California (rough) Love: Club 20 Throwing Hail Marys To Start New PGA Season
There are roughies and then there’s REAL roughies and the bunch of blokes we’ve picked well and truly fall into the latter column as the PGA Tour restarts tonight in California for the Fortinet Championship.
After landing our third First Round Leader win in as many weeks, plus a nice Outright each-way AND hitting a 38-1 5-legger 3Ball multi at the BMW Championship last week, confidence is pretty high we can keep the ball rolling and start this PGA swing season off with a bang!
Course and Weather
Silverado Resort and Spa is exactly what you’d think it is, an easy, very gettable resort course that regularly offers up birdies on its four Par 5’s.
Weather conditions are absolutely perfect for the opening two days so the cutline will be under par despite the really weak field.
This course is great for the big hitters who can take the driver and launch on as many holes as they want.
Of the ten Par 4’s on this course, only one is over 430 yards which means even if you are a shorter hitter off the tee here, you are still going to have a wedge into 8 Par 4’s.
It’s driving distance/accuracy and wedge proximity, then if they putt well they contend, that’s the formula.
With John Rahm in the field it is likely that he blitzes this by multiple strokes but if he is off his game slightly, then any number of roughies can swoop in here at what are inflated odds due to Rahm’s presence.
We’re taking six (6) shots, five of which are over 100-1 and we’re going each-way (quarter the odds, top five placings).
Then we’re doing the same for First Round Leader bets – that’s 24 bets for the PGA this week which is a lot, but if even one of them sneak a place dividend, they are all rough enough to pay us back and then some.
Doug Ghim @ 56-1, FRL @61-1
Our only selection under double figures, Ghim caught the eye for a number of reasons including a solid T31 to finish the season at the Northern Trust where backed up his Wyndham efforts and gained on the greens and off the tee. A solid T14 here last year, Ghim’s wedge game is excellent and his driver seems to be singing (gained off the tee in the last four events). Poa his least-shit surface to put on too. Can see him starting well and maintaining it in this field. The Stats insider Tournament Futures model likes Ghim (amongst others) for a T20 @ 4.50 for the more conservative punters.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat @ 111-1, FRL @71-1
We’ve never wanted Billy Ho to win more than he did last week because no one at Club 20 was on the Rat and he spiked a FRL win then maintained it to remain in contention right up until the final hole. Watching him explain how relaxed he was after having secured his Tour Card via the KFT finals a fortnight ago well, to say I was filthy at my lack of Rat-prep last week is an understatement. It was missed, we moved on, but the Rat looked GREAT at Wentworth, with driver and wedge alike. He is injury free, has his card again and has some confidence so we're riding the big marn in the hope he can keep the form going across the Atlantic.
Nick Taylor @ 125-1, FRL @91-1
Has two top tens in this event in his last three starts but that is where the good news ends in terms of stats for Taylor. Poa is his best putting surface but his overall course form / off the tee / wedge game is not great. What it is though, is streaky and Taylor is absolutely the guy who can spike 6 strokes gained in any given stat category in a round or over four rounds. California swing is the perfect place to take a flyer on a guy like Taylor so he goes onto the card as our last man in.
Dylan Fritelli @ 126-1, FRL @81-1
Few golfers teeing it up at Napa have Fritelli’s unique combo of distance (Ranked #11 in this field) and wedge game (#14 for proximity 100-125yd). When you add in a T25 here in 2018 and a T7 in 2019, it is clear he enjoys this course Those two results were before he found an extra 20 yards off the tee, so it is fair to assume he will have an even more enjoyable time of it this week with shorter clubs into greens he enjoys putting on at a course he has had success on. That T5 at The Open backs up his T5 at Augusta last November as proof he can swim at the deep end when in form.
Doc Redman @ 151-1, FRL @91-1
Another speculative play here given his 2020 season does not fill anyone viewing the stat sheet with confidence, but this time last year many were placing him up right there with Scheffler as the next guy who would take the leap, especially after his T3 here to start the swing season. Sometimes the form is spot on but it takes guys an extra year to realise it. Redman has the wedge game for the Par 4’s and the long iron game to reach these Par 5’s in two. If his short game is sharp then we could get a repeat of last year or perhaps even better.
Seung-Yul Noh @ 351-1, FRL @176-1
Injured his ribs after returning from military service last season so he is on a major medical carryover and needs to fire from the gate to keep his card. Needs around 300pts in 16 starts to keep his card which means one or two spike top 10’s at a minimum. Clearly he is picking his targets and thinks this field and course represent a good chance. Like the Rat, Noh was right up there in the world rankings a few years ago prior to his two years of military service, so the pedigree is clearly there. Ranked #18 in this field in Par 5 scoring and is good with his wedge in the range were targeting. Poa his preferred surface but has failed on three attempts here. Big hail mary but if his driver can remain straight he has the skills to factor here at huge odds.
That’s the full card at this stage, no Round 1 3-Balls and no Euro Tour bets – The Dutch Open field is horrid so we’re shouldering arms and waiting for the Dunhill Links next week which will be a cracker.
If we hit one of the First Round Leader Bets, expect excitedly assembled Round 2 3-Ball multis to pop up on our twitter feed prior to the second round!
Lastly if you are playing Daily Fantasy PGA make sure you check out the H2H Matchup Tool on the Stats Insider Golf pages especially if you are torn about that last one or two guys into your lineups.
Enjoy the week – nice to have PGA Tour back after a huge 10-day off season, let’s hope it’s another great season of Golf!!
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