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Takedown your 2024 One and Done golf league

Takedown your 2024 One and Done golf league

Over the last ten years, golf one and done contests have continued to surge in popularity. It is easy to see why. One and done leagues are easy to understand, you are rarely ever out of the competition, and it provides a fun way to follow your golf season. Increasingly, these contests have seen the ability to play for real money and bigger prizes. This year, golf one and done competitions have a few factors to take into account when making your decisions. With the majority of competitions starting at next week’s Sony Open, it seemed the optimal time to compile your ultimate guide to the 2024 One and Done golf season!

What is a One and Done golf league?

Most readers have likely already played in a one and done before, but it is probably worthy a few lines to recap how these contests work. In a one and done competition, players will usually pick one golfer for each tournament during the season. Once a golfer has been selected, they are then unavailable to be selected again during the year. Hence, the name “one and done”. Players are rewarded with prize money earned by the golfer in the tournament. The player with the most accumulated money across the season is the winner.

Unlike other fantasy golf contests, you are rarely completely out of a one and done competition. One big win, even late in the season, can give you enough prize money to catapult you back into contention. It provides a fun way to stay engaged with golf throughout the season.

The first action you should take is learning the rules of your contest. You should obviously know at which tournament your contest begins. But, just as importantly, you need to be aware what is the last tournament when your competition ends. You would be astounded how many times I hear of OAD players left still holding an elite player because they thought they would use them in the Tour Championship, but their season ended at the BMW Championship. Formulate a plan with how you will approach the year, and you will already be ahead of many of your competitors.

Finally, for smaller One and Done golf leagues you can play safer as you will need less money accumulated to take out a top prize. The larger the league, the more risks and money you will need to earn over the season to win.

Map out your golf One and Done season

Once you know the general rules for your one and done, I highly recommend mapping out your season. Specifically, not all tournaments are built equally in terms of the prize pool available. Additionally, you don’t want to be left trying to fit 5 elite golfers into 4 tournaments at the end of the year. I’m not suggesting you should know exactly where you will play each golfer at the beginning of the season. But plot a rough plan of how you will approach the season.

Key to this are the signature events, majors, and playoffs. A typical season will consist of 31 tournaments (Sony Open until the BMW Championship, with Zurich Classic excluded). But not all events are built equal. The 7 signature events, The Players, the 4 majors, The Players, and the 2 playoff events account for 65% of the total money available from the One and Done golf season. Individual prizes are roughly double what they are in the other events. Pick the winner in a couple of these events and you are already on your way to a successful One and Done golf season!

Obviously, we are going to want to use our best golfers during these events. It wouldn’t make sense to burn a Rory McIlroy at the Valero Texas Open when your potential return is so much greater elsewhere. The signature events do have one positive: they are all no cut events, so you are guaranteed a payday.

Then there is the question of LIV Golf players. Unless a miraculous deal is finalised and they’re granted immediate access to the remainder of the PGA Tour season, they will only be available for selection in the 4 majors. Very few have guaranteed qualification, although they can still qualify for the US Open and The Open Championship.

One and Done Golf tiers

Next, I have formed three lists of players. Firstly, elite stud players you will absolutely want to use in signature events, playoffs, or majors. These 6 golfers are the only golfers who average over +2 SG: Total over the field for the last 12 months.

Elite Studs
Scottie Scheffler
Rory McIlroy
Patrick Cantlay
Viktor Hovland
Xander Schauffele
Collin Morikawa

You can likely add Max Homa to that list, who was just under +2 SG: Total for the past year but was +2.23 SG: Total over the past 6 months.

The only other golfer to earn over +2 SG: Total for the last 12 months is, of course, Jon Rahm. He makes the next list of LIV Elite Studs. In my opinion, you want to use at least two of these in the majors (Jon Rahm plus Brooks Koepka) and probably three (Cam Smith).

LIV Elite Studs
Jon Rahm
Brooks Koepka
Cam Smith
Dustin Johnson
Bryson DeChambeau
Joaquin Niemann?

Those first 5 golfers have guaranteed entry to all four majors, but I may also look to another option in Joaquin Niemann. However, he only currently has access to The Open Championship following his win in the Australian Open. He could still qualify for the US Open through normal qualification process.

Overall, this forms a strong base to begin planning your One and Done golf season.

Solid One and Done golf picks

Finally, there are the sub-elite golfers. These are solid picks who I more than likely want to play at some point during the One and Done golf season. I will possibly use some in the signature events, particularly at courses where they have good history or if they hit hot form during the season. Otherwise, they are solid plays in tournaments outside the signature events where they will often go off towards the top of betting markets.

Sub-Elite (ranked in order of preference)

  1. Max Homa
  2. Tommy Fleetwood
  3. Tyrrell Hatton
  4. Ludvig Aberg
  5. Tom Kim
  6. Tony Finau
  7. Sungjae Im
  8. Min Woo Lee
  9. Matt Fitzpatrick
  10. Jordan Spieth
  11. Justin Thomas
  12. Sam Burns
  13. Sahith Theegala
  14. Wyndham Clark
  15. Will Zalatoris
  16. Shane Lowry
  17. Russell Henley
  18. Sepp Straka
  19. Cameron Young
  20. Nicolai Hojgaard
  21. Eric Cole
  22. Brian Harman
  23. Corey Conners
  24. Hideki Matsuyama
  25. Keegan Bradley
  26. Rickie Fowler
  27. Taylor Moore
  28. Ryan Fox
  29. JT Poston
  30. Denny McCarthy
  31. Adam Scott
  32. Jason Day
  33. Justin Rose
  34. Cam Davis
  35. Beau Hossler

You can find a full list of the 50 golfers with guaranteed signature event starts in 2024 here.

Certainly, this list is a lot more fluid. As you move further down that board, more questions will come into play such as injury concerns or regaining form. However, that will reveal itself as the season goes on. We can remain dynamic with these plays and slot them in later during the season, including any other golfers who inevitably emerge as the One and Done golf year unfolds.

Horses for courses

Another factor in your decision making should be the course on offer each week. Of course, different golfers have various aspects of a game which are a strength for them. You would prefer not to use a bomber at a tight fiddly course where accuracy is at a premium, such as Sedgefield Country Club. Likewise, you wouldn’t to use a shorter hitter at a course like Quail Hollow, where long drivers of the golf ball have had a distinct advantage.

Additionally, when planning your One and Done golf season you want to consider course history. There are always a few new golf courses every season. Other courses have remained on the PGA Tour for quite some time. This has seen the rise of many course experts. Players like Sam Burns at the Valspar Championship or Webb Simpson at Sedgefield come to mind. Clearly, some golfers are going to find a course where they just feel comfortable or the tournament holds special meaning.

However, this does come with a word of caution. In an age where information and golf data is now readily available, many other One and Done golf managers are going to have the same idea. You want to play your position in the league and, usually, avoid any massive spikes in golfer ownership you see develop.

Gain leverage on your One and Done golf league

That segues nicely into a conversation on ownership. I have to give credit to my friend Rick Gehman for the inspiration to this segment. He put together this excellent video on One and Done golf player deployment and the data was astounding.

YouTube player

I found it amazing that Rory McIlroy had already been used by 50% of users by mid-March. Scottie Scheffler had been used by nearly 60% of player by The Masters! It raises a really good way to make yourself different. By keeping a few of your elite studs towards later in the season, you are creating leverage on your competitors.

Obviously, you could get unlucky and a high owned player ends up spiking a win for the masses. But you are nearly always better to avoid the chalk. The same applies in the regular PGA Tour stops. There will certainly be circumstances where a player like Russell Henley ends up the betting favourite, with a huge ownership percentage in a lower tier event where the fields are weaker. Again, you should probably avoid the chalk in such circumstances.

In larger leagues, you might want to consider some riskier plays at the beginning of the year. If both Hideki Matsuyama and Jordan Spieth look healthy, you could consider playing them at say the Phoenix Open and RBC Heritage for example. Playing some of the bigger names early who have either been injured or struggling for form comes with risks. But the majority of players will feel the same, wanting to save them until they feel a bit more certain of their status. Should a riskier but low-owned choice spike a win for you, you’ve set up your season nicely with your studs still in hand where others have already burned them.

Remain dynamic

Finally, you want to play your situation as the season develops. If you are front-running, you can play a bit safer. Take a risk adverse approach and let the pack chase you. Again, you don’t want to be playing the obvious mega-chalk. But you don’t need to roll the dice looking for some obscure option.

Conversely, if you find yourself significantly off the lead, you will need to take some risks. You’ll want to still save your studs until others have burned them. But you may wish to look for some alternative plays later in the season in the higher money signature events, deviating from your original plan. You would be hoping to get lucky, picking a winner that few others are on. Again, this is particularly true for larger contests with many other entries.

And, of course, we are talking about golf. Anything can happen! Players will get injured. Some will be badly out of form. New, unexpected talent will emerge and suddenly become popular must plays. Remaining dynamic and prepared to change your original plan is essential to adapting to the situation you face at the time.

This doesn’t supersede the golden rules though. Use all your studs; you don’t want to be left holding both Hovland and Scheffler in the last week of your contest. Make your picks every week; having a non-starter is criminal and obviously hinders your chances. And never give up; there are some huge purses to play for at the end of the season and anything can happen!

What follows next is a complete breakdown of every tournament this season.

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2024 One and Done golf cheat sheet

As we enter into an overview of the year ahead, I’ll reiterate that this should not be seen as the sole way to approach your One and Done golf season. Your individual strategy will depend on many different factors. I am also writing this on January 6th. So, if you plan on bookmarking this page and referring back to it throughout the year, take this into account as invariably the PGA Tour will develop and change.

I’ve broken down each course, giving a very brief outlook on the type of course and what style golfer may benefit. Then, I have included some potential players you may want to consider deploying at each event. Again, take this with a grain of salt. It remains unclear how many additional PGA Tour tournaments those who have qualified for the Signature events will end up playing.

Sony Open (11 January)

Course: Waialae Country Club
Purse: $8.3m
Potential Players: Corey Conners, Justin Rose, Brian Harman

This narrow course is the polar opposite of the Plantation Course at Kapalua, host of The Sentry. Driving accuracy is at a premium here, with tree-lined fairways and very thick rough adding to the challenge. Winds are a defense here as well, with SG: ATG ranking heavily as a predictive factor. It is an advantage to have played the week prior at The Sentry, as is prior form here which ranks 2nd only to Augusta National in strength of correlation.

The American Express (18 January)

Course: Pete Dye Stadium Course, Nicklaus Tournament Course & La Quinta
Purse: $8.4m
Potential Players: Adam Hadwin, Cam Davis, Andrew Putnam, Tom Hoge

The first tournament of course rotation season. In this case, using three courses before finishing with an additional round at the Pete Dye Stadium Course. This is the tournament which Jon Rahm famously labelled as a “Piece of sh*t f*cking setup. Putting contest week”, before winning the event in 2023. Scoring is low and you’ll need to find a golfer who can reach close to -25 to -30 if they want to secure the win. As such, it tends to be a volatile event.

Farmers Insurance Open (24 January)

Course: Torrey Pines Golf Course (South and North Courses)
Purse: $9.0m
Potential Players: Wyndham Clark, Jason Day, Sungjae Im

Our second in the course rotation trifecta. Fortunately, in this case three rounds are played on the South Course with the North Course only played for one of the first two rounds prior to the cut. The North Course is substantially the easier of the two. This is a bomber heavy course and a strong driver of the golf ball is a great asset.

AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am (1 February)
Key One and Done golf tournamentSignature Event

Course: Pebble Beach Golf Links and Spyglass Hill Golf Course
Purse: $20.0m
Potential Players: Russell Henley, Tom Kim, Max Homa

Our final course rotation tournament of three and our first signature event in the regular One and Done rota. PGA Tour were keen to have this as a signature event not just because of the iconic Pebble Beach course, but also the pro-am element and the opportunity to look after their sponsors. Again, three of the rounds will be at one course (Pebble Beach) with just the sole round at Spyglass Hill. Pebble Beach can’t be overpowered and sees a disproportionate number of shots from 100-150 yards as a result. Given some of the smallest greens on the PGA Tour, alongside SG: APP you’ll need a sharp short-game here.

WM Phoenix Open (8 February)

Course: TPC Scottsdale
Purse: $8.8m
Potential Players: Justin Thomas, Hideki Matsuyama, Keegan Bradley

I am intrigued to see what happens with the WM Phoenix Open this year. Colloquially known as the People’s Open, the event sees itself demoted to a regular season event and sandwiched between two signature events. Whether this results in a reduced quality of field and who takes this as a rest week remains to be seen. The course is a well-rounded test of a golfer’s game and has typically seen the cream rise to the top. It’ll be interesting to see how much of that crop shows up. If Scheffler is the only big name that returns looking for his three-peat he probably wins, although you should keep him in your stash for a bigger payday. Let others blow their ownership and look for greener pastures. With rather large greens at over 7,000 sq ft, don’t discount a solid putter here along with sharp iron play.

The Genesis Invitational (15 February)
Key One and Done golf tournamentSignature Event

Course: Riviera Country Club
Purse: $20.0m
Potential Players: Collin Morikawa, Will Zalatoris, Patrick Cantlay

Along with The Sentry host the Plantation course at Kapalua, this is one of the best form guides for Augusta National on Tour. Jon Rahm of course won both tournaments before slipping on the green jacket in 2023. You may want to jump on the future odds for the winner at The Masters as they will inevitable dive after this event. Part of that is down to the undulating nature of this course. You will rarely have a flat approach shot, and it is skill with your irons which will prove decisive.

Mexico Open (22 February)

Course: Vidanta Vallarta
Purse: $8.1m
Potential Players: Akshay Bhatia, Brandon Wu, Alex Smalley

This birdie-fest is the sole tropical course for the One and Done golf season. Paspalum greens are pretty polarizing, their slow pace not suiting all golfers and seeing some paspalum specialists developing. Brandon Wu is a key example, finishing 2nd and 3rd here and also holding a 3rd and 7th at the Puerto Rico Open. Driving distance is a big asset here, with the average yardage for par 4s and par 5s the longest on the PGA Tour averaging 495 yards.

Defending champion Tony Finau is likely to be heavily owned at this event in a very weak field. There will be few top players travelling South of the border. If Kurt Kitayama, Patrick Rodgers, or Beau Hossler end up starting they are worthy of consideration.

Cognizant Classic (29 February)

Course: PGA National
Purse: $9.0m
Potential Players: Sepp Straka, Shane Lowry, Tommy Fleetwood

We begin the Florida swing with what was formerly known as the Honda Classic. This is a difficult course with a single figure winner common, especially if the weather plays a factor. It’s perhaps unsurprising this has been a strong predictor of success at The Open. 2023 Open runner-up Sepp Straka has an excellent record here, as does former Open champion Shane Lowry.

Arnold Palmer Invitational (7 March)
Key One and Done golf tournamentSignature Event

Course: Bay Hill Club & Lodge
Purse: $20.0m
Potential Players: Matt Fitzpatrick, Xander Schauffele, Cam Young

Another signature event, and a tournament where Rory McIlroy is often deployed by One and Done golf managers. If you can avoid the temptation, you should have some leverage opportunities later in the season. This is a ball-strikers golf course, with both distance and accuracy positively correlated to success. Approach over 200 yards is also key, with the longest collection of par 3s of the regular PGA Tour courses.

The Players Championship (14 March)
Key One and Done golf tournament – Largest purse

Course: TPC Sawgrass
Purse: $25.0m
Potential Players: Viktor Hovland, Collin Morikawa, Tom Kim

The single largest paycheck in the One and Done golf year. One of the highest correlations between driving accuracy and success of any tournament on the PGA Tour, it is easy to understand why there are such strong links between here and Wyndham Championship host Sedgefield Country Club. Scheffler is likely heavily owned, being the defending champion in the biggest purse of the season, but there are other great options available.

Valspar Championship (21 March)

Course: Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort
Purse: $8.4m
Potential Players: Sam Burns, Aaron Rai, Justin Rose, Justin Thomas

Many One and Done managers will simply revert to Sam Burns here, depending on whether he is playing decent golf at the time. Holding a record of 1-1-6 in his last three starts, it is easy to understand why. You should consider your position in your One and Done golf league when making that decision. The course greets players with some of the narrowest fairways on the PGA Tour, combined with incredibly thick rough and tree-lined fairways. This makes it one of the top 3 most difficult driving courses of the season. There is a disproportionate number of shots from over 200 yards, a reflection of golfers clubbing down to avoid trouble off the tee.

Houston Open (28 March)

Course: Memorial Park Golf Course
Purse: $9.1m
Potential Players: Nicolai Hojgaard, Ryan Fox, Patrick Rodgers, Beau Hossler

This tournament has moved from the fall to the regular season, so it will be interesting to see if the course plays any different. We only have three years worth of data to go off here, but Total Driving looks to be a fairly decent predictor of success. Markedly, there are an unusual 5 par 3s on this course and a number of them are short. That makes this 7,432 yard par 70 course play even longer, with 5 par 4s over 490 yards and the 3 par 5s averaging a massive 596 yards each.

Valero Texas Open (4 April)

Course: TPC San Antonio
Purse: $9.2m
Potential Players: Sahith Theegala, Ludvig Aberg, Chris Kirk, Tyrrell Hatton

The PGA Tour reduce their carbon footprint just a smidge by remaining in Texas for another week, in a rare dose of common sense. The course plays shorter than what it says on the tin, with firm fairways seeing large runout from drives. The rough ranks as the least penal on the PGA Tour. Although the greens are large, they are multi-tiered meaning the actual target area is substantially reduced. Alongside approach, SG: ATG is a strong predictor of success. As the penultimate event to The Masters, it may attract some names who are seeking a warm-up before hitting Augusta National. Determining how focused those players actually are on winning this event over fine-tuning their game is a minefield.

The Masters (11 April)
Key One and Done golf tournamentMajor

Course: Augusta National
Purse: $18.0m
Potential Players: Cam Smith, Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm

We reach the first major of the year and likely the first decision about which LIV Golf player we should deploy. I would hazard a guess that Jon Rahm is heavily deployed here as defending champion. You may be better to save him for the next major, which should also suit. Albeit, I’m not too worried about ownership on the other three obvious LIV golfers. The likes of Scottie Scheffler, Viktor Hovland, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, and Ludvig Aberg will also attract selection. In short, keep an eye on whether Cam Smith’s form improves throughout the year, with last year’s runner-up Brooks Koepka an option, and previous winner Dustin Johnson if you would like to get contrarian.

RBC Heritage (18 April)
Key One and Done golf tournamentSignature Event

Course: Harbour Town Golf Links
Purse: $20.0m
Potential Players: Jordan Spieth, Patrick Cantlay, Tyrrell Hatton

The tour attempts to keep the attention of casual golf fans by placing a signature event directly after the most watched tournament in golf. The merits of this can be debated, but it is nice to shake off the hangover from the first major quickly. In contrast to last week, this short and narrow test is the near opposite of Augusta National. Therefore, the course produces some of the lowest driving distance numbers on tour. With very small greens a combination of driving accuracy, precise iron play, and short-game for the inevitable missed GIR is key here. Hopefully, a large percentage of One and Done golf managers have already used Jordan Spieth and you can select a player who has finished 1st and 2nd in his last two appearances here.

THE CJ CUP Byron Nelson (2 May)

Course: TPC Craig Ranch
Purse: $9.5m
Potential Players: Eric Cole, Justin Rose, Harris English

The tournament where K.H. Lee won back-to-back titles in 2021 and 2022, earning him the nickname “TPC Lee”. Jason Day then completed his own double in 2023, with some 13 years in between drinks. One unique aspect of the course is the zoysia grass fairways. This is relatively rare on the PGA Tour, only appearing at TPC Southwind and East Lake. Driver is not that important on this course. Someone like Eric Cole comes to mind, who is actually a surprisingly poor driver. Instead, we see a big uptick in long approach shots. 1/3rd of all approach shots are over 200 yards, with 2/3rd of approach shots are from over 150 yards.

Wells Fargo Championship (9 May)
Key One and Done golf tournamentSignature Event

Course: Quail Hollow Club
Purse: $20.0m
Potential Players: Rory McIlroy, Min Woo Lee, Ludvig Aberg

Quail Hollow is a big boy golf course. Sitting at over 7,500 yards for a par 71, it is one of the longest tests on the PGA Tour. Driving distance is essential here, as seen by Wyndham Clark when winning for us at 80/1 in the lead-up to his U.S. Open victory. 75% of approach shots will be from over 150 yards. Putting from 5-15 feet is ranked 15th most difficult on the Tour, with putts from 15+ feet ranking 7th on tour. Hopefully, three-time champion Rory McIlroy has already been burned by a large number of managers and you can deploy him at a track he loves.

PGA Championship (16 May)
Key One and Done golf tournamentMajor

Course: Valhalla Golf Club
Purse: $17.5m
Potential Players: Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson

The majors return to Valhalla 10 years after Rory McIlroy triumphed here in 2014. If you didn’t use him the preceding week at the Wells Fargo Championship, you can deploy him here. In fact, that may preferable with invariably even more players having used him. However, this is again another rare opportunity to deploy one of the LIV Golf players. Being a Nicklaus design, parallels might be drawn to Muirfield, where Jon Rahm is a past champion. He would’ve won back-to-back there had it not been for the unfortunate withdrawal after three rounds with COVID when leading by 6.

Charles Schwab Challenge (23 May)

Course: Colonial Country Club
Purse: $9.1m
Potential Players: Rickie Fowler, Tony Finau, Russell Henley

If Jordan Spieth hasn’t been used yet or shown continued struggles with the wrist injury, One and Done golf managers might just auto-click his name here. It is perhaps unsurprising then that the course shares links with Harbour Town, as Spieth has won on both courses. Each is a fiddly, positional course where accuracy off the tee between overhanging branches and a sharp short game is required.

RBC Canadian Open (30 May)

Course: Hamilton Golf & Country Club
Purse: $9.4m
Potential Players: Brian Harman, Brendon Todd, Andrew Putnam, Adam Hadwin

The RBC Canadian Open returns to Hamilton Golf & Country Club, which most recently hosted this event in 2019. Outside leader Rory McIlroy, the leaderboard was dotted with accurate drivers. 7 of the top 10 on the leaderboard finished in the top 20 of driving accuracy for the week. Additionally, 8 of the Top 10 that week were in the top 10 for SG: Putting at the tournament. Find the fairway and make your putts looks to be the most reliable pathway to success.

The Memorial Tournament (6 June)
Key One and Done golf tournamentSignature Event

Course: Muirfield Village Golf Club
Purse: $20.0m
Potential Players: Scottie Scheffler, Sam Burns, Patrick Cantlay

The Memorial kicks-off a big run off three large purses on the tour. In fact, 37% of the total money on offer will be awarded in the next 11 weeks (even more if your contest includes the Tour Championship). Another reminder why you should never give up on your One and Done golf contest right until the end of the year! Accuracy is more important than distance here, as is excellent approach play, and an aptitude for putting on bentgrass.

U.S. Open (13 June)
Key One and Done golf tournamentMajor

Course: Pinehurst No. 2
Purse: $20.0m
Potential Players: Brooks Koepka, Cam Smith, Jon Rahm

The penultimate major of the year. We return to a venue where Kaymer trounced the field in 2014, fellow Kiwi Michael Campbell held off Tiger Woods in 2005, and Payne Stewart won in 1999. This course is a demon, typically delivering an incredibly tight affair and very high scoring. In fact, only three golfers have played this course under-par in three renditions. Sounds like the kind of course where the relentless attitude of Koepka could be beneficial, or the hot putter of Cam Smith could keep him in contention.

Travelers Championship (20 June)
Key One and Done golf tournamentSignature Event

Course: TPC River Highlands
Purse: $20.0m
Potential Players: Russell Henley, Tom Kim, Brian Harman

A big three weeks concludes at the Travelers, again strategically placed by the PGA Tour in the hope of keeping the armchair golf fans engaged. Driving accuracy rules king at TPC River Highlands, as highlighted by Brian Harman and Zac Blair just behind Keegan Bradley last time out. We had unluckily selected Zac Blair the prior tournament at 1000/1 before he withdrew with injury, only to return here with that runner-up finish. The course requires a sharp wedge game, with a disproportionate number of shots under 150 yards. Other Pete Dye courses are a good guide here, with TPC Sawgrass and Sedgefield Country Club both offering accuracy heavy tests.

Rocket Mortgage Classic (27 June)

Course: Detroit Golf Club
Purse: $9.2m
Potential Players: Adam Scott, Taylor Moore, Ryan Fox, Nicolai Hojgaard

Off the back of those three big tournaments, don’t be surprised to see many of the best golfers give this one a miss. Consequently, you could see a lot of the top of the betting board available for selection. Basically, you are likely best to keep an eye on projected use for this week and do the opposite. More than 50% of all approach shots will occur between 50-150 yards. This is key given shots on longer par 3s and the par 5s will naturally require a longer approach shot. I put Nicolai Hojgaard up at 80/1 here in 2023, although I doubt you will see that number this time around.

John Deere Classic (4 July)

Course: TPC Deere Run
Purse: $7.8m
Potential Players: Ryan Fox, Chris Kirk, Russell Henley, Lucas Glover

This tournament can prove quite volatile and could be renamed as the “John Deere wedge putter birdie-fest”. The tournament has required a score better than 20-under in 11 of the last 14 editions. The other three were won at -18 or -19 with high winds in at least one round. A huge number of approach shots will fall between 100-150 yards. Driving accuracy is helpful not because the course is overly narrow, but because you simply must give yourself as many birdie looks within 10 feet as possible. That’s easier to achieve from the short stuff.

Genesis Scottish Open (11 July)

Course: The Renaissance Club
Purse: $9.0m
Potential Players: Tommy Fleetwood, Matt Fitzpatrick, Tyrrell Hatton, Joaquin Niemann?

We make our way to the spiritual home of golf and a foray into links golf. Overall, links golf requires a unique set of skills and those with that experience hold an edge. This event is commingled with the DP World Tour, allowing an opportunity to play some golfers who might not have an opportunity to during other tournaments. I do wonder whether we might see Joaquin Niemann here, who managed to play some DP World Tour events not being a former member and receiving a sponsor exemption. Robert MacIntyre is likely a very popular selection and should probably be avoided, following a remarkable tournament last year where Rory McIlroy snatched victory in near impossible circumstances.

The Open Championship (18 July)
Key One and Done golf tournament – Major

Course: Royal Troon
Purse: $16.5m
Potential Players: Joaquin Niemann, Xander Schauffele, Max Homa, Tommy Fleetwood

The final chance to snag a major in 2024, The Open Championship returns to Royal Troon. This will be it’s 10th time hosting, with the most recent of those being in 2016. Many will see Tyrrell Hatton and Rory McIlroy finishing in 5th placed here that year. As a result, read that in the context that this was an epic major between Henrik Stenson (-20) and Phil Mickelson (-17). Stenson finished 15 strokes ahead of Hatton and McIlroy, with their closer competitor being J.B. Holmes in 3rd (-6). If Niemann is in reasonable form, you should consider playing him here. His low ball-flight with irons has always looked suited for links golf if the winds blow.

3M Open (25 July)

Course: TPC Twin Cities
Purse: $8.3m
Potential Players: Tony Finau, Ryan Fox, Adrian Meronk

With players travelling back from The Open Championship, expect many who played the week prior to be resting. If not, jet-lag can always be a factor. Particularly if they have contended the week prior, I would avoid any such player this week. The course is long enough at 7,431 yards and par 71. Rough is fairly non-existent, but water on 15 of the 18 holes keeps golfers honest. You can perhaps rely on Tony Finau being used by other players by this point, arriving at a course where he has never finished worse than 28th in 5 looks with form of 23-3-28-1-7.

Wyndham Championship (8 August)

Course: Sedgefield Country Club
Purse: $7.9m
Potential Players: Tom Kim, Sungjae Im, Russell Henley

A week’s break as the golfers head to the Olympic Games, played at Le Golf National. Most of the One and Done golf contests will miss that event, as there is no prize purse given putting a price on a gold medal is rather difficult.

The PGA Tour returns at the Wyndham Championship, which is always an exciting event as the last chance saloon to make the playoffs. As mentioned in The Players preview, this course and TPC Sawgrass share one of the strongest correlations you will see between two golf courses all season. Those who have not used Tom Kim likely deploy him here (should he play), so monitor usage and divert to golfers like Sungjae Im or Russell Henley. Webb Simpson likely attracts attention given his absurd course history here, at a course he loves so much he named his daughter after a hotel chain.

FedEx St Jude Championship (15 August)
Key One and Done golf tournament – Playoffs

Course: TPC Southwind
Purse: $20.0m
Potential Players: Patrick Cantlay, Tyrrell Hatton, Collin Morikawa

The first playoff event and hopefully you find yourself having ridden a little luck and good planning to be in contention. TPC Southwind has hosted some form of tournament since 1989. First as the FedEx St Jude Classic, then the WGC FedEx St Jude Invitational, before becoming the FedEx St Jude Championship. Make sure you use course history over tournament history to have access to the most data possible.

Again, those rare zoysia grass fairways show up here. Overall, the course is a tricky test with a winning score in the low to mid teens common. Water is heavily involved on 11 holes and the rough is pretty gnarly. Driving distance is not really a factor, but accuracy is an asset as is sharp approach play. 78% of all approach shots occur between 100-200 yards here.

BMW Championship (22 August)
Key One and Done golf tournament – Playoffs

Course: Castle Pines Golf Club
Purse: $20.0m
Potential Players: Matt Fitzpatrick, Ludvig Aberg, Sungjae Im

The 2nd playoff event sees a reduction to the last 50 players and a return to Castle Pines, last sighted on the PGA Tour for The International tournament from 1986-2006. Unfortunately, that was before the age of big data and strokes gained was not recorded. Other Nicklaus designs like Muirfield could be a useful guide. On paper, the course looks a long test but bear in mind this is played at altitude in Colorado.

Tour Championship (29 August)
Key One and Done golf tournament – Playoffs

Course: East Lake Golf Club
Purse: TBC
Potential Players: Scottie Scheffler, Rory McIlroy, Viktor Hovland

Finally, if your One and Done contest includes the Tour Championship some extra strategy is required. Controversially, the Tour Championship is handicapped including starting strokes based on the number of FedEx Cup points that players have earned throughout the year. I understand the appeal in having the person who lifts the trophy also being the one who wins the FedEx Cup. However, the DP World Tour handle this just fine and golf fans are smart enough to be able to handle concurrent leaderboards.

Basically, with the starting strokes you may be best to hold back an elite stud to deploy here. Obviously, the vast majority of players will have used them by this point and you are giving yourself a huge advantage. Scottie Scheffler makes the most sense as barring injury he should be in the top 4 players and, therefore, have one of the lower starting scores. However, Rory McIlroy does have an excellent record at East Lake. Monitor how the season develops and, having checked whether your contest includes this tournament, keep back an elite player who is highly likely to finish towards the top of the FedEx Cup leaderboard entering this event.

And thus ends another PGA Tour season, and a 6,500 word article. I hope you’ve enjoyed it, that you have a very successful One and Done golf year, and a big thank you again for all your support for DeepDiveGolf.

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