Honda Classic First Look

Hi guys!  Welcome to a new segment here at DFS Datalytics.  Every Tuesday I will be posting a course preview along with the main stats I am looking at for the upcoming tournament.  I will also include 4 golfers that I will be using as my core guys.  On Wednesdays I will then post my favorite plays, top targets and some low owned GPP darts that I like that will hopefully help you take down a GPP!

This first article will be more lengthy and wordy than future ones so I apologize in advance but I feel it is important that I explain my process and how I go about my research.  First off, about 95% of my research comes from two sources, first is  If you haven’t checked them out before I highly recommend it, they offer weekly, monthly and yearly subscriptions.  Almost all of my stat driven data will come from Fantasy National. The other main source I use is  Josh Culp and his staff have done an amazing job of putting data together for almost any scenario you can think of.  I would highly recommend checking out both of those websites if you play DFS PGA.  Let me know if there is anything you guys would like to see moving forward, I am open to any and all suggestions but enough talk, let’s get started!

The 2018 Honda Classic

Course: PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, FL

Par 70 – 7,158 yards

$6.6 Million total purse, 1st place takes $1.88 million

Defending Champion: Rickie Fowler (-12)

Bermuda Grass throughout, there are water hazards on 17 of the 18 holes but the water really only comes into play on 14 holes.  This course consistently plays as one of the toughest on the PGA schedule, the cut line is usually around 3 over par.  The fairways and greens are tough to hit, making scrambling extremely important.  Wind is always a factor so make sure to check the weather before tee off Thursday to see if there are any morning/afternoon wave advantages.

The Bear Trap:  You’ll be hard pressed to find a more challenging 3 hole stretch at any golf course.  Holes 15-17 at PGA National can make or break the tournament.  An interesting stat I saw is that 76% of golfers will put at least 1 ball in the water hazard while they trek through the bear trap.

Key Stats: Strokes Gained Tee to Green, Strokes Gained Approach, Bogey Avoidance, Scrambling and Par 4 scoring.

  • SGT2G – This is my go to stat on courses that have tough to hit fairways and greens.  We’re looking for guys who are not only solid off the tee but then can convert those good tee shots into good approach shots and give themselves an opportunity for a birdie.
  • SGApp – Hitting the green on approach shots is vital at PGA National.  I will be targeting good ball strikers with great iron play who can control their ball flight in windy conditions.
  • Bogey Avoidance – This is not a sexy stat but at PGA National it is an important one.  Looking for guys who avoid giving up strokes and can navigate the course safely.
  • Scrambling – With green in regulation percentage well below normal here we need to find guys who can get up and down to save par.
  • Par 4 Scoring – Any par 70 course I will look at par 4 scoring, particularly Par 4’s between 400-500 yards (there are 8 of them here)

Core 4

  • Rickie Fowler – Defending champ and highest priced golfer for a reason.  Not only is Rickie the #1 golfer in my model for this week, but he is #1 in Par 4 scoring from 400-500 yards, #1 in proximity from 175-200 yards, #2 in SGT2G and just for good measure he’s #2 in scrambling and #3 in bogey avoidance (quick note, all of these #’s are based off of my personal model).
  • Sergio Garcia – Sergio sits at #4 in my model but is my favorite golfer this week.  I fully expect him to be at the top of the leader board come Sunday.  He’s #1 in my model in both SGT2G and SGAPP, #3 in GIR and #5 in bogey avoidance.
  • Adam Scott – If Scott could putt he would be much higher on my rankings but I’m willing to take another chance on him this week.  I’m hoping his ownership stays fairly low but it’s looking like he might get a little chalky.  If so, I will post some pivot plays off of him tomorrow.  Scott is #2 in my model in SGAPP and #5 in SGT2G and has had success here in the past.
  • Graeme McDowell – I love GMac this week and will be well overweight on him.  He sits at #1 in my model in scrambling and bogey avoidance, as well as #5 overall.  He gained strokes overall at the Honda Classic 5 of the last 6 years and is comfortable playing in windy conditions.


That’s it for tonight, I’ll be back tomorrow with my favorite plays for the Honda Classic!



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *