This article is part of our DFS PGA series.
This week, the PGA Tour heads to one its more traditional stops, the Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Our article will focus on ThriveFantasy's player props for Thursday's action in the tournament.
PGA National (Champions Course) Par 70, 7,140 yards
Palm Beach Gardens, FL
Simply put, this course is a beast. It is consistently one of the PGA Tour's toughest tests year-in and year-out. Holes 15-17 (aptly named 'The Bear Trap') makes Amen Corner look like a walk through the park. The tournament will likely come down to how players fare in this stretch over four rounds.
With more than 100 sand traps and water in play on 13 holes, avoiding hazards is paramount. Also, as a Par 70, there are only two Par 5 holes to exploit, which is why we probably won't see a final score of 10-under or better. As a result, our stroke play picks are unlikely to dip much below 2-under. Distance isn't necessary on this track, but accuracy is important. With the greens heavily defended, I'll be focusing on metrics that involve approaches to the green, Par 4 Average, and Scrambling, a stat that I believe will come into play often.
|2019 Finish||2018 Finish||R1 Average||SG Approach||Par 4 Average||Scrambling|
**- insufficient data
***- 4 recorded rounds, 2020
Brooks Koepka - STROKES 66.5
A score of 4-under would be miraculous. Although Koepka claims he's back to full health, and he usually produces a good first round, his distance will only help him on two Par 5s. He ranked 1st in Par 4 Average last year, but he's hard to gauge with little data.
Shane Lowry - EAGLES 0.5
This might be the easiest pick on the list. With only two realistic shots at getting eagle, you just have to go with probability on this one.
Rickie Fowler - BIRDIES 3.5
This all depends on how lucky Fowler gets on the Par 4s. He came close to winning this tournament last year, but keep in mind that the final score on this course never gets to double digits under par. Four birdies feel like too much to me.
Tommy Fleetwood - PARS 11.5
For this to be an under, Fleetwood would have to bogey and birdie seven times. I like his Par 4 Average, but it looks he's headed for bogeyville if he misses the green. Nevertheless, I think it's safer to go the other way.
Keegan Bradley - BOGEYS 2.5
This is another easy one. We shouldn't underestimate how tough this course is, and Bradley's Par 4 Average doesn't cut the mustard here.
Jason Dufner - EAGLES+BIRDIES 3.5
It's reasonable to just make this a birdie pick, since there are only two chances to eagle on Thursday. I see Dufner shooting Even or 1-over, somewhere in there. Based on his metrics, birdies might be hard to come by.
Lee Westwood - PARS + BOGEYS 12.5
This is tough because we have no data and no history on this course. It would seem that due to the bogey inclusion, this might be easier than we think.
Jim Furyk - STROKES 68.5
Keep in mind that even though Furyk shows a high finish here, both were over-par. I think his game is well-suited for the course. There's no point advantage on either side of this pick, probably because it really could go either way.
Louis Oosthuizen - BIRDIES 4.5
I don't see anyone logging five birdies on this course. I mean, it's certainly doable, but I don't think it'll be Oosthuizen.
Justin Rose - STROKES 66.5
Strike that. THIS might be the easy one. Rose hasn't played especially well, and a 66 on this course is a big ask.