Daily Fantasy Golf Course Primer: Pebble Beach National Pro-Am
The Pro-Am format is back this week with the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. As was the case at the last pro-am event (the Desert Classic), three courses will be in play and every golfer will get 54 holes to earn the right to play Sunday. Only the top 60 and ties advance -- DFS players get an extra round of play to get that coveted 6/6 through the cutline, but fewer golfers will make it than in a normal event.
The three courses are Pebble Beach Golf Links, Spyglass Hill Golf Course, and Monterey Peninsula Country Club. After rotating through each of the courses the first three days, those who make the cut play Pebble Beach GL again on Sunday. The top golfers will hope for as many looks as possible at this course -- this year's U.S. Open will also be played at the links-style layout. With three courses in play, event history is often dictated by the weather/wind/course draw and performance on Sunday.
Let's dig into the courses and see what stats we can use to build our daily fantasy lineups this week.
Course and Tournament Info
|Season||Course||Par||Yardage||Avg Score||Avg O/U Par||Difficulty Rank|
|2018||Pebble Beach GL||72||6816||72.022||0.022||16|
|2017||Pebble Beach GL||72||6816||71.900||-0.100||26|
|2016||Pebble Beach GL||72||6816||72.498||0.498||16|
|2015||Pebble Beach GL||72||6816||70.241||-1.759||45|
|2014||Pebble Beach GL||72||6816||73.385||1.385||7|
|2018||Spyglass Hill GC||72||6953||71.779||-0.221||22|
|2017||Spyglass Hill GC||72||6953||72.203||0.203||20|
|2016||Spyglass Hill GC||72||6953||72.506||0.506||15|
|2015||Spyglass Hill GC||72||6953||71.199||-0.801||25|
|2014||Spyglass Hill GC||72||6953||72.755||0.755||11|
|2018||Monterey Peninsula CC||71||6958||70.058||-0.942||38|
|2017||Monterey Peninsula CC||71||6958||71.260||0.260||19|
|2016||Monterey Peninsula CC||71||6867||70.699||-0.301||25|
|2015||Monterey Peninsula CC||71||6867||68.936||-2.064||50|
|2014||Monterey Peninsula CC||71||6867||71.252||0.252||22|
All three courses feature poa annua greens and, as indicated by the variance in difficulty level from year to year, each is susceptible to windy conditions that can sometimes affect either entire rounds or specific waves. Course and tee time stacks are viable strategies for DFS players that are mass-entering large field tournaments, whereas avoiding the worst spots is more important than finding the perfect weather draw for those either playing cash or smaller tournaments.
Be sure to monitor the weather and wind closer to the tee off. All looks calm for now, but conditions can change very quickly.
Wind defenses or not, each of these courses plays on the short side for PGA Tour professionals, and if the weather cooperates there will be a lot of drivers off the tee and wedges into the green. Targeting golfers who do well in windy conditions, at California-courses, or at short courses is also a good strategy regardless of draw (splits can be found on the Fantasy Golfanac).
These stats have proven vital to success at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
|Key Stats for the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am|
|Strokes Gained: Tee to Green|
|Strokes Gained: Approach|
|Strokes Gained: Par 4s|
|Strokes Gained: Putting (Poa)|
When spanning three courses, a broad approach is best. Strokes gained: tee to green covers all the bases except putting. Shotlink data is only available at the Pebble Beach course, so honing in on specific areas of a player's game can be difficult. That being said, approach stands out as the most notable metric at the eponymous course. Top-10 finishers have gained 1.18 strokes on approach, compared to just 0.29 off the tee and 0.31 around the greens.
While par 5s are always important to target on par 72 courses, on which three of the four rounds this week will be played, success at this event is more highly correlated to gaining strokes on the par 4s. According to statistics compiled over at Fantasy National Golf Club, golfers who finish in the top 10 do more to gain strokes on the par 4s than the par 5s.
At Pebble, top-10 finishers gained 0.15 strokes on par 4s compared to 0.13 strokes on par 5s. At Monterey, that same group gained 0.18 strokes on par 4s compared to 0.17 on par 5s. Only at Spyglass do par 5s become more important and significantly so (0.23 on par 5s vs. 0.15 on par 4s). In 2018, 12 golfers ranked in the top 20 that week in strokes gained: par 4s finished in the top 10 (7 golfers tied for 8th). Only 6 of the top 20 on par 5s ended up finishing that high.
Opportunities gained accounts for greens in regulation and awards extra points for birdie chances within 15 feet. The greens on all three courses are smaller than average so knocking it close will be key for either converting birdie opportunities or at least saving par without having to scramble. Because of the variety of holes these golfers will face, approaches come from a wide range of distances, rendering it difficult to pinpoint proximity from any particular range.
Finally, strokes gained: putting must be considered this week. It is usually dangerous to rely on past putting performance to predict future results due to the variant nature of the short stick, but golfers with a long sample of success on poa should get an extra look this week.
Course History Studs
Dustin Johnson will be the class of the field in almost any event at which he tees it up, but his from here is particularly exceptional, with a win in 2010 and four top-four finishes in the past five years.
Jordan Spieth has been maddening for much of the past 18 months, but his familiarity and form at this event are noteworthy. He has finishes of T20, WIN, T21, T7, and T4 in the past five years and, like DJ, does his best work on poa greens.
Jason Day has finished no worse than T11 in any of the past four editions of this event. His form has been up and down for the past two years, but he still managed to do well at this event, so with his focus back on golf and his game looking good, Day should post another strong finish at this event.
Jimmy Walker won this event in 2014 and has three other top-25 finishes since then, including a T8 here last year.
Mike Rodden is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Mike Rodden also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mike_rodden. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.