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Favorite Plays by Tier
WEDNESDAY UPDATE: Once James found out that two of his favorite players: Charley Hoffman and Boo Weekley were in the same group, he figured he had to play both of them (and may drive to Dublin to watch this group). So officially, Hoffman will be his favorite play in the 7k range, and Weekley in the 6k range.
Muirfield Village GC: Dublin, Ohio Par 72, 7,382 Yards
- 2018: 30th most difficult (out of 51), played 0.604 strokes UNDER par.
- 2017: 13th most difficult (out of 50), played 0.797 strokes OVER par
- 2016: 36th most difficult (out of 50), played 1.013 strokes UNDER par
- 2015: 23rd most difficult (out of 52), played 0.262 strokes UNDER par
This is not looking good on Thursday, as it looks like there will be rain all day. Possibly a break in the late afternoon which may allow some to get a few holes in. Winds are also high in the afternoon with 10-15 mph winds, and gusts from 20-25 mph. The winds the rest of the week look fine, as they are under 10 mph, and some rain on Saturday could cause a brief delay. I think there could be a wave advantage, but I don't know how to go about it. If there is a big delay on Thursday, I could see a little bit of an advantage for the PM/AM wave, though they may be playing 36 on Friday. If there is no delay, then the AM/PM wave avoids the worst wind on Thursday. I am not playing enough lineups this week to stack either wave, though if you are playing multiple lineups, I don't think this is a bad strategy.
The other impact all of this rain may have is that it may slow up the greens a little bit. These greens tend to run pretty fast normally, so it may take some speed out of them. Also, the rough will now play much tougher, as it will be long and wet. This may emphasize driving accuracy a little more.
We have a clear cut chalk player this week, and unsurprisingly, it's Matt Kuchar. He will probably be around 25%, with a chance to hit 30%. A great season, great history at Muirfield Village, a 9300 price, and not many plays in the 6k range are leading many to more of a balanced approach, and Kuchar fits that profile. I personally will not be fading him, as I think the price is too good for me to pass up. As far as the other plays that should be higher owned, here are the name popping up at the top of projections on Fantasy National and FanShare Sports (in no particular order): Patrick Cantlay, Gary Woodland, Tiger Woods, Keegan Bradley, Adam Scott, Hideki Matsuyama, and Rory McIlroy.
I'm playing Woodland, Tiger, Bradley, and McIlroy out of this group, along with Kuchar. Cantlay is shaping up to be the 2nd highest owned player, and I just prefer the discount on Kuchar over him if playing a chalky player. I am playing Tiger as his approach numbers here a year ago were great; he just lost 7 strokes putting. If he putts anywhere near average with the same approach, he should be contending for a win.
- As of now, my last guy out (back to back weeks this person has finished in the Top 10) is Corey Conners. In the end, I liked the consistency of Gooch better than Conners. I don't think Conners is a bad play by any means; I'm playing three lineups and only needed one golfer in the 6k range.
- However, I'm starting to get some doubts on Jason Kokrak. He should be around 15% owned with potential for higher. I do like Rory Sabbatini over him, and since I'm only playing three lineups, I may not replace Kokrak in my player pool, if I do go this route. If I do, I will either pivot to Henrik Stenson (upside worries me, but his iron game is on fire right now), or if I decide to play Rory in a second lineup, I may go to Conners or Dahmen. If I absolutely needed to go lower, Max Homa still intrigues me.
- What if I told you there was a player in the mid 7k range that has three Top 20s in his last six starts, including a Top 10 last week, no missed cuts in those six tournaments, has made three of his last four cuts at this event (though he did miss last year) and is projected at around 6% ownership? Would you play him? In my best James Adams voice, it's Charley Hoffman! I think he's a really nice pivot off of Bradley, An, and Furyk, who are all projected at double-digit ownership in the same price range. He even makes a nice addition to those lineups where you may be a bit chalky, as he seems to be forgotten about, and I'm not really sure why.
- I ended up using Gary Woodland over Adam Scott in the upper 8k range. It was really close to me, but I could only use one player of the two. In my stat model, Woodland rates out better short-term, with them being close long-term. Scott only had a significant advantage in the 24 round model. As much as I would think about using Scott over Kokrak if I get off of Kokrak, his high ownership makes me only want to have one player in that upper 8k range.
That's all for now: Good luck this week at The Memorial and let's all hope for no withdrawals from any of the players!
A second straight invitational this week at The Memorial, meaning only 120 players are in the field, with Top 70 and ties making the cut. It's a pretty good field as many are playing this as their event between the two majors. Ball Striking looks to be supreme here, as the fairways are easy to hit but the greens are not. I will be looking at Approach stats as well with Greens In Regulation. Muirfield Village can play difficult but tends to reward good shots as seen with three of the past four years playing under par. The front 9 is the easier 9 holes, with three of the toughest five holes being the final three on the back 9. All of the Par 5s should be reachable for most of the field, leading to good scoring opportunities.
Don't forget to check back here on Wednesday night for updates on weather, ownership, and other notes.