The Daily Spin – DraftKings Daily Fantasy Golf Preview – WGC HSBC Championship

Zachary Turcotte
By Zachary Turcotte October 30, 2019 12:30

The Daily Spin – DraftKings Daily Fantasy Golf Preview – WGC HSBC Championship

The tour hits the last leg of the Asian swing this week as a strong fields heads to Shanghai for the WGC HSBC Championship. We get a little break next week, but then get right back into things to close the fall season as the tour makes stops in Mayakoba, Sea Island and then the Bahamas in December before the US team heads down to Australia for the President’s Cup to end the year against the International Team.

The Zozo Championship had me rolling my eyes by the end of the first round last week. I was intrigued by Tiger’s price at 9400 in such a small field. I knew that he would be lightly owned for the week as reports in the fall came out that he had undergone a small procedure on his knee which had been bothering him throughout the summer. That information did make sense as his play did fall off after his win at Augusta in April and despite taking a considerable amount of time off during the season and trying to get as much rest as possible between events, it was clear that there had to be some type of physical issue holding him back.

My thought on the procedure was to wait and see how Tiger came back. After a two month layoff, like most other players, I was expecting a slow start where it would take some time for Tiger to knock off some of the rust from his game and also to work through any residual issues with his knee. We have seen how Tiger starts his calendar each year at Torrey Pines and generally, he does start the season slowly, particularly early rounds of tournaments where it takes him a day or two to really start to feel comfortable. Usually over the weekend of these early events he will make a little move in the last couple of rounds, but generally, we do not see elite level Tiger right out of the gates, especially after an injury.

After the first round last week, I knew we were in trouble as Tiger raced out to a lead. He shook off the rust after three miserable bogeys to start the round and then killed it the rest of the weekend and finished it off in his usual smothering fashion. It is amazing to watch Tiger close out a tournament. He gets the lead and rarely gives up any ground when the pressure is on. In fact, when Tiger gets ahead, there usually is not much drama down the stretch as he tightens his grip on the tournament until all of the other players fall so far back that the last holes feel more like a coronation.

It will be interesting to see how Tiger’s body holds up in 2020. At times during 2019, he started to look run down and I started to think that perhaps the Masters win would be the peak for him and that he may be satisfied with having finally overcome the chronic back injuries that hindered him for so long. Wrong. Clearly there is still some gas in the tank and the competitive desire to play at the highest levels. We had not seen Tiger do anything of note during the fall for a long time so this win feels really significant in sending a signal to the other top players to be on the watch for Tiger for some time to come.

This week, many of the top players will gather in Beijing at Sheshan Golf Club in Shanghai for the final WGC event of 2019. It is another short field, no cut event with 78 players teeing it up and automatic paychecks for all who have qualified. It’s a fun event as it has a nice mix of players from the European Tour joining the festivities this week. The last couple of weeks, there have not been a lot of great options in the $6k price range to work with, but this week, we have a lot of names that should stand out to you if you have been taking the time to follow the Euro Tour to any extent over the last 4-5 months. While some of these players will likely hit a pot hole this week and stumble, plenty will also find their way into contention. Even if the do not finish neat the top, using these players will open up a lot of extra salary cap relief and allow you to roster more of the bigger names in town for the week.

The course itself is around 7,200 yards and plays as a Par 72. There are plenty of challenging holes as five of the Par 4 holes are over 450 yards and all of the Par 3 holes are over 200 yards. When you throw in a 600+ yard Par 5 hole, you end up with ten very tough holes that play at par or worse. The fairways are about average in comparison to other courses and there is plenty of water, bunkers and trees around the course if you get too wayward off the tee. The greens are bentgrass and player hit GIR at a pretty good clip ~65%. Weather is a big factor from year to year in determining how well golfers will score as we’ve seen winners as high as -11 when winds pick up and lower than -20 when they are not a factor. So far, winds do not look like an issue this week so I would expect the players to be going low for the tournament.

Key Stats

Strokes Gained Tee to Green: 25%
Strokes Gained Putting: 25%
Birdie or Better Percentage: 20%
Par 5 Scoring: 15%
Proximity: 10%
Scrambling: 5%

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Zachary Turcotte
By Zachary Turcotte October 30, 2019 12:30

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