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Favorites, Longshots and Fantasy Plays for the Northern Trust and Women’s British Open

By: Kyle Cunningham-Rhoads

It’s a course with just about everything. 

It has a plethora of scoring holes, some tough long par 4s, and a lot of room to pick up or lose strokes in a hurry. It fits players who can play just about everything, which typically results in the best players in the world winning the Northern Trust. 

TPC Boston is a par 71 playing over 7,300 yards originally designed by Arnold Palmer. It plays almost exactly as long as TPC Harding Park and Muirfield Village, with about 103.6 yards per par stroke. 

TPC Boston

The last three winners at this course were Bryson DeChambeau, Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy.

We’re back to a top-70 cutline and ties, which means at least 56% of the field plays the weekend. With a lot of course variance, we see the cut settling somewhere between 1-over-par and 1-under, and our simulations put the winning score at around 19-under. 

PICK TO WIN

Our model picks Jason Day to win the Northern Trust.

Jason Day

His recent form is excellent, and if his back held up in cool San Francisco we’re happy to assume he’s good to go. In his last 22 rounds, Day gains more than 0.35 strokes in every facet of the game.

+0.367 Off the Tee

+0.617 Approach

+0.404 Around the Green

+0.607 Putting

On a course where everything is meaningful, our model points to a guy who can do everything.

OTHER FAVORITES WHO COULD TRIUMPH

Our model likes Xander Schauffele at the Northern Trust.

Xander Schauffele

It seemed like everyone was on Xander at the PGA Championship, where he came through with a “disappointing” top 10, and now he’s flying under the radar again. Like Day, Schauffele has positive strokes gained in all four categories since the restart. His irons are the one area of concern, but his performance on par 4s and par 5s are why the data backs him this week. He plays both types of par 4s really well, gaining 0.124 strokes on short par 4s and 0.121 strokes on long par 4s, both numbers adjusted for strength of field. Our simulator gives Xander a 4.3% chance of winning.

Billy Horschel

We’re back on the Billy Ho train this week after he finished second last week at Sedgefield. Horschel is one of the more prolific putters on tour, gaining more than a full stroke per round on the greens. He’s also above average in both off the tee and approach, and almost completely average with his game around the green. He can run hot, and he’s hot right now.

Adam Scott

Scott played his first PGA tournament in almost three months when he teed it up at the PGA Championship. He shook off some rust, and still finished in the top 20. Our model likes him again this week, and we really like him if he’s cleaned up his tee shots in the last two weeks. The simulator gives him a 2.5% chance to win, or about 40-1.

LONGSHOTS WHO COULD SURPRISE

Harris English could be someone to keep an eye on in Boston.

Harris English

Another player with positive strokes gained stats in all categories, English enters the Northern Trust with four top-20 finishes in his last five starts, and the one that wasn’t a top 20 was a T23. The model projects him to fall in that 10-20 range again. He’s particularly efficient on long par 3s, and with three of them on the course playing a combined 0.271 over par, English can use those holes to pick up some strokes.

Chez Reavie

Reavie is a strong iron player who is average in all other facets of his game. He does his best work on long par 4s, where he gains 0.053 strokes per hole and with small variance. His putting is his most variable skill, and Reavie could play himself into the top 20 or even the top 10 with an above-average putting week. Our model gives him a 10.9% chance to crack the top 10.

Kevin Na

Na was one of our picks to surprise at the PGA Championship, but he failed to make the weekend. The data backs him again on the TPC Boston track, where his wizardry on long par 3s will help him gain some strokes. He gains 0.112 strokes per hole on those long par 3s, which should more than make up for his lesser, though still above average, performances on par 4s and 5s. In this field, only John Rahm, Day and DeChambeau gain more strokes on long par 3s than Na.

Brendan Steele

Steele heads into the Northern Trust playing some good golf. He has a top 10, a top 20, and a T22 in his last five tournaments, making the cut in all five. He’s typically one of the more variable golfers on tour, and he’s particularly shaky with his irons and putter. His irons have been the good kind of variable of late as he’s gained 0.873 strokes per round on approach in his last four tournaments.

FAVORITE DFS PLAYS (Draftkings)

Xander Schauffele ($9,700)

Jason Day ($9,300)

Adam Scott ($8,400)

Matthew Fitzpatrick ($8,100)

Harris English ($7,600)

Kevin Na ($6,800)

Kevin Streelman ($6,700)

FAVORITE DFS FADES

Dustin Johnson ($10,400)

Paul Casey ($8,500)

Tommy Fleetwood ($8,500)

Justin Rose ($8,000)

Jordan Spieth ($7,800)

LPGA PICKS TO WIN

The LPGA is at Royal Troon this weekend for the AIG Women’s British Open. Last weekend ended with Stacy Lewis triumphing in a four-golfer playoff, and the best golfers are once again in the field this weekend. Here are some of our model’s picks this week.

Nasa Hataoka headlines our favorites for the Women’s British Open.

Nasa Hataoka

Royal Troon is a long golf course, made so by it’s three long par 5s. Hataoka is excellent on long par 5s, best in the field, and we like her chances of coming away with a victory this weekend.

Celine Boutier

Xiyu Lin

Cristie Kerr

Jennifer Song

Madelene Sagstrom

Perrine Delacour