2018 Zurich Classic

Fantasy Golf Picks for the 2018 Zurich Classic

THE OVERVIEW

TPC of Louisiana, New Orleans, Louisiana – The TPC of Louisiana is a Pete Dye design (with a little input from PGA legend Steve Elkington) that opened in 2004. This week the course will play as a 7,425-yard, par 72 and it features a number of tree-lined holes that wind through the natural wetlands. Players will need to contend with a fair amount of water hazards and large, tricky bunkers, but those who find fairways and greens will be rewarded with plenty of scoring opportunities.

Last year was the first year for the team format and it saw the team of Blixt/Smith take down Brown/Kisner in a playoff. Beyond that, there is a fair amount of individual player course history that may be worth digging into. The recent change in format will add an extra dimension of uncertainty while picking players and player teams this week; however, FGWW will be selecting what they believe to be a strong model and trusting it.

When selecting players this week, we’ll be looking at a little course history, some Proximity 175+, Par-5 Scoring, and Strokes Gained Putting.

 

PAST WINNERS

team event

2017  -27   Jonas Blixt & Cameron Smith   (Runner Up, Playoff:    Scott Brown/Kevin Kisner)

individual event

2016  -15   Brian Stuard   (Runners Up, Playoff:    Byeong-hun An, Jamie Lovemark)

2015  -22   Justin Rose   (Runner Up:   -21   Cameron Tringale)

2014  -19   Seung-yul Noh   (Runners Up:   -17   Robert Streb, Andrew Svoboda)

2013  -20   Billy Horschel   (Runner Up:   -19   D.A. Points)

THE ODDS    (Bovada 4/23/2018)

Rose/Stenson: +650

Cantlay/Reed: +1200

Palmer/Spieth: +1400

Cauley/Thomas: +1400

Watson/Kuchar: +1400

Bryan/Rahm: +1600

Cabrera Bello/Garcia: +2500

Holmes/Snedeker: +2800

Dufner/Perez: +2800

Day/Ruffels: +2800

C. Hoffman/Watney: +3000

Berger/Woodland: +3000

McDowell/Poulter: +3000

Horschel/Piercy: +3300

Brown/Kisner: +3300

Oosthuizen/Schwartzel: +3300

O’Hair/Walker: +3300

An/Na: +3300

Lovemark/Steele: +3500

Fleetwood/Paisley: +3500

Blixt/Smith: +3500

Knox/Laird: +4000

Kraft/Tway: +5500

Grillo/Uihlein: +5500

Kelly/Stricker: +6000

Harrington/Lowry: +6000

Garnett/Hadley: +6600

Kirk/Poston: +6600

Glover/Reavie: +6600

Finau/Summerhays: +6600

Koepka/Turnesa: +6600

 

WHO’S HOT

Patrick Reed

John Rahm

Bubba Watson

Paul Casey

Ian Poulter

 

HORSES FOR THE COURSE

Smith / Blixt

Kisner / Brown

Kraft / Tway

 

LONGER SHOTS

Mullinax/Randolph: +7000

Gay/Wise: +8000

Burns/McGirt: +9000

Donaldson/Fisher: +9000

English/Swafford: +10000

Byrd/Johnson: +11000

Lee/Lingmerth: +11000

Huh/Kang: +12500

Lindheim/Werenski: +12500

Baddekey/Stallings: +12500

Bradley/Curran: +12500

Every/Saunders: +14000

Goosen/Van Aswegen: +14000

Ryder/Spaun: +14000

Armour/Wagner: +14000

Kim M./Putnam: +15000

Campbell/Jones: +15000

Ancer/Diaz: +15000

Stroud/Stuard: +15000

Hearn/Power: +15000

Griffin/Harkins: +15000

Lashley/Oppenheim: +17500

Blair/Pan: +17500

Atkins/Silverman: +17500

Duncan/Schenk: +17500

Stegmaier/Tringale: +17500

Jaeger/Mitchell: +17500

Daly/Sabbatini: +20000

Garrigus/Varner III: +20000

Gribble/Peterson: +20000

Harold Varner III  +20000

 

FAITHFULS

Matt Kuchar

Ian Poulter

Tommy Fleetwood

Retief Goosen

 

THE ‘FORE’ SOMES

‘FORE’ SOMES are chosen by selecting one player from a “low tier” betting pool (30:1 or better), two players from a “mid tier” (30:1 – 75:1), and a final player from a “high tier” (75:1 & up).  

KEITH’S ‘EIGHT’ SOME 

Justin Thomas & Bud Cauley  (14:1).  I just finished writing out my undying love for the Bello/Garcia team until I reached the end of comparisons and realized that the Thomas/Cauley duo simply had them outgunned. I still think Bello/Garcia is worth a bet, but if pushed between the two, this writer is going to favor the younger Americans. Both Thomas and Cauley are gaining strokes against the field in putting and Par-5 Scoring over the past 10 events and Thomas ranks near the very top of the year in 200+ Proximity. That gives them the edge in my humble opinion. In some OAD circles they allow for an event pick that gets a tag-along uncounted, one would be simply missing out to take possibly the best golfer in the world as a rider.

Brendan Steele  & Jamie Lovemark (35:1) & Emiliano Grillo & Peter Uihlein (55:1).  Teams like O’Hair/Walker, An/Na, and Blixt/Smith (obviously) all rank extremely well this week and would be solid choices. However, I have been on Steele and Lovemark more than a few times already this year. Anyone would be challenged to name a taller, more lanky (and cool!) team in this range. Putting is the one stat where there could be some concern, but both of these guys have shown some great form this season. Both play par-5s better than most and both have been routinely gaining strokes against the field over the past 5 and 10 rolling events. At some point the cool filters towards the top. This team has that in spades. I am going to lay a win on a couple other teams at this range, but Steele / Lovemark  have the potential to take this week down.The team of Grillo / Uihlein is very attractive to me for a number of reasons (not least of which are there strong stats for Par-5 Scoring and Uihlein’s 200+ Proximity ranking). But beyond the stats, I like this team for their youthful vitality and worldwide experience. Uihlein in particular is due for a PGA breakout week and this course is set up for him to shine.

Nicolas Lindheim & Richy Werenski  (125:1).  At some point, one must trust the model. Lindheim dogged me earlier in the year on a week I felt incredibly good about him. Dude is strong with his long irons and can seriously roll the flat stick. Werenski, I’ve never placed a wager on. However, this team pops in the model this week. Trust the data. Trust the process.

 

**(differing odds come from Will Hill)

 

JOHN’S ‘FORE’ SOME 

Bello/Garcia  25:1

Fleetwood/Paisley  33:1

Lovemark/Steele  35:1

Power/Hearn  150:1

 

GAVIN’S ‘FORE’ SOME 

Spieth/Palmer  12:1

Fleetwood/Paisley  33:1

Kisner/Brown  33:1

Stroud/Stuard  150:1

 

Listen to this week’s podcast to hear the team’s thoughts on the event and tweet us @fantasygolfww or #fgww.

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