The PGA Breakdown offers data-driven analysis for each week’s slate, using the Fantasy Labs Tools and metrics to highlight notable golfers.
This tournament will feature the best golfers in the world with 46 of the top 50 in the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR) competing. This is a no-cut event, so at least we won’t have to sweat on Friday.
Let’s dive in!
As always, I backtested various metrics in our PGA Models to find out which have been the most valuable at Chapultepec. 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 68.15 DraftKings points and a -1.85 Plus/Minus with a 42.9% Consistency Rating to the field.
I’m listing only those metrics that tested positively above the baseline:
- Recent Greens in Regulation: +5.51
- Recent Par-3 Scoring: +4.61
- Recent Driving Distance: +2.94
- Long-Term Par-5 Scoring: +2.87
- Long-Term Par-4 Scoring: +2.42
- Recent Eagles: +2.41
- Long-Term Eagles: +1.84
- Long-Term Greens In Regulation: +1.84
- Recent Par-4 Scoring: +1.49
- Recent Par-5 Scoring: +1.27
- Long-Term Par-3 Scoring: +0.75
- Long-Term Driving Distance: +0.60
- Recent Adjusted Round Score: +0.57
- Long-Term Birdies: +0.48
- Long-Term Adjusted Round Score: +0.38
- Long-Term Missed Cuts: +0.33
- Long-Term Putts Per Round: +0.27
- Recent Bogeys: +0.06
- Recent Missed Cuts: +0.04
Club de Golf Chapultepec is a par-71, 7,345-yard course, but it won’t play that long because of the 7,800 feet of elevation in Mexico City. This is the third year this tournament is being played at this course, so we have just two years of data to reference.
Given the elevation, I won’t factor in driving distance too much since that will mitigate the appeal of some of the bombers. Both recent and long-term greens in regulation (GIR) popped up on this list, so that’s something I’ll be weighing this week. But I’ll also be taking it one step further and supplementing in Strokes Gained: Approach to go along with the GIR metrics.
Key metrics to focus on: Greens in regulation, par-4 and par-5 scoring, birdie scoring.
And as usual, I like Long-Term and Recent Adjusted Round Score (LT Adj Rd Score) as a catch-all metric.
Best DFS Plays at 2019 WGC-Mexico Championship
$10,000 and Above (DraftKings Pricing)
Since there’s no cut, it’s more feasible to plug in some of the top-priced golfers.
Justin Thomas ($11,800 DraftKings; $12,000 FanDuel) is the most expensive golfer on the slate, but I don’t have an issue paying up for him since he leads the field in adjusted strokes on par 4s and par 5s. He also ranks No. 1 in Strokes Gained: Approach thus far through the 2019 season.
Jon Rahm ($10,700 DraftKings; $11,700 FanDuel) is in terrific form, sporting a 67.3 recent Adj Rd Score. Of his five starts this season, his worst finish was his 10th at the Phoenix Open. Further, he’s $1,100 cheaper than Thomas and $800 cheaper than Dustin Johnson, but you’re not sacrificing that much. Rahm’s long-term adjusted strokes on par 4s and par 5s are both comparable to Thomas and DJ.
Hideki Matsuyama ($9,000 DraftKings; $10,900 FanDuel) boasts top-eight marks in both recent Adj Rd Score and recent GIR among the field. He continues to crush this season, posting three top-15 finishes in his past four events. Deki also ranks fourth in Strokes Gained: Approach this year.
Some of Xander Schauffele’s ($9,100 DraftKings; $11,100 FanDuel) metrics don’t jump off the page, but he possesses a top-15 LT Adj Rd Score and a top-seven recent Adj Rd Score in the field.
Schauffele has thrived in small fields, winning the Tournament of Champions in January. He got off to a hot start at this course last season with an opening round 65 followed by a 68 in Round 2, but he tapered off after shooting a 70 and 74 in Rounds 3 and 4.
Webb Simpson ($8,300 DraftKings; $9,800 FanDuel) is an incredible wedge player and putter, leading the field with a 64.5% scrambling rate, along with ranking second in Strokes Gained: Approach this year.
Simpson is undervalued at his DraftKings price as he ranks third in the field in LT adjusted strokes on par 4s and boasts the sixth-best LT Adj Rd Score, yet he’s priced as the No. 18 golfer.
Tommy Fleetwood ($8,200 DraftKings; $10,300 FanDuel) is also rather cheap in this stacked field. He boasts a top-10 mark in adjusted strokes on par 4s, and his -6.0 adjusted strokes on par 5s trails only Thomas and DJ.
Sergio Garcia ($8,000 DraftKings; $10,000 FanDuel) got off to a rough start at the Genesis Open, shooting an opening round 75, but he bounced back nicely to make the cut and proceeding to shoot rounds of 67. 69 and 71. He’s been relatively sold this year: Outside of his DQ for throwing a toddler-like tantrum, he’s finished third in the Dubai Desert Classic and seventh in the Singapore Open.
It’s possible Tony Finau ($8,900 DraftKings; $10,700 FanDuel) and Patrick Cantlay ($8,500 DraftKings; $10,400 FanDuel) go relatively low owned in this tournament, which makes them intriguing contrarian options given their elite LT Adj Rd Scores and adjusted strokes on par 4s and 5s.
This price range is so stacked, it might almost be easier to state who I’m not considering. Anyway, deep breath, here we go:
Gary Woodland ($7,900 DraftKings; $10,100 FanDuel) is probably one the best values on the slate. Outside of his missed cut at the Sony Open, Woodland has put together three top-nine finishes in his four PGA events this year. His -5.8 adjusted strokes on par 5s is the fifth-best mark in the field, and he ranks sixth in the PGA in Strokes Gained: Approach this year.
Ian Poulter ($7,900 DraftKings; $9,500 FanDuel) hasn’t played a PGA event since the Sony Open, but he’s been tearing it up on the Euro Tour with three-straight top-six finishes. And over his past four tournaments, he owns a 68.3 recent Adj Rd Score while hitting 76.8% of GIR and averaging -2.8 adjusted strokes on par 4s.
Charles Howell III ($7,800 DraftKings; $9,700 FanDuel) has been dialed in of late with his 67.9 recent Adj Rd Score. Over the past six weeks, Howell is hitting 75.7% of GIR, including an absurd -5.0 adjusted strokes on par 4s and -8.5 adjusted strokes on par 5s.
Rafael Cabrera-Bello ($7,800 DraftKings; $9,900 FanDuel) is coming into this tournament with three top-25 finishes in his past four starts. His only red flag is he’s hitting just 62.9% of GIR over those four tournaments. Still, his birdie opportunities haven’t suffered as RCB still averaged 14.3 birdies per round, which is right around his 75-week average (14.6).
If we’re weighing wedge play this week, Cameron Smith ($7,400 DraftKings; $9,700 FanDuel) should be in consideration since he ranks seventh in Strokes Gained: Approach this season. Smith’s adjusted strokes on par 5s and birdies per tournament both rank inside the top 20, but he’s priced outside the top 30 on DraftKings.
I’m going back to the Tyrrell Hatton ($7,300 DraftKings; $9,200 FanDuel) well this week despite it not panning out at Genesis. Hatton’s -1.7 adjusted strokes on par 4s is the seventh-best mark in the field, and he’s played well here in the past, finishing third last season, and 10th in 2017. At least he can’t miss the cut this week.
$6,900 and Below
Emiliano Grillo ($6,900 DraftKings; $9,400 FanDuel) hasn’t been this cheap since he was $6,800 at the British Open last July. Grillo’s metrics don’t jump off the page, but he’s very cheap for a golfer whose 15.6 birdies per tournament ranks 15th compared to the field.
Good luck, and be sure to check out The Action Network if you’re looking for more golf coverage!
Pictured above: John Ram
Photo credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports