Those that like to use course form data to set their DFS lineups are going to have to find another strategy for this week’s AT&T Byron Nelson at Trinity Forest Golf Club. This is only the second year for this event at that course just outside of Dallas, so we only have 72 holes worth of intel. Fortunately, there are a lot of stats and metrics in golf and we can also look at recent form.
That’s what we’ll do to get some value picks for this week’s tournament. With the PGA Championship on the horizon next week at Bethpage Black, some players are on hand for a tune-up, while others are on hand hoping to score a win for future majors, much like Max Homa did last week.
Keith Mitchell ($9,100) – Look, Keith Mitchell is a little bit pricey this week, but the relative strength of the field is partially to blame for that. In actuality, among the big-ticket players, Mitchell is the best value on the board. Mitchell was third here last year in the inaugural event at Trinity Forest, which is actually a golf course without a tree. Mitchell ranks second in the field in strokes gained off the tee plus strokes gained on approach. Mitchell ranks 16th in par 5 scoring. There are only three at this par 71 track, but there are three par 4s that measure over 500 yards, so his scoring prowess on long holes is still relevant. He’s got a great profile and ranks 29th in birdie or better percentage, which matters because guys can go low at this course.
Scott Piercy ($8,400) – Just a few dollars above the pre-selection average, Scott Piercy is a guy to have on your radar this week. Piercy is 19th in bogey avoidance and 27th in birdie or better percentage. As mentioned, this is a course where guys go low. There were 14 players last year that posted 69 or lower in all four rounds. You have to make birdies and avoid bogeys here. Piercy does that about as well as anybody in the field, along with being 13th in par 4 scoring. He’s got back-to-back top 15 finishes and three over the last three months, so he’s in pretty decent form as well.
Ryan Palmer ($8,000) – Amarillo, Texas native Ryan Palmer missed the cut here last year, which had to be a tough blow to him emotionally. There will be varying degrees of focus this week, but Palmer’s should be laser-sharp. Along with that, he’s fourth in par 4 scoring this year and 12th in birdie or better percentage. Once again, this is a course where a lot of guys can post low numbers. In order to get good DFS values, your players have to keep pace. Palmer was part of the winning team a couple weeks ago at the Zurich Classic and should know this course better than most of the other players.
DJ Trahan ($6,900) – This is quite a nice price for DJ Trahan, who is one of our two super cheap players on the list this week. Trahan has struggled in his last two events with missed cuts, but he did have a run of three straight top-20 finishes earlier in the year. Trahan is 25th in par 4 and par 5 scoring and 16th in strokes gained off the tee. His stat profile sets up pretty well. He’s played well in two alternate events, but this is one of the easier courses on the PGA Tour, which means that it is a course that he should be able to handle a little better than some of the others. That notion and his stat profile are enough for me to throw him in there at a real cheap price to let you get some bigger-priced golfers.
Doug Ghim ($6,500) – We keep waiting for University of Texas product Doug Ghim to have that big breakout event. Perhaps his 20th at the Farmers Insurance Open qualifies, but he’s back in his home state for this one and this has to be a course that he is familiar with. Ghim didn’t get to play this tournament last year. He’s here on a sponsor exemption this year. This is the home course for SMU, so Ghim had to have been exposed to it. If nothing else, he should be comfortable with the greens. He’s a long shot, but what more do you expect for a guy at this price point?