This is the final swing season event of the year and it will take place on Seaside Island in Georgia. The event plays across two courses, with the Seaside Course being the main venue and playing as a par 70 that stretches out just over 7,000 yards. The course itself is actually exposed to the sea and plays somewhat links style, although length is definitely not a factor here. Past winners have generally been great Bermuda putters, had good short games and been accurate off the tee. Weather can play a factor this week as the second course (Plantation) actually plays easier and is less exposed to the wind, so playing the Sea course on a less windy day (i.e. Thursday or Friday) can be advantageous.
Course/Weather: As of now the weather actually looks very good for the week. Friday does look like it will be the windier day with winds possibly pushing 10mph or just over. This means playing golfers who start Thursday on the Seaside Course may get a slight boost as they’ll be likely to avoid heavier winds on the open venue. Keep an eye on things, but if the weather holds as is a light draw bias may form.
Ollie Schniederjans ($9,900): Ollie may look a tad overpriced this week, but to be honest I think he’s worth paying up for. Over his rookie season last year Ollie scored his two best finishes on venues that emphasized accuracy over power, much like the one were seeing here (Sedgefield, Hilton Head), and had strong par 4 scoring stats, including ranking 21st in par 4 birdie or better percentage. Schniederjans also played in this event last season, posting a T6 and just missed out on the playoff. Over his career, he’s also putted much better on Bermuda than any other surface with a 0.6+ strokes gained on Bermuda vs. others. He comes in having posted T19-T23-T17 in three Fall starts and should be eager to go after his first win here.
Graeme McDowell ($8,700): McDowell comes in having played a pretty busy Fall schedule. He finished strongly in Vegas two weeks ago with a top ten but couldn’t sink enough birdies last week to get into contention. This week’s venue is right up his alley however. Over his career McDowell has multiple wins at similar open style links venues where power is somewhat deemphasized and accuracy and strong short games are important. He was third at this venue on debut in 2015 and given that he’s striking the ball well and is capable of out-putting the field any given week, he should be rostered at under 9k.
William McGirt ($8,300): This will be McGirt’s third Fall season start and he comes in having made a couple of solid finishes already including a T10 in Vegas. While he had a very inconsistent 2017 season overall, McGirt is often one of the most reliable players for fantasy purpose when he’s playing well and is definitely looking under priced this week compared to the field. He’s never finished better than T27 at this event in four starts, but three top ten’s at Hilton Head suggest this is good venue for him to post a big week. He’s a great cash game target for DraftKings purposes.
Other: Matt Kuchar
Blayne Barber ($7,500): Barber finished T2 last year, losing out in a five-man playoff. He’s definitely familiar with the course as he trains at Seaside for at least part of the season, and the fact he’s had some success at this venue shouldn’t be surprising. Barber’s also a player who can get hot with his putter, especially on Bermuda greens where he’s had a big positive strokes gained advantage over other surfaces. He started his swing season off with a bad round, but has shot par or better in his last five. He looks like a nice target this week at just $7,500.
Luke Donald ($7,300): Donald fits the profile of the type of player we want to target this week and comes with a very cheap price tag attached. While he’s not the player he once was, Donald can still get it done with the putter and at a course which de-emphasizes driver he’s always got a chance. His record at Hilton Head should set him up nicely for this week on a similar track. He comes in off a decent T32 showing a couple of weeks ago in Vegas and could easily better that result here.
Rob Oppenheim ($6,900): Oppenheim is a web.com grad who played some inspired golf in the playoffs to get his tour card, recording two top-fives in those events just over a month ago. He’s posted a couple of decent finishes on the swing season and was T6 in birdies made last week in Mexico. This is the type of track we’d may see Oppenheim pop at as he’s one of the most accurate players off the tee, has a good iron game when dialed in, but lacks distance. A T8 at Pebble last year and a T44 at this event last season (where he opened with a 65) are good indicators.
Other: Whee Kim, Morgan Hoffman
High-upside GPP Picks
Sean O’Hair ($7,900): O’Hair has taken most of the Fall swing off, but should be eager to post some early Fed Ex points here. The long time tour vet is no stranger to playing well after long layoffs and also has done some of his best work on shorter-accuracy driven tracks over the past few seasons—including a T6 finish at Hilton Head and a T2 at Colonial. He’s played this event five times and finished inside the top 20 on four of those occasions so there is definitely some good vibes here and he’s also traditionally been a strong Bermuda putter. He’ll be relatively ignored this week as I’m guessing most people won’t risk playing him after a layoff.
Si Woo Kim ($7,500): This choice is rather obvious. We have one of the most talented players in the field at a bargain price this week, and while he can be overtly inconsistent at times, the fact he’s been playing a lot of late, looks healthy, and is coming off a third place finish means he’s a dangerous fade at this week’s event. Kim finished T18 at this venue two years back and has proven he has more than enough firepower to take down a field like this by multiple strokes. He’s a player you’ll likely want at least some exposure to if running multiple gpp lineups this week on DraftKings.
Other: Corey Connors
Players to Consider (in no order)
– Ollie Schniederjans, Si Woo Kim, Blayne Barber, William McGirt, Graeme McDowell, Rob Oppenheim
– Matt Kuchar, Sean O’Hair, Luke Donald, Whee Kim, Morgan Hoffman, Corey Connors
McDowell 55-1 EW
O’Hair 80-1 EW
Oppenheim 160-1 EW