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DFS Dish: Mayakoba Golf Classic

Josh Culp

Late-night golf is done for now as the TOUR returns to North America for the Mayakoba Golf Classic. 

In addition to time-zone changes, it also means a return to normal cutline rules. Just as we got used to limited-field, no-cut events, it's time to turn our attention back to getting 6-of-6 golfers through the cut. 

As we've seen over the fall, the new top 65 and ties cutline rules has made that extremely tough to do. 

With a smaller field of 132 golfers, it should be a little bit easier than a full 156-man field but it's still likely that less than 10% of DFS gamers will manage to squeeze 6-of-6 golfers through the cut. 

Weather Update

Thursday (R1): Steady rain with a high of 82 degrees. Winds at 7 to 10 MPH with gusts up to 20 MPH. 

Friday (R2): Early rain with a high of 83 degrees. Winds at 5 to 10 MPH. 

This course has received a lot of rain in the lead-up but that's not rare for this event. They've used preferred lies at this event in nearly 40% of rounds over the last six years. 

DRAFT.com 

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. 
 

OVERRATED GOLFERS

Jason Day (71.39 Projected Pts): Hasn't played here since the 2009 edition. One of the best in the field when in-form but he's far from it right now. Hasn't posted a top 20 over this last seven starts. 

Matt Kuchar (67.87 Projected Pts): Making his first start of the season so it's likely to see a bit of rust for the defending champ. He's also lost strokes to the field in five straight worldwide starts which doesn't help his case. 

UNDERRATED GOLFERS

Xinjun Zhang (39.08 Projected Pts): Tore through the Korn Ferry Tour last year and found his groove again this fall. A good in-form option that might be worth a boost up the board. 

Doc Redman (37.72 Projected Pts): Has gained strokes tee-to-green in 77 percent of his rounds over the last year. That's third-best in the field. 

Course Fit

One of the key attributes of El Camaleon Golf Club is its location. It's seaside which leaves a lot of the course exposed to the elements. 

Looking at sample-size-adjusted performance in rounds played on coastal courses over the last three 3 years (PGA, KFT, Euro Tour) the top 15 performers on a per-round basis looks like this: 

Jason Day
Matt Kuchar
Tony Finau
Chez Reavie
Scott Piercy
Kevin Streelman
Charles Howell III
Russell Knox
J.T. Poston
Scott Stallings
Brian Gay
Zach Johnson
Chris Stroud
Patton Kizzire
Kevin Kisner

Other than raw performance, we can also look at who shows the biggest improvement on coastal courses (versus their baseline). Using that as the criteria, the following names pop:  

Chris Stroud
Patton Kizzire
Chez Reavie
Scott Piercy
Scott Stallings
Luke Donald
Brian Gay
Kevin Streelman
J.J. Spaun
Joel Dahmen
Matt Kuchar
Jason Day
J.T. Poston
Hudson Swafford
Scott Brown

Overlap List: Looking for overlap on the two lists we see Chris Stroud, Patton Kizzire, Chez Reavie, Scott Piercy, Scott Stallings, Kevin Streelman, Matt Kuchar, Jason Day, and J.T. Poston

Playing by the seaside typically means generous fairways and the need to flight your ball and/or scramble your butt off. These golfers all find a way to get the job done on coastal layouts. 

Value Spotlight

Xinjun Zhang: He gained at least 6.8 strokes tee-to-green in three straight starts before fizzling back home in China with a T38 finish at the WGC-HSBC. That was a big step-up in terms of the overall strength of field he's used to but this is more his speed. He remains cheap across the industry so I will try to ride the hot hand from the fall and hope the magic touch returns as we make our way back to North America. 

Best of luck in all your contests this week!