With the PGA TOUR heading to Malaysia this week, it's important to set your lineups early this week.
When looking at DFS contests this week, we should remember this is a limited field, no-cut event. That means four guaranteed rounds for every golfer. That allows you to take a few risks at the bottom if you are confident in your picks at the top.
Let's dive through some stats to see who might like these bermuda greens. First, let's have a look at the weather forecast which is alway fun for this event.
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Thursday (R1): A 30% chance of showers in the AM. Light rain and light winds. High of 88 degrees with 90% humidity (feels like 93 degrees).
Friday (R2): A 40% chance of boomers with light winds. A high of 86 degrees with 90% humidity (feels like 92 degrees).
This is a slight improvement from the early-week forecast. The tee times are set in a two-hour window beginning at 8 AM. They will likely have some delays but there shouldn't be any major concerns with getting all four rounds in by Sunday.
With wet conditions, we should see lift, clean, and place utilized (as usual here) and plenty of low scores as a result.
The best part about season-long leagues is the draft. You don't get that same rush with normal DFS contests but there is hope still. DRAFT has come along to fill that void and I'm having a lot of fun playing in their weekly golf drafts.
The first place to start is to build your pre-draft rankings for the week. I will point out a few golfers I think are overvalued in the raw rankings and a few that are undervalued in the raw rankings.
Xander Schauffele (59.8 Projected Pts): I'm not suggesting you fade him entirely this week but I think he's a little high on the draft board. One quote in particular resonated with me. When asked if the course fits his game last year he said this, "You know, I thought it didn’t, but I guess I’m hitting it in most of the fairways and I figure the greens would be kind of tough for me since they’re a little slow." He's hit fewer fairways than the field in five of his last six starts so he may not be able to take advantage of lift, clean, and place if that keeps up.
Pat Perez (58.2 Projected Pts): Became a father last month so is it time for Nappy Factor to kick in as he tries to defend his title in Malaysia? I'm not banking on it, and again I go back to a quote from last year. When asked what suits his eye here he said this, "It’s actually not even the course that suits my eye, it’s the greens. Mayakoba, where I won, has the same greens and I putted better than anybody there, too. So I don’t know what it is. It’s the grass. I don’t really see a lot of shots. I didn’t even hit that many good shots. I putted unbelievable really." It sounds like Perez is the last person that wanted to see these greens swapped from paspalum to bermuda.
Ryan Moore (58.5 Projected Pts): Coming off a playoff loss at the Safeway Open, Moore arrives in good form. Now he's heading to a course where he's already won twice. I would expect him to ride his wave of momentum into another top 10. That deserves a big bump up the draft board.
Louis Oosthuizen (56.3 Projected Pts): He's getting no love from the pre-draft rankings but his long-term track record and his course history makes him worthy of a bump. The South African may be making his debut at the CIMB but he did win the 2012 Malaysian Maybank and finished runner-up the following year. High upside here.
TPC Kuala Lumpur was previously paspalum but they've renovated the course since last year. They replaced all that paspalum with bermuda.
Looking at performance on bermuda greens since the start of 2014, the top 10 performers on a per-round basis looks like this:
Rafa Cabrera Bello
Byeong Hun An
Other than raw performance, we can also look at who shows the biggest improvement on bermuda (versus their baseline). Using that as the criteria, the following names pop:
Thomas Pieters: We saw his game come back to life over the summer. At his peak, he looked like it was just a matter of time before he became World No. 1, or at least tossed his name into that conversation. He's a long way from that kind of form right now but still showing plenty of promise. Heading to TPC Kuala Lumpur, the Belgian Bomber should be able to tear apart these snack-sized par 5s. Pieters finished 44th here last year but had an 8th place and 16th place already on his TPC KL resume (Malaysian Maybank). With four guaranteed rounds, we should see at least one low round this week, making him a solid option across the DFS industry.
Best of luck in all your contests this week!