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AP Game Theory Decisions – RBC Canadian Open

British Open Review –

Elite Cash (10k+) – Justin Rose -> Rose struggled day1&2 but made a birdie on 18 to just make the cut. From that point on Rose was in full SEND mode shooting 10 under to finish T2.

Elite GPP – Rory McIlroy -> Rory was in contention all week he just wasn’t draining those key putts like we are use to seeing. Rory also finished T2 with Rose.

Elite Cash – Brooks Koepka -> Brooks made the cut but struggled on Thursday. A solid -1 round on Sunday helped him finish T39.

Mid GPP – Tyrrell Hatton -> Hatton made the cut, barely, but failed to get into the 60’s all week. He finished T51.

Value Cash – Tony Finau -> Tony was steady all week and he bagged another top 10 finish in a major.

Value Cash/GPP – Zach Johnson -> ZJ was leading the pack through the first two rounds but lagged a bit on the weekend. Still a T17 finish for ZJ was excellent.

My mid-tier “lock” on the expert survey -> Francesco Molinari, the Open Champion winner!

This was really an incredible week of golf in all formats. The leaderboard was absolutely stacked on Sunday and I feel like I was about one pick away from giving myself a real shot at taking down the milly. My biggest regret was finalizing my builds on a three-hour flight I had on Wednesday. Somehow, and I still can’t explain it, I ended up with 0% Tony Finau and 30% Emiliano Grillo. I always do my final roster builds with my computer up so that I can plug everything into excel to make sure my exposures are optimal relative to my research. Finau and ZJ were supposed to be no less than 20%. My grillo exposure was supposed to be in line with the field between 15% to 20%. Had I made that one little adjustment, bumping Finau to just 25%, who knows what would have happened. All in all, I can’t complain, it was a fabulous week of golf DFS.

 

RBC Canadian Open at Glen Abbey GC

We go from the brutal CarNasty to the nice and friendly birdie-fest that is the Canadian Open at Glen Abbey Golf Course. Glen Abbey is a 7,250 yard par 72 track. Glen Abbey is unique in that three of the par 5’s are on the back 9. Tiger Woods famously drove the green from a fairway bunker on 18 to make birdie and win the Bell Canadian Open in 2000. Johnny Vegas has won in back to back years with winning scores of -12 in 2016 & -21 in 2017. This course has four attackable par 5’s and the rough isn’t very penal. Driving Accuracy, for cut makers, has been around 50% fairways hit, which is far under the 61% for an average tour event. Driving Distance, for cut makers, has averaged very close to 300 yards off the tee, which is far greater than the 282 yards for an average tour event. Long story short, BOMBS away at Glen Abbey.

Course Overview

Scoring relative to par – EASY

Greens – BENTGRASS

Green Firmness – SOFT to MEDIUM

Green Speed – FAST

Hitting Fairways – DIFFICULT

Rough Length – AVERAGE

Course Form (Statistics)

Driving Distance

Total Driving

Approach

Proximity to Hole

Putting (bentgrass)

Par 5 Scoring

 

Let’s take a deeper look at the Par 5’s to see why they are so vital for scoring this week.

Hole 2, a very simple 527-yard par 5. A 330-yard drive would leave just 197 yards to the center of the green. Scoring average (2017) at this hole is 4.4 -> 0% Eagles, 58% Birdie, 39% Par, 3% bogey or more. Huge advantage to the bombers on this hole as they will be able to reach the green if they hit the fairway or the rough.

Hole 13, a 558 par five with water “defending this green”. A 330-yard drive leaves around 220 yards to the middle. For the shorter hitters, this hole will probably be a layup to the edge of the water, with a wedge into the green. If the longer players hit this fairway, I imagine it will be a full GO for the green in two. Again, I give the edge to the bombers.

Hole 16, a 516-yard par five. This hole is lined with trees on the left that can make it tough, but someone long off the tee who can move the ball right to left will have a very nice approach shot to the green. Scoring average (2017) at this hole is 4.4 -> 55% birdies, 41% par, 4% bogey or worse. Huge advantage to the bombers.

Hole 18, a 524-yard par 5. In 2000, Tiger famously drove his ball into the bunker, and hit it to the edge of the green just 15 ft or so from the bunker. Last year, I remember many players hitting drives that almost reached the water (395 yards out). If you hit this fairway right, it slopes down towards the water giving a player a good 30-40+ yard roll out off their drive. A solid drive here just leaves a player with an iron to the final green that is surrounded by bunkers and water. Bombers will have a much easier approach if they hit this fairway & get a roll out. Again, I give a significant edge to the bombers.

 

The Formula for Success

If you follow me, you are probably starting to see that the week or slate tends to drive the content that I push out. If you have been following me for a while, you know I love to evaluate roster construction strategies. I categorize this into formula’s. Here’s a general overview for golf (not all ‘formula’s’ mentioned);

2 Studs + Balance + Deep Value -> In theory, this formula gives us predictability by using two studs, but also can cap our upside if our deep value plays under perform. Again, this also depends on pricing and the slate. For example, this formula would probably change for an invitational event where we have many of the top players in the world playing and pricing tends to be somewhat loose.

100% Balance -> In theory, this build route may give us a more predictable 6/6 cut rate, but significantly reduces your total win equity when looking at each individual player in your build. Having some individual win equity is vital due to 1st place receiving a 30pt bonus, 2nd place 20pt bonus, etc. In most cases, this type of build is going to come with more volatile results in GPPs.

 

Finding that correct formula

Let’s first review DK scoring for golf DFS;

Double Eagle or better -> 13 pts
Eagle -> 8pts
Birdie -> 3 pts
Par -> 0.5 pts
Bogey -> -0.5 pts
Double Bogey or worse -> -1 pt
Birdie streak (3 in a row) -> +3 pts (1 per round)
Bogey free round -> +3pts
All 4 rounds under 70 -> +5 pts
Hole in 1 -> +5 pts
1st -> 30pts , 2nd -> 20pts, 3rd -> 18pts . . . etc

Why am I reviewing DK scoring? Last year, at this event, we saw some crazy scores. Glen Abbey is a birdie fest. But, we need to make sure we are targeting the right players who have the best chances to make birdies and eagles. The type of golfer we want (to develop a base of players):

(1) Distance off the tee

(2) Excellent proximity to the hole on approach

(3) Excellent at par 5 scoring

 

Players who fit this mold

STUDS (9k+)

Dustin Johnson, 11,700 -> One of the longest hitters on tour (Distance- check), 35’0 PTH avg (2nd SG:APR), & ranks #1 in par5 scoring. DJ is elite in all formats.

Tony Finau, 9,800 -> Over 317 yard average driving distance (very elite), 37’4 PTH avg (19th SG:APR), & ranks #2 in par5 scoring. Finau is elite in all formats.

Bubba Watson, 9,600 -> We all know Bubba is one of the longest hitters on tour, 36’10 PTH avg (22nd SG:APR), & ranks 17th in par5 scoring. Bubba is elite in all formats.

Gary Woodland, 9,200 -> Over 312 yard average driving distance (very elite), 36’3 PTH avg (59th SG:APR), & ranks 37th in par5 scoring. Woodland makes for a solid GPP play.

 

Note, between 8,800 – 8,000, we only have one player whose average distance off the tee is over 300 yards. That player is Keegan Bradley.

 

VALUE

Byeong Hun An (Ben An), 7,800 -> Over 307 yard average driving distance (elite), 37’5 PTH avg (46th SG:APR), & ranks 47th in par5 scoring.

Joel Dahmen, 7,400 -> Very close to 300 yard average driving distance, 35’6 PTH avg (2nd SG:APR), & ranks 109th in par5 scoring. Given his current form and other elite statistics and his price, Dahmen is elite in all formats.

Keith Mitchell, 7,400 -> Mitchell hits it a mile off the tee, 36’11 PTH avg (21st SG:APR), & ranks 17th in par5 scoring. Mitchell is elite in all formats.

Bronson Burgoon, 7,100 -> Burgoon averages over 304 yards off the tee, 35’10 PTH average (9th SG:APR), & ranks 8th in par5 scoring. Burgoon is in incredible form right now and just barely missed the cut at the Open. He makes for a very elite play this week.

Harold Varner III, 7,100 -> HV3 averages over 308 yards off the tee, 37’4 PTH average, (57th in SG:APR), & 63rd in par5 scoring. HV3 was in contention at this event last year but lost traction on his final round. He is coming off multiple low finishes and really his price on DK is a joke. HV3 is elite in all formats.

Honorable mentions -> Cameron Champ, 7,000 -> leads all major driving stats on the web.com tour & Norman Xiong (Panda), 6,300 -> his average drive in his last event was close to 340 yards. He is a monster off the tee.

 

The Formula

In sum, I feel DK has missed a few spots this week when it comes to pricing. The formula I think will take down GPPs this week looks like this;

  • Two studs (9.5K+) + Four value plays (7.8k to 7k)
  • Two studs + one mid tier + 3 value plays + deep value (Panda)

The elite studs, like Dustin Johnson, give us the win equity we need in GPPs, while the value section (7.5k to 6.8K & one guy at 6.3k) is absolutely stacked with bombers who can score and content. In my opinion, this approach gives you the most upside at Glen Abbey.

Best of luck this week! And Bombs away!

 

Who is AP? APdfs or @AP8809dfs on twitter is a financial professional and DFS grinder. AP has a passion for all types of games where strategy or game theory decisions must be made to obtain an advantage. He developed many of his strategies from his time at the Chess and Poker Tables. AP is ranked inside the top 500 of all daily fantasy players. Between DFS & Poker, AP has well over half a million dollars in life time cashes.
 
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