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PGA DFS: CJ Cup @ Nine Bridges

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 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.

GPP Pivots

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.

Ownership Projections

NameDK$20 Max
Justin Thomas1160016
Brooks Koepka1120013.007
Jason Day1060013
Hideki Matsuyama1040016.1
Marc Leishman1020014
Paul Casey990016.8
Billy Horschel970012.1
Tyrrell Hatton950018.7
Xander Schauffele940011.7
Adam Scott92008.61515
Gary Woodland910018.4
Cameron Smith900014
Alexander Noren89007.4
Emiliano Grillo880015.3
Byeong-Hun An870024.1
Louis Oosthuizen86008.3212
Brandt Snedeker85009.74419
Branden Grace84007.00058
Ryan Moore83006.21261
Kyle Stanley820018.7
Kevin Na810013.83189
Sung-Jae Im800026.2
Rafael Cabrera Bello790015.9
Cheng Tsung Pan780010.05671
Chesson Hadley78009.2
Abraham Ancer770014.1
Charles Howell III770012.90195
Joaquin Niemann760013.1
Ian Poulter760011.67671
J.B. Holmes75008.9528
Kevin Tway75006.9
Austin Cook740011.6
Si Woo Kim74009.5
Kevin Chappell730014.5
Beau Hossler73004.86098
Shubhankar Sharma72007.71078
Charl Schwartzel72003.39972
Keith Mitchell71009.9
Charley Hoffman71005.34157
Adam Hadwin71003.7
Brian Harman70006.94087
Stewart Cink70006.5
Chez Reavie70006.18334
Pat Perez70003.17288
Joel Dahmen690011
Nick Watney69005.4
Peter Uihlein69002.80672
Jamie Lovemark68007.6
Jason Kokrak68007.2
Jimmy Walker68003.7
Scott Piercy68001.7
Danny Willett67002.2
Brice Garnett67002.9
J.J. Spaun67001.65666
Andrew Putnam67002.13242
Meen Whee Kim66007.4
Brendan Steele66002.00007
Ted Potter Jr66002.8
Michael Kim66001.34084
Hyun-Woo Ryu65002.56962
Brian Stuard65002.3
Ryan Palmer65002.1
Graeme McDowell65001.1
Sung-Hoon Kang64003.2
Ryan Armour64004.8
Jason Dufner64002.26459
Sang-Hyun Park64001.1461
Brian Gay63002.05868
Kyoung-Hoon Lee63000.55403
Patton Kizzire63001.49525
Ernie Els63000.5
James Hahn62004.4
Hyung-Joon Lee62001.08409
Dong Seop Maeng62000.7
Tae Hee Lee61001.1
Minchel Choi61000.5
Doyeob Mun61000.5
Rod Pampling61000.5

Updated: 11/17 @ 12:50 PM

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