Daily Fantasy Golf Strategy: Quicken Loans Invitational
Welcome to Washington, DC (well Potomac, Maryland) and my “hometown” PGA tournament. It’s a beautiful, classic course which has hosted majors. The field is a bit weaker than normal as it’s the week after a major. But, there’s still money to be won.
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Come on over and take a look.
It’s a week after a major and the field shows it. The quality of the field is certainly down from last week. We have a smaller field as it’s an invitational so only 120 golfers will be here. The Quicken Loans National (aka Tiger’s tournament) is back at Congressional Country Club (Blue Course) after a one year hiatus at RTJ in Virginia. The Blue Course is 7,569 yards and a par 71.The greens are seeded with bentgrass.
The cut rule goes back to the normal top 70 and ties and with the smaller field that means the percentage goes up so you can take a few more risks than you usually would this week.
The weather looks like it will cause some issues on Thursdays as storms are likely to affect the afternoon tee times. We had a ton of rain here on Tuesday as well (over two inches) so it’s possible the Thursday AM tee times will have some softer conditions. It will be warm for the rest of the week, but not uncomfortable and the wind should be negligible.
As always, continue to check up until lineup lock on Thursday.
Scorecard breakdown: Four (4) par threes, eleven (11) par fours and three (3) par fives. It’s a looooooooooooonnnnnng course.
It’s the week after a major so the field isn’t great. Rickie Fowler is the headliner and there are a lot of other guys here who are intriguing, but it’s not a top-flight field.
The full field can be found here.
Past Tournament Results
Congressional has hosted this tournament in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2013 and 2014. The course was completely overhauled in preparation for the 2011 U.S. Open so we’ll rely more heavily on results from 2011 (including the 2011 U.S. Open even though conditions were soft for that event).
Here is the top 20 for the last three years at Congressional as well as the 2011 U.S. Open.
Let’s take a look at the statistical angles in for this week’s tournament.
As for the key stats I’ll focus on this week, I’ll provide a short list below.
Par 4 Efficiency 450-500 yards (P4E450-500): Hello old friend. Six of the 11 par 4s on the course this week are between 450 and 500 yards.
We’ll also look at Par 4 scoring average (P4SA) in general as 11 of the 18 holes are par 4s.
Driving Distance: It’s a long course and the field will probably average close to 290 yards off the tee.
We’ll use Strokes Gained Off the Tee (SG:OTT), a component of SG:T2G) as a tie breaker this week.
I’m focused on 2016 stats now, but still check on 2015 stats to get a larger sample size on players.
And each week, we’ll look at Strokes Gained: Putting (SG:P) and Strokes Gained: Tee to Green (SG:T2G) with SG:T2G being more important this week.
DraftKings Expert Picks
Rickie Fowler | $12,000 – I know he’s underpriced if you do the math. I know the math. In a field like this he should be much higher based on being the favorite and a clear one at that. I don’t care. Fowler missed the cut at the U.S. Open and he’s now missed three cuts in a row and four out of his last six. He’s tops in my stats model in the field, but he’s not himself right now. He’s a complete fade for me this week.
Patrick Reed | $11,700 – If Fowler is out of consideration, then Reed moves to the pole position. The stats don’t like him, but that’s based mostly on his low ranking in P4E450-500 where he’s 153rd. He’s 4th overall in par 4 scoring so he can clearly score on par 4s just not the ones in the key distances we’re looking at. Reed finished T11 in his last start at the Quicken Loans in 2014 and has missed two of his last four cuts. However, those two weekends have resulted in top 15s.
Jim Furyk | $11,300 – So, Furyk and Pennsylvania, eh? Always play the vet at home? Got it. I was wrong on Furyk last week, but I’m not going to chase those results this week. He had back to back top 10s at Congo before the renovations and then finished T34 and T44 in 2012 and 2013 after the changes. I don’t mind using him, but I’m definitely not going to be on him heavily.
Marc Leishman | $10,900 – The Aussie’s profile fits the course (49th in SG:T2G, 16th in SG:P7, 79th in P4E450-500, 45th in DD, and ninth in P4SA). He’s played this even four times and finished in the top 25 twice. He has three straight top 20s on Tour coming with a T18 at the U.S. Open last week. He seems like a better option than Furyk for $400 less.
Justin Thomas | $10,700 – It’s not so much that I don’t like Thomas, it’s that I think I can get a player like JT for less (see Finau, Tony). Thomas has alternated made and missed cuts over his last five events with a T32 at the U.S. Open last week. He makes his Congressional debut this year and has profile that isn’t great outside of his length tee (70th in SG:T2G, 145th in SG:P, 183rd in P4E450-500, 25th in DD, and 129th in P4SA).
Charley Hoffman | $10,500 – Hoffman has each of his stats inside the top 60 this week except his P4SA. That profile is good enough for sixth overall of the players in the field. He finished T45 at the U.S. Open here in 2011 and he finished T22, T28 and T3 in his last three Quicken Loans events at Congo. He’s 14 for 16 in cuts made on Tour in 2016.
Gary Woodland | $10,300 – I wonder if Woodland gets a bump because he’s an Under Armour guy and we’re in UA’s home state? No? Ok. Let’s look at some useful information. His three starts at Congressional have resulted in T73, T16 and T46 to go with his T23 at the 2011 U.S. Open. He missed the cut at the St. Jude in his last PGA start, but had four top 25s in his six prior starts. He is second in my stats model this week with the putter (112th in SG:P) being the only issue.
Ryan Palmer | $10,200 – Which Palmer will show up this week? The two top fives over the last five events Palmer? Or the two finishes outside of the top 60 Palmer? He’s seventh in my model for the week with the stat outside of the top 70 is his putting (105th in SG:P). Palmer is four for five in cuts made at the Quicken Loans Invitational with two top 25s including his T15 in 2012.
Brendan Steele | $9,900 – Steele checks all of the boxes this week – course history, current form and statistical profile. He’s sixth in my stats-only model, he has four top 20s in his last five starts, and he has back to back top 20s at the Quicken Loans. That’s a killer combo this week at less than $10,000.
Byeong-Hun An | $9,600 – An has made three cuts in a row coming with a T23 at the U.S. Open in his last start. He debuts at Congo this week with a profile that has some potholes (53rd in SG:T2G, 83rd in SG:P, 155th in P4E450-500, 33rd in DD, and 129th in P4SA).
Kevin Chappell | $9,400 – I’m going to lean off of Chappell a bit for a couple of reasons. He’s had success at this event, but it’s not been at this course. His best finish here is a T28 at 2013. He’s also been in and out of form as he’s made just two of his last four cuts on Tour. The profile fits well so I can understand using him ((10th in SG:T2G, 177th in SG:P, 43rd in P4E450-500, 60th in DD, and 37th in P4SA)., but I think he may be more heavily owned than he should be.
Bill Haas | $9,200 – Haas is a former winner at Congo in 2013, but he’s not in form currently. He hasn’t finished inside the top 40 in his last five events including the T51 at the U.S. open last week. His profile also doesn’t fit the course (27th in SG:T2G, 149th in SG:P, 161st in P4E450-500, 140th in DD, and 68th in P4SA). IF you think the course will awake the slumbering Haas, then roster him as you would regularly do.
Russell Henley | $9,000 – Henley is 11th in my statistical model as she’s in the top 50 in all of the categories this week except for this 84th standing in SG:T2G. He made one cut in two starts at the Quicken Loans with a T34 as his only weekend. He was T7 in his last start on Tour at the St. Jude.
Bryson DeChambeau | $8,800 – I’m not sure exactly what we’ll see this week with the Professor. After missing four cuts in a row, he’s made back to back weekends with a T15 at the U.S. Open last week. So, will he continue his form or revert to his struggles. This is the type of course where he should succeed with his length and precision.
Roberto Castro | $8,600 – Castro has enjoyed his time at Congo as he’s finished in the top 30 in all three starts at this event. He’s short off the tee and struggles a bit with the putter, but the rest of the profile is elite (29th in SG:T2G, 160th in SG:P, 40th in P4E450-500, 162nd in DD, and fifth in P4SA). I think he may be low-owned as people won’t want to pay for a player like Castro, but I will.
Tony Finau | $8,500 – Finau missed the cut at the U.S. Open last week ending a string of three straight weekends including two top 15s. His profile looks great especially his length off the tee (72nd in SG:T2G, 96th in SG:P, 58th in P4E450-500, first in DD, 37th in P4SA). It’s his first time at Congressional, but I think he could win.
Seung-Yul Noh | $8,400 – Noh has had success at Congressional the U.S. Open (T30) and the Quicken Loans (two for three in cuts with a T4 and T30). Noh has made three of this last five cuts on Tour with two top 20s including a T7 at the St. Jude the last time out. His profile doesn’t fit the course (123rd in SG:T2G, 59th in SG:P, 112th in P4E450-500, 55th in DD, and 95th in P4SA).
Jason Kokrak | $8,300 – If you want a bomber, Kokrak is your man as he’s sixth in DD along with other tools which can work (54th in SG:T2G, 159th in SG:P, 86th in P4E450-500, sixth in DD, and 143rd in P4SA). In his only Congressional start, he finished T3 here in 2013. He’s missed four of his last six cuts though did finish T37 at the U.S. Open last week.
Jamie Lovemark | $8,200 – If Lovemark were in better form I’d recommend him near the top of the list. He has one of the better profiles in the field (50th in SG:T2G, 81st in SG:P, 12th in SG:OTT, seventh in P4E450-500, tenth in DD, and 16th in P4SA) as he makes his debut at Congressional this week.
Daniel Summerhays | $8,100 – Form is what brings me to Summerhays (four top 25 finishes in his last six PGA Tour starts with seven cuts made overall). His profile is also relatively solid (109th in SG:T2G, 14th in SG:P, 33rd in P4E450-500, 101st in DD, 68th in P4SA). He’s two for three in cuts made at Congressional with two top 30s.
Kevin Streelman | $8,100 – Streelman’s putting has been poor all year, but it looks like he may have figured something out. He has finished T8 and T13 in his last two events including the U.S. Open. He missed the cut in his only start here since the renovations in 2012 and finished T67 at the 2011 U.S. Open. Pair his solid recent form with a good enough profile (73rd in SG:T2G, 140th in SG:P, 29th in P4E450-500, 96th in DD, and 95th in P4SA) and that makes him a reasonable option.
Robert Garrigus | $8,000 – Garrigus looks like another solid course horse option as he has three top 25s in five starts at Congo. He was also T3 at the 2011 U.S. Open. Moroever, the profile fits as he’s 28th in SG:T2G, 194th in SG:P, 18th in P4E450-500, 15th in DD, and 158th in P4SA.
Chris Kirk | $7,800 – The profile doesn’t seem to fit for Kirk at Congressional (46th in SG:T2G, 130th in SG:P, 77th in P4E450-500, 140th in DD, and 95th in P4SA). However, it’s tough to ignore his pedigree in a weak field. He’s missed the cut in both of his starts at Congressional and has missed two cuts in a row on Tour. He will be low owned.
Adam Hadwin | $7,500 – Hadwin has made his last seven cuts on Tour as he comes back to Congressional for the first time since his T39 at the U.S. Open in 2011. He’s solid on par 4s (69th in P4E450-500, 68th in P4SA) and we know he can putt as he’s always near the top of the line in SG:P.
Jon Rahm | $7,300 – If you like DeChambeau this week, might I interest you in another shiny object? He’s long off the tee – Dalai Lama long. He turns pro this week and has made four cuts on the PGA Tour in five events over the last two years. Oh, yea, he finished T23 at the U.S. Open last week.
Harold Varner | $7,100 – Varner III has been steady in the last two months having made seven cuts in a row with four top 25s. This is his first start at Congressional and has some pieces in his profile that could lead to success (57th in SG:T2G, 175th in SG:P, 30th in SG:OTT, 122nd in P4E450-500, 18th in DD, and 143rd in P4SA).
Wesley Bryan | $7,100 – This is a price I’d take the plunge on with Bryan. He’s one of the best par 4 scorers on the Web.com Tour this year and bounced back from this St. Jude struggles with a T9 in his last Web.com event. He has five top 10s overall on the Web.com Tour.
Shawn Stefani | $7,000 – Stefani finished T9 at the St. Jude in his last PGA start. He’s struggled for a lot of the year as his profile shows (130th inSG:T2G, 180th in SG:P, 52nd in P4E450-500, 78th in DD, 158th in P4SA) though he’s done well on the key par 4 distance for the week. His best finish of his career happened here in 2014 when he finished T2.
Hudson Swafford | $7,000 – Swafford seems to fit about every course when we look only at the stats each week. This week is no different (117th in SG:T2G, 64th in SG:P, 24th in P4E450-500, fifth in DD, and 37th in P4SA). He’s played Congressional once and finished T11 in 2014’s Quicken Loans Invitational. He’s made five cuts in a row on Tour, but doesn’t have a finish inside the top 30 in that run.
Anirban Lahiri | $6,800 – Standard Lahiri disclaimer – I never can seem to figure him out week to week. With that stated, here we go. Lahiri makes his debut at Tiger’s tournament with a profile that seems to fit Congressional. He’s 99th in SG:T2G, 69th in SG:P, 13th in P4E450-500, 99th in DD, and 37th in P4SA. He missed the cut at the U.S. Open, but had made six cuts in a row prior to that miss.
Patton Kizzire | $6,700 – Kizzire ‘s profile puts him just one spot behind Lahiri in my stats model (94th in SG:T2G, ninth in SG:P, 16th in P4E450-500, 94th in DD, and 95th in P4SA. After making four cuts in a row and 11 out of 12, he’s missed two of his next three with his only weekend a T38 at the Memorial. This is his first trip to Congressional.
Chez Reavie | $6,700 – Course history or current form? Which do you choose. Reave has played Congo four times and made the cut three including a T15 and T21 in his two starts here since the renovation. He’s also made just one cut in his last six PGA starts. He’s not long off the tee and he’s struggled on the greens all year long, but the rest of the profile works (22nd in SG:T2G, 173rd in SG:P, 62nd in P4E450-500, 123nd in DD, and 16th in P4SA).
Smylie Kaufman | $6,700 – Kaufman has struggled since the Masters as he’s dealt with wrist tendinitis. So, he’s a bit of a risk as he’s missed four of five cuts since the Masters with a T20 at the Memorial as his only weekend. The intriguing angle for Kaufman is his profile as he’s 55th in SG:T2G, 110th in SG:P, 14th in P4E450-500, 28th in DD, and 68th in P4SA.
Jordan Niebrugge | $6,500 – So, maybe you don’t like DeChambeau and Rahm, but still want to newest belle at the ball. Let me introduce you to Niebrugge as he turns pro this week. He finished T6 last year at the British Open to record the lowest score by an amateur in the history of the British Open. He finished T40 at the Emirates Australian Open near the end of 2015. He’s made the cut in three of his four professional starts.
Lucas Glover | $6,500 – He can’t putt. You KNOW this, man! However, he’s improved his putting all the way to 166th in SG:P. The rest of his stats are outstanding (24th in SG:T2G, 166th in SG:P, 17th in SG:OTT, 33rd in P4E450-500, 31st in DD, and 24th in P4SA). He’s three for four in cuts made at Congo for the Quicken Loans with a T5 in 2009 before the renovations. He finished T42 at the U.S. Open in 2011.
Billy Hurley | $6,400 – Hurley is the local in the tourney and he’s shown up every time he’s teed it up at Congo. He has been in the top 10 in both of his starts here. He missed the cut last week at the U.S. Open, but he had made back to back cuts before that. The Naval Academy graduate just seems to play well here.
Sean O’Hair | $6,400 – O’Hair is one of my favorite GPP plays almost any time he’s in a field as he’s always got top 10 upside. There is of course missed cut downside as well. His profile fits the course (76th in SG:T2G, 74th in SG:P, 49th in SG:OTT, 74th in P4E450-500, 24th in DD, and ninth in P4SA). He’s made four cuts in five starts at the Quicken Loans at Congressional with a top finish of T22 in 2012.He’s made four of his last five cuts missing in his last time out at the Memorial.
John Huh | $6,300 – Hey, Huh has top finishes in all three of his Quicken Loans starts at Congressional. Unfortunately, he’s missed the cut in six of his last seven events with his only result a T27 at the Memorial. It would be great if we could see the early season Huh come back this week when he was firing on all cylinders.
Troy Merritt | $6,100 – Defending champion on a different course. Is he really the defending champ if the win came somewhere else?
Bud Cauley | $6,100 – Cauley is two for three in cuts made at the Quicken Loans with a T34 as his top finish. He also finished T63 at the U.S. Open. He’s a wild card this week as he has experience here and is still working his way back from injury. He’s made two of his last four cuts on Tour with a T4 at the Byron Nelson.
Stewart Cink | $5,900 – Withdrew.
Will Wilcox | $5,900 – Had cortisone shot this week for wrist tendinitis. Will likely have withdrawn by the time you read this column.
Luke List | $5,800 – List played here once in 2013 and missed the cut and he’s missed three of his last four cuts on Tour coming in. His profile looks good except for his putter (29th in SG:T2G, 156th in SG:P, 32nd in SG:OTT, 55th in P4E450-500, eighth in DD, and 68th in P4SA).
Steve Marino | $5,500 – Marino spent his formative years in the DC area and had some success at Congressional prior to the renovations. He hasn’t played here since the renovations occurred so it’s not clear if he can recapture the magic he had in years’ past.
Cameron Smith | $5,500 – Long time readers know my undying affection for Smith’s game. He put together two good rounds and two poor rounds last week at the U.S. Open to finish T59. He doesn’t look to be in great form, but he’s worth a gamble in my book.
Rod Pampling | $5,400 – Pampling doesn’t offer a lot of upside, but he does have some course history on his side. He’s made the cut in all three of his starts here and he’s been in the top 25 each time including his last start in 2012 (T22).
Greg Owen | $5,400 – Like our next guest, Owen is out of form without a finish in the top 50 in his last nine events. However, his profile looks good enough to contend (47th in SG:T2G, 198th in SG:P, 73rd in P4E450-500, 30th in DD and 118th in P4SA). He’s one for three in cuts made at Congressional with a T17 in 2012 as his only weekend.
Brendon De Jonge | $5,300 – De Jonge has two top 15s in four starts at the Quicken Loans. He’s missed the cut in his other two starts. That’s about it for De Jonge as he’s completely out of form this year.
Good luck this week! Head over to DraftKings to choose your squad for this week.
Roster size: 6 Golfers
Golfers on each team will accumulate points as follows:
- Per Hole Scoring
- Double Eagle (DBL EAG): +20 PTs
- Eagle (EAG): +8 PTs
- Birdie (BIR): +3 PTs
- Par (PAR): +0.5 PTs
- Bogey (BOG): -0.5 PTs
- Double Bogey (DBL BOG): -1 PT
- Worse than Double Bogey (WORSE DBL BOG): -1 PT
- Tournament Finish Scoring
- 1st: 30 PTs
- 2nd: 20 PTs
- 3rd: 18 PTs
- 4th: 16 PTs
- 5th: 14 PTs
- 6th: 12 PTs
- 7th: 10 PTs
- 8th: 9 PTs
- 9th: 8 PTs
- 10th: 7 PTs
- 11th–15th: 6 PTs
- 16th–20th: 5 PTs
- 21st–25th: 4 PTs
- 26th–30th: 3 PTs
- 31st–40th: 2 PTs
- 41st-50th: 1 PTs
- Streaks and Bonuses
- Streak of 3 Birdies of Better (MAX 1 Per Round) (3+ BIR STRK): +3 PTs
- Bogey Free Round (BOG FREE RD): +3 PTs
- All 4 Rounds Under 70 Strokes (ALL 4 RDS UND 70): +5 PTs
- Hole in One (HOLE IN ONE): +10 PTs
Scoring Notes: Ties for a finishing position will not reduce or average down points. For example, if 2 golfers tie for 3rd place, each will receive the 18 fantasy points for the 3rd place finish result. Playoff Holes will not count towards final scoring, with the exception of the “finishing position” scoring. For example, the golfer who wins the tournament will receive the sole award of 1st place points, but will not accrue points for their scoring result in the individual playoff holes.
Player Lock Notes: All golfers lock at the time the first golfer tees off on day 1 of an event.
Full rules are located here for DraftKings Daily Fantasy golf.