year. Due to the pandemic, it will take a turn from Mexico to Jack Nicklaus’ course at The Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, FL. Most of the top 50 players in the world and a few others will tee it up for this week’s no-cut event.
It is always tough to get any real confident feel around a new course, but we will provide all the information we can leading into the week. I tweeted the layout of the course today, which will give a good description of how the tournament directors will set things up for the players this week. I’ll also break that down below.
The Concession Golf Club – Bradenton, FL
7,474 yard Par 72
- 4 Par 5s, 4 Par 3s, 12 Par 4s
- Average Green Size: 6,000 ft (very average for PGA Tour)
- Bermudagrass Greens rolling at a 12 on the stimp
- 1.25 inch bermuda rough
- Sand Bunkers: 73
- Water Hazards: 13 (In play on 12 holes)
There is no course history to rely on this week, but Bryson DeChambeau did win the 2015 NCAA Individual title on this course. He was certainly a much different player than he is today.
All of Jack Nicklaus’ courses are generally famous for some blind shots and undulating greens. The Concession sounds to be no different, as every description I have read places it as a course where on many holes the landing areas can not be seen from the teeing ground. There is a lot of carry required on these shots as well, playing into the favor of those with a little more length off the tee. I wouldn’t call it a bombers course just yet though, as the ability to shape in both directions will come into play.
You can always expect a Nicklaus track to be a shot-makers course where being able to move the ball at will is key, but also the importance of precision on approach. The course features average-sized greens, but they set up to play much smaller as there are multiple tiers on each putting surface, requiring perfect distance and accuracy for scoring opportunities. The wild undulations and severe contouring will require great approach or supreme putting to avoid three-putting these surfaces. It should provide a great test this week for some of the top players in the world.
History in Similar Events
Any time we get a no-cut event, there are a few players that immediately come to mind as some like the comfort of knowing they are guaranteed four rounds. Both Justin Thomas and Xander Schauffele have excelled in their careers at these tournaments. We know that JT can be volatile when his game isn’t just right, but the guarantee of four rounds seems to give him a level of comfort and we know he can score from a DFS perspective.
Xander has rounded into performing more consistently over the last year, despite his lack of wins, making him a comfortable DFS play in all weeks. He’s also another top scorer, which is what you need to separate from the pack when there isn’t a cut to limit the field of contenders.
Another player that was at the top of the leaderboard at the Genesis was Matthew Fitzpatrick. He comes into the WGC off of a tie for fifth, and he has excelled at these events in his career. Fitzpatrick has five Top 10 finishes at WGC tournaments, and eight finishes within the Top 20 at no-cut events.