We almost finished two rounds of golf, but it will be Justin Suh and Greg Koch who will decide what the cut is on Saturday morning.
Suh shouldn’t play as much into the outcome since he sits at two-under par and looks to be safely into Saturday, but Koch has the weight of the field riding on what he does on his final hole. A birdie would remove all other two-over totals from the equation (his current number), a par gets all the two-overs into the weekend (including himself) and a bogey or higher would take him out of the running (allowing everyone else to advance).
As someone without a massive rooting interest in what happens from a financial perspective, I hope the 37-year-old can put a few dollars in his pocket with the first made cut of his career. Stories like Koch’s make golf the greatest sport in the world because someone can go from being a club pro to having a legitimate chance of making life-changing money with a few good shots.
If you haven’t already, you can find me on Twitter @TeeOffSports. There, I will provide a link to my pre-tournament model, a powerful and interactive data spreadsheet that allows user inputs to create custom golf rankings. That sheet is released every Monday, so be sure to check it out and construct your own numbers from my database of information.
Arnold Palmer Invitational
Consider The Two-Over Golfers in DFS
Koch has a chance to remove all +2 golfers from the mix. However, that uncertainty will leave the entire pack much lower owned than they should be.
In fairness, we don’t want to blindly take everyone in that range because of the leverage potential. That is the equivalent of being contrarian solely for the sake of going against the grain, although it is important to note there are top-50 caliber players in this field who are going to get this course at its best moments of round three.
My model is most intrigued by the group of Russell Henley ($6,900), Davis Thompson ($6,800), Seamus Power ($7,400) and Ryan Fox ($6,700), and I wouldn’t be shocked if one of those options finds his way into the optimal roster construction on Saturday. That, of course, is assuming Koch doesn’t spoil the dream with a 2-3% outcome. Be ready to pivot if something changes.
Find The Underachievers With Their Short-Game Outcomes
I talk a lot in these articles about short-game metrics being the most volatile statistic when comparing data outputs for the week. That means golfers striking the ball well off the tee or on approach are more inclined to do so repeatedly and the players gaining exponentially in other areas are more likely to fall off over the weekend.
The easiest way to read the chart above would be under the mindset that Will Gordon is 5.16 shots worse on the leaderboard than he should be if we only used his expected returns around the green and putting. Remember, not all the golfers in that image are in play since it is still essential to factor in your pre-tournament research to get a clearer picture of those projections.
If you want all the totals for the event, you can follow me on Twitter @TeeOffSports to get a better viewpoint of the data inside my model. Regardless, names like Matthew Fitzpatrick, Tyrrell Hatton, Max Homa, Tommy Fleetwood, Will Gordon and Will Zalatoris are a handful of options my model believes could be in a decent striking position to make a Saturday run up the leaderboard.