The PGA Breakdown offers data-driven analysis for each week’s slate, using the Fantasy Labs Tools and metrics to highlight notable golfers.
As always, I back-tested various metrics within our PGA Models to find out which ones have been the most valuable at El Camaleon. Per the Trends tool, here’s how the top 20% of golfers in various metrics have done (in Plus/Minus valuation) at this course. Historically, the tournament has yielded averages of 55.23 DraftKings points and a +7.28Plus/Minus with a 55.7% Consistency Rating to the field.
I’m listing only those metrics that tested positively above the baseline:
- Long-Term Driving Accuracy: +8.51
- Long-Term Bogeys: +5.39
- Long-Term Greens In Regulation: +4.18
- Recent Par-3 Scoring: +3.37
- Recent Driving Accuracy: +3.37
- Recent Greens in Regulation: +2.94
- Recent Scrambling: +2.76
- Recent Tournament Count: +2.74
- Recent Bogeys: +2.61
- Long-Term Par-3 Scoring: +1.36
- Long-Term Scrambling: +0.88
- Recent Eagles: +0.26
- Recent Par-4 Scoring: +0.07
- Long-Term Par-4 Scoring: +0.05
El Camaleon is a rather short par-71 course at 6,987 yards. Given the length, driving distance isn’t important. Additionally, a premium should be placed on accuracy off the tee since there’s an abundance of hazards on this course. I’d expect a lot of golfers to club down in order to hit their spots off the tee.
Along with driving accuracy, I’ll be putting an emphasis on greens in regulation (GIR), bogey avoidance and par-4 scoring. And while it didn’t show up in the backtesting, targeting birdie makers is never a bad idea.
There are two golfers priced $10,000 or above that have my attention this week:
- Rickie Fowler: $11,500
- Gary Woodland: $10,700
Fowler is a strong play as he leads the tournament with +800 odds to win. Fowler’s 68.0 Long-Term Adjusted Round Score (LT Adj Rd Score) leads the field, and he’s tied with Woodland for a field-best 67.3 Recent Adj Rd Score.
Overall, Fowler boasts the birdie upside (15.4 birdies per tournament) and bogey avoidance (7.8 bogeys per tournament) that I am looking for this week. Additionally, he has the ability to get himself out of trouble if he finds himself with errant approach shots as evidenced by his 64.2% LT Scrambling (LT SC).
I prefer Fowler to Jordan Spieth ($11,300) because Fowler is only $200 more with comparable metrics, if not better.
If Fowler is out of reach with roster construction, Woodland is a fine alternative. He’s hitting 80.6% of GIR and 69% of fairways over his past three tournaments. Given the weak field, I’d prefer to get up to Fowler or Woodland rather than taking a balanced approach to lineups.
The Value Plays
One way to find value is to leverage our Long-Term Adjusted Round Score (LT Adj Rd Score) metric. If you sort the field by LT Adj Rd Score, you’re looking at players who have been the best golfers over the past 75 weeks. Among these golfers, those who have low salaries make great value plays.
Anders Albertson ($7,200) has only two PGA events under his belt in the past two weeks. But he’s been excellent in those outings, sporting a 68.4 Adj Rd Score while hitting 80.6% of GIR and 65.2% of fairways. Rostering Albertson at this price makes getting up to Fowler easily attainable.
Sungjae Im ($7,800) hits all the key metrics this week. Over the past 75 weeks, he’s hit 71.6% of GIR, 67.2% of fairways, and he’s averaging a stellar 15 birdies per tournament while being able to limit bogeys, averaging only 8.0 per tournament. Historically, golfers with comparable metrics at El Camaleon have averaged +4.49 DraftKings points above the baseline Plus/Minus (per our Trends tool).
I’ll be going back to the Denny McCarthy ($7,600) well after he’s finished inside the top 15 in his past two tournaments. His 7.3 bogeys per tournament is a strong mark, and he’s one of eight golfers in the field who has gained strokes on par 3s, 4s and 5s over the past 75 weeks.
The Bump and Run
Cameron Champ ($9,100): Champ’s priced dropped $100 this week despite the weaker field. Sadly, this course could take the drive out of his hands, but his 72% LT GIR is still the fifth-best mark in the field, and his eight Pro Trends trails only Tony Finau this week.
Joaquin Niemann ($8,800): Niemann’s 72.2% LT GIR is the fourth-best mark in the field, and he’s done fairly well at avoiding bogeys, averaging 7.9 per tournament over the past 75 weeks. Further, his -1.7 average adjusted strokes on par 4s is the third-best mark in the field.
Emiliano Grillo ($9,700): Grillo fits this course perfectly as a golfer who is hitting 68.5% of fairways and 68.3% of GIR over the past 75 weeks. He has two top-10 finishes in his two appearances at this course.
Sam Ryder ($8,700): Ryder’s price increased $1,100 from last week after he finished third, but he meshes well with a balanced roster construction. He’s also a good fit for the course, hitting 71.4% of GIR and 67.1% of fairways. His 7.2 average bogeys per tournament is also one of the best marks in the field.
Danny Lee ($6,900): Lee’s overall metrics don’t jump off the page, but he hasn’t missed a cut since July, and he’s averaging only 7.4 bogeys per tournament while possessing six Pro Trends. Historically, golfers with comparable salaries and Pro Trends at El Camaleon have averaged +5.28 DraftKings points above the Plus/Minus baseline.
Bronson Burgoon ($6,800): He missed the cut last week, but his long-term metrics look great, averaging 68.8% of GIR and limiting bogeys to only 7.6 per tournament. His 38% missed-cut rate makes him volatile, but he’s in play a guaranteed prize pool salary-saving option.
Good luck, and be sure to check out The Action Network if you’re looking for more golf coverage!
Pictured above: Rickie Fowler
Photo credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports