Leg two of the new Midwest Swing takes place this week at Detroit Golf Club.
The Rocket Mortgage Classic is a new tournament and it's played on a new course. No history to lean on.
For DFS purposes, we have a full field of 156 golfers with the top 70 and ties making it through the 36-hole cut.
How will scoring be at this new course? There are two par 5s at 555 yards or shorter (birdie and eagle chances) and four par 4s under 400 yards. I can't say how difficult the pin positions and such will be, but there should be plenty of birdies to go around this week.
Thursday (R1): A 30% chance of showers and thunderstorms. Sunny with a high near 88 degrees. Calm winds below 8 MPH.
Friday (R2): A 40% chance of showers and storms. Sunny with a high near 89 degrees. Winds calm in the early morning, pick up to around 12 MPH in the late AM and early afternoon.
We got lucky avoiding delays last week and this week's forecast looks a little calmer. If they avoid the storms the Friday early morning tee times might have the slightest of edges. Nothing to get up in arms about. But certainly something to monitor.
The best part about season-long leagues is the draft. You don't get that same rush with normal DFS contests but there is hope still. DRAFT has come along to fill that void and I'm having a lot of fun playing in their weekly golf drafts.
The first place to start is to build your pre-draft rankings for the week. I will point out a few golfers I think are overvalued in the raw rankings and a few that are undervalued in the raw rankings.
Cameron Smith (61.70 Projected Pts): Things were really looking up for the young Aussie as recent as six months ago. He racked up a pair of podium finishes in last year's Playoffs, he won overseas, event posted a top 10 at the WGC-Mexico Championship in February. That's where the fun stopped. Since his return from the high altitude, he's lost strokes tee-to-green in seven straight starts and hasn't posted a top 50 in any of those events.
Beau Hossler (61.57 Projected Pts): The up-and-comer has hit a wall this season and he doesn't appear all that close to climbing over it. Hossler has lost strokes on approach in 10 of his last 11 starts including four weeks where he's lost 4.7 or more strokes approaching-the-green. Two of those weeks were compiled in just two rounds since he missed the cut. The putter can only carry him so far. He needs to dial in the irons.
Sungjae Im (38.13 Projected Pts): The algorithm continues to ignore his results from this season so we should keep giving him a boost. He appeared out of gas last month but he's back in the groove with back-to-back top 25s. The problem? He's still lost strokes on approach in five of his last six starts but the confidence tank is refilling and the irons should return soon.
Hank Lebioda (34.60 Projected Pts): This one is for larger drafts, but the lefty has been a steady striker all season. He's gained strokes tee-to-green in 11 of his last 12 starts and he found a pair of top 20s in his last five starts as a result. Even better, his main weakness (putting) has shown improvement with two straight weeks where he's gained with the flat stick.
Detroit Golf Club features poa annua greens with a touch of bentgrass in the mix as well. Let's see who likes these Northern grasses.
Looking at sample-adjusted performance on poa/bent courses since the start of 2014, the top 15 performers on a per-round basis looks like this:
Other than raw performance, we can also look at who shows the biggest improvement on Poa/Bent Courses (versus their baseline). Using that as the criteria, the following names pop:
Overlap List: Looking for overlap on the two lists we see Joaquin Niemann finds his way onto both. Having his base in Florida, I think he will figure out bermuda sooner rather than later but he's already proven he can contend on the poa/bent blends. Probably a big reason why he's rounding back into form for another summer stretch of good golf.
Nick Watney: Last week we saw Chez Reavie win to end a 250-event winless drought. Perhaps that will spark some life into some of the other vets that have been content with close calls. For Watney, it's been 158 events since his last win. Not quite the length of Reavie's winless drought, but still a long time to go winless for someone that racked up five PGA TOUR wins from 2007 to 2012. He's showing a lot of positive signs recently with 4.5 or more strokes gained tee-to-green in four of his last six starts.
Best of luck in all your contests this week!