Daily Fantasy Golf Preview – Desert Classic

The Course

  • PGA West Stadium Course
    • PGA West Tournament Course
    • La Quinta Country Club
  • La Quinta, California
  • Par 72
  • All play around 7,100 yards
    • The Stadium Course is the main course where the final round will be played and is the hardest of the three (littered with hazards)
    • Easy scoring
    • Short courses
    • Bermuda grass with winter rye grass

Key Stats

  • SG: off the tee
    • Driving Distance
  • Birdie or Better
  • Bogey Avoidance
  • Course History (extra emphasis this week)
  • Recent Form (extra emphasis this week)
  • Each golfer will play three rounds before the cut: one at each of the courses, and it may benefit those that don’t play the Stadium Course first so that they can get off to a good start

The Field

This is going to be one of the weaker fields this year with the tour moving from Hawaii to California this week and competing with the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. Jon Rahm, Justin Rose, and Phil Mickelson are pretty much the only big names in this one with Patrick Cantlay being the next biggest. The field size is 156 and like I mentioned early the cut will be after the third round so that each golfer can play all three courses.

Big Dogs ($9,000 and up on DK)

  • Solid (Cash)
    • Justin Rose ($11,000 DK – $12,100 FD) – Rose withdrew from the Sentry Tournament of Champions two weeks ago due to back spasms and is using new clubs so it’s tough to tell what his ownership and game will look like but in my model he’s by far the favorite to win this week.
    • Patrick Cantlay ($10,600 DK – $11,300 FD) – Cantlay has played four times since the playoffs and his worst finish is 17th place. He hasn’t played in this tournament but is my top projected golfer to make the cut.
    • Andrew Putnam ($9,700 DK – $10,500 FD) – Putnam’s putting has been lights out and he continued his good play this season with an outright 2nd place finish last week. He also played here last year where he shot -15 which was good enough for a 17th place.
  • Risky (GPP)
    • Adam Hadwin ($10,000 DK – $10,700 FD) – Hadwin shot a 59 here last year and finished in 3rd place… the year before he was 2nd and the year before that he was 6th. He didn’t fare well last week at the Sony Open but this is an event where he should be able to bounce back.
    • Phil Mickelson ($9,500 DK – $10,600 FD) – Phil hasn’t played in a while but in 10 out of his last 18 events he has finished in the top 25. In his last four years here he also has three top 25s but he missed the cut last year. It’s tough to say what his form will look like but in a funky pro-am setup like this, he should feel comfortable.
    • Aaron Wise ($9,400 DK – $10,100 FD) – Aaron Wise finished T17 with Andrew Putnam in this event last year and he was T34 with Rahm the year before. He was 27th out of 34 in the Sentry but the recent experience, especially in big tournaments, should only benefit him moving forward.
      • Luke List ($9,000 DK) – Luke has gone 4th, missed cut, 4th this season so far and he went 6th, 41st, missed cut in this tournament the last three years — big boom or bust.

Value ($7,500$8,900 on DK)

  • Solid (Cash)
    • Lucas Glover ($8,600 DK – $9,800 FD) – in just four events this season Lucas Glover has four top 25s, not finishing worse than 17th. In his last four cracks at this event he hasn’t placed worse than 41st… all signs point to Glover being a very solid pick this week.
    • Si Woo Kim ($7,500 DK – $9,200 FD) – Si Woo has made six out of his last seven cuts with three top 25 finishes and one finish just outside of that at 26th. He hasn’t played here since 2016 but he posted a -19 which got him inside the top 10 at T9.
      • Daniel Berger ($7,700 DK)  & Charley Hoffman ($7,500 DK) – Berger played hurt last year which would explain his slight dip but finished strong in the playoffs. Hoffman hasn’t had a top 10 in his last 23 events but he’s made 17 of those cuts.
  • Risky (GPP)
    • Ryan Palmer ($8,200 DK – $10,200 FD) – Palmer is a little pricey for my taste on FD but he’s looked good this season and in this tournament. He missed one of his last five cuts here and the other four events he finished 20th or better and he is coming off of back-to-back top 10s.
    • Peter Uihlein ($7,700 DK – $9,000 FD) – in his only start at this event Peter Uihlein finished in 17th place at -15 (which happened to be last year). He’s coming off of a 7th place finish at the RSM so it wouldn’t surprise me to see Peter post a similar score to his -15 last year.
    • Richy Werenski ($7,600 DK – $9,600 FD) – over his last 25 starts he’s only made 13 cuts but the stars seem to be aligning for Werenski. This season he has made all five cuts and his last three finishes were 23rd, 3rd, and 15th. In his only two times in this tournament (2017 & 2018) he has gone -14 and -13 for 9th and 29th.
      • Joaquin Niemann ($7,600 DK) – Niemann has been so-so in the swing season and hasn’t played here before but he was great last season and could turn it back on any week now.
      • Corey Conners ($8,700 FD) & Hudson Swafford ($8,200 FD) – Conners has either missed the cut recently or finished near the top of the leader board. Swafford won here two years ago and finished T3 with Conners last week but hasn’t been all that great as of late.

Sleepers ($7,400 and under on DK)

  • Solid (Cash)
    • Nick Watney ($7,200 DK – $9,100 FD) – Watney makes cuts but doesn’t finish crazy high in pretty much every tournament. I like him more when there are only two rounds before the cut because that gives his ability to make it to the weekend more valuable but he is still a safe, cheap option to consider.
    • Jason Kokrak ($7,100 DK – $8,700 FD) – Kokrak withdrew last week, not due to injury but due to his second child being born in mid-December. He was 8th in this tournament last year so if he stays in the field he could be a sneaky good sleeper pick.
      • Pat Perez ($7,300 DK) – Pat missed the cut last week and has been hit or miss lately but he has two top 10s this season and could be overlooked in this event.
  • Risky (GPP)
    • Harold Varner III ($7,400 DK – $9,800 FD) – Varner is 0 for 3 in made cuts at this tournament over the last three years (his only appearances here). But he has played some of the best golf of his career over the last season and is coming off of three straight top 25’s.
    • Ryan Armour ($7,100 DK – $8,200 FD) – another guy who has three straight top 25s is Armour who also played last week in Hawaii at the Sony Open (guys who play in the Hawaii events before this one seem to have an advantage). In his last three rounds he is -12 so it’s safe to say he might have some momentum coming into this week.

Dark Horses

  • Risky (GPP)
    • Anders Albertson ($7,200 DK – $8,400 FD) – Albertson has made his last four straight cuts this season with two of those in the top 25 and another at 28th. The rookie is 20th in SG: tee to green this year and is looking to stay on tour for the long haul.
    • John Catlin ($6,700 DK – $7,000 FD) – Catlin is two for two in cuts this season with a 22nd place finish at the CJ Cup. The American who has made his name on the Asian Tour is looking to solidify himself on the PGA Tour in his home state of California.
Mark Lee

Written by 

Detroit sports fan, also sufferer of seasonal depression (the two might be related). Avid golfer and former college baseball player. Would've been in the league if it weren't for my lack of ability. Accountant by day, fantasy sports guru by night.