2018 Houston Open PGA DFS Preview
Hello Degens! Last week we had the winner in Bubba at the match play and 8 of 8 picks for Corales made the cut. For the season that brings the winners total to 53% of the writeups and 74% of the picks have made the cut.
The annual week before The Masters PGA Tour tournament is held at the Golf Club of Houston and aptly named the Houston Open, formerly the Shell Houston Open. This is a great tune up for Augusta, as it plays very similar to what players will see next week. The course is just over 7,400 yards and a par 72. Last year Russell Henley was the victor at -20. Previous winners include Jim Herman (2016), JB Holmes (2015), Matt Jones (2014), and D.A. Points (2013).
We are in Texas so typically we see windier conditions. This week looks like we won’t get much wind. Rain is expected on Wednesday into very early Thursday morning, which should soften the golf course. Winds die even more on Friday afternoon. At this point I wouldn’t read a whole lot into it, but there is some potential that early/late tee time could see a bit of an advantage. Just something to keep it in mind when making lineups. Winds do kick up a bit on the weekend, so your normal Texas players could rise then.
We have a full field of 144 golfers starting with a normal top 70 and ties cut. Last year there was quite a bit of carnage with 5 of the top 8 priced golfers missing the cut. Keep that in mind when making lineups. I think balanced lineups will be popular, but I will be leaning more toward stars and scrubs, by trying to find some low priced, low owned guys in the low $7K range.
On to the picks.
Justin Rose $11,400 – I do think he will be popular, but he has top 10s in 3 of his last 4 starts with 2 top 5s in his last 2 starts. He has also made the cut in his last 4 starts here including 15th last year. If this course is going to play similar to Augusta National then it only makes sense to play the guy who finished 2nd there last year with the best form.
Phil Mickelson $10,200 – His worst finish in his last 4 starts is sixth, he hasn’t missed a cut here and has a win. I think he is a great place to start a cash lineup.
Luke List $9,600 – My hope here is that people see this price and back away. That might not actually end up being the case, but one can hope. He finished 3rd here last year and has finished top 16 in 3 straight starts on tour. If he ends up being projected as chalk then I will probably back off and let the masses tilt his putter.
Tony Finau $9,000 – Is he now the poor man’s Luke List? That’s a joke, trolls. They do remind me of each other in that both struggle on the greens, but off the tee and on approach both are top notch. He is coming off a missed cut and his course history isn’t that great, so that could translate to lower ownership.
Emiliano Grillo $8,500 – He has made a bunch of cuts in a row on tour with a few top 10s sprinkled in. I think its very possible he could be low owned given the names around him.
Byeong-Hun An $8,700 – He has finished top 25 in 4 of his last 5 starts with only the missed cut in that time frame coming at the Valspar where I picked him. I do expect him to be popular and he has never played here, so there are some reasons to fade in GPPs.
Steve Stricker $8,800 – He is the top of my model, which is odd to me, but that usually means I shouldn’t fade him. He is coming off a 12th at the Valspar and has 2 straight wins on the Champions Tour. This price is high to me, so hopefully others feel that way and fade.
Corey Conners $7,600 – His last couple of Sundays have led to some worse finishes than the way he actually played. He tends to start fast and fade on the weekend but has only missed 1 cut this year on tour.
Seungsu Han $7,700 – He was high owned last week in the DR but shouldn’t be that high this week. He finished top 5 last week and played well on the Euro Tour earlier this year.
Jason Kokrak $7,300 – I like this price a lot. Coming off the missed cut at the API mixed with less than stellar course history could lead to lower ownership.
Nick Watney $6,800 – I think this price is about $500 too low, so I will take advantage of the savings.
Tom Lovelady $7,400 – Never played here but has finished top 20 in 2 of his last 3 starts.
Dylan Frittelli $7,400 – He hasn’t missed a cut worldwide since October, including 2 in a row on the PGA Tour with an 11th at the Honda.
So that is all for this week. This will be a fun tournament to watch while we wait for Masters week to start. Per the usual hit me up on twitter or in the Sports Degens Slack chat. I’m always happy to help.
– Jesse @DFSGolfGods