This week the tour heads back to the Greenbrier in West Virginia. This is an event that has been on tour ever since 2010, although the course underwent some severe renovations after the inaugural event. This event was also cancelled last year due to flooding so don’t bother looking up last year’s results. In 2015 Danny Lee won here with a score of 13 under, after surviving a four-way playoff. The forecast this year does call for some rain and if the wind keeps down we may get a wet and very scoreable golf course, as similar conditions abounded in 2014 when Angel Cabrera won at -16. This is the second to last week before the year’s third major championship, The Open.
Weather Forecast: The weather this week doesn’t look like it will contain a lot of wind but there are some storms in the forecast. Thursday has a high chance of T-Storms and it could cause delays and perhaps effective scoring a bit in the short-term. I’d look out for when these storms may affect Thursday play and also take note of the fact the course is likely to be wet most of the week, possibly allowing for players to post lower scores overall.
Everyone is in play: Even after the extensive renovations, The Old White Course doesn’t play particularly hard and still sees winning scores in the mid-teens most years. As a par 70 it contains a lot of traditional but non-challenging par-4’s and some more difficult par 3’s. The real story this week though is the fact that a lot of different styles of golfers have here. Jonas Blixt and Danny Lee both used good short games and hot putters to win, while Angel Cabrera simply overpowered the course in 2014. Softer conditions could favour bombers but in reality everyone is in play for the win here making this an intriguing venue for fantasy and betting purposes.
Bill Haas ($10,800): Haas has some tight competition at the top of the salary charts this week with Patrick Reed and Phil Mickelson also playing decent golf, but Haas has been better than both recently. He recorded his best finish ever in a major at Erin Hills with a T5, and has four top 25 finishes now over his last four starts. He has a sterling record at this week’s venue as well, as he lost in playoff here in 2011 and was ninth back in 2013. It’s close between the top three options this week but Haas is worth paying up for given his recent form.
Russell Henley ($9,300): Henley is one of my favorite plays on the board this week. He’s not been super consistent since his win in Houston but he’s not been awful either. He was in contention after three rounds at Erin Hills and also put in two solid rounds last week on a tough course. His record at The Old White Course is immaculate as he has put in eight rounds in two appearances, with four of them being 67 or better; h also shot 63 in the final round here in 2015 to miss the playoff by a stroke. He’s very affordable on DraftKings this week too.
Tony Finau ($9,100): With the rain in the forecast, I think that may open up the door for someone like Tony Finau to come in and simply blow the doors off this fairly straight forward course. Angel Cabrera won going away in soft conditions in 2014 and Finau has the same type of power game which may allow him to do the same. He keeps making cuts and was 13th here on his debut in 2015. He’s a great target.
Others: Webb Simpson, Sean O’Hair
Ollie Schienderjans ($7,400): While his return to action last week wasn’t exactly a thing of beauty, Schienderjans did end up making the cut at the tough TPC Potomac and should fare better after knocking of some rust off last week. Ollie is really more of a price play than anything else this week as he’s simply too cheap for a talented young player who hasn’t missed a cut since the Shell Houston Open. He’s also 32nd in par-4 Birdie or Better percentage which is encouraging for this layout.
Harris English ($7,000): English has been showing signs of life recently. His approach game has been improving of late and he was third in SG: Approach stats last week, after being first in this same stat a few weeks ago in Memphis. He has been killing himself with some bad tee shots, but if he can somehow stay out of trouble off the tee he has every chance of being a huge play this week on DraftKings.
Others: Nick Taylor
High-upside GPP Picks
Gary Woodland ($7,500): Woodland has been dealing with some off course issues mid-season that are well known, but has been hitting the ball well over his last few starts. Whether he can put it all together for a big week is a bit of an unknown, but he did finish T4 here back in 2011 and comes here with at least some good course history, and is backed by a tee to green game which recently has been very good recently. His recent venture into fatherhood should also help motivation wise, and he makes for a fine boom or bust kind of target in larger gpps.
Si Woo Kim ($7,600): Si Woo did not have the greatest week at the Quicken, but hey at least he didn’t withdraw right? In all seriousness though, everything I wrote about Kim from last week applies here. He’s fully capable of barging through this field to an outright win, and at $7,600 is just too cheap. He demolished a similar type of field and course last season at the Wyndham Championship and I’ll keep recommending him for big gpps in these types of events when he is priced this low.
Robert Garrigus ($6,300): Garrigus is an interesting play this week. He’s only played The Old White Course twice, but opened with a 66-67 here in 2014. He’s also coming off a T29 at the Quicken Loans, which is his best finish since way back in Houston when he was T20. Even with his inconsistency Garrigus is still ranked top 50 in both Birdie or Better and Par 4 scoring, making him look like a nice statistical fit for this course as well. He’s a good gpp target on DraftKings this week and is riding a hot putter ahead of this year’s tournament.
Other: Webb Simpson, Joel Dahmen
Players to Consider (in no order)
– Russell Henley, Bill Haas, Tony Finau, Webb Simpson, Harris English, Robert Garrigus, Si Woo Kim, Gary Woodland, Ollie Schienderjans, Nick Taylor, Joel Dahmen
Russell Henley 40-1
Sean O’Hair 75-1 EW
Robert Garrigus 200-1 EW and top 20 at 8-1