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PGA DFS: Vegas Report - Shriners Hospitals for Children Open


Cameron Champ celebrated his victory at the Safeway Open with his father and terminally ill grandfather via a phonecall after making birdie on the 18th hole for his second career PGA Tour victory. His grandfather, Mack Champ, or as Cameron calls him "Papa," sat in his bed in hospice and watched his grandson get the job done on Sunday, but it wasn't always a foregone conclusion that the 24-year-old would play this week. After his round, Champ stated that it was going to be a "last-minute decision" on if he would tee it up this week, and he wasn't sure how he was going to hold up.

And perhaps the reason we even saw him give it a go this weekend was because of what his grandfather has meant to him and his career. Mack introduced Cameron to the game of golf at the age of two in his backyard in Sacramento, and the two of them were often side-by-side over the years at Foothill Golf Center, dreaming about the day where the now 70th-ranked player in the world would receive a Masters invite.

The victory in Napa Valley not only presented his grandfather one more opportunity to see his grandson win on the PGA Tour but also earned him an invite to their life-long dream.“I told myself I’m going to make the Masters, I’m going to figure out a way, play my butt off,” Champ said. “I think just knowing that I did it, that was my last gift to him,” Whether Champ goes on and wins 100 more tournaments or never wins again, this triumph will always be his most memorable and greatest achievement in his career. Some things are bigger than the game of golf, and Champ's mastery will go down as one of the best feel-good moments we have seen in quite some time.

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2020 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open

For an in-depth breakdown of the top DraftKings and Fanduel plays, check out Joe Nicely's weekly Horse For The Course that highlights the best fits for the week's course.

TPC Summerlin

7,251 Yards - Par 71 - Greens Bentgrass

The PGA Tour brings a star-studded field this year to Las Vegas for the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. TPC Summerlin is a course that is minutes away from where I live and is Vegas' premier architectural venue. Measuring in as a 7,251 yard par-71, Bobby Weed masterminded the property on the rugged desert terrain, with Fuzzy Zoeller serving as his consultant. The course itself meanders through arroyos and canyons and has lush Bentgrass greens with friendly Bermuda rough.

TPC Summerlin is aesthetically pleasing to the eye, but it isn't the most challenging course in the world. They did redo 102 bunkers last season to try and add a little more challenge to the venue, but it didn't appear to do much in terms of difficulty, as Bryson DeChambeau shot a 21-under par during his victory. While the resanding and relocation of the bunkers were meant to enhance strategy and provide a sterner test, the one major component that could completely alter the event is wind. Many people don't realize just how breezy Vegas can get throughout the year. As of right now, extreme gusts are not expected in the forecast, but it is something to monitor over the next few days.

The three par-fives and two short par-fours are the most accessible holes, and four of these are included during the final six-hole stretch. There is a challenging par-three at the 17th, but that will be the only real test for players coming home. Overall, golfers that can demonstrate ball-striking ability and strategy off the tee should be able to exploit TPC Summerlin in ideal conditions.

Shriners Hospitals For Children Open

#1 Brooks Koepka 10/1

DK Price $11,700, FD Price $12,200

Projected DraftKings Ownership Percentage - 11.0%

It seems as if Brooks Koepka gets disrespected just about every time he tees it up. Four top-four finishes during the majors in 2019, including a victory at the PGA Championship, yet that profile was not enough to capture the "Player of the Year" award over Rory McIlroy, who missed the cut at the Open Championship and failed to post a top-five result in his other three major appearances.

With Koepka lauded as the 10/1 betting favorite this weekend in Las Vegas, it is not quite as egregious of a transgression as we normally see, but we are now starting to enter a territory where the 29-year-old is being priced higher to win a common event on tour than he is to attain a grand slam title. Sure, there is some merit in believing that should actually be the case with Koepka's recent results in the most significant tournaments in the world, but as someone who handicaps sporting contests for a living, I can't buy into the narrative that events with exponentially stronger fields are easier for the American to take down then your run-of-the-mill weekly competitions.

I've discussed this viewpoint in the past, so I don't want to go into another long rant about the same topic, but I'm under the assumption that Koepka enters your non-majors with no real practice under his belt. He has been on the record multiple times that he doesn't play golf unless you are watching him on television, and he usually tries to use the preceding tournaments to get into peak form to compete during the majors.

That obviously raises a bit of a red flag with the Shriners Open being the first event on his schedule for the 2020 calendar year, but Koepka has gotten his past few seasons off to a blazing start. The number one player in the world took down the CJ Cup to begin 2019 and finished second at the WGC- Champions to start 2018. With the disrespect thrown his direction from not being named the best player on tour last season, I would expect another determined start from the seven-time PGA Tour winner and would not be shocked to see him make a mockery of his 10/1 price tag.

#2 Byeong Hun An 45/1

DK Price $9,000, FD Price $10,000

Projected DraftKings Ownership Percentage - 7.1%

The fall season has notoriously been the time where many first-time winners are able to find a breakthrough victory on tour after coming aggravatingly close throughout the year, and Byeong Hun An fits that narrative heading into Las Vegas with four top-10 showings in 2019, including two top-three results in his past six events.

The issue that has held An back has been his putting, but we have seen a slight glimmer of improvement recently. The 46th-ranked player in the world has gained strokes with his flat stick in six of his past 10 tournaments, which is a vast increase from his stretch immediately preceding his recent run. An went through a 14-tournament stretch that saw him lose strokes with his flat stick 13 of 14 times, including 10 in a row before his turnaround. The 28-year-old is creeping towards finding the winners circle, and Vegas' birdie fest could be the perfect location for him to finally breakthrough.

#3 Bud Cauley 80/1

DK Price $7,400, FD Price $9,000

Projected DraftKings Ownership Percentage - 6.9%

If we remove Bud Cauley's disastrous Sunday at the Safeway Open, the American had been putting together the second-best streak on tour in 2019 of not losing more than one total stroke during a round. The good run dated back to June 30th and trailed only Billy Horschel, who went 28 rounds under the same criteria. Cauley's sequence of solid play allowed him to post three straight top-25 results, and he was well on his way to another excellent performance before his implosion in Napa Valley.

From a betting perspective, the 29-year-old has provided us with a window of opportunity because of his recent final-round meltdown. His current price tag of 80/1 is probably about 20 points higher than it would have been if Cauley was able to make it to the clubhouse with another top-notch showing, and I am willing to take a gamble on him continuing his recent stretch of world-class golf in Las Vegas.

#4 Si Woo Kim 140/1

DK Price $6,900, FD Price $8,500

Projected DraftKings Ownership Percentage - 2.2%

The 2019 calendar season did not go according to plan for Si Woo Kim. The 71st-ranked player in the world missed nine out of 10 cuts from April to July and failed to win on tour for the second straight year. However, Kim has always been known for his up-and-down style, and things appear to be turning around for the 24-year-old sensation.

The two-time PGA Tour winner has produced five straight made cuts, including a fifth-place finish at the Wyndham Championship and a 49th place showing last weekend that was undone by a Saturday 75. In fact, Kim has failed to break 70 during his previous four events on the weekend, which has quietly misrepresented just how solid he has been to begin each week. We are going to need a few aberrational rounds once we enter this range on the betting board, and Kim's high variance style mixed with his inflated odds of 140/1 make him the perfect golfer to target in this area.


Key Stats: Birdie or Better Percentage 20%, Proximity 125-175 Yards 17.5%, Par-Five Birdie or Better Percentage 15%, Par-Four Average 15%, Proximity 200+ Yards 12.5%, Sand Save Percentage 10% and Strokes Gained Putting + Scrambling 10%

50% Stats/30% Form/20% Course History


Head-to-Head Play of the Week

Bud Cauley -115 over Phil Mickelson -105
Bud Cauley $7,400 price tag on DraftKings vs. Phil Mickelson $7,300 price tag
Bud Cauley 6.9 percent projected ownership vs. Phil Mickelson 1.2 percent projected ownership

1.15 Units to Win 1.00 Units

With the current disdain around Phil Mickelson's game, I don't expect this current price to last for long. Mickelson's 1.2% projected ownership on DraftKings highlights where the public's mentality is with the American, and this feels like an excellent number grab that should yield profitable long-term results.

For all the accolades Mickelson has received throughout his career for his putting prowess, Bentgrass greens haven't always been conducive for success. In his previous 16 trackable rounds on the surface, Mickelson has only gained above 1.1 strokes putting twice and has lost strokes putting nine times.

The 44th-ranked player in the world is out of sorts with his game in general, missing six of his past 11 cuts, and it has made matters worse that he has failed to provide a top-45 showing during that timeframe. Cauley, on the other hand, has posted five straight top-45 finishes if you exclude his withdrawal at the Northern Trust in August. I'd anticipate we see this line close much higher than its current -115 price tag and believe the implied probability with all outside factors has this wager closer to a 60% implied probability situation. That generally warrants an increase in our stake amount, but I'm going to give Mickelson a little credit for his ability to turn on the switch overnight and limit this to a 1.15 unit wager.

2020 Head-to-Head Record (2-0-0)

+2.00 Units Year-To-Date From H2H Bets

Tournament

Head-to-Head Bet

Bet

My Picks Finish

Opponent Finish

Result

Total

Sanderson Farms

Denny McCarthy -110 over Martin Laird

1.10 Units to Win 1.00

T18 (-11)

MC (+4)

Win

1.00

Safeway
Open

Cameron Percy -110 over Danny Lee

1.10 Units to Win 1.00

T7 (-12)

MC (+2)

Win

1.00

2020 Outright Bets That Have Finished Inside the Top-10

None through two events.

 

Career Record: 

2017 Golf Betting:
Head to Head Bets (10-2-2) +8.175 Units
Outright Winners (5)
Dustin Johnson Genesis Open (10/1)
Sergio Garcia Masters (50/1)
Brooks Koepka U.S. Open (45/1)
Justin Thomas PGA Championship (35/1)
Dustin Johnson Northern Trust (14/1)

2018 Golf Betting:
Head to Head Bets
(46-24-2) +24.49 Units
Outright Winners (5)
Phil Mickelson WGC-Mexico (22/1)
Bubba Watson WGC- Match Play (45/1)
Brooks Koepka U.S. Open In-Play Wager (14/1)
Dustin Johnson RBC Canadian Open (7/1)
Justin Thomas WGC-Bridgestone (30/1)

2019 Golf Betting:
Head to Head Bets
(16-9-2) +8.33 Units
Outright Winners (5)
Matt Kuchar Mayakoba Golf Classic (66/1)
Corey Conners Valero Texas Open (200/1)
Rory McIlroy RBC Canadian Open  (10/1)
Brooks Koepka WGC- St. Jude Classic (12/1)
Rory McIlroy Tour Championship (8/1)

Career Record (Excluding 2020 Season Results):

Head to Head Bets (72-35-6) +40.995 Units
Outright Winners (15)
Top 5s (Didn't Track in 2017)
2018 - 16
2019 - 26
Top 10s (Didn't Track in 2017)
2018 - 31
2019 - 41

 

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