The First Tee – CIMB Classic by Adam Daly

Fantasy Golf Insider Staff
By Fantasy Golf Insider Staff October 9, 2017 22:05

The First Tee – CIMB Classic by Adam Daly

As a reminder, this week the PGA is in Malaysia, so lock is Wednesday. Don’t miss out or forget to set your lineups!

This Week

THE COURSE

The CIMB Classic is played at TPC Kuala Lumpur, a short par-72, with a small field (78 golfers) and no cut. This tournament has typically been a birdie fest, which means scoring will be incredibly high on DraftKings this week, and puts an emphasis on those in the field that can hit eagles. With three extremely short par-5s – from 503 yards to 539 – and one longer at 634, this course has seen an absurd number of eagles and birdies scored: 21 eagles on the par-5s in 2017, 37 in 2016, and 14 in 2015. Par-5 scoring and Eagle rate will be something to target along with Birdie or Better %.

One of the issues with handicapping this event is the lack of ShotTracker data, so focusing on what past winners are good at (overall) is one way to go. With Ryan Moore having won this twice and from quotes from golfers who’ve played this course, Driving Accuracy will make a difference this week; taking an approach shot from the thicker rough in hot and humid conditions will make it harder to stick the ball in the right position, so hitting the fairway will be key. As well, there are trees and well-placed fairway bunkers to contend with.

Approaching the greens on a short course where hitting the fairways is important means a lot of laying up (like last week), which means the most common approach distances will be 125-175. On approach, golfers will have to avoid water hazards on their way to the green, although they will only come into play as golfers play higher-risk golf in a no-cut.

Once on the slooooow paspalum greens, golfers will have a pretty straight-forward time putting. The greens a slower than an average Tour event and offer pure reads, which should even out the disadvantage poor putting stroke golfers typically have. The issue will come if golfers miss the greens, because hitting a wedge in these humid conditions will be a tough task, and scrambling the ball into the proper position will help separate the cream from the chaff.

STATS

The Strokes Gained stats to focus on in order (not including Tee to Green):

  • Approach
  • Off-The-Tee
  • Putting
  • Around the Green

Counting stats to focus on in order:

  • Birdie or Better %
  • Scrambling %
  • Driving Accuracy
  • Par-5 Scoring
  • Greens in Regulation

The Golfers

Paul Casey ($10500): Paul Casey is consistently one of the best ball-strikers on Tour, but his challenge is putting – which should be nullified – as well as mental. Casey had been in contention throughout the 2017 season, but teeing off late on Sundays has been his downfall; in a no-cut event that only degenerate DFS players watch, Casey could feel the pressure lessen when compared to some of the other spots he’s been in.

Casey ended the year with the 3rd-best rank in getting to the green in regulation, thanks in part to his steady play off the tee but mostly thanks to his approach game (2nd in SG: Approach). Importantly, from 150-175 and 175-200 yards, Casey ranked 9th and 3rd respectively; those distances will be crucial this week as mentioned.

Ranking 42nd in Eagles (Holes per) is a nice sign, but his par-5 scoring average of 4.63 (41st) and overall Birdie or Better % of 22.1% (18th) speak to how solid he is T2G. On slow greens, Casey should be able to find a stroke good enough to compete, and score.

Values: Hao-Tong Li ($7300), Chris Stroud ($7200), Stewart Cink ($7000)

The Fade: Luke List ($7600): After disappointing at the Safeway Open for Luke List Chalk Week, List should remain one of the chalk plays this week – in a birdie-fest with no cut, List’s high potential for eagles (thanks to his game from tee to green) will set him ahead of the pack for a lot of players. Unfortunately, List’s one of the most inaccurate golfers off the tee, can’t putt (which will be normalized to a degree), and struggles with his irons in almost all situations inside 200 yards. It will be tempting to roster him this week as the DFS golf community talks him up, but he should be faded this week.

Good luck this week and thanks for a great season! You can follow me on Twitter @adalyfrey if you have any questions, and my DMs are always open.

Fantasy Golf Insider Staff
By Fantasy Golf Insider Staff October 9, 2017 22:05

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