Fantasy Focus: The Open At Tallahassee

A deep dive into the pro scene in the deep South

Cameron Colglazier is a lineup lock this week at the Open At Tallahassee. Photo: Latitude 64.

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Open at Tallahassee Outlook

The SkipAce fantasy season gives us a break a month in Texas for many of the touring pros, instead sending us to the Florida panhandle for the Open at Tallahassee. Instead of choosing between McBeth and Wysocki at the top of the field, we’ll be picking from Alabama’s version of the pair: Cameron Colglazier and Matt Orum. But it might not be that difficult of a choice, given the size of the field.

This week there are plenty of points to go around, with only seven pros in the Open field rated over 1000. Consequently, there isn’t much strategy, insofar as picking players to fit within a certain budget. But, there is an opportunity to pick from a group of players outside just the highest-rated few. Deciding to avoid the chalk or stick with the highest rated pros is the risk/reward choice here.

Lineup Building Strategies

1) To Chalk or Not to Chalk: Chalk

Even in the toughest league available—the 5,975 point league—you can still pick the six highest rated players available and have plenty leftover. But there’s a definite logic to just choosing the highest rated players available since, theoretically, they will throw better rounds on average. Here’s what that looks like:

Chalk Picks  
PlayerRating
Cameron Colglazier1030
Matt Orum1030
Will Schusterick1016
Calvin Heimburg1015
Hannah Leatherman925
Madison Walker918
Total5,931

2) To Chalk or Not to Chalk: Not Chalk

If everyone just goes with the obvious choices, then none of us can make up ground in the season-long points standings. That’s the objective of the game — along with winning a week outright — so changing things up makes plenty of sense, too. Orum has played in more competitive events than Colglazier to start the season, but when Colglazier has played, he’s tossed highly rated rounds. He did lose in his hometown of Mobile earlier this month, while Orum, on the other hand, had solid performances at the Gentlemen’s Club Challenge and the Memorial.

As far as the rest of the Open field goes, nobody should sleep on Will Schusterick, who has put together good rounds at larger events to begin 2017. David Wiggins, Josh Childs, Todd Bagwell, Izak McDonald, and Colin Forehand all have a great shot at cracking the lead card. In Open Women, 2016 PDGA Rookie of the Year and Floridian Jessica Hill has the ability to finish well.

Not Chalk Picks  
PlayerRating
Matt Orum1027
Will Schusterick1016
Josh Childs1006
Izak McDonald999
Madison Walker918
Jessica Hill895
Total5,861

Optimal Lineups

Alex's Picks  
PlayerRating
Cameron Colglazier1030
Matt Orum1027
Josh Childs1006
Colin Forehand989
Hannah Leatherman925
Madison Walker918
Total5,895

I’m going with the same strategy regardless of available points because this is just “pick’em.” There’s no reason to change based on league format.

Value Plays

Josh Childs (1006) – He’s only finished outside the top 5 at one event in the eight he’s played around the Southeast to start the season. His average finish is 3.6, and he almost beat Chris Dickerson last month, losing out by a lone stroke. Dickerson has only lost once this year.

Izak McDonald (999) – Although typically found in Illinois, last year’s PDGA Amateur World Champion is headed to Florida for two events the next two weekends. He has a solid chance at top 10 finish, but a top 5? Maybe. The potential is certainly there.

Colin Forehard (989) – The Florida pro is coming off a great weekend where he averaged 1029 golf, finishing tied for fifth place at Throw Down the Mountain. He’s definitely capable of replicating another weekend of 1000+ rated golf and could be a great under-the-radar choice.

Jessica Hill (895) – she has had a solid start to the season, playing well at the first NT stop in Las Vegas while collecting solid finishes throughout Florida. We’re confident she’ll be near the with Leatherman and Walker and we shouldn’t be surprised if she ended up in any of the top three spots.

Deep Sleepers

With all the points to go around it’s hard to justify choosing anyone from Men’s Open field rated below about 990, but if you want to go there, here are two names to consider: Jamie Kiep and James Mosier.

Shy Away From

Calvin Heimburg (1015) – He’s usually a good bet for success in any Florida success, but he’s had an up-and-down start to the season. No wins yet, and some uncharacteristic sub-1000 rated rounds still have us wary of choosing him despite some decent rounds at last week’s Throw Down the Mountain.

Final Thoughts

It’s a rare pick’em week where points don’t matter in the least, just finishing place. The weather will be ideal and they’re playing two courses that play in and out of the woods. Go with your gut.

  1. Alex Colucci
    Alex Colucci

    Alex Colucci is the managing editor at Ultiworld Disc Golf. He is a disc golfer currently living in Northeast Ohio who teaches geography sometimes. Contact him at colucc43@gmail.com with tips, news and questions, and follow him on Twitter.

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