We out! Off to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for the CIMB classic, a tournament co-sanctioned by the PGA Tour and Asian Tour. The event has been played at the TPC Kuala Lumpur West course since 2013, and will be again this year, so we have some golfers to check out. Interestingly, in the years the event has been here there are two repeat back-to-back champions, Justin Thomas in 2016-2017 and Ryan Moore in 2014-2015. We’re gonna want to look at the runner ups also to get some more golfers to check out.
This par 72 is slightly over 7,000 yards and is lined with thick trees and bunkers, but the fairways are wide and the rough isn’t overly punishing. The fairways and the greens are both Paspalum Seashore Grass. This grass is extremely easy to putt on, as it really grips the ball and plays slow. The gap between good and bad putters will be lessened this week. Two of the four par 5s can be reached in two regularly and three of the par 4s are drivable so we will see a ton of scoring.
The weather does not look like a factor this week, but we will see for sure later on.
Keep in mind when checking stuff out the difference between the actual year and PGA season year. The years in the chart are the season, because the stats are split up by season, not year.
|2017 Justin Thomas -23||8||309.5||162||55.05||6||1.33||32||0.398||6||0.68||47||422||28||0.252||47||0.289||1||25.88||21||14.84|
|2017 2nd Hideki Matsuyama||26||303.3||121||58.61||5||1.369||26||0.455||7||0.645||32||418||24||0.269||173||-0.383||3||24.71||15||14.33|
|2016 2nd Adam Scott||13||304.6||153||55.55||1||2.062||18||0.522||1||1.491||1||389||81||0.049||129||-0.168||9||22.88||21||14.62|
|2015 Ryan Moore -17||148||282.6||11||70.05||47||0.418||92||0.071||67||0.102||62||416||67||0.103||64||0.16||38||21.79||80||15.81|
|2015 2nd Sergio Garcia||25||300||123||59.47||14||1.067||20||0.442||24||0.468||182||477||50||0.1577||114||0.022||24||22.32||53||15.28|
|2015 2nd Kevin Na||159||280.1||84||62.51||28||0.711||165||-0.329||36||0.381||119||430||1||0.66||49||0.233||33||21.99||52||15.26|
|2015 2nd Gary Woodland||12||305.5||158||6.21||97||0.121||65||0.177||61||0.227||169||452||172||-0.284||85||0.077||117||19.97||130||17.12|
As we look at the group of champs and runner ups we are getting our key stats from we see an extreme correlation with driving distance among those who have succeeded here, with only two of the seven not having an average driving distance over 300 yards in the year they competed. We also see driving accuracy isn’t super important so this is definitely a bomber course.
Strokes gained tee-to-green shows up as extremely crucial, as usual, followed by strokes gained approach and birdie or better percentage. This looks to be a second shot course and we will want to look at some strokes gained off-the-tee stats as well. We already know this is going to be a scoring fest, evidenced by the 20 under average winning score over the past four years, so the birdie or better percentage makes sense. It is going to be a straight bomb and gouge track meet, so make sure you gravitate towards guys with the distance that can go low and get a ton of birdies because steady golfers will score far lower in their DK points scored finish vs. the field than their actual finishing position.