PGA DFS Playbook - The American Express
Drew Phelps explores every Fairway, reads every Green and uses his DFS Golf experience to put together a winning DFS Playbook for the American Express.
I've been really pleased with the start to the PGA Tour season. After a rough start on Thursday with Webb Simpson, he came through and how about Cameron Smith? Brendan Steele tried to ruin my day but Cameron pulled it out in a playoff. I did tell you that I was avoiding Justin Thomas last week, I didn't think he'd miss the cut but I wasn't going to pay that price. Lets keep the good times rolling into the American Express this week.
The PGA Tour finally heads to the continental United States for the American Express in La Quinta, California. This tournament has known many names over the years like the Desert Classic, the CareerBuilder Challenge, and the Bob Hope Desert Classic to name a few. This tournament is unique in that it is played on three courses over the course of the weekend. Each of the golfers will play a different course each day for three days and then we have our cut after Saturday's round. Sunday will feature only the Top 65 and ties competing for the title.
One other note about this tournament is that it is a Pro-Am. This will slow down the pace of play and unlike the Pebble Beach Pro-Am with a lot of big name celebrities participating, it's a bunch of no names playing alongside these professionals. I also do not like cash games this weekend at all. There are not a lot of guys that you can say with confidence will make the cut this weekend. Usually there's 5-10 guys that have great track records and you can feel good about but I just don't this week. I'll give you a cash example lineup but I am telling you right now, I'm going to be more focused on GPPs this weekend.
Here are the three courses in a nutshell ...
STADIUM COURSE AT PGA WEST: 7,113 yards / Par 72
There is water all over this track and when there is no water, these players have to deal with bunkers all around the fairways and greens. We need to target players who keep the ball on the fairways and greens which means ball strikers (strokes gained: tee-to-green; SG:TG). There is no scrambling from the water. This is the course where the final round will be played.
NICKLAUS TOURNAMENT AT PGA WEST: 7,159 yards / Par 72
This is another course that favors ball strikers. It features a mix of narrow and wide fairways and gives the players a lot of risk/reward situations involving water. Iron play is vital on this course which means we need players with consistent ball striking ability. Also, we want players who have good sand game as there are bunkers all over the place. Most Nicklaus courses reward players who can avoid the hazards and give these players a chance to go low.
LA QUINTA COUNTRY CLUB: 7,060 / Par 72
This course is considered the easiest of the three. The fairways are a bit narrower than the Nicklaus course but the track is shorter. We continue to target ball strikers on this course because players must stick the greens to go low.
The players must take advantage of their rounds on La Quinta and Nicklaus courses to give themselves a chance to keep up with the pack. The Stadium Course which will host all of the players on Sunday is consistently ranks as one of the toughest courses on the PGA Tour schedule.
My One and Done Selection is Byeong Hun-An
GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!
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