This is the second to last swing season event of the year and it comes to us from Mexico. The OHL Classic is an annual event that was started back in 2007. It’s played down in the Mayan Riviera at a course called El Camaleon that was designed by Greg Norman. This annual event was moved from February to November back in 2013 and that has resulted in much lower scoring due to the lower winds that are prevalent in Mexico this time of year. The course is definitely one of the easier ones the players face all season and plays relatively short for a par 71 at just under 7,000 yards. For DFS there are a few bigger names in attendance (Rickie Fowler, Patrick Reed) but the field will be littered with many of the same players who have been featured in the fall.
Course Setup: El Camaleon is not a long course at all and it’s setup as a seaside course with numerous hazards and bunkers means players generally will not try to overpower the venue. With receptive paspalum greens, the week usually ends up being an iron/putting contest and hitting greens and giving yourself as many looks at birdie here is essential. Past winners have almost all not ranked highly in driving distance or been big hitters off the tee to begin with. This is a course which will test players approach games with some long par 4’s and shorter par 3’s, but also will require they play well around the greens on the shorter par 5’s where making birdie will be essential. Players ranking high in birdie or better % and in approaches can be emphasized.
Chesson Hadley ($9,900): Hadley was my feature pick here last week and at a lower price this week I’m not sure if there’s any reason not to use him here too. Five top-five finishes over his last six starts, Hadley has risen well into the top 100 players in the world on this recent stretch and ranks eighth on approaches for the season. He’s also won the Puerto Rico Open, an event played on a similar seaside course with similar style greens and conditions. Pretty much every facet of his game is clicking right now and he’s worth another target here at under 10k, about $400 less than last week.
Kevin Chappell ($9,000): Chappell made his first starts of the swing season in Vegas and the results were pretty good. He gained an incredible 12 strokes on the field tee to green and his ball-striking looks like it is in as good form as it was when he won in Texas earlier in 2017. His putting last week was awful (lost seven strokes to the field) but softer, less complex greens this week should help improve that. Of note is the fact that Chappell nearly won at TPC Southwind (FedEx St. Jude Classic) last year too, a venue which tends to have a lot of correlation to this week’s. He shapes up as a nice play at a very affordable price regardless.
Ollie Schniederjans ($8,200): Ollie has already played three swing season events, and while he’s yet to contend the results have been solid. A T17 at the Safeway Open when he was close to getting himself in contention, was followed up by T23 and T19 finishes in Asia. While he missed the cut at this event last year, he has tended to play well at shorter exposed venues, including finishing T3 at the Hilton Head and solo second at Sedgefield last season. His price is attractive too, as he comes into the week in seemingly solid form and is barely over 8k.
Just Missed: Gary Woodland
Luke List ($7,900): List is another player who comes into this week in nice form, seems to set up generally well for the venue and also looks underpriced. List has been a busy man this Fall season, playing four times and posting three top-20 finishes already, including a T20 last week and a T5 in Korea. List was 27th in approaches last year and 9th overall in birdie or better percentage. He may struggle with the flatstick sometimes but his birdie rate makes him a great play on these gettable courses and given his recent form, he looks like possibly the best DraftKings value in this field at under 8k.
Emiliano Grillo ($7,600): Grillo hasn’t exactly been lighting the world on fire of late, but his price-tag for a pretty weak field event looks enticing. The Argentine has played three swing season events already and while he’s yet to seriously contend, he did post a respectable T28 at the Safeway Open in California. Last year Grillo was T10 at this event, and he’s another player who has performed well in Puerto Rico (lost in a playoff there in 2014) at a venue which also uses Paspalum greens. While the big finishes haven’t been there of late, his consistency suggests he’s not far off. Making him a nice target at a low price this week makes sense.
Beau Hossler ($6,900): Hossler made his presence known last week as he hovered near the front of the leaderboard for a lot of Saturday and Sunday in Vegas. The 22 year-old didn’t look out of place at all in his first real competitive shot at a win and was 15th for the week in strokes gained: tee to green against a pretty stellar field. This will be his first time seeing this week’s venue, but given his sub-7k price tag deploying him this week against a similar field makes a ton of sense for DK play. This is a player to watch down the road regardless of if you use him this week.
Just Missed: Shawn Stefani
High-upside GPP Picks
Ryan Moore ($8,600): Moore is a perfect under-the-radar option this weekend. In two swing season starts he’s only finished T17 and T51 (last week), but he’s certainly not playing poorly and sets up perfectly for the test ahead this week. Moore has wins at Sedgefield, TPC Deere Run and TPC Malaysia (x2) over his career and all of these courses line up fairly well with this week’s test in Mexico. While he’s only played at this week’s venue once before (T23 in 2013) a lack of experience certainly has not hindered past winners like Graeme McDowell and Johnson Wagner, who were both seeing this week’s venue for the first time when they won. While other players arrive in better form, Moore’s sub-9k salary and ability to win on tracks like El Camaleon makes him a great gpp target.
Derek Fathauer ($6,800): Fathauer is undoubtedly risky as he tends to miss more cuts than he makes, but the 30-year old journeyman does carry some upside. In the prior two seasons Fathauer has amassed three finishes of T6 or better on tour, and while that number doesn’t seem high it’s good to know that two of those finishes have come on the swing season—and on courses with Paspalum greens. A T4 finish on this week’s venue in 2015 is definitely a good sign, as is the fact he ranked second on SG: Approaches last week, despite a poor finish. With driver being de-emphasized somewhat at this week’s venue, Fathauer’s strong iron play should hopefully bring about a big week on a course that has been kind to him in the past.
Just Missed: Anirban Lahiri, Sam Saunders
Players to Consider (in no order)
– Chesson Hadley, Gary Woodland, Kevin Chappell, Ollie Schniederjans, Ryan Moore, Sam Saunders
– Derek Fathauer, Luke List, Beau Hossler, Emiliano Grillo, Shawn Stefani, Anirban Lahiri
Kevin Chappell 33-1
Ryan Moore 45-1 EW
Ollie Schniederjans 66-1 EW
Sam Saunders 150-1 EW
Derek Fathauer 250-1 EW and 10-1 Top 20