Fantasy Golf Tournament Preview- World Golf Championship (WGC) HSBC

Fantasy Golf Insider Staff
By Fantasy Golf Insider Staff November 2, 2015 21:35

I am still a little sleepy after being up until 2:00 a.m. Thursday-Sunday. For some reason my kids did not seem to care that I was up so late as they chose to get me up at 6:00 a.m. as usual. It was sure an exciting finish as Justin Thomas demonstrated the reason we have been recommending him most every week. He is such a talented young player who has a great all-around game that we expect many more wins to come.

Our picks were spot on last week and had Kevin Na as our Top Stud Pick (T3) along with Patrick Reed (T10), and Ryan Moore (T10) as our other Stud Picks. As you will remember we steared clear of Henrik Stenson as the top priced player and were correct on that as well. Outside of Daniel Berger and Danny Lee who withdrew, our Value Picks were outstanding as well. Justin Thomas (win), Tony Finau (9th), and Daniel Summerhays (T14) all produced exceptional value for us. Our sleepers also delivered well for us as well and actually helped compliment several of my Thomas/Na GPP teams. Spencer Levin (T17), Ryo Ishikawa (T35), Kyle Reifers (T43), and Greg Owen (T56-although had 75.5 DK points, which was better than most players finishing in the 40s). Overall another very good week and thus I have heard from a lot of you again. The fall is such a great time to play and win PGA DFS and this coming week is no different. There are a bunch of great plays this week that will be low-owned as they are not known by the masses. Read about some of these players below in my recommendations and take advantage of their low profile (at least to the common DFS players).

This week our attention turns to the Sheshan International Golf Club in Shanghai, China for the World Golf Championships (WGC) HSBC. Inaugurated in 2005, the first seven editions were played at this location, then moved to Missiona Hills GC in 2012, only to return in 2013. For that reason we will look at all years like we usually do, but exclude 2012 from our tournament history weighting. Also important to note is that this is a no-cut event, so barring a w/d or dq everybody will have four full rounds.

Sheshan (West) is a Par 72 and measures 7,266 yards long. The four Par 3s have some length to them with all of them being between 200-220 yards. They are surrounded by bunkers which makes green hitting on them imperative. There are a couple reachable par 5s especially if the wind is headed in the right direction. The Par 5 eighth is the longest, measuring 603 yards. You will notice right away that a couple of bombers have won this event the past two years (Bubba and DJ), but I do not think this is strictly a bombers course. There are a lot of names near the top over the past seven years that are not bombers and use their accuracy and ability to hit greens to be successful at Sheshan.

For statistics this week we will be looking at strokes gained tee-to-green first and foremost along with greens and regulations, and par 4 scoring as usual. Last year of the Top 11 players in the standings, 7 of them finished ranked in the top 15 in greens in regulation. 2013 was a similar story as of the Top 16 in the standings 11 of them finished ranked in the top 15 in greens in regulation. The winner in 2013 Dustin Johnson actually finished 1st in greens hit. Regarding Par 4 scoring, last year every one of the best seven players in Par 4 scoring finished in the Top 10. This week however we are adding significant importance to Par 5 scoring. Last year’s winner Bubba Watson finished as the best player on Par 5s by three strokes (-14) and runner-up Tim Clark was second best on Par 5s (-11). Interesting enough Bubba Watson finished +3 on Par 4s (E on Par 3s), which actually is really crazy. Ten players finished -8 or better on Par 5s and seven of them finished in the Top 20 (five Top 10). In 2013 six players finished -9 or better on Par 5s and five of them finished T-8 or better. Winner Dustin Johnson, 3rd place Graeme Mcdowell, and T6 Rory McIlroy all finished at -8, among the top 15 in Par 5 scoring. So we are going to place almost as much importance on Par 5 scoring as Par 4 scoring, which is significant. Finally we are going to place importance on Bogey Avoidance this week. In 2014 of the eleven players with the least amount of bogeys (5 or less), nine of them finished in the Top 11 in the final standings. Dustin Johnson not only scored on Par 4s and 5s in route to his victory, he also only had two bogeys the entire tournament.  Normally we do not place much importance on bogey avoidance, because what is key to us in DFS Golf is scoring since birdies/eagles are rewarded so much more than bogeys are punished. This week is a little bit different as it is apparent that guys cannot just make up for a ton of bogeys and recover in the standings. For those of you who have been with us a while understand why we place importance on certain statistics, but if you are new let me just briefly tell you why. Since every course is very different in distance and layout, certain types of players consistently shine on certain courses. For example: At Doral, every year bombers tend to stand out mainly because it is a long course, but also because the rough is forgiving. Generally speaking great distance comes at the expense of accuracy. You might be saying, it comes to reason that guys who score the best on the most frequent type of holes (Par 4s) and avoid hitting the most bogeys are going to be more successful than guys who do not. Yes these are obvious things, however when imputing weightings of these statistics we need to place a certain importance on each statistic, which is why we do this exercise. For those of you who have been asking, we will be making our model available for use in 2016. We are currently back-testing it and tweaking it to make it the most accurate model in the industry.
Here is the statistics in order that we will be weighting this week:

Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green
Greens in Regulation
Par 4 scoring
Par 5 scoring
Strokes Gained Putting
Bogey Avoidance

Certain players play well at Sheshan International GC year after year, which is apparent on our Tournament History Tool, which has the results dating back all the way to 2008. Be sure to note that 2012 was not played on this course. We have marked that year on the tool to make it apparent.

This of course is the week of the Fantasy Golf Insider Freeroll on FantasyAces with $500 in prize money given away!!! Below are the steps that you will need to take to be eligible:

1. Be an FGI Member
2. Click through this link JOIN FANTASYACES , become a member and deposit $25 (or more). Be sure to use the promo code INSIDER for the outstanding 20% first time bonus (up to $250). If you have already clicked through our link and made a deposited $25 in the past few months, let me know.
3. Email me your FantasyAces and Fantasy Golf Insider username/screenname
4. Then when the freeroll is posted you will be able to enter. That easy.
5. Plus, we will send the winner of the freeroll a polo as the cherry on Top.

For access to our Top picks, value picks, sleepers, and more, become a premium member.

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Since the 2014-2015 season is a couple months in the past and there is too small of a sample size for 2015-2016, and so many guys recommended did not qualify for ranking on the PGA Tour anyway, we will not be listing statistics this week. You can find European Tour Statistics here: http://www.europeantour.com/europeantour/stats but they are very limited and they do not track the strokes gained statistics.

 

Top Stud Picks:

 

Rory McIlroy- Is it me or does it feel like Rory is ready to break out one of these weeks? A disappointing final round 71 last week at the Turkish Airlines slid him back to a T6. Before that he had a T26 at Frys.com and T16 at the Tour Championship. He has absolutely killed this course and tournament in the past, but does not have a win. A 6th in 2013, 4th in 2011, 5th in 2010, and 4th in 2009. I think it is clear that he is annoyed that Spieth and Day have stolen his limelight and this tournament gives him a chance to gain some ground. His length will help tremendously on certain holes at Sheshan, but he is also a very accurate player and hits greens (2nd on European Tour) as well. His price of $12,300 on Draftkings is steep, but there are some good buys in the lower tier this week, which makes Rory rosterable.  I will own some of Rory this week, but probably not alot as I have made it a point to fade the top priced guys every week so far this fall and it has paid off.  I do like him the best of these top tier players. (Mostly GPP)

 

Bubba Watson- It is very difficult not to recommend a guy who won this event last year and took 8th the year before on this course and one who’s game fits so nicely. Plus, Bubba tends to play well on certain courses year after year. We haven’t seen much of him in a while, which always makes me nervous. He finished the 2014-2015 season playing extremely well with a T5 at the Tour Championship, T10 at BMW, T29 at Deutsche Bank, and 3rd at Barclays. He is the #4 ranked player in the world for a reason. I do believe that I will be underweight Bubba this week because I believe he will be a popular selection and I like those guys who have been playing more often lately. Still, he is very capable of contending in this tournament as he has the last couple of years and I will recommend to own him on a couple of your GPPs. (GPP only)

 

Kevin Na- Every week I wonder if it is the week that Na hits a wall and every week he delivers a Top 5. It has become apparent that he struggles mightily closing the deal and winning, so if you are dependent on a win, you most likely be swearing at him when he duck hooks a wood off the deck. Yet again this week I have hesitation when recommending him, but I am going to again anyway. Last week he had a T3 at the CIMB, which followed up on a T2 at Shriners and 2nd at Frys.com. His length is a bit of a concern on this course, however he has been incredibly accurate, plus he is one of the best scramblers in the game. In his only appearance in the WGC HSBC Na posted a 20th last year. I will have some exposure to Na this week, but not enough to cripple me if he does falter. (GPP and Cash Games)

 

Justin Thomas- Really glad we recommended Thomas last week as one of our top value plays and were overweight on him personally in GPPs and Cash games. He has been outstanding thus far this fall with that win last week and a T3 at Frys.com. He also ended last season strong with a T16 at Barclays and T13 at BMW. Thomas did not play in this event last year. We look for Thomas to remain locked in and to have another great week this week. (GPP and Cash Games)

 

Adam Scott- Could it be that he is getting comfortable with his short putter and is ready to regain his elite status in the world golf rankings? Well it sure looked like it last week at the CIMB. Scott used a 68,66,66,63 in route to a -25 and a runner-up finish. He was draining putts like we have not seen from him in a while and if he can do that, we know his ball-striking is among the best in the world, Scott can compete for many wins this season. Before that impressive performance last week Scott had a T7 at the Japan Open and kicked the crap out of Rickie Fowler in his singles match at the Presidents Cup. Last year he took 12th in this tournament along with an 11th in 2011. His pricetag this week is at a discount to the big guys, which makes him an intriguing option and very viable for GPPS. (Mostly GPPs)

 

Top Value Picks:

 

Martin Kaymer- If you have read my previews for a while, you know my affinity for the lanky German. A combination of dynamic upside and the ability to amass points in DFS are a couple reasons I like him so much. The fact that he has helped me make an enormous amount of money on multiple occasions does not hurt either. After an outstanding 2014, 2015 was a downer for Kaymer, at least comparatively speaking. He has had some mediocre performances lately with a T50 at the Portugal Masters and 56th at Alfred Dunhill. Kaymer does have a dynamite tournament history however at Sheshan with a 6th last year, 8th in 2013, and a win in 2011. He is not a guy who I would roster for cash games in DFS because he is not very consistent, but I will definitely have some shares of him in GPPs. (GPP only)

 

Ian Poulter- The English pro had been in danger of losing his Ryder Cup eligibility for not meeting the minimum 13 starts on the European Tour, so he was fearful of not being eligible for this event and thus became a late entry in the Hong Kong Open two weeks ago where he had a T29. His starts before that produced a T33 at the British Masters and T53 at BMW Championship, plus a T16 last week at the Turkish Airlines. I have not recommended Poulter more than a couple of times in the past and am hesitant to do so here. However, he does have a very good tournament history and a lot of motivation. He took 6th here last year, runner up in 2013, won it in 2012 (not at Sheshan), and 13th in 2011 and 2010. I would recommend owning sprinkles of Poulter this week, but don’t overexpose yourself too much to him, 15% seems about right. (GPP only)

 

Matthew Fitzpatrick- For those of you who are not familiar with this young phenom, consider this your heads up. Despite the glimpses of greatness he has shown over the past eight months, I still believe that he is a decent kept secret to most (for now). A 2nd at the Omega European Masters, 3rd at Czech Masters, T3 at Open D’Italia, win at the British Masters, and T3 at UBS Hong Hong, and T26 last week at the Turkish Airlines. On the European Tour he ranks 7th in Greens in Regulation, one of the key statistics needed to succeed on Sheshan this week. So far this fall we have been on Emiliano Grillo, Patton Kizzire, and Smylie Kaufman and we think this kid is as good as any of them. Whether he will emerge in this event is tough to be positive about, but he will become a household name by contending in some big events so keep an eye on him and be sure to get in early. (GPP and Cash Games)

 

Anirban Lahiri- I recommended Lahiri last week and although he didn’t outproduce his price of $9,800, he didn’t significantly under-produce it either. I actually like what I saw from him in route to a T21 finish. Before last week Lahiri had a T7 at the UBS Hong Kong Open, T2 at the Venetian Macao Open, T16 at the Small Business Connection Championship, T6 at the Hotel Fitness Championship, and T5 at the PGA Championship. This week his price is $8,300 on Draftkings and he will be way under everybody’s radars with all the big names. I look for him to outproduce his price this week with a chance of cracking the Top 10. (GPP and Cash Games)

 

Chris Wood- Here is another outstanding option that not too many people outside of FGI members will be high on, but maybe they should be. In his last four appearances Wood has a T4 at Alfred Dunhill, T9 at the British Masters, 2nd at Portugal Masters, and 5th last week at the Turkish Airlines. Wood has one appearance at Sheshan GC at the WGC HSBC and took 39th in 2013. Wood continues the theme of under the radar type guys this week that we have the chance to capitalize on this week. (GPP and Cash Games)

 

A few other value plays that I really like especially for cash games include Daniel Summerhays, Kevin Kisner, Branden Grace, and Danny Willett.

 

Top Sleeper Picks:

 

Soren Kjeldsen- Quietly ranked #48 in the world, Kjeldsen will not be on the masses radar’s this week, but based on his current form he should be. Since the PGA Championship in August his record includes a T2 at Made in Denmark (Euro Tour), T12 at the KLM Open (Euro), MC at 72 Open D’Italia, T9 at Porsche European Open, T9 at Alfred Dunhill, T37 at Portugal Masters, and T11 last week at the Turkish Airlines Open. This will be Kjeldsen’s first appearance in this event, but we are going to side on current form. His price of $7,200 on Draftkings marks a very good value for a player on such a roll. That great current form combined with the fact that he is not a household name gets me very excited about his prospects this week. (GPP and Cash Games)

 

Kiradech Aphibarnrat- This physical specimen stands out not only because of his jaw-dropping physique, but because of his great current form. Outside of a MC at the Porsche European Open, he has a win at the Saltire Energie match play, T4 at Alfred Dunhill, T5 at British Masters, T6 at the Venetian Macao Open (Asian Tour), and 3rd last week at the Turkish Airlines Open. Aphibarnrat has experience on this course although never much success with a 55th in 2013, 66th in 2011, and 74th in 2010. If you are looking for a low-owned guy who is affordable ($7,900 on Draftkings), this is a great option this week. (Mostly GPP)

 

K.T. (Kyung-Tae) Kim – A South Korean player who has been playing extremely well lately albeit on the Japanese Tour. 3 wins and ten Top 15s in his last eleven events is really good regardless of what tour you are on. K.T has played in this event before with mediocre success including a 49th in 2011, 41st in 2010, and 24th in 2008. He is not a stranger to competing in top notch fields as he has made the cut in all three of his appearances in the PGA Championship and two appearances in the U.S Open. We will need a bit more from this week since it is a no-cut event and a T55 won’t help us that much. His current form indicates however that he has the ability to vault up the standings and we can bet we will be the only ones on him in most contests.

 

Thomas Pieters- In his last six events Pieters has a win at the Czech Masters, a win at the KLM Open, MC at Alfred Dunhill, T64 at British Masters, T6 at Portugal Masters, and T26 at Turkish Airlines last week.  Pieters is only $7,500 this week on Draftkings making him extremely appealing.  His ownership will for sure be sub 10% making him a legit GPP play. (GPP only)

 

Best of luck to all of you this week. Please let us know how you are doing and if there is anything else we can do to make you a better player.

 

-Fantasy Golf Insider

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Fantasy Golf Insider Staff
By Fantasy Golf Insider Staff November 2, 2015 21:35

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