This week we have two events on Tour with the WGC-HSBC Champions at Sheshan International Golf Club in China and the Sanderson Farms at the CC of Jackson in Mississippi. That means we have a lot of fantasy related info to get through this week, so let’s jump right in. You can stay up to date with any fantasy related news by following me on Twitter @friedeggpaulie
Sheshan International Golf Club is a course that often produces low scores and lots of birdies.
The average winning score over the past three years is -18. Those who have succeeded at Sheshan have dominated the four par 5s. The last three winners have been a combined 32 under on the 48 par 5s, a 4.33 stroke average! So we will want to focus on some guys who play par 5s well.
Tyrrell Hatton $8,200
In a week where we will want to pay up for one of the studs, we have to find some value in order to afford such a player. One great value play this week is Tyrrell Hatton. He has been absolutely on fire of late winning his last two starts on the European Tour at the Dunhill Links and the Italian Open (note: he also had top tens in his two starts prior to that). Hatton has not had a stellar record at Sheshan, but I think he is a different player now. Hatton has also has been killing par 5s of late being 15 under par on his last 23 par 5s played during his last two events!!! That should translate well to Sheshan. I don’t expect many casual players to realize that Hatton is coming into this event in amazing form and we will want to capitalize on that.
Ross Fisher $8,400
At $8,400, I expect most casual players to pass over Fisher since he is a bit of an unknown in America and may seem overpriced at first glance. But digging into his record at Sheshan and recent form brings me to the thought that he is a really good value this week. Fisher has finished runner up to Tyrrell Hatton in his last two events on the European Tour at the Dunhill Links and the Italian Open finishing a combined 41 under par. Fisher has also been killing par 5s of late being 20 under par on his last 23 par 5s played during his last two events! That should translate well to Sheshan. In his two appearances at Sheshan, he has finished sixth and third. Let’s pair him with Hatton to form a foundation of our team this week.
Tony Finau $7,700
If we are looking for another guy who dominate par 5s, look no further than Tony Finau. In 2017, he averaged 4.57 on par 5s making birdie or better on 53% of par 5s played last year. At $7,700 Finau provides a lot of value in a no cut event due to his massive birdie upside.
If your league allows you to reload your picks before the main season starts in January, you should consider picking Dustin Johnson this week. He is a past champion of this event and is rested and ready to dominate the par 5s.
Pieters is a player who is known for his length which he is going to use to his advantage on the par 5s this week. If he can keep his attitude positive, we could see him succeed in another solid field (similar to his high Olympic finish and Ryder Cup play).
Playing Fleetwood is a smart idea this week since he will only be playing a handful of events on the PGA Tour this year. We obviously know he has the upside to contend on a worldwide stage so taking him this week makes sense so we can save other players for later in the year.
Longshots to Win
Si Woo Kim 200-1
In a reduced field of 78, 200-1 is way higher than Kim should be to win. Kim has won twice on Tour in Greensboro and at the Players which has one of the best fields in golf. Kim is either red hot or ice cold so let’s just hope we can catch a hot week for him at 200-1 when in all reality he should be around 100-1.
Harris English $8,500
When in a weak opposite field event, I often look towards players who might be in a slump but have proven themselves on Tour. English fits that bill perfectly. He has just as good of a resume as players priced $1,500 more (McGirt, Burgoon, Streelman, etc.). So I will take that savings and hope that he can regain his form.
Cody Gribble $7,700
Sure, Gribble hasn’t been playing great of late, but how often can you get the defending champion in a weak field at only $7,700? That’s more than enough for me to put Gribble in this week.
Robert Garrigus $7,600
Garrigus seems a bit underpriced this week based upon the weak field. He has two top 10s in his last four starts on Tour. If he can have just an average putting week, he will record a top 20 this week which will more than pay off his salary.
McGirt has finished second and seventh in his two appearances at this event. Combining that with the fact that he is one of the best players in the field and you have yourself a perfect choice for this week. I don’t envision picking McGirt anywhere else this year.
Longshot to Win
Peter Malnati 100-1
Malnati won this event in 2015. He has not been playing great but has quietly made 10 consecutive cuts on the PGA Tour. In a weak field, I will gladly take 100-1 for a past champion in decent form.