Daily Fantasy Golf Course Primer: The CJ Cup
The swing season continues this week to the Republic of Korea (known in the United States as South Korea), where the field faces The Club at Nine Bridges on the breathtaking Jeju Island off the Korean Peninsula for The CJ Cup.
Last year's edition was the inaugural event and the first ever official PGA Tour event to be held in Korea. Without much course history to go on, comparison courses and overall player talent will take priority this week. But knowing the conditions presented at Nine Bridges will be essential to success when building daily fantasy rosters.
Course and Tournament Info
Course: The Club at Nine Bridges
Distance: 7,196 yards
There is a lot of pride here. This course was developed to be among the most beautiful and challenging courses in the world, a championship-level test with scenery to boot. Bentgrass is not native to this area of the world, but it is imported and meticulously maintained. The weather on Jeju Island looks to be something close to perfect this week, with temperatures in the low 60s and little chance of precipitation. As was the case last week at the CIMB Classic, there is no cut at the CJ Cup.
|Year||Par||Yardage||Avg Score||Avg O/U Par|
The Club at Nine Bridges rated out as the fourth-most difficult course on Tour last year based on average score to par, behind only Shinnecock Hills GC (U.S. Open), PGA National (Honda Classic), and Carnoustie GC (The Open Championship). Those are some heavy hitters, and notably Nine Bridges is the only par 72 in the top six most difficult courses of 2018.
These stats stand out as the most important this week.
|Key Stats for the CJ Cup at The Club at Nine Bridges|
|Strokes Gained: Approach|
|Birdies or Better Gained|
|Strokes Gained: Par 5s|
|Strokes Gained: Putting (Bent)|
There is no strokes gained data available from last year's event, but it is still possible to piece together a profile. Driving does not appear to be a huge concern this week, as the FantasyNational Course Breakdown rates out the fairways as easy to hit, and the elevation of Jeju Island (about 3,500 feet above sea level) combined with the short yardage for a par 72 mitigates the need to target bombers. With both accuracy and distance available off the tee, it is easy to conclude that the reason this course is so hard is because approaching the green and getting the ball in the cup must be the challenge.
Scrambling makes sense on a course where it is difficult to save par, and targeting par 5 scorers is a sound strategy for any par 72. All four of the par 5s fall between 550-600 yards, though one is 550 on the nose and two others are within a few yards of 600, so it is not necessary to limit the scope just to that range.
Course History Studs
Once again, there is not a lot to go on here given that this is just the second year of this event, but Justin Thomas is the defending champion and should be better acclimated to the timezone than some of the other top golfers after playing last week at the CIMB Classic.
Byeong-Hun An finished 11th last year and won the 2015 Shinhan Donghae Open on the Korean Tour. He was tied for fourth in strokes gained on the par 5s last year, according to FantasyNational.
Whee Kim finished fourth at the first CJ Cup and is second in the field in strokes gained: putting on bentgrass over his last 50 rounds. He has several strong finishes in Korea, including wins at the 2012 Shinhan Donghae Open and the 2018 Descente Korea Munsingwear Matchplay.
Mike Rodden is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Mike Rodden also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mike_rodden. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.