DraftKings Daily Fantasy Golf Picks & Plays for The CJ Cup at Nine Bridges
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The Club at Nine Bridges is located on Jeju Island, South Korea, and is one of the premier and immaculate courses in this region of the world. That said, most information about this course is published in Korean. Plus, the course/facility is uber private, built by the heir to the Samsung empire. The one thing I do know about the course is that the “9th Bridge” is a metaphor for the inner connection between the golfer and course.
The Club sports Bentgrass greens and has severe undulation throughout the green complexes. This will be the second time the course has hosted a professional event. It’s annually ranked as one of the top 100 courses in the world, but good luck playing it yourself.
How it plays
Nine Bridges is housed on a small, mountainous vacation island. The altitude means the ball flies a bit further, and the wind was a factor last year. Last year, this course ranked as one of the top five most difficult with a winning score of only -9.
Golfers will be hitting tee shots from high elevations with the green sequestered in a small valley. There are also a few holes that force players to hit into a valley and then back uphill dramatically to reach the green. On top of all the elevation changes, the greens and fairways undulate severely and are protected by a ridiculous number of bunkers scattered throughout the course.
Oh, and I almost forgot all the water. Like I said, this ranked top five most difficult last year! This is 100 percent a ball-striker’s golf course. Thus, club selection, flight control, and positioning are paramount this week. With so little info available and a really small sample size, it is possible the course plays a bit easier this year and we see better scoring conditions. But that will likely be weather dependent; keep an eye on Jeju Island weather reports Wednesday.
- Strokes Gained Ball Striking
- Par 5 Scoring
- Par 4 Scoring
- Birdie or Better
- Bogey Avoidance
- Sand Saves
PGA DFS players
Note: This is another tourney on the other side of the world, so lock will be on Wednesday night. Be sure to have your lineups set early.
Top Tier: $11.5K – $9.6K
Justin Thomas ($11.6K)
Last year’s champ is coming back this year in great form again and off a strong finish last week. JT is elite in every sense of the word. He went back to back at the CIMB two years ago, so there’s no reason he can’t go back to back at Nine Bridges. He will also be the most owed player of this tier and most tagged on Fanshare — for good reason.
Brooks Koepka ($11.2K)
Brooks is making his Nine Bridges debut but is no stranger to international golf, having paid his dues playing the Euro Tour before making it big on the PGA. Because of that, I am not too concerned about this being the first time he has seen the course. Brooks is one of the few top-flight guys in the field and has the game for any course. Specifically, Brooks seems to really show up on the tougher courses that require him to focus in order to succeed. Since he won’t be able to completely overpower Nine Bridges, expect the strategic nature of the course to hold his attention as he works his way toward a strong showing this week. His elite distance can’t hurt either. He will have plenty of firepower to get after a couple of these par 5’s this week.
Hideki Matsuyama ($10.4K)
As usual, Hideki represents the forgotten elite in the field this week. Possibly the best pure ball striker in the world and a positive Bentgrass putter, Matsuyama posted a fourth place in the PGA Championships and was showing signs of returning to his dominant form in the latter parts of the season. Deki is a solid discount from the top end guys, who will likely garner a larger portion of ownership. That makes him a nice GPP option with plenty of scoring upside.
Others to consider: Marc Leishman, Paul Casey, Billy Horschel
Mid Tier: $9.5K – $7.9K
Gary Woodland ($9.1K)
Last week, Woody put together a really strong four days of golf but just couldn’t close it out after leading most of the week, posting a top five instead. At that point, Gary was ranked #1 overall in my model and was one of the highest-owned golfers on the week. As for this week, expect him to be a bit less chalky simply because of his price point. Last year, Gary didn’t have his best stuff in Jeju Island, ending in 40th. I am hoping that keeps even more people off him this week. Coming into Nine Bridges in his best form of the past few years, Woodland has posted a 24/12/11/5 in his last four tournaments, and most of that was done in the super difficult fields of the Fed Ex Cup Playoffs.
An Byeong-hun ($8.7K)
I’m going back to my guy “Bennie An” again this week after a solid 13th last week. An is an excellent ball striker, who has more length than most in the field to attack some of these par 5’s. It’s also a home game of sorts for the Korean pro. Last year, An posted an 11th on this challenging course, and much like the comp course for last week (WMPO), Nine Bridges fits the same bill.
Im Sung-Jae ($8K)
Im will undoubtedly be a popular name this week on Fanshare after his strong finish last week and his native ties to Jeju Island. He’s a very talented player who has cut his teeth playing around the world and is coming into his own as he competes against the world’s best. Also, Im has the game required! Since this is his first season on the PGA tour, there aren’t too many stats to support the play, but suffice to say, this kid has paid his dues and is ready for the big time.
Others to consider: Cam Smith, Alex Noren, Emiliano Grillo, Kyle Stanley, Brandt Snedeker
Value Tier: $7.8K and Lower
Ian Poulter ($7.6K)
“Poults” should be past his Ryder Cup hangover at this point and ready to repeat his top 15 from last year on Jeju. Poulter has the course-manager type of game I am looking for this week as well as the experience on difficult courses to tackle the various side hill, downhill, and awkward lies that are inevitable at Nine Bridges. The course length isn’t prohibitive for the older Poulter, and his competitive spirit is unmatched. At his price tag, Poulter represents some of the best overall value for his pure ball-striking ability in this field. Load him up in all formats.
Chez Reavie ($7K)
Chez was mediocre at best through the end of last season and into the swing season, posting a disappointing 43rd last week. With an intro like that, you might wonder why I’m writing him up. Well, he is a really strong iron player who needs the right kind of course to compete, and I feel Nine Bridges fits that bill nicely. Chez rates out really well on the specific hole lengths he will face this week, ranking 11th in my comp course model. These angles are supported by his 15th here last year. Chez is also a positive Bent putter. Look for Chez to be virtually un-tagged on Fanshare this week and a solid GPP play with a decent amount of upside on Jeju.
Jimmy Walker ($6.8K)
While Jimmy didn’t exactly storm the gates in his first tourney of the season, he did play much better on Sunday, shaking off the rust and blasting a 66. Walker rates out really well in my blended model this week for some reason. To be honest, I didn’t expect him to pop up as highly as he did, but the model is based on performance by hole length and course type in the short and long term, so I am going to trust it this week at Jimmy’s price tag. He remains under priced as a top-tier ball-striker in this field.
Others to consider: Shubhankar Sharma, Joaquin Niemann, Beau Hossler, C.T.Pan, Austin Cook
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