Why Trinity Forest Sets up Well for Long Shots

Why Trinity Forest Sets up Well for Long Shots article feature image

May 11, 2018; Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, USA; James Hahn plays his shot from the 15th tee during the second round of The Players Championship golf tournament at TPC Sawgrass – Stadium Course. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Course

The AT&T Byron Nelson has a new home this year. Hosting the event for the first time, Trinity Forest Golf Club brings a unique layout to the PGA Tour.

Trinity Forest resembles a course we’d usually see for an Open Championship. Despite its name, there aren’t really any trees. With big fairways and minimal rough, the course has a wide-open feel.

Trinity Forest checks in at 7,450 yards for par-71, so there’s nothing too overwhelming about its length. It could be tough to close out a round here with a 215-yard par-3 and 505-yard par-4 as the last two holes.


The Field

After seeing all the elite golfers at The Players Championship, the Byron Nelson is a week off for many of the guys.

Jordan Spieth, Sergio Garcia, Matt Kuchar and Hideki Matsuyama are the headliners this week.

Spieth opens as a decent-sized favorite at +500. Kuchar is next in line at +1200 with Garcia (+1400) and Matsuyama (+1800) the only other golfers below +2000.

From there, the field gets pretty rough and we get a bunch of players such as Branden Grace and Marc Leishman in the +2500 range when we’re used to seeing them around +5000.

The Favorites

There’s not really a whole lot to love in this range. I’ll be keeping an eye on Matsuyama’s number, and if it gets above +2000, I’d look hard at that.

I’ll also look at Grace and Leishman if they dip into the +3000s, but overall, I’m going very light in this range. A weak field and a new course add to the unknowns of this golf tournament and could lead to an unexpected winner.

For PGA DFS analysis, check out this week’s FantasyLabs breakdown.

The Mid-tier

There’s a little more to choose from once we get away from the favorites.

I’m starting out in this range with Scott Piercy at +6600. Piercy ranks No. 1 on tour this year in Strokes Gained: Approach. With this course appearing to be wide open off the tee, it will put the emphasis on the second shot, and no one has been better in that regard than Piercy. The putter always holds him back. He ranks an abysmal 187th on tour in Strokes Gained: Putting. But on the slower Bermuda greens such as the ones expected this week, he’s been able to hang around the field average.

Another guy I’ll look at is Beau Hossler at +3500. It’s not the best number considering we’ve been getting him in the triple digits all year, but he’s a member here, so he’ll know this place as well as anyone. Hossler is usually a good putter but is coming off a bad week on the greens at The Players: If he had putted field average, he’d have been inside the top 10. I’d expect a bounceback in that area. I will be patient with this number, though, and try to wait for something +4000 or higher. He hasn’t been this low all year, so I’m hoping that will keep the action down on him and push the number up later in the week.

The Longshots

With Spieth, Garcia and Matsuyama not in the best form at the top of the board, this tournament is setting up for a longshot to come out of nowhere and break through on the PGA Tour.

I’ve got a few guys I’m firing a few darts at in the triple-digit range that check a couple of boxes for me in the approach game or current form.

James Hahn (140-1), Sam Saunders (150-1), Richy Werenski (175-1) and Talor Gooch (175-1) all have shown some bright spots recently. They aren’t perfect fits here, but if they were, they wouldn’t be in this range.