The Tour is leaving Malaysia for Jeju Island, South Korea for the second iteration of the CJ Cup @ Nine Bridges. Nine Bridges is a par 72 course that plays just a shade under 7,200 yards. With just one year of data and no distance tracking, it’s hard to make any sweeping generalizations about how the course plays from a data perspective. The greens and fairways are relatively easy to hit, both were above 70 percent last year.
We’re looking at another no cut event this week. The field is set at just under 80 golfers. Ownership is the name of the game when it comes to these small field events, so finding pivot options will be important. This is the first week that I’ll be rolling out ownership projections. I will update them as necessary as more information comes in up until lock.
Note: It’s a pretty awesome course visually, so if you don’t usually watch you should try and throw it on this weekend. Nine Bridges really takes advantage of the landscape and is an interesting course.
Attacking the Course
As I mentioned at the top, we’re working with an extremely small sample size of data. When we’re only dealing with a year or two of limited course data, greens in regulation and putting pop to an exaggerated extent. When we get back to the ShotTracker courses, we’ll dive in deep in this section. For this week, I’ll just let you in on the stats I’m targeting in the order I’m weighting them:
- DK Points
- SG: Approach
- SG: Off the Tee
- GIRs Gained
- SG: Par 5
- 3 Putt Avoidance
Chalk and Lineup Construction
At this event last year, Justin Thomas ($11,600) won and used it as a springboard into 2018 where he was at No. 1 in the OWGR. He’s now sitting at No. 4 but is still playing excellent golf. Thomas has gained fairways and greens on the field in each of his past two starts. He was also one of the strongest Ryder Cup participants on either side, earning four points in five matches.
Note: Ownership at the top is trending towards being pretty flat with JT and Hideki Matsuyama ($10,400) as the highest owned over $10,000.
Byeong Hun-An ($8,700) seems appropriately priced which is leading to his popularity. Since this event last year, where he finished in 11th place with 80-plus DK points, An his been very consistent. He has missed just four cuts in his 23 starts over that span. An is just 29th in DK points over his past 36 rounds, though. If he finds a hot putter he may be able to hit some of his upside, but it’s been somewhat lacking lately.
Recent Web.com graduate Sungjae Im ($8,000) is affordable again this week. If you missed his performance at the Safeway Open, he finished 4th. That performance was buoyed by a hot putter. He gained six strokes on the greens, compared to just 4.4 from tee-to-green. Im is getting some early buzz, according to FanShare Sports, but there are plenty of options around his price that have struck the ball well lately.
Kevin Chappell ($7,300) seems like a bit of a misprice down here. He is coming off of a top ten finish at the CIMB Classic. Over the past 50 rounds, Chappell ranks 4th in my model this week. He’s 3rd in DK points and 8th in SG: Approach which is the majority of the model. We know that the putter runs cold, to put it nicely, from time to time for Chappell. He’s 43rd in 3-Putt Avoidance over that same timeframe.
If you’ve ever read anything I’ve written about golf, you know that Gary Woodland ($9,100) is near and dear to my heart. Woodland rewarded people’s faith at the CIMB Classic last week with a top five finish. He finished the year well, posting only one finish outside of the top 25 in his seven starts dating back to the beginning of August.
This week, Woodland is apparently near and dear to everyone’s heart. He’s projected to be a chalky option. If he, An, and Im are all chalky options it would appear that the conventional lineup build will be more balanced than stars and scrubs, especially in cash games. As of now, Joel Dahmen ($6,900) is the only sub-$7,000 option projected for double-digit ownership. Stars-and-scrubs lineups in GPPs might feature some combination of Justin Thomas ($11,600), Brooks Koepka ($11,200), Chappell, and Dahmen.
Identifying the chalk and pivoting off of them in GPPs is valuable in all sports, but it may be even more important in PGA DFS. In this section, we’ll try to find some lower owned options that can provide leverage off of the chalk plays at different salary ranges.
Marc Leishman ($10,200) is shaping up to be an interesting pivot option. You can look at his situation in a couple of different ways. From a recent form perspective, he’s obviously coming in playing well. He won last week’s event with an emphatic 65 to clear the field by five strokes. If you’re a course history truther, you know that he finished second here last year, losing in a playoff to Justin Thomas. In 2018, Leishman outperformed his salary expectation by an average of 12.6 points on Par 72 courses.
With Chappell shaping up to be the chalk of the low $7,000 range, we have a couple of options to pivot towards. Keith Mitchell ($7,100) was a popular option last week and put together a decent showing, finishing 22nd. He’s projected for less than half of the ownership that Chappell is likely to see. Mitchell is solid on Par 72s, outscoring his salary by an average 5.4 DK Points.
Note: Mitchell’s ownership is trending upwards but he’ll still be lower owned than Chappell.
The cheapest chalk looks like it will end up being Dahmen this week. If you’re looking to pivot off of him, Jason Kokrak ($6,800) will come at a bit of an ownership discount. Kokrak is long off the tee and can flash some upside at the right tracks. He’s 25th in DK points over the past 24 rounds at a very palatable price. Stewart Cink ($7,000) is also right there for $100 more. You don’t usually think of Cink competing in a birdie fest, but he kept pace pretty well last week with a 13th-place finish in one of the lowest scoring tourneys of the year.
|Rafael Cabrera Bello||7900||15.9|
|Cheng Tsung Pan||7800||10.05671|
|Charles Howell III||7700||12.90195|
|Si Woo Kim||7400||9.5|
|Meen Whee Kim||6600||7.4|
|Ted Potter Jr||6600||2.8|
|Dong Seop Maeng||6200||0.7|
|Tae Hee Lee||6100||1.1|
Updated: 11/17 @ 12:50 PM