The Tour heads to South Korea this week for the third leg of the swing season. This is a new event which will be taking place at a venue we have yet to see on Tour so there are a lot of unknowns heading in. The venue is the Club at Nine Bridges which is set-up as a par 72 and appears like it will play somewhere between 7,100 and 7,300 yards, depending on set-up. This means it won’t be overly long, however on appearance it does look to have some tricky green complexes and the bentgrass style of grass they use here means the greens could play much faster than last week. The course looks immaculate but I would still expect low scoring here once again as many of the holes look short by tour standards with wider than normal fairways.
Asia Swing: This week we have a mix of players who are teeing it up for the first time on the swing season and numerous players who are already playing in their third start of the year. While it’s tempting to just go with the recent form and players who were in the mix last week, the players making their debut here likely had more preparation time than the ones heading in from Malaysia. In addition, there are several players from Australia or Korea in the field this week that should be familiar with the conditions of the area, giving them a slight advantage. Weighing recent form with players who might be good value due to their recent inactivity is a tricky balance this week.
Marc Leishman ($9,900): Leishman is making his first start since the President’s Cup, but should be well rested and ready to pick up where he left off at the end of the 2017 season, when he finished with a top 5 and a win in the FedEx playoffs. The Aussie is comfortable on almost any venue due to his superb all-around game and the fact he was in the mix in some low scoring tournaments so recently definitely makes him look like a great target this week at under 10k. He outplayed three of the four players priced ahead of him last season and looks like good value amoung the big guns this week.
Xander Schauffele ($9,800): Schauffele is quickly becoming a household name in the DFS Golf community. His win at the Tour Championship was quickly followed up last week with a T3 at an event where he made 19 birdies and two eagles to just six bogeys. The two-time tour winner should be comfortable on this week’s setup as his first win on tour last year came at the Greenbrier which features similar bentgrass greens to this week’s venue. While the sample size is small, Schauffele is gaining a remarkable 2.83 strokes on bentgrass venues over any other type of surface (via www.fantasygolfmetrics.com). This, plus his recent form, makes him a great target at under 10k.
Russell Henley ($8,900): Henley has had particularly good success at windy seaside venues over his career, with wins in Hawaii and Florida, along with another near miss at the Plantation Course in Hawaii; a venue which has been used as a comparison by some to this week. He finished 2017 strong with a T3 at the Tour Championship and should be eager to build on that result with a good finish here. This looks like a great setup for the Georgia native who has proven he can go low on score-able venues like the one we’ll be seeing this week.
Just Missed: Jason Day
Luke List ($7,600): List has played solidly in each of the first two swing season events. A T37 in California was followed up by a T13 last week in Malaysia which was earmarked by some strong tee to green play. List can definitely be a little frustrating, but for DraftKings purposes he makes for a great target this week as he’s clearly in decent form and ranked ninth in birdie or better percentage on Tour last season. This is a player to keep targeting until his form rolls out, and he comes to us at a decent price once again here.
Danny Lee ($7,400): Lee finished 2017 poorly, but actually led the field in birdies last week. Since he made so many red numbers the fact he was only T7 is slightly disappointing but now that the rust is off we may see even sharper Lee emerge this week. Like Schauffele, Lee got his first Tour win at the Greenbrier (which also uses bentgrass greens) and over his career this has been one of his best surfaces to putt on. He has some good experience playing in this part of the world and is definitely a player who can ride this momentum to another big week, making him nice value on DK.
Seung-Yul Noh ($7,100): Noh is a Korean born player who has shown some flashes of big-time talent and already has win on the PGA Tour (Zurich Classic 2014); and has also won in Asia way back in 2010 in Malaysia. The 26-year old did not finish 2017 well, but a T5 on the Korean tour last week is a good indicator he might be ready to make some noise here. He can be erratic, but in a not cut event and playing in his home country I like targeting him here, especially since he comes in off some good recent form.
Just Missed: Scott Brown
High-upside GPP Picks
Justin Thomas ($12,100): Thomas may be coming off a disappointing title defense but for DFS this week he makes sense as a gpp play. The high-price tag this week certainly will scare off a lot of potential suitors here, especially since he failed to live up to expectations last week. Thomas has made a living off of killing shorter, score-able courses and Nine Bridges looks like it will set-up as just this style of venue. A quick bounce-back for the player who led the tour in birdie or better percentage last season wouldn’t be shocking, and low ownership means he makes for a nice target in DraftKings large gpps.
Byeong Hun-An ($8,100): An will be making his swing season debut here, but he has been active of late, finishing a respectable T21 last week at the Italian Open. The South Korean born player will obviously have some home crowd support and given his decent recent form he’s shaping up as a potential under-the-radar option for DraftKings purposes. His biggest professional win came at another shorter par 72 and a big week and perhaps his first PGA win will come on one too. The fact he was in contention his last time out bodes well and makes him a nice gpp play.
Just Missed: Thomas Pieters
Players to Consider (in no order)
– Marc Leishman, Russell Henley, Xander Schauffele, Seung-Yul Noh, Jason Day, Luke List
– Danny Lee, Justin Thomas, Byeong Hun-An, Thomas Pieters, Scott Brown
Russell Henley 40-1
Danny Lee 75-1 EW