The CareerBuilder Challenge Fantasy Preview
After watching Justin Thomas bulldoze his way through Hawaii, picking up back to back impressive victories, the Tour has taken the five hour private jet to begin the California swing at PGA West in La Quinta, CA. This tournament is unique in that there is a cut after 54 holes, and will be played at three different courses over the first three days. The Stadium Course will also host the final round Sunday for everyone who makes the cut. All three courses are easy par 72 layouts, which is great for our viewing as it will be an absolute birdie fest. This tournament also yieled the most eagles of any event last year, so the par 5's will obviously be of great importance. Last year was the first time these three courses were used in the rotation, so any course history outside of that should be taken with a grain of salt. I did use data from PGA West as it's been in the rotation the last decade plus.
Par 5 scoring (P5S) is the main stat I looked at this week, which isn't surprising. If a player doesn't score well on par 5's I just flat out won't use them this week. With three guaranteed rounds, that's 12 par 5's per player, lots of opportunity to score. Six players who finished inside the top 10 last year also finished the season inside the top 50 in P5S. The sample size is small, but Paul Casey has the best P5S average career at PGA West (-0.77). Birdie or better percentage (BoB%) was the next key stat, with eight of the top 9 last year finishing the season inside the top 50 in BoB%. In six appearances at PGA West, Vaughn Taylor has the best lifetime BoB% of 36.4%. FInally, strokes gained tee to green (T2G) checked out with six of the top 10 last year also finishing the season inside the top 50 in T2G. All stats used are from 2016 due to sample size.
Top Pin Seekers
Patrick Reed - DK Salary $11,200 - class of the field, good course history and in good form - top 30 in all three key stats
Bill Haas - DK Salary $10,500 - hate the price, but great course history and in solid form - great track record in Cali - highest DK point average at PGA West 113.7 - 34 T2G, lifetime BoB% at PGA West of 33.1%