Because the Ryder Cup is not an official PGA TOUR event, PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf has the week off. The fantasy game will resume for next week’s Sanderson Farms Championship for which more enhancements are planned. However, before we look forward, let’s look back for a moment.
The 2021-22 season-opening Fortinet Championship launched the latest iteration of PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf. As expected, fantasy scoring was way down as compared to the previous version, and leaderboard finish was a strong contributor to gamer performance.
JJ’sFoursome led all gamers with 315 points. That includes 101 end-of-tournament bonus points for having Max Homa (50, winner), Maverick McNealy (30, 2nd), Marc Leishman (12, T4) and Hideki Matsuyama (9, T6) rostered as starters in the final round.
ChicoV1 was the runner-up with 312 points (with 111 end-of-tournament bonus points). The Golf Dons took the bronze with 305 points (with 97 end-of-tournament bonus points).
The data of the podium finishers of the first completed event begs the following question: What is the balance between actual scores, end-of-round bonus points and end-of-tournament bonus points for being a high performer? (Those are the categories for fantasy scoring.)
If you separate binarily between end-of-tournament bonus points and all points that are not end-of-tournament bonus points, then JJ’sFoursome scored about 32 percent of its points with end-of-tournament bonus points, which, of course, are based on leaderboard finish. ChicoV1’s split was about 35.5 percent, while The Golf Dons’ cut was about 31.8 percent.
So, approximately one-third of the totals for the top-three finishers weren’t determined until the conclusion of the tournament. And that’s in an event at which the 36-hole cut landed at 3-under 141 and Homa prevailed at 19-under 269.
For the week, the field averaged 71.038, or 0.962 strokes under par. As compared to all courses during the 2020-21 PGA TOUR season, the Fortinet field would have slotted just inside the top half of the easier courses and in between par-70 TPC Southwind (-0.954) and par-72 Nicklaus Tournament Course (-1.051). (Silverado averaged 70.212 last year, but last week’s average was the second-lowest of the last five editions.)
Because the FedExCup points structure is static, the percentage of end-of-tournament bonus points on a harder course will increase. However, aside from maybe Memorial Park that will host the Houston Open in November – the par 70 averaged 1.025 strokes over par in its debut last fall – our takeaway from Silverado should be relatively consistent until we get into the premier events in 2022, the first of which is the Farmers Insurance Open in the last week of January.
One of the slicker functions of the new platform is the ease to search for any gamer. If you executed this step for me (@RobBoltonGolf), you’d have laughed at, er, found that I totaled – totaled – 81 points at Silverado, of which 11 were end-of-tournament bonus points (about 13.5 percent) representing the only two of my six who made the cut, Will Zalatoris (6, T11) and Harold Varner III (5, T16).
Because it’s golf, no matter your skill level and even if you, like I, prevailed in your fantasy league in 2020-21, you’re gonna have weeks like that. Personally, because I wanted to see how the fantasy game supported or punished, I tested the possibilities of momentum of Korn Ferry Tour graduates Stephan Jaeger and Taylor Moore, both of whom missed the cut and cost me in the vicinity of 45 points overall, if I’m projecting scoring conservatively.
The moral of the matter is that there are going to be gamers who connect with the likes of Homa, McNealy and Mito Pereira (who finished third for ChicoV1), but the likelihood of them doing the same at the Sanderson Farms Championship or even again in Segment 1 is low. At the same time, because you can’t score bonus points unless your charges make the cut, shelving an aggressive philosophy is advised in favor of more reliable talent.
If we can agree that we’ll develop vision in this game for targeting “safe” investments with the potential for firepower, then we’re going to be OK with accepting the sudden impact of guys like McNealy, Pereira and others who might feel, at least right now, like they overperformed. That approach should then yield nice surprises for ourselves.
As you continue to familiarize yourself with the interface, new experiences will be added next week.
Beginning with the Sanderson Farms Championship, you will be able to review the entire roster of any other gamer, including the bench. You’ll also be able to use the tool to compare rosters. Both of these functions have been planned since the decision was made to introduce a new format, but they weren’t guaranteed to be available for the season opener. So it goes in the world of the PGA TOUR that took only one week off.
Also, live just today is the addition of “PGA TOUR Experts” to the top of the public leagues. Until it was added to this grouping, it appeared only as the featured league. You’ll note that “pga experts” also is a public league and with more members (as of Tuesday), but that’s not the same league in which those of us featured in Expert Picks are members. For the record, the only league of which I’m a member is PGA TOUR Experts.
This is as good a time as any to inform or remind you that the PGA and the PGA TOUR have been separate entities since 1968. For example, the PGA of America – not the PGA TOUR – is conducting this week’s Ryder Cup. So, every time you see “PGA” attached to something, if it doesn’t have “TOUR” immediately following, it’s not a directly affiliated matter to the PGA TOUR. That goes for everything from sanctioned competitions to Twitter handles of full-time staffers to the PGA TOUR Experts league at PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf.
Incidentally, you can jump in and out of public leagues without forfeiting points scored. You can do the same in a private league where a password is required. For private leagues using a customized schedule, the interface is sophisticated enough to retrieve points scored only in the selected events.
The last enhancement to share, for now, is one that you won’t experience in real time until last next week. PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf will be uploading the field of commitments for the Shriners Children’s Open when it’s determined on Friday, Oct. 1. So, if you’ve selected a golfer for a future tournament and he doesn’t commit, you’ll receive an automatic alert when the field is uploaded, assuming you’ve selected notifications in your Account Settings. This occurred on Mondays or Tuesdays with the last version of the game, so this experience is improved because it’s faster and timely.
POWER RANKINGS RECAP – FORTINET CHAMPIONSHIP
Power Ranking Golfer Result
1 Jon Rahm MC
2 Kevin Na MC
3 Will Zalatoris T11
4 Webb Simpson T30
5 Harold Varner III T16
6 Stephan Jaeger MC
7 Maverick McNealy 2nd
8 Taylor Moore MC
9 Mito Pereira 3rd
10 Sebastián Muñoz MC
11 Greyson Sigg T30
12 Cameron Tringale T22
13 Hideki Matsuyama T6
14 Brian Stuard MC
15 Aaron Rai MC
Wild Card Cameron Champ MC
SLEEPERS RECAP – FORTINET CHAMPIONSHIP
Kiradech Aphibarnrat MC
David Hearn MC
Ben Kohles MC
Cameron Percy T64
Chad Ramey MC
BIRTHDAYS AMONG ACTIVE MEMBERS OF THE PGA TOUR
September 21 … none
September 22 … none
September 23 … none
September 24 … none
September 25 … Adam Long (34)
September 26 … Freddie Jacobson (47)
September 27 … none
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