This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Golf series.
A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier
The Old White TPC (7,287 yards, par 70)
$1,314,000 and 500 FedEx Cup points to the winner
Setting the Stage
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, WV – Held in a sleepy town of just over 2,000 people that is nearly 40 miles from the nearest big city in Roanoke, VA, The Greenbrier is an anomaly of sorts. Most PGA Tour events, especially in the continental U.S., are in large cities. This one is not, thanks to a man named Jim Justice, who kept this small town alive by purchasing and reviving the Greenbrier Resort in 2009 when it was in danger of being dismantled by corporate giant Marriot. The $20M investment paid off, in spite of the disastrous flooding of 2016. Thousands now flock to the prestigious venue that draws a high-class crowd to its private acreage. This week, residents Bubba Watson and Phil Mickelson highlight an otherwise diluted field of hopefuls looking to notch a win. There are seven players ranked inside the Top 35 in the world, but curiously none of them fall inside the Top 10. A quick glance ahead shows just 12 PGA Tour events left on the calendar, including two majors, a WGC, and four FedEx Cup playoff events – it's now easier to see why many top players are selective about their appearances at smaller events like this week as they gear up for the critical home stretch. Those who are teeing it up this week should expect a close battle down the stretch, as we have seen three playoffs in seven years and no more than a two-stroke margin of victory. It all sets the stage for great drama on the unique par-3 finishing hole and recurring interest in the small town of White Sulphur Springs.
2017 – Xander Schauffele
2016 – Cancelled due to flooding
2015 – Danny Lee
2014 – Angel Cabrera
2013 – Jonas Blixt
2012 – Ted Potter, Jr.
2011 – Scott Stallings
2010 – Stuart Appleby
Key Stats to Victory
• Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green
• Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee
• Par-4 Scoring
• Birdie-or-better percentage
Ball-Strikers Unite…for a Second Straight Week
Looking at the total history since 2010, The Old White TPC has proven that there are advantages to be had for players who hit it well off the tee, meaning accurately and at least moderately long. Beyond the Strokes Gained measures listed above, par-4 scoring is crucial to success at this venue. The rationale is that there are two more par-4s than a typical par-72 layout and the greens are small, meaning consistent success on these holes will require all kinds of clubs in the bag. The champion at this venue has reached 13-under or better in six of seven instances, so making birdies is important if players want to contend on Sunday afternoon.
Yahoo Value Picks
Best of the Best
Bubba Watson, $43 – Watson is the only player with three wins this season on Tour, and he brings plenty of momentum after a big win two weeks ago. His track record is solid with four made cuts at Old White TPC, but he has yet to crack the Top 10. As a resident of the area, Bubba will feel at home in the prestigious confines of White Sulphur Springs.
Russell Henley, $42 – Henley has arguably the best course history with a pair of top-5s, and he enters off his best finish of the season (T6) at the Travelers. Henley tends to get streaky at times and this might be the beginning of one of those stretches.
Tony Finau, $41 – Finau is trending well after contending at the U.S. Open and posting his best major finish of fifth. The lanky Finau is plenty long, hits plenty of greens, and has notched a pair of top-13s in two career starts in West Virginia. There's a lot to like here.
Danny Lee, $35 – Lee is a previous champ from 2015 and can make enough birdies if he can hit fairways and greens with some resemblance of regularity. When he doesn't, he has missed the cut. When he does, he's been inside the Top 15.
Joaquin Niemann, $27 – Niemann posted two top-10s and a top-20 over his last four starts. The only question mark is his lack of experience at this venue. At $27, he's worth a risk for his upside.
Ryan Blaum, $26 – Riding a stretch of four top-25s in his last five events, Blaum is sneakily sitting in the bargain bin just above the minimum salary of $20 this week. What's more, Blaum posted a nice little T7 at The Old White TPC last season, making him multi-faceted value play this week.
Strategy Tips on Yahoo this week (based on $200 standard salary cap)
With such a diluted field it's worth taking a few chances on trending options, but don't forget to blend in some steady selections like Finau or Bubba. The key is settling on six guys who have great upside for victory because even big names can be rather unpredictable at The Old White TPC.