Daily Fantasy Golf Course Primer: CIMB Classic
The 2018-19 PGA Tour season kicked off with a thrilling playoff at the Safeway Open and now heads to Malaysia for the CIMB Classic. TPC Kuala Lumpur is the host course this week, a 7,005-yard par 72 that features some of the best scoring conditions golfers will face all season.
Construction began right after last year's edition to complete a major redesign, specifically replacing most of the grass with a Bermuda species more commonly seen on the PGA Tour. The paspalum greens were replaced with TifEagle Bermudagrass, the same surfaces featured at TPC Sawgrass, home of the PLAYERS Championship. The CIMB Classic is the only Tour stop in Asia and therefore course history will be an important factor this week even with the redesign.
Course and Tournament Info
Course: TPC Kuala Lumpur
Distance: 7,005 yards
Fairways: Celebration Bermuda
Greens: TifEagle Bermuda
This short par 72 has yielded winning scores south of 20-under par in each of the past three seasons, and everyone in the field who wishes to enjoy the birdie-fest for the full weekend may do so -- there is no cut at the CIMB Classic.
|Year||Difficulty Rank||Par||Yards||Avg Score||Avg O/U Par|
Of the 51 courses that hosted an event on Tour last season, TPC Kuala Lumpur rated out as the 11th easiest from a scoring perspective. With a small field at a course that can be gouged, it's best not to get too tricky with the stats. Focusing on overall play and birdie making ability is fundamental for building daily fantasy lineups this week.
These stats stand out as the most important this week.
|Key Stats for the CIMB Classic at TPC Kuala Lumpur|
|Strokes Gained: Tee to Green|
|Strokes Gained: Approach|
|Birdies or Better Gained|
Overall tee to green play with an extra emphasis on approach is a tried and true strategy to building a high floor lineup. Putting is always a bit of a crapshoot, but this week in particular it is an unknown variable with the brand new surfaces and sticky climate. The current forecast calls for temperatures approaching 90 degrees and a strong chance of rain especially in the days leading up to the tournament.
Making birdies is essential this week as evidenced by the low scores on prior leaderboards, but just as important can be avoiding the costly mistakes that derail an otherwise good round. Making par could mean losing a stroke on the field at this course; making a bogey is a disaster.
Course History Studs
Justin Thomas is by far the biggest name in this field, and he has had great success in his recent trips to TPC Kuala Lumpur. Thomas finished 17th last year after banking back-to-back wins in the two prior seasons.
Ryan Moore lost in a playoff at the Safeway Open but can get back on the horse here, where he is a two-time winner. He has gained more strokes over the past five years at this event than anyone in the field, per FantasyNational.com.
Keegan Bradley did not travel to Malaysia in 2015 but has three top-10's in his last four attempts, including a second place finish here last year. Bradley's weak link is always the putter, but he did well on similar surfaces on his way to a T7 at the 2018 PLAYERS Championship, where he gained 3.3 strokes putting.
Cameron Smith has two top-5's in three attempts here since 2015.
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