The Asian Swing concludes this week in China.
You might say they saved the best for last, at least in terms of gamers knowing what they are getting into. This is a WGC event with a strong field, no cut line to worry about, and years of course history to look into.
It's a limited field of 78 golfers for those counting at home. The golfers are primarily PGA TOUR and Euro Tour members but they do pluck four golfers from the Asian Tour, a couple from the Japan Golf Tour, two from the Australasia circuit, and two from the Sunshine Tour. Six more Chinese-born golfers are then inserted and they fill out the field from there to keep the field size respectable at 78.
For DFS purposes, that means that getting 6-of-6 through the cut line is a guarantee, barring any WDs. That's nothing new for those playing over the last few weeks (CJ CUP and ZOZO). Strategy-wise, it allows you to easily fire at a superstar but some make the mistake of loading up too heavily at the top and then find themselves rounding out their team with golfers who will be lucky to find a top 50. I would suggest you find a balance of top-heavy upside and end-of-lineup floor.
Thursday (R1): Mostly Sunny with a high of 77 degrees. Winds relatively calm at 4 to 9 MPH.
Friday (R2): Sunny with a high of 76 degrees. Winds at 5 to 10 MPH.
Mild temps with calm winds should yield plenty of scoring chances this week. The threat of precipitation does pop up over the weekend but it's nothing like we saw last week in Japan. A just few passing showers if anything.
Going through the quotes from golfers at this event, something like this stands out when it comes from Dustin Johnson, "It fits me pretty well. You hit a lot of drivers." When a big hitter like DJ is pulling drivers, you know it leans toward driver-heavy usage.
Looking at sample-size-adjusted performance in rounds played on driver-heavy courses over the last three 3 years (PGA, KFT, Euro Tour) 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 driver-heavy courses (versus their baseline). Using that as the criteria, the following names pop:
Spieth is the only real surprising name on this list since his driver can get real wonky at times, especially over the last few years. Otherwise, this is a list of elite ball-striking... and Cam Smith who fits more closely in the Spieth mold.
Joost Luiten: This course reminds me a bit of Le Golf National in ways with water hazards lurking everywhere and a very big penalty for missing fairways. There is plenty of crossover results to back up that idea (Molinari, Poulter, Rory, Stenson, Rose). Luiten has top 20s in three of his last four starts in France and he's finding his form again lately. The Dutchman arrives with eight straight cuts made with top 25s in half of those. A good value option when rounding out the bottom of your rosters this week.
Best of luck in all your contests this week!