After a tight finish at last week’s Quicken Loans National, the PGA is in West Virginia this week for the Greenbrier Classic. It was cancelled last year due to heavy rain and flooding, but it is back this year at the same course as usual which is called The Old White TPC. It is a Par 70 measured at just about 7,300 yards. A lot of birdies are expected to be made, like there typically have been during the past editions of this tournament. With plenty of greenside bunkers, the most heavily valued statistics will be SG:Approach, and GIR. Also, since it is a Par 70 with longer than usual Par 3 holes, Par 4 scoring average and Par 3 efficiency (200-225 yards) will be considered. Now lets get into some picks!
High Price Tier
Charles Howell DK $9,700 FD $7,600
Coming off of an injury last week prior to the Quicken Loans National, many were likely very reluctant to heavily consider Charles Howell as a viable option. Surprisingly, he proved almost everyone wrong as he finished runner-up (2nd), losing in a playoff to Kyle Stanley. This puts his injury and consequential low floor behind him as shooting only 7 bogeys last week showed he had absolutely no problems with his game. Moreover, this puts Howell to 15 consecutive cuts made as well as his 5th top 10 during the span. His unbelievable balance of upside and consistency makes him a great play any given week. In particular for this week, Howell has, for one thing, has decent course history at the Greenbrier, and also suits the course very well according to his statistics on the season. Since 2010, Howell has participated at this tournament 6 times and despite only making 3 cuts, he has an average finish of 31 when he does make the cut. Although this may sound poor, it is important to note Howell has arguable never been in as good of a form as he is in this current season. As for his course fit, Howell excels at creating practical birdie opportunities with his great approach and GIR %. In SG:Approach, Howell ranks 34th in the PGA. Last week at the Quicken Loans National, Howell was 19th in the field in this statistic. Furthermore, he ranks 12th in the PGA in GIR as he maintains a percentage of 69.44%. Howell was 10th best in the field for GIR last week. Moving on, Howell maintains superb scoring averages on Par 4s and Par 3s (200 yards+). He ranks 5th in the PGA in Par 4 scoring average. As for the longer Par 3s, despite ranking poorly at 112th, Howell’s 82nd best proximity from 200+ yards along with his top notch GIR gives him a slight advantage for these holes. Overall, Howell’s recent form, cut-making consistency, along with his strong approach game puts him at a very good spot this week at the Greenbrier.
Also Consider: Danny Lee, Keegan Bradley
Mid Price Tier
Xander Schauffele DK $7,900 FD $6,600
There is so much to like about Schauffele’s game, especially as of late. The 23 year old has made 5 consecutive cuts with only one finish outside of the Top 50. Last week at the Quicken Loans National, he finished an admirable T35. Being a tour rookie, Schauffele has never participated at the Greenbrier yet in his career. Nevertheless, he suits the course very well. Although he ranks 114th in SG:Approach, Schauffele has unreal green accuracy skills as he ranks 19th in the PGA in GIR. Additionally, his approach game was pretty good last week despite the poor ranking overall. He was 29th in the field in SG:Approach at the Quicken Loans National last week. Furthermore, Par 4 are his best hole which means Par 70 courses, like The Old White TPC, suit him very well. He maintains a Par 4 scoring average of4.00 and converts for birdie or better 19.76% of the time. These are 21st and 10th in the PGA respectively. On Par 3s between 200 and 225 yards, Schauffele is above average as he ranks a respectable 77th in the PGA in scoring average. Golf is a momentum filled sport, especially for young players like Xander so it is important to pick them in their hot streaks.
Low Price Tier
Chad Campbell DK $6,900 FD $5,800
Campbell, since mid May, has been playing some pretty good golf as of late. Despite barely missing the cut last week by 1 stroke, Campbell had made 3 consecutive cuts prior to that, finishing in the top 15 twice. He comes into this tournament with fairly good course history. In the most recent edition of the Greenbrier tournament, 2015, Campbell participated and finished an admirable T37 shooting all but one round under 70. In addition, he was CUT in 2014, but finished T41 in 2013. Not too bad results overall for a low price tier player. Moving on, one of Campbells bright spots this year has been his ability to hit the green. He ranks 37th in SG:Approach and 30th in GIR%. Furthermore, he shows great consistency in all types of holes, especially the Par 3 and 4. His scoring averages are 43rd (61st in Par 3 200-225 yards), and 54th respectively. Campbell finds the most trouble in birdie making. This should not be a problem however as he has proven to be able to make birdies at a competitive level at this course in the past and since he is in a price tier in which he hits value just be making the cut, he makes for an exceptional play.
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As our main PGA writer, Gabriel D’Antonio knows all the ins and outs of golf. As a team golfer for many years, Gabriel knows how to spot the best PGA players. And as a fantasy sports player, Gabriel knows the ins and outs of winning! Check out his articles when it comes time for the pros to hit the links.