Staying in Asia for part 2 (of 3), the PGA TOUR heads to Jeju Island this week for THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES.
Wind was a major factor here during last year's inaugural edition, so keeping tabs on the weather should be important this week, if you want to accurately gauge the expected scoring environment.
We will look at weather and grass types below as we try to get some research in for our DFS roster construction this week.
As a reminder, this is a no-cut event which means we can take a few risks on golfers near the bottom of the board since everyone will be guaranteed four rounds of action.
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Thursday (R1): Mostly sunny and breezy. A high of 60 degrees with winds hitting 15-to-25 MPH.
Friday (R2): Mostly sunny with a high of 64 degrees with winds at 10-to-20 MPH.
Tee times are scheduled for 7:45 to 9:45 on each day, so there isn't much of a wave advantage with everyone going off in a two-hour window.
Thursday looks pretty tricky with winds that could wreak havoc as we saw last year. Things should get easier as the week progresses.
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.
Kevin Tway (75.3 Projected Pts): Talk about an overreaction in the pre-draft rankings. Tway currently leads the FedExCup standings but to expect him to win again already is somewhat silly. It's possible, but long-term Tway is not a top-10 golfer in this field, or even a top-25 golfer. Accounting for his current run, I have him at 26 on my board this week, which is where I think he belongs. Not in the No. 1 slot.
Brian Harman (58.2 Projected Pts): His spot on the draft board sits above guys like Adam Scott, Tyrrell Hatton, Louis Oosthuizen, Billy Horschel, Byeong Hun An, Xander Schauffele, et al. Gamers may be inclined to look at last year's leaderboard here, see his top 5 and jump back on board. Not so fast. He lost 20.5 strokes to the field in his last start! The BMW Championship, finishing dead last, 32 strokes behind the winner Keegan Bradley. Harman has lost strokes to the field in six of his last seven starts so he's not someone I want to draft early, or even at all until he finds some form.
Abraham Ancer (55.3 Projected Pts): Posted a top 10 last week in his return from injury. He's not one of the longest hitters so this shorter layout will suit him. He should also like the grasses as he said this last year at TPC Potomac, "I love bent greens and these ones are really good and they roll real true, so just sticking to the process." The stats back that up as he's more than half a shot better on bentgrass greens, in his young career. There are definitely better top-tier option, but I like Ancer around the 20 spot if you are playing in deeper drafts this week.
Louis Oosthuizen (56.3 Projected Pts): While Ancer should be reserved for deeper drafts, Oosthy is someone that is undervalued in the pre-draft rankings but he deserves a pick in all drafts this week. Personally, I have him at #6 on my draft board as he arrives off a top 5 at TPC KL last week. The South African is one of the best in the wind so if Thursday's forecast holds then I like Oosthuizen to get out to a quick start and then keep chipping away as the week progresses.
The Club at Nine Bridges is described by some as American style. Part of that is due to the bentgrass that lines the fairways and greens. They keep it in pristine conditions, so these TOUR pros should feel right at home, despite being on foreign soil.
Looking at performance on bentgrass greens since the start of 2014, the top 10 performers on a per-round basis looks like this:
Other than raw performance, we can also look at who shows the biggest improvement on bentgrass (versus their baseline). Using that as the criteria, the following names pop:
Sungjae Im: The 20-year-old Korean is playing a home game this week as he called Nine Bridges his home growing up. The PGA TOUR rookie won twice on the Web.com Tour last year and he opened his rookie campaign with a top 5 at the Safeway. Sometimes a home game brings more pressure and added responsibilities but I think it is worth taking that chance for this rising star that will cost you less than the average salary of a golfer on most DFS sites this week. I circled him for this event when I graded The 25 last month, so I'm not going to shy away now. He should crush on shorter courses all season long.
Best of luck in all your contests this week!