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The Greenbrier Classic

July 1, 2015 | Category: PGA

The Greenbrier Classic

By: John Heffelfinger

Studs

Bubba Watson – I thought about going with Patrick Reed here, but Bubba has been pretty darn good overall this year making 9 of 10 cuts, having 7 top 25 finishes, 5 top 10’s, with 1 3rd place finish, 1 2nd place finish, and 2 victories. Those are pretty remarkable numbers for only having 10 starts on the year so far. Bubba has been decent here the last two years, tying for 16th last year at -7, and in 2013, he tied for 30th at -5. There aren’t elite finishes, but he has some experience on the course and has had some success. Then we get to some of his stats and there is a lot to like. There is a trio of statistics that lead to success for Bubba in my opinion. He is 3rd on the tour in driving distance at 309.5 yards, he gains 1.550 strokes per round from tee to green which is 5th on the tour, and is 18th on the tour with .525 strokes gained per round via putting. These stats have led to him having the 4th most birdies per round at 4.15 per round and he gets the 2nd most eagles per round, which is great for DFS scoring. Also he isn’t the greatest at driving accuracy, but he is a great scrambler making par 65.20% of the time when he misses the green, which can make up for poor approach shots out of the rough. Bubba should have a great weekend, and I expect him to be in that top 10 by the end of the weekend.

bubba-watson

George McNeill – I like McNeill this weekend mostly because of his past success at the Old White TPC finishing 2nd last year at -14 and two years ago he finished tied for 17th at -7. Now guys that have had past success at a course are going to be more highly owned, but McNeill is pretty expensive this weekend for not having much success on the year overall. On the season overall he has made 15/19 cuts, and has 6 top 25’s and 1 top 10 so again he doesn’t have much success this year which is why I think he could be a little lower owned which is great for GPP’s. The course is a par 70 meaning only 2 par 5’s on the course, and the course says to have some challenging greens, and generous fairways so guys who can drive the ball straight and putt well look to be some guys to target this week. McNeill is 63rd on the tour in driving accuracy at 63.92% which is above average which helps make up for the fact that he doesn’t hit the ball too long at 285.9 yards per drive. What I really like about him is his putting, as he is 36th in strokes gained via putting at .335 strokes per round which is well above average. He only 3 putts 2.16% of the time which is 25th on the tour and is 49th in one putt % at 41.21%. Lastly, he is 63rd on the tour in birdies which is very important for fantasy purposes so he is again above average in that aspect as well. He looks like a pretty safe play this week, and with his past success look for McNeill towards the top of the leaderboard

Value

Brendon De Jonge – I know that he has been cold as of late, missing 3 of his last 5 cuts, and not having a good finish for a few months makes me nervous to. I still think he is a quality player, and deserves a look this week. 2 years ago he finished tied for 64th at E and 2 years ago he finished tied for 17th at -7 so he has shown he can make the cut at the Greenbrier. This year, he has made 16 of 22 cuts with 8 top 25 finishes, has 3 top 10’s and 1 2nd place finish so he has the ability to finish towards the top of the leaderboard. There are some things that De Jonge does well that make me lean towards him this weekend. He has a nice driving accuracy % at 68.34 which again will be important this weekend as the course is described as having generous fairways so that will help him out immensely. He averages 3.93 birdies per round which is 27th on the tour which again is very important for DFS’s for the extra points you get for birdies. He hits a lot of greens in regulation doing so 67.91% of the time so he sets himself for those birdie opportunities. He’s not a great scrambler but he is actually a pretty solid putter which I always love. He only 3 putts 1.83 of the time which is 11th on the tour, and he averages 1.738 putts per hole which is 24th on the tour. There are actually some great numbers here, but I think that he could be in line for a nice top 25 finish.

Robert Streb – He might not be a sexy name, but he has been pretty consistent this year making 16 of 21 cuts, having 9 top 25 finishes, 6 top 10’s, and 1 victory. He has also been pretty hot lately making his last 5 cuts and has 3 top 25 finishes in those tournaments which is great heading into this weekend. If you can make the cut at Chambers Bay, you can certainly make it here. Last year he did make the cut finishing in 71st at +2, and in 2013 he finished tied for 41st at -3 so he also has some good experience on this course. Streb looks to excel in a lot of areas other than driving accuracy which is a little bit of a bummer, but he can hit the ball pretty long (295.6 yards per drive which is 39th on the tour), is 18th in greens in regulation at 69.14% of the time which is 18th on the tour, and gains .956 strokes via putting and tee to green which is 23rd on tour. It seems that he can scramble well out of the rough if he isn’t driving accurately, yet has a high GIR% which is the case being 17th in that category at a 64.17% scrambling from the rough. He also averages 3.51 birdies per round which is 51st on the tour so he is above average in that aspect as well. Finally Streb ranks out 40th overall in putting which should help him out on a course that is said to have some difficult greens.

Jan 25, 2014; La Jolla, CA, USA; Robert Streb tees off on the first hole during the third round of the Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament at Torrey Pines Municipal Golf Course - South Co. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Punts/Low Value picks

John Peterson – At this point, you really know what you’re going to get with Peterson, a guy that will likely make the cut, but won’t make a serious run at winning the tournament. He has made 17/19 cuts so far this year which is great and has 6 top 25 finishes, but he doesn’t have 1 top 10 finish which is pretty odd. For the price though, he is basically a lock to make the cut, which can’t be said for many players that are more expensive than him. He just barely missed the cut last year at +1, but he seems to be playing much better this year so naturally speaking I think he’ll do better than last year. The thing that he does the best is drive the ball accurately off the tee hitting the fairway 68.17% of the time which is 25th on the tour. Now the big downfall is his 3.50 birdies per round which is 110th on tour which is a little below average, but it’s not a huge drop from being right around average. On the other hand, he is very good at approach shots from 125-200 yards (top 25 in all 3 categories) which is great with their only being 2 par 5’s on the course. He is also good at scrambling being 20th on the tour doing so 63.46% of the time if he ever is in danger. He isn’t a good putter which could cause some problems, but if the tournament plays like last year, there was a -16 score so the greens can definitely be had even if they are labeled as difficult.

Chad Collins – Another very consistent player, I really like Collins to make it to the weekend and hopefully get that first top 10 finish of the year. He has made 14 of 18 cuts so far this year, and has 3 top 25 finishes this year. He didn’t play in this tournament in 2013, but last year, he finished tied for 68th at +1 which isn’t great but he did make it to the weekend. He has also made 7 cuts in a row so he has really been doing very solid as of late and not someone who you have to worry about for such a low price. As you can imagine at such a low price he doesn’t excel at a whole lot, but he does have a good approach game being above average in almost all categories from 125-225 yards which is important in setting up for birdie opportunities. He is the best scrambler around the green though making par or better 69.5% of the time which is why he is so good at making the cut because he doesn’t make a lot of bogeys. He is also 8th in sand save% at 63.73 for a nice random stat. Finally he is actually a pretty decent putter averaging 28.30 putts per round which is 19th on the tour, only 3 putts 1.94% of the time which is 16th on the tour, and is 22nd in overall putting average at 1.572 putts per hole. Collins was good to me last time I picked him, and I look for him to be good to me again.


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