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DraftKings DFS Fantasy Golf Cheat Sheet: 2020 PGA TOUR Sanderson Farms Championship

Geoff Ulrich gets you set for the Sanderson Farms Championship with winning trends and his picks for your fantasy golf lineups.

The Cheat Sheet provides DraftKings fantasy golf players with course info, player history and the most noteworthy trends of the week to help them with their roster selections.

Set your DraftKings fantasy golf lineups here: PGA TOUR $300K Resurgence [$100K to 1st]


The Field

The PGA TOUR ventures onward to its fourth event of the new 2020-21 season this week. The Sanderson Farms Championship has been a mainstay on the Fall schedule for the past few years and has been the jumping off point for many young or up-and-coming players to grab their first win on the PGA TOUR. Sebastian Munoz accomplished that feat last year here while Cameron Champ did the same the year before. Champ won’t be in the field this week, but Munoz will and he’ll be joined by 22nd ranked SungJae Im, who lost in a playoff to Munoz here last season.

Also joining them will be three other top-50 players in the world, including Henrik Stenson ($8,900), Scottie Scheffler ($11,400) and Sergio Garcia ($8,600). Scheffler was forced to skip the U.S. Open due to COVID-19 but has been cleared to play here. This event features a regular cut (top-65 and ties make the weekend) and has full-field FedExCup points available along with a prize pool of $6.6 million attached.


The Course

The Country Club of Jackson— Jackson, Mississippi

Par 72, 7,460 yards; Greens: Champion Bermudagrass

The Country Club of Jackson has hosted this event since 2014. The venue isn’t overly difficult as it has seen winners reach between 18 and 21 under par here the last five seasons. It did rank as the 26th hardest venue on the PGA TOUR in 2018 (71.246 scoring average), which puts it right in the middle of the pack in terms of toughness. Overall, expect a lot of birdies to be made this week.

The venue was created in 1962 but redesigned in 2008. It’s a parkland setting with trees lining many of the fairways and playing from out of the rough here can be somewhat problematic in terms of sightlines to holes on your second shots. The course is a mix of wider, open greens and more claustrophobic fairways that demand accuracy off the tee.

The players here only average about 54% in the Driving Accuracy department, which is 6-8% lower than the PGA TOUR average. You don’t have to be arrow straight to win here though as the greens are relatively easy to hit as the field average here is about 69%, which is about 4% higher than the PGA TOUR average in GIR. The last two winners here ranked outside the top-30 in Driving Accuracy for the week of their win.

The Bermuda greens at the CC of Jackson almost always run pure this time of year and that’s been reflected in the fact that the past winners have almost always putted the lights out for the week, with the past five winners here having ranked fifth or better in SG: Putting stats for the week of their win. Finally, the course carries four very scorable Par 5’s, three of which play between 550-600 yards. 2018 winner Cameron Champ played those holes in 12-under par the week he won here that season.

2020 Outlook: The weather looks like it’ll be a complete non-issue this week. The forecast calls for a bit cooler temperatures with highs only hitting the low 70’s for the last three days of the event, but sunny skies with no rain is in the forecast. The wind looks like it will completely die down on the weekend too so a lot of birdies could be in store for this year’s version. The first two days will need to be watched as Friday afternoon does have gusts going up to 10-12 mph in spots. That’s still not big enough to be a huge concern, although if it did increase in strength by a couple mph it might be enough to start thinking about stacking tee times. For now, consider low morning temperatures in the low 50’s the only weather issue that might hold back scoring here.


Last five winners

(2019)—Sebastian Munoz -18 (over SungJae Im playoff)

(2018)—Cameron Champ -21 (over Corey Conners -19)

(2017)—Ryan Armour -19 (over Chesson Hadley -14)

(2016)—Cody Gribble -20 (over Chris Kirk -16)

(2015)—Peter Malnati -18 (over William McGirt -17)


Winning Trends

- The last six winners have all been first time winners on the PGA TOUR

- Four of the last six winners were not full-time PGA TOUR members in the previous season


Winners Statistics and Course Highlights

Sebastian Munoz (2019 at -18)

SG: OTT—+3.8

SG: APP—+3.2

SG: TTG—+6.8

SG: ATG—-0.1

SG: PUTT—+6.2

· The Country Club of Jackson has hosted this event since 2014; each of the past five winners here have gained +6.2 strokes or more putting for the week of their win here.

· Driving Distance for this event has about matched the PGA TOUR average over time, but hitting fairways at this venue has been tough, with players averaging around 54% Driving Accuracy here.

· The course blends a lot of longer approaches with short ones as 125-150 yards and >200 yards are the two most popular approach distances here from past events.

· The course does contain seven water hazards with water being very prominent on the final two tee shots (17 and 18) of the event.


Finding Values

DraftKings Sportsbook odds to win are one factor to think about when picking players (but not the only thing, so be careful of putting too much weight on them). This section is going to detail a few of the players who have the best fantasy value compared to their DraftKings Sportsbook odds of winning this week.

Zach Johnson +2500 and $9,600

Comparable:

· Sam Burns +2800 and $9,800

· Doc Redman +3500 and $9,700

· Byeong Hun-An +4500 and $10,000

Pat Perez +5000 and $8,500

Comparable:

· Bud Cauley +5500 and $8,700

· Sergio Garcia +7000 and $8,600

· Emiliano Grillo +5000 and $8,800

All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.


HORSES FOR COURSES

1. Carlos Ortiz ($8,300; best finishes: T4-2019, T3-2018): Ortiz has been in contention here the last two seasons, landing top-5 finishes at this venue in each of the last two years. He’s gained over +2-strokes putting at this venue the last two seasons and has made his last two cuts on the PGA TOUR coming in this year.

2. Sam Burns ($9,800; best finishes: T46-2019, T3-2018): Burns has made the cut in each of his three appearances at the Sanderson Farms event. The American finished T3 at this event back in 2018 and was able to gain +7.7 strokes putting here last season, despite finishing just T46.

3. Denny McCarthy ($7,900; best finishes: T18-2019, T7-2018): McCarthy has posted top-20 finishes in each of his last two starts at the Sanderson Farms event. He gained an obscene +10.1 strokes on the greens here in 2018, and has only lost strokes putting once now his last nine events coming in.

4. Dylan Frittelli ($9,300; best finishes: T6-2019): Frittelli has only played this event twice in his career but did manage a T6 finish at this event last season. He led the field in strokes gained approach stats here last year, although its worth noting that he’s lost strokes on the greens here in both his previous visits.

5. Nick Taylor ($7,400; best finishes: T20-2015, win-2014): Taylor won this event back in 2015 and has now played at this week’s venue five of the past six years. He’s finished T26 or better here now in three of his last four appearances since his win.


DFS STRATEGY

Cash Games: The field this week has a little more talent at the top which has pushed prices down on several of the bigger names. SungJae Im ($10,500) being well under $11K in price definitely makes him an affordable anchor target. He finished in a playoff here last year and has been trending well in his ball-striking of late. Henrik Stenson ($8,900) shot four rounds under par last week but still saw his DraftKings price fall considerably and at under $9K makes for a solid target here too. Despite missing the cut at the U.S. Open, Si Woo Kim ($8,400) feels underpriced here too. Other potential targets for this format include Xinjun Zhang ($8,000), Brian Stuard ($7,500) and Chris Kirk ($7,200).

Tournaments: Byeong Hun An ($10,000) finished T3 at this event last year and has shown better upside from a putting perspective on Bermuda across his career. He could go overlooked among the top players. As could Bud Cauley ($8,700-see below), who ranks fifth in this field in SG: Tee to Green stats over the last 50 rounds. Austrian Matthias Schwab ($7,400) is also an interesting target in this field. His price went down considerably over last week but he had a solid enough ball-striking weekend at Corales and shot 68 to close last Sunday. Other potential GPP targets here include Tom Lewis ($7,700-see below), Kristoffer Ventura ($7,200), Aaron Wise ($6,800), Robert Streb ($6,600) and Kelly Kraft ($6,400).


Top Recent Form

1. Scottie Scheffler ($11,400 Recent finishes: T5-T20-T4): Scheffler was forced out of the U.S. Open after a positive COVID-19 test. He’s cleared to return now and is coming off a playoff run that saw him shoot 59 at THE NORTHERN TRUST event and finish T5 at the TOUR Championship. He leads the field in SG: Tee to Green stats over the last 50-rounds.

2. Adam Long ($9,500, Recent finishes: 5th-T13): Long’s looked in solid form his last two starts. He finished T13 at the U.S. Open—a career best in a major—and led after three rounds in Puntacana last week before settling for a 5th place finish. He’s made six cuts in a row now coming in.

3. Will Zalatoris ($10,200, Recent finishes: T6, T8): Zalatoris continued his excellent play last week in Puntacana shooting a final round 65 to land himself a T10 finish. The Korn Ferry regular is looking to obtain full-time status on the PGA TOUR and has now finished T8 or better in four of his last five starts. Despite being a newcomer, he deserves to be among the elites in pricing here.

4. SungJae Im ($10,500, Recent finishes: T22-T11): Im was the runner-up at this event last season and comes in this year looking to break free from his slump. The South Korean had a mostly miserable summer but did follow up a T11 finish at the TOUR Championship with a T22 at the U.S. Open. He’s gained over +4 strokes on APP in his last two starts.

5. Sam Burns ($9,800 Recent finishes: T28-T7): Burns has now finished T7 and T28 in his last two starts. He shot a 78 in round three last week in Puntacana but followed that up with a 66, his best round of the event. The 23-year-old finished T3 at this event two years ago and has shown improving form the last month or so.


MY PICK: Patrick Rodgers ($8,200)

Rodgers is coming off a solid week in Punta Cana, where he landed a T11 finish — his best week on the PGA TOUR since January when he landed a T9 at the Farmers. The 28-year-old has made his first two cuts of the 2021 season and showcased some improved iron play at Punta Cana, hitting the fourth-most greens for the week there. It’s a little tough to determine just how well he actually played in the Dominican Republic without strokes-gained numbers, but Rodgers’ consistency has now produced seven made cuts in his past seven starts and three top-20 finishes.

His course history at the Country Club of Jackson is also worth mentioning as he’s produced three made cuts and two top-20 finishes there in three starts. Big off the tee and consistently one of the best putters on Tour, Rodgers shares a lot of similarities with 2018 winner Cameron Champ in that regard, and his bomb and gouge game should work well at this week’s venue as three of the past four winners have ranked inside the top 12 in driving distance for the week and outside of the top 30 in Driving Accuracy. Rodgers sets up as a solid upside play for DFS at a very manageable place $8.2K price tag.

MY PICK: Bud Cauley ($8,700)

Cauley is coming into this year’s Sanderson Farms event with solid looking form. The 30-year-old finished a tidy T14 in his first Fall event at the Safeway Open, where he gained over +2-strokes both on approach and off the tee. Cauley likely would have contended there if not for a poor putting week and the change in surface to Bermuda this week could easily correct that issue. Cauley’s last start on Bermuda greens at the Wyndham saw him gain +5.4 strokes for the week and he’s been a far better putter on Bermuda (vs. other surfaces) over his career, gaining +8.7 strokes on the surface over his last 50 rounds alone.

Cauley’s only played Sanderson Farms once prior to this year (MC in 2015) but his best performances have come at similar Bermudagrass venues like PGA Stadium—home the American Express event—where he finished inside the top five in both 2017 and 2019. Ranked 10th in SG: APP stats over the last 50 rounds, and coming in off top 15 finishes in two of his last three starts, this feels like a time for the veteran to potentially strike for his first win on the PGA TOUR. He’s a solid target for me here at under $9K.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Bud Cauley has withdrawn from the Sanderson Farms Championship.


MY SLEEPER: Tom Lewis ($7,700)

Despite form that reads three missed cuts in his last four starts, Lewis makes a ton of sense to me this week as a GPP target for DFS purposes. The Englishman has proven ability to compete on the PGA TOUR, almost taking down the prestigious WGC Memphis late in the summer last season. His effort there is likely a good indicator of what he can accomplish at a venue like the one we’re getting him on this week as his weekend scores of 61-66 at that WGC event were accomplished on another tighter driving venue in TPC Southwind that features water and Bermuda greens, similar to the ones we’ll see at the Country Club of Jackson.

Lewis is an aggressive player whose four career professional wins have all come at lower scoring events. He popped up at a Korn Ferry Tour event right around this time last season and promptly shot 23-under par for a five-shot win that made him eligible for the PGA TOUR in 2020. Now a full-time member for 2021, he should be looking at an event like the Sanderson Farms as a great time to grab his first win. He’s a volatile player, but one that could pay off bigly in GPPs here if his game starts clicking early.

Set your DraftKings fantasy golf lineups here: PGA TOUR $300K Resurgence [$100K to 1st]


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