Just one more week until the season's final major gets underway in Ireland.
The new schedule has quite the upbeat tempo to it but before The Open we can't forget about this week. It's the John Deere Classic. Zach Johnson's fifth major.
The event features a full field of 156 golfers with the normal cut-line rules of top 70 and ties. That means getting 6-of-6 through the cut will be no easy task.
With one of the easiest scoring environments, we'll see all years, missing out on those extra two rounds from any golfer will be quite the blow.
Let's dive through some numbers to see if we can help increase our odds of finding some cut makers.
Thursday (R1): Mostly sunny with a high near 82 degrees. Winds at 8-to-11 MPH.
Friday (R2): Sunny with a high near 87 degrees. Calm winds at 3-to-8 MPH.
There is only the slightest of chances for rain to hit on Thursday but otherwise the event looks clear. Winds stay moderate all week with hot humid conditions. That should lead to soft and receptive greens which leads to lots of birdies and eagles.
The best part about season-long leagues is the draft. You don't get that same rush with normal DFS contests but there is hope still. DRAFT has come along to fill that void and I'm having a lot of fun playing in their weekly golf drafts.
The first place to start is to build your pre-draft rankings for the week. I will point out a few golfers I think are overvalued in the raw rankings and a few that are undervalued in the raw rankings.
Pat Perez (59.70 Projected Pts): At No. 6 on the draft board, we are paying for results that just haven't been there lately. He's still making cuts but he's finished T53 or worse in four straight starts. He's lost strokes off the tee in seven straight starts and he's not getting any younger at 43 years old, coming off a calf injury earlier this year. I'm not saying his career is over but I don't want to pay top dollar for Perez until the ball-striking stats come around.
Beau Hossler (61.16 Projected Pts): There was a glimmer of hope last week with 1.9 strokes gained approach. The bad news? It's just the second time he's gained on approach over his last 13 starts. One to watch very closely over the summer if he builds some momentum with the irons but for now he's a bit overvalued on the draft board.
Sungjae Im (38.47 Projected Pts): His DRAFT projection is slowly inching up but the emphasis is on slow. The young Korean arrives with four straight top 25s and is playing great golf again after hitting the rookie wall in early Spring.
Collin Morikawa (38.60 Projected Pts): Was in contention down the stretch last week at TPC Twin Cities. He's been a model of consistency since turning pro last month. The wheels might eventually fall off but for now he's playing like a top 25 golfer in the world so that definitely deserves a bump up the draft board.
TPC Deere Run uses bentgrass on the greens which is the same as we saw last week at TPC Twin Cities.
Looking at sample-size-adjusted performance on bentgrass courses since the start of 2014, the top 15 performers on a per-round basis looks like this:
Other than raw performance, we can also look at who shows the biggest improvement on Bentgrass Courses (versus their baseline). Using that as the criteria, the following names pop:
Looks like a good week to ride the hot hand with Niemann. For Tway it's all about his accuracy off the tee. If he even matches the field in fairways hit this week then we should expect big things. Uihlein and Lingmerth are definitely boom-or-bust options but this would be the surface type where there booms typically happen.
Sam Ryder: He's gained strokes on approach in five straight events but he's really struggled around the greens. The good news is that TPC Deere Run yields GIR percentage of 70%+ most days. If we look for great wedge players then we'd want to hone in on proximity stats from 100 to 150 yards. Over the last year, Ryder ranks 11th in this field in performance from 100 to 125 yards and 10th from 125 to 150 yards. Pretty good for a golfer that is under the average price of a golfer across the DFS industry.
Best of luck in all your contests this week!