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JAYALGER'S WEEKLY BEAR TRAP - Preview and Picks for The Honda Classic 2019

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  • JAYALGER'S WEEKLY BEAR TRAP - Preview and Picks for The Honda Classic 2019




    JAYALGER’S WEEKLY BEAR TRAP


    ““IT SHOULD ALL BE WON OR LOST HERE” JACK NICKLAUS


    PREVIEW AND PICKS FOR THE HONDA CLASSIC 2019

    Last Tournament Brief Recap - Genesis Open 2019

    My Picks
    Golfer Position DK Pts Value (Pt/$)*1000
    D.Johnson T9 70.5 6.2
    X.Schauffele T15 80.5 8.6
    P.Casey T25 69.0 7.8
    M.Kuchar T28 77.0 9.1
    J.Kokrak T37 71.0 9.3
    M.Laird MC (T140) 15.5 2.0

    Cumulative Picks (18-19 Season) - Tournaments - 10, #Picks - 60, Winner - 2, Top 5 - 12 (20.00%), Top 10 - 17 (28.33%), Top 25 - 30 (50.00%), Made Cut - 48 (80.00%).

    The Course - PGA National (Champion), Palm Beach Gardens, FL

    We finally move east to the source of inspiration for my weekly articles at PGA National (Champion Course) - home of one of toughest stretches of golf, THE BEAR TRAP. PGA National, located in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, is a full-service resort that has five golf courses including The Champion which has been the home of the Honda Classic since 2007.

    Champion is a very tough par-70, 7,140 yard course with four par 3s and 2 par 5s.

    Hole breakdown is as follows:
    Par 3 4
    Par 4 <400 3
    Par 4 400-450 4
    Par 4 450-500 4
    Par 4 >500 1
    Par 5 2
    Total 18

    Course Data (2018)



    Course Data by Par (2018)



    Course Stats
    • Par 70
    • 7,140 yards
    • Architect - Tom and George Fazio (1980), Jack Nicklaus (1990, 2014)
    • Greens - 6,400 sq. ft. (average greens), TifEagle Bermudagrass (Stimpmeter 11.5, average speed)
    • Difficulty (+ 2.303 RTP, Ranked 2nd of 51 courses played in 2018, very difficult)
    • 74 sand bunkers
    • Water in play in all but one hole
    • A full-service resort that has five golf courses including The Champion which has been the home of the Honda Classic since 2007
    • Nicklaus moved the 14th green to bring water more into play and added bunkers to the front and back of the green to give it more grit before entering The Bear Trap (holes 15-17).
    • Home of the infamous, toughest three-hole stretch on tour known as “The Bear Trap.” Watch the preview - https://youtu.be/Jm8VLej1n0I

    Observed Stat Trends - 2018
    • Last year the course played 2.303 strokes under par significantly more difficult than 2017
    • The two par 5s played as the easiest holes on the course last year but only played a combined 0.205 strokes under par.
    • Four holes were ranked in the 50 toughest holes in 2018 including holes 6, 15, 16 and 17. The four holes combined for +1.602 strokes RTP last year.
    • Par is the predominant score on most of these holes.

    Brief Tournament Information
    • Full field event with 140+ professionals
    • Cut at 70 (plus ties). Since 2014, cut has ranged between +1 and +6 (avg. +3.4)
    • Winning scores since 2014 range -12 to -6 (avg. -8.6)
    • Winners since 2014 (in order: Henley, Harrington, Scott, Fowler, J.Thomas)
    • Only 11 golfers finished under par last year
    • Optimal LU - 501.5 DK Pts (2018, Avg value rating 10.0)
    • Winning LU Qtr Jukebox - 473 DK Pts (2018, AVR 9.46)
    • $2 Double Up (Multi-entry) Cash line - 256.5 DK Pts (2018, AVR 5.13)


    Key Holes - THE BEAR TRAP
    • Collectively, the three-hole stretch played 1.186 over par last year with a bogey or worse rate on 34% on average per hole
    • Hole 15 (Par 3, 179 yards)
    • Rory McIlroy summed it up best a few years ago when he stated “it’s a scary shot, just brutal.” The green here is narrow from front to back and is positioned diagonally with water behind it and the entire right side. A deep pot bunker is located in the back left which can be difficult to get out of because of the green slopes towards the water. Add wind and happy drinking.
    • Hole 16 (Par 4, 434 yards)
    • This is a dogleg right with long bunkers on both sides of the fairway. It will be essential to keep the ball on the fairway (usually with a long iron or wood) and to have a clean approach shot across the water onto a tiered green positioned diagonally. If short, the ball can find the bunker protecting the right front of the green or fall into the water. Bye bye ball.
    • Hole 17 (Par 3, 190 yards)
    • This played the hardest of the three holes last year on average playing 0.202 above par. This hole features an elevated tee shot with prevailing wind moving left to right carrying over water onto a small diagonal green protected by water in front and along the entire right side. A deep bunker is located in the back left if golfers miss the green. The green is sloped towards the water making shots out of the bunker very tricky. This par 3 has always caused problems for golfers.



    My Picks


    DK - Above 10k

    Sergio Garcia (DK $10000, FD $11200, Y $40, Odds 16/1) - Love him or hate him, it’s hard to ignore his recent resurgence since the latter half of last year. Combining his nine starts on both the PGA and Euro Tours since the Portugal Masters in September, he has finished T9 or better in seven of those events including a win at the Valderrama Masters and a T6 last week. His course history is solid making 5 of 5 cuts since 2014 including a runner up in 2016. He is solid T2G and with his approach shots and should easily be in contention this week.

    DK - 9k

    Gary Woodland (DK $9800, FD $11000, Y $46, Odds 18/1) - Woodland has also been playing excellent golf and is currently on a 20 made cut streak (ranked no. 1) (though he did MDF after the third round at the Sony). In that stretch, he has 8 top 10s including two runner ups at the TOC and CJ Cup. He has five starts at the Honda since 2011 and has made all five cuts including a T6 in 2011 and T2 in 2017. He is a T2G machine and sets up well for this course.

    DK - 8k

    Emiliano Grillo (DK $8900, FD $10300, Y $35, Odds 40/1) - Grillo hasn’t been too flashy as of late, but has been consistently making cuts and is in the middle of a 14 made cut streak including 4 top 15s and a T2 at the CIMB. He has made all three cuts here at the Honda and has improved his finish each year including a T8 last year. He has averaged 60.5 DK points over the last three years on this very difficult course.

    Lucas Glover (DK $8800, FD $9700, Y $30, Odds 60/1) - Glover has been playing excellent golf since the fall swing with nothing worse than a T17. He did suffer a hiccup at the Waste Management missing the cut but rebounded well with a T7 at the AT&T. He did miss the cut three years in a row from 2014-16 but has since made the cut two years in a row with a T17 and T21 averaging 68 DK Pts over the last two years. He is an excellent ball striker in good form.

    DK - 7k and Under

    CT Pan (DK $7800, FD $8600, Y $29, Odds 100/1) - The hype around has cooled off a bit with CT Pan with a slow start to the new year but has been improving with each event he has played. He has finished T37 and T17 in his two starts at the Honda and has averaged 60.75 DK points. He ranks well T2G in this field and should be capable of making the cut again hopefully at low ownership.

    Graeme McDowell (DK $7600, FD $9100, Y $20, Odds 70/1) - I know I poo-pooed GMac in our Slack chat a few weeks ago, but his T18 at the AT&T has made me a believer in the Northern Irishman and ready to jump on the train. He is a course horse with two MC in 8 starts but four top 9s since 2011. He is a grinder of a golfer and plod his way around this course. I see no reason why he won’t be able to finish well this week.

    Anyway, I hope that this helps you in your own process to select your golfers for this week. Please leave me any questions, comments, suggestions or any rants and touts you would like to discuss either here on DFSChat.com, on twitter @algertorr, or on DK/FD/FDR jayalger. Good luck this week!




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