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Breaking $100: PGA Betting Picks and Strategy - Sanderson Farms Championship

Taylor Montgomery - PGA DFS Lineup Picks, Daily Fantasy Golf

It has been a hot minute since we last put together a Breaking $100 article, but the Sanderson Farms Championship has changed that this week. It is the second event of the new season and fall swing, which brings with it both opportunities and challenges in the betting market. I have found it challenging to be consistently successful early in the season with the influx of data-stricken Korn Ferry Tour graduates making their PGA Tour debut.

I believe this new talent can provide the biggest edge in the DFS department versus the betting market, particularly the top 20/40 bets that we call our bread-and-butter bets. However, with change comes opportunity and I wrote an article reviewing all of the "Korn Ferry Fifty" which I will be leaning on in my DFS player pool. Additionally, with a lack of placement bets early in the season, two new sections have been added to the article.

For those of you who are new to the article, Breaking $100 is a comprehensive PGA betting guide on how to squeeze every cent out of your $100. We will be breaking $100 into a betting card of outrights, first-round leaders, placings, and a "farewell fiver," all in an attempt to turn a structured betting strategy into a profitable and entertaining Sunday sweat. $100 is easily divided or multiplied, so please only bet amounts that you can afford to lose. You can find me on Twitter an unhealthy amount of the time @TheModelManiac, if you have any questions, compliments, or insults for me.

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Course Breakdown and Key Stats

The Country Club of Jackson, Par: 72, Yardage: 7,461, Greens: Bermuda, Designer: John Fought & Mike Gogel

As the weather cools around the majority of the northern states of the United States, the fall swing heads south to Mississippi where temperatures remain hot and scores even hotter. The worst winning score since 2016 was -18, making this your typical birdie-fest. Dial up the birdie or better percentages and Par 5 scoring metrics and you should be well on your way to identifying the likely candidates to contend with this week.

As is typical with most birdie-fests, a hot putter will go a long way to securing success for many teeing it up. The 25% of weighting assigned to putting is the most you will see me assign to that metric, as the regular season usually requires premier ball strikers to take home some metal, with putting usually carrying about 5-15% weighting.

Now that we have a high-level understanding of what the course requires this week, let's throw that out the window for this week's model. In order to get an understanding of the entire field, including the 40-odd KFT graduates, we are going to ramp up the L24 rounds of true strokes gained to 80%, which prorates each player's skill level to the strength of the field they have played in the last few weeks, giving Korn Ferry players a chance to shine in the model.

Below are the settings for the model:

  • Golfer power rankings are generated with stats (0%), OWGR (10%), and L24 strokes gained total (80%), course history (10%).



Our betting strategy for outrights is rather conservative, requiring a winner once every eight events in order to break even. From a dollar standpoint, this week we are betting even more conservatively, risking $11.50 of our $100 to net $110 or more. This worked out really well for us last year, hitting four winners over 24 or so events, so let's not fix anything that is not broken.

Over the last year, favorites have been ruining the fun of those bettors who like to take chances on long-shots in the 70-1 range. Until that trend changes, we are going to continue placing bets on players most likely to hoist that beautiful brown chicken (this week's trophy).

Scott Stallings ($3.05 @ +3000 on DraftKings)

Scott Stallings has been playing sensational golf of late, with six finishes T13 or better in his last 10 starts. Three of those finishes were T4, T4, and second at the BMW championship. Every major statistical category is lit up green throughout the majority of his player profile, boasting an incredibly well-rounded game that should have won him a tournament by now.

He leads the field in strokes gained over the last 24 rounds, which includes an abysmal -8.6 strokes lost at the Tour Championship to cap off last season. If we are willing to ignore that performance, which can be described as an adrenaline dump after his solo second place at the BMW Championship. In a field much weaker than many of the events he notched top-10s in to end the season, a victorious lift-off is imminent.

Emiliano Grillo ($4.08 @ +4000 on DraftKings)

We have been hoping for an Emiliano Grillo victory in the last few editions of this article, and hopefully, with his putting having gained significantly in the last six events, he can finally improve on his two second-place finishes over that period. Grillo has shown significant improvement on the greens, and we now just need his patented ball striking to return to the mix in order to win his first event in some time.

He has a perfect combination of length and accuracy off the tee and when his irons are firing, they can scorch any golf course he inhabits. Emiliano has the fifth-best birdie or better rate in the field and has been knocking on the door of victory over the last while. It is time to stoke the coals and let the "Grill Master" cook!

Taylor Montgomery ($2.45 @ +2800 on DraftKings)

The most touted Korn Ferry Tour player makes an appearance on our card at ridiculous odds, considering he is new to the tour. The 28-1 price tag is warranted though, as he finished third at the Fortinet a fortnight ago. He climbed the leaderboard on the back of a putting performance that was matched by only three professionals all of last season, gaining over 11 strokes with a flat stick that could brand cattle.

With a putter that hot and a tee-to-green game that is more than adequate in a supporting role to putting performances that often see many bombs being made on the greens, his confidence is overflowing heading into the week, and if he can continue to keep the fire department on standby, he is "Taylor-made" to win at this venue.

ps: If you want additional information on Montgomery, he is a major feature of the Korn Ferry Fifty article.



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First-Round Leaders

This part of the article has been punted into the deepest darkest depths of the direst body of shark-infested waters. We hit five first-round leaders the entire season, but we did so in only two events, with our payouts getting obliterated by dead heat rules that we never even returned what a single solo first-round leader ticket would have paid out. No more of that nonsense! To quote Mark Cuban, "For that reason, I'm out."


Until we gather enough data from the KFT graduates, we are going to limit our exposure in this market for a little while. It has been a mega-profitable portion of Breaking $100 and we want to keep it that way. That being said, there are a few decent odds on some golfers in the top-40 market.

Thomas Detry (T20: $10 @ +250 on FanDuel)

Seven of Thomas Detry's last 11 starts on ... deep breath ... the Euro, KFT, and PGA Tours, have been T15 or better. At a course that rewards his distance and flashy flat stick, FanDuel slapped Detry with a juicy +250 price tag (an implied probability of 29%) to place inside the top-20, which he has done in 64% of his last 11 starts. Hilariously, two of his missed cuts came at the Korn Ferry level, which should be the easiest of the three tours he has frequented recently.

Andrew Putnam (T40: $10 @ +155 on FanDuel)

Andrew Putnam has finished T27 or better in four of his last five starts. His last start was a T43 at the Fortinet which still is not terrible. Having finished inside the top-40 in 80% of his last five starts, FanDuel implies that he has a 39% chance of doing that again, which we disagree with as Putnam, as his name would suggest, has been "Put-n-em" in with regularity lately. In fact, he has averaged +0.65 on the greens over his last 38 rounds. We like that in this course. We like it a lot!



The first of two new pieces to feature in this article is my favorite golf bet to make and I am confused as to why I did not include any matchups in the article from the very beginning. I love these bets so much because outside of the juice you pay on the betting odds, you are not really betting against the book, but instead, betting against the opponent in the matchup, making this the safest of golf bets, in my opinion.

Let me explain why this is such a safe and profitable bet. If you place a T20 bet and that player withdraws, you lose. Similarly, if you place a matchup bet and he withdraws, you lose. BUT, if you place a matchup bet and your opponent withdraws, YOU WIN! The fairest of golf betting playing fields. It also provides you with opportunities to fade players you feel are overpriced, by placing bets against them in matchups with a player we think has a significant edge over "Mr. Overrated."

In the below screenshot, we have each matchup, the sportsbook they can be found at, respective power ratings, the odds we think the matchup should be, and the value associated with each bet. Over the years of doing this, I have found that a 90-point difference in odds has returned the best results. The value column will pop (green) if odds makers' numbers are 90 points better than what we think is accurate.

We are going to be placing our bets in such a way that we return $10 in profit. Typically, we don't like to place golf bets that have negative odds, but for matchups, we are completely fine drinking the juice as we still think we have an edge. Think of it as football odds. Now, let's dive into these!

Emiliano Grillo over Adam Hadwin ($14.30 @ -143 on FanDuel)

Emiliano Grillo has made 11 of his last 13 cuts, with seven of his last nine starts no worse than T32. In Adam Hadwin's last five starts, his best finish was T37. Although Hadwin has been making cuts, his upside has been severely deficient. The power ratings over the last 24 rounds show a massive gap in results and we think Grillo should be priced at -233.

Christiaan Bezuidenhout over Adam Hadwin ($11.40 @ -114 on BetRivers)

Christiaan Bezuidenhout has made the cut in his last six starts, with three of those being T16 or better. Bezzy is one of the best putters on tour and although the model is not using any putting metrics to derive his power rating, we can imagine the edge at this course would be even bigger if it did. We are once again going up against Adam Hadwin who seems to have lost his game.

Taylor Montgomery over Keegan Bradley ($13 @ -130 on DraftKings)

We have the budding KFT stud who can putt lights out over a Keegan Bradley who has missed three of his last five cuts, finishing no better than T44 in the two cuts he did make. With Bradley's putter resorting back to its usual antics of disobedience and betrayal, we like the massive edge Montgomery has over him on the greens at this course.

Scott Stallings over Keegan Bradley ($11.40 @ -114 on BetRivers)

Scott Stallings has a floor higher than Snoop Dog, while Keegan appears to be putting like Snoop. This is probably my favorite matchup of the four.


A Look Into The Future

With all the majors behind us, we now have an opportunity to identify odds for majors which may be drastically shorter by the time the week of the event rolls into our lives. We are going to give ourselves a budget of $12 to spend on futures for each major to return $200 which is double our usual return, but we are investing double the capital (futures + week of) to have double the fun in major weeks.

The Masters

Max Homa ($2.80 @ +8000 on PointsBet)

If you take a look at the odds board, the players around Max Homa at 80-1 are relics, who have either fled to LIV, required some sort of exemption to remain on tour, or are just straight up bad at golf. Homa has won four times in the last two years and just proved that he can handle immense pressure on the biggest of stages, sinking clutch putts at the Presidents Cup a week after winning at the Fortinet.

His game translates incredibly well to what Augusta requires from its past winners. Golfers with distance off the tee, impeccable iron play and imagination and touch on and around the greens have had success at one of golf's most treasured venues. Max does all three of those really well and after making his first cut in three tries last year, he should be a serious contender when he returns there next year.


The Farewell Fiver

Robby Shelton (T10: $5 @ +800 on DraftKings)

After a T21 at the Fortinet two weeks ago, Robby Shelton should continue to play impressive golf and as one of my favorite KFT graduates, we are giving him an opportunity to shine as our Farewell Fiver at 8-1. He putted really well at the Fortinet which we can hopefully expect again this week with his irons bouncing back to get him into the top-10!

Good luck this week and as always, may the odds be ever in your favor!!!


Win Big With RotoBaller

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Our very own Joe Nicely recently took down a big DraftKings DFS tournament for the Travelers Championship. And as an encore, RotoBaller subscriber @tenndolly2 won $100K on FanDuel with the help of Joe and the rest of our Premium PGA team: Between all the incredible Premium PGA DFS content and tools we put out each week, and our Premium Slack Community where we chat with our subscribers before lineups lock, RotoBaller PGA subscribers are armed with the tools, analysis, and advice to win big.

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