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Playing the Tips

Expert Picks: WGC-HSBC

by Josh Culp
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Welcome to Playing the Tips! 

Each week this will be the one-stop resource to soak in all the picks from our fantasy staffers at Rotoworld.com. 

While Yahoo! and Golf Channel tune-up their fantasy games for the 2017 calendar year, we will have a condensed version of this feature. Here is how it will be laid out: 

Page 1 will go over One-and-Done as well as Daily Fantasy Golf picks. 
Page 2 will take a look across the pond with Fantasy Race to Dubai selections. 

Before you get into the picks, Dave Tindall has you covered with a WGC-HSBC Preview.

Ryan O'Sullivan also has a look at the HSBC and throws in some Sanderson Farms analysis with his WGC-HSBC and Sanderson Farms Double Dip

Mo Yoshimoto also does an in-depth breakdown of last week's action in Malaysia. Check out his CIMB Classic Recap

Now for the picks... 


Each week I think aloud to provide you with my One-and-Done selection as well as a few alternatives. Fade or Follow? You decide!

Last week RCB came through with a T10 finish. Most of the course horses pulled through with a top 20 last week with Woodland being the key dud. That's now back-to-back top 10s to start the season (Lefty in Napa) so let's try to keep that trend alive this week. 

Here is my thought process on week 3 of the 2016-17 campaign: 

First I want to look at course history. We have six years of Sheshan International data: Golfers that stand out include:
Rory McIlroy (T11-T6-T4-5-4)
Dustin Johnson (T5-1)
Martin Kaymer (T30-T6-T8-1-T30-T6)
Francesco Molinari (T21-T23-1-T10)
Paul Casey (T23-20-T4-T6-WD)
Sergio Garcia (T11-T28-4-T23)
Bubba Watson (T35-1-T8)
Lee Westwood (T51-T20-T55-T13-2-T8)
Russell Knox (1)
Ross Fisher (T3-T16-T28)

After looking at course history, let's have a glance at pure class. Here is the top 10 in the field in terms of adjusted strokes gained per round on the PGA TOUR last season: Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson, Adam Scott, Rafa Cabrera Bello, Paul Casey, Danny Willett, Hideki Matsuyama, Sergio Garcia, and Matt Kuchar.  

Combining the two lists, we get the following overlap: Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Paul Casey, and Sergio Garcia. With $1.4 Million up for grabs to the winner, this event is up there in terms of purse available. At the same time, it's not in the same class as the majors or some of the other large events later in the season. For that reason, I will holster McIlroy and DJ for later. 

With Casey and Garcia my two preferred picks remaining, I'm going to stick with the hot sticks and choose Paul Casey. The Englishman has a pair of top 10s here and he arrives with top 10s in four of his last five starts leading in. 

For the Sanderson Farms I went through the same process and found Bryce Molder and Patton Kizzire as the standouts in terms of 2016 form & course success. Molder relies too heavily on his flat stick, so I will be choosing Patton Kizzire

Daily Fantasy Sports [DFS]

I will be giving out selections for one team each week. 

This week I will enter the following lineup into the $3 Birdie contest. As the name suggests, it's just three dollars to enter. 

This contest has a large number of entries, with guaranteed prize payouts, which means we can't play it safe if we want to see our name at the top! 

DraftKings Picks:

Sergio Garcia ($9,100): He's quite a bit cheaper than usual, due to the strong field this week. The Spaniard remains a consitent week-to-week option, so we can use him as a safe anchor that allows us to take a few risks elsewhere. 
Byeong Hun An ($9,200): His track record in Asia is the best in the field over the last two years (seven top 10s in 12 starts). He makes birdies in bunches, which is what we like to see in a no-cut event. 

Patrick Reed ($9,000): Shook off the cobwebs last week in Malaysia and now he's ready to roll again. Hopefully. Reed finished T22 in his debut here before improving with a T7 last year. 

Emiliano Grillo ($7,800): Not everyone can win in their HSBC debut like Knox did. The Argentine settled for a T35 last year but arrives this year in a whole new weight class, boasting the Rookie of the Year belt. His accuracy keeps him steady but he's got the length and birdie-making ability to soar up the leaderboard too. 

Ross Fisher ($7,800): This price is too cheap without even factoring in course history. When you look at his Sheshan resume and see T3, T16, and T28, this becomes quite the bargain. 

Bernd Wiesberger ($7,700): There are plenty of great options in the $8k range to fill out this squad (Fowler, Kaymer, Koepka, Willett) but dipping down into the $7,000s give us a unique roster. The Austrian also arrives with four straight top 10s on the Euro Tour so their is no rust and his form is good. 

Other Picks to Consider
Martin Kaymer ($8,700):  He's really the course horse here at Sheshan International. He fits perfectly into the lineup above in place of Wiesberger. With a win and three other top 10s on his Sheshan resume, you can lock him in safely. 

Young-han Song ($6,500): Grabbed a T21 last week with a bogey-free, 6-under 66 on Sunday. He's low priced and will be low owned but his performance on the PGA TOUR in three starts (T21, T21, T56) suggests this price is too low. 


For the Sanderson Farms contests, I think you can ignore price and blindly plug in Kizzire. I think he's the man to beat this week and there are plenty of bargain options near the bottom. Ian Poulter and Chris Kirk are also appealing for safe options, but they will cost you a pretty penny. 

Moving down to the mid-tier, we can stick to Southern ties and look for golfers like Bryce Molder, Blayne Barber, Jason Bohn, and Luke List. 

If we dip down to the bargain bin, we can start to look Web.com grads and some others without status. Some options include: C.T. Pan, Brian Campbell, J.J. Spaun, Austin Cook, Trey Mullinax, Aaron Wise, Bobby Wyatt, and Robby Shelton. 

Hopefully those lists give you a general starting point this week.  



2016 Fantasy Race to Dubai


Dave Tindall is our main man in Europe. In addition to his weekly previews of European Tour events on Mondays, he’ll share his selections and analysis for the Fantasy Race to Dubai at EuropeanTour.com.


Format: Pick 6 golfers. Players accumulate points based on Race to Dubai (R2D) points earned. Captain’s points are trebled and vice-captain’s doubled. Unlimited team changes can be made each week.


Team Tindall (Team name: YESSIR!)

Last week: A slight drop. Can’t say winner Padraig Harrington came too close although he was my No.1 Sleeper Pick.

Position: 7,789

This week:

Rory McIlroy (captain): Hasn’t made the top three here but 11-6-4-5-4 is pretty good. Three wins and a further three top fives in his last 10 strokeplay starts and he he’s a distant third in the Race to Dubai so has that goal to chase too.

Martin Kaymer (vice-captain): Shot a sensational 63 to win this event in 2011 and went close again in 2014. Only worse than T8 twice in his last six visits to Sheshan International and has recent form of 6-6-20-6.

Rafa Cabrera-Bello: Having the season of his life and it shows no sign of slowing up. Posted yet another good finish with T10 in last week’s CIMB Classic and can shine again on his course debut.

Francesco Molinari: Another former course winner who arrives in good form. Molinari won here in 2010 and cracked the top 10 either side. Took victory at home Italian Open on his last start.

Ross Fisher: Two second places in his last three European Tour starts and he brings that form to a course where he was third last year and runner-up in 2007.

Thomas Pieters: The Ryder Cup’s top points scorer has dipped in recent starts but a closing 65 in Portugal last week suggests he’s ready to fly high again. T23 here last year was good first attempt.


Matt Cooper joins Dave Tindall as a part of our European team. He contributes to player news, and he’ll share his selections and analysis for the Fantasy Race to Dubai at EuropeanTour.com.

Team Cooper (Team name: NormanStanleyFletcher)


Last week: Not a great week. Tempted to say my team played like their cards were on the line, except that, for the most part, players with cards on the line played rather better than my bunch.


Position: 2,253th


Rory McIlroy (captain): Winner in two of his last three starts and finished T6 or better in four of his five starts on the course (the exception was T11). Would be madness not to pick him.


Patrick Reed (VC): Couldn't break 71 on debut in 2014 and finished the week T22. Broke that figure four times last year to improve to T7. 20 of 28 European Tour starts have reaped top 25 finishes.


Martin Kaymer: Seven visits to Sheshan International and never once finished outside the top 30, with four of those finishes T8 or better including victory in 2011. T6 in three of his last four starts.


Russell Knox: Won the event on debut last year and was T2 heading into the final round last week. Didn't make the most of that, but the form is clearly there and might have the bit between his teeth post-Ryder Cup non-selection.


Ross Fisher: After finishing runner-up twice in two starts there was an understandable blip in the British Masters, but a round two 66 showed the form has not disappeared. Really should have won this event in 2007 (a clumsy late chip cost him the title) and also third 12 months ago.


Sergio Garcia: A nice little warm-up last week at the CIMB Classic (T17) and returns to a course he has thrived on in the past: winner in 2008, never worse than T28 in his last five starts.

Josh Culp

Josh Culp joined NBC Sports Edge in 2014. The DFS enthusiast from Iowa State can be found on Twitter @futureoffantasy.