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PGA DFS

DraftKings Daily Fantasy Golf Picks & Plays for The CIMB Classic

Welcome back for another week of PGA DFS at DraftKings and FanDuel. We’re here to give you the full report on fantasy golf picks for The CIMB Classic at TPC Kuala Lumpur.

As always, our goal is for PlayPicks to be your first and last stop for an all-around PGA DFS news source each week … and for free! Give me a follow at @DFSJimmie if you haven’t already. And while you’re at it, go ahead and like PlayPicks on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Now, back to your regularly scheduled PGA breakdown.

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The course

TPC Kuala Lumpur is the annual host of this event, located in hot and humid Malaysia. Originally built in 1991 by Nelson Howarth but was redesigned after the completion of last year’s tournament by Parslow & Winter Golf Designs. A very short par 72 track that previously had Paspalum greens which have now been converted to Tif Eagle Bermuda grass while the fairways were re-adorned with the ever bouncy Celebration Bermuda grass. While the layout and routing have remained the same, expect the course to play a bit differently with the renovations. What won’t change about this course is the fact that it is basically in a rain forest and water is a dominant feature throughout the course.

How it plays

This course is very much a target golf course that emphases the importance of finding the fairway given the usually long and thick rough. Since the renovations and addition of the  firm and bouncy Celebration Bermuda, expect the fairway aspect to only appreciate this week. While the new greens should run quite a bit faster and firmer than previous editions of this tournament. New greens are notoriously firm as the new roots take hold. The other renovation notes suggest that the rough around the greens will be significantly shorter and shaved in some spots to encourage mishit shots to funnel into collection areas.

Despite needing to find the fairway, longer hitters will have a decent advantage here given the length (or lack thereof) on the shorter par 4’s and par 5’s. The past 5 years the average winning score has been 20.5 under par. With so many changes to the course, it is hard to say if that number will hold but regardless, there will be plenty of scoring to be had this week. Make sure to favor strong wedge players as well, anyone finding the fairway this week should have an excellent look at a birdie, as they will have a short iron in their hand and be taking aim to keep pace. See the scorecard below for how the scoring will break down by hole and group.

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The breakdown

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Key stats

  • Birdies or Better
  • Strokes Gained Ball Striking
  • Par 5 Scoring
  • Approaches from 125-150

PGA DFS players

Note: This is a no cut event and lineup lock is at 8pm Wednesday. Don’t forget!

Top Tier: $11.5K – $9.6K

Justin Thomas ($11.7K) 

JT is a back to back champ here and looking to make it his 3rd this year. JT is by far and away the class of this small field and he absolutely loves not cuts events. While I don’t always advocate paying up for the top spot, I don’t mind it at all this week. JT scores prolifically on most courses and should have eagle looks on 3 of the 4 par 5’s this week. JT is likely to be the most tagged golfer on Fanshare this week but for good reason, don’t get too cute if you have multiple lineups going this week, JT should be in some.

Billy Horschel ($10.7K) 

This is strictly a GPP play here. Billy Ho is coming off a hot stretch of golf towards the end of last season and should still be in fine form. Billy hasn’t played here in several years and is normally overlooked in these boat race type of events as he is seen more as a “make par” kinda guy, which should lead to lower ownership among the top tier. What is working for Billy this week is his hot form and the change in grasses. Billy knows how to play hot humid, Florida courses with Bermuda and he does it well. The course isn’t too long for him and previously he posted an 11th in 2013. Like I said, strictly GPP but is Billy stays hot and goes under-owned you will be in for a nice surprise if you roster him.

Gary Woodland ($9.7K)

Gary had a resurgent season last year and capped it off with an 11th at the tour championship. Gary also has some solid course history at this track, despite being a bit mediocre the past few years here prior to that he posted back to back 2nd places in 2013 and 2014. Despite his prodigious power, Gary fares well at courses he needs to dial it back on and TPC KL fits that bill nicely. I have a hunch the new greens will help normalize putting for the field and that will only help Gary’s normally less than trusty putter this week. For what’s its worth, Gary ranks #1 overall in my blended course model this week.

Others to consider: Ryan Moore (former 2x champ at this event), Xander Schauffele, Keegan Bradley

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Mid Tier: $9.5K – $7.9K

Byeong Hun An ($8.9K)

Bennie An has the perfect game for this type of course and event, he should score plenty and with his length snag a couple extra eagle looks. A world-class ball striker who should find the fairway easily and ranked inside my top 10 blended model this week. A talented golfer that disappointed in his only showing here with a 39th, hopefully that keeps some folks away. Bennie has shown his chops on a similar course with lots of water but a much stronger field, The Waste Management Phoenix Open; almost snagging a victory but falling just short twice.

Cam Smith ($8.4K)

Cam really seems to like this course posting a couple of top 5’s in his three tries here and is quoted as saying he really enjoys this course and event. A talented young player that has the upside to win this event. Cam is coming off his first Fed Ex Cup playoff appearance where he posted back to back 3rd places before ejecting a burning plenty of players. Look for Cam to bounce back this week and post another strong finish at hopefully reduced ownership.

C.T. Pan ($8K)

One of the hottest golfers last year, likely to be a very popular play this week and heavily tagged on Fanshare this week. A tidy ball striker that manages courses well and can score with the best of them, coming in ranked 2nd overall in my blended model. Having posted a 17th last year; Pan is familiar with the course, the climate and golf in this part of the world. Despite his popularity this week, I’ll be firing up some shares of Pan. This could be the week we finally see the “Taiwan Bomb” go off!

Others to consider: Emiliano Grillo, Rafa Cabrera Bello, Kevin Na, Danny Lee, Kyle Stanley

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Value Tier: $7.8K and Lower

Jimmy Walker ($7.4K)

Just too cheap here for a guy that dominated the early part of last season, and is a world class ball striker and major champion. Granted his form fell off late last year but coming in at #4 overall in my course model, Walker will get plenty of consideration from me this week, especially since he posted a 6th here the last time he played in 2013; a fact likely overlooked due to his lackluster finish to last years season. Jimmy should go low owned this week based on his Fanshare tags, that’s a good thing considering his upside and pedigree.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat ($7.3K) 

The Barn Rat put the golf universe on notice last year with his worldwide hot streak this time last year and is from the region. Look for him to start this season in similar fashion on a course and tournament that he can unleash his super aggressive play style on. He also happens to be a positive Bermuda putter and posted a 3rd here last year. Likely a popular option in this price range based on Fanshare tags this week but for good reason.

Shubankar Sharma ($6.5K)

If you are going stars and scrubs construction this week, you should feel good about rounding out the bottom of your roster with this guy. Sharma shocked the world last year at another no cut event where he went toe to toe with some of the best in the world at a WGC event. Sharma then went on to have an up and down year on the Euro tour but posting some strong results along the way. Sharma has the game for these target type course that mimics the tight confines of the Indian courses he grew up playing. Loads of talent and knows how to score. Sharma has plenty of upside for his discount price tag.

Others to consider: Peter Uihlein, Bronson Burgoon, Thomas Pieters, Si Woo Kim, James Hahn, Sam Ryder

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