This week the PGA Tour makes its final stop of the Florida Swing with a visit to the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook. The theme remains the same in terms of what is needed to succeed. Ballstrikers will remain supreme. You cannot fake your way around this course. Players are punished for inaccurate drives and approach shots. So it comes as no surprise that the list of winners here includes players such as Adam Hadwin, Paul Casey, Charl Schwartzel, John Senden, Luke Donald, Sean O’Hair, and Retief Goosen. Now sure, we have had players like Sam Burns and Jordan Spieth win here, a couple guys who can be elite putters. But historically, elite consistency with the ballstriking has been the largest predictor of success. Let’s take a look at a few elite ballstrikers:
Tommy Fleetwood $9,800
Fleetwood ranks first overall in my data model this week. He ranks first in birdies, second in approach, fifth in around the green, and above average in all other categories. He finished 16th in his lone appearance here in 2022. He is one of the more consistent players on the PGA Tour and he has only missed three cuts in the last two years worldwide. The $9,800 price in a semi-weak field is a great value for a player who is trending upward.
Ben Griffin $8,400
We are staying on the Ben Griffin train after writing him up last week. He just continues to be undervalued. Griffin was on the front page of the leaderboard heading into the weekend at The Players only to falter to a 35th place after triple bogeying his final hole. Griffin ranks second overall in my data model this week as he is top ten in birdies, approach, and around the green, while also being above average in every other metric. This leads to great consistency, which is why he has made 12 of his last 13 cuts, including top-35 finishes in eight of his last nine events. In a weaker field than normal, expect Griffin to contend for a top 20, which will more than pay off his $8,400 salary.
Stephan Jaeger $7,800
Jaeger is a bit of an unknown to most golf fans but he has finished 53rd or better in eight of his last nine starts. He is a cheaper version of Ben Griffin. He is above average in every metric. This has him ranked fourth overall in my data model this week. His ballstriking has been dialed in for quite a long time as the last time he lost strokes tee to green was in August at the St Jude. His irons have been especially sharp of late, gaining 11 strokes on approach in his last three events. This elite consistency is exactly what is needed to succeed at Innisbrook.