This week we’re off to The Club at Nine Bridges, in South Korea. Only the second year of this tournament, it was considered by many as one of the top five most difficult courses on tour. Justin Thomas beat out Marc Leishman last year in a playoff. Leishman is coming off a victory at last week’s CIMB Classic.
The Club is a par 72 that runs just under 7,200 yards. The weather can play a factor, as last year they saw high winds. This course will require golfers to be accurate in their approach shots, along with solid putting. Only 78 golfers will be playing this week, and with no cut, all of your players have a chance. Here are the categories that I’m focusing on this week:
SG: T2G (Tee to Green)
BoB Gained (Birdies or Better)
SG: P (Putting, with an emphasis on Bentwood greens)
The fairways aren’t very narrow, so I’m not too concerned with driving accuracy.
Hideki Matsuyama - $10,400: When it comes to recent form, you won’t find many better than Matsuyama. Over his last 12 rounds, Hideki ranks in the top five in the field in all key stats, with the exception of Bogeys Avoided (21st). Matsuyama has finished in the top 15 over his last four events, which include two top five finishes. A lot of people are going to be on JT and for good reason, myself included. Matsuyama is as good of a pivot as there is.
Justin Thomas - $11,600: The defending champion from last year’s inaugural CJ Cup. JT has been playing out of his mind recently, ranking sixth in T2G, second in Birdies or Better, and sixth in Bogeys Avoided. His putting hasn’t been bad either, as he ranks 24th in the field over his last 12 rounds. Thomas’ last five tournaments have produced four finishes in the top 24, and three of those were in the top 10.
Billy Horschel - $9,700: I’m going back to the well with Horschel! He didn’t have a great showing at the CIMB Classic, and I’m hoping that drops his ownership for this week. He is still top 10 in T2G and BoB Gained, and not counting last week he has three top five finishes over his last four tournaments. I like Horschel to bounce back this week for a top 10 finish.
Tyrrell Hatton - $9,500: At 27 years old, Hatton has been a force on the European Tour. He has taken off the last few PGA events, and I can see him up near the top of the leaderboard by the end of this tournament. Hatton is top 10 in Prox, T2G and Bogeys Avoided. If Hatton can avoid the three putts, he’ll be in great shape.
Si Woo Kim - $7,400: This price range was the toughest because there are so many golfers that are very close, and I could have gone with a dozen of them. I wanted someone who has good recent form with Putting and BoB Gained, and Kim fits the bill as he’s in the top 20 for both key stats. Kim was also a top 10 finisher in last week’s event.
Charles Howell III - $7,700: CH3 is one of my favorite golfers, and from the interviews I’ve heard him do, he seems like a great guy. Over his last 12 rounds, Howell III ranks in the top 20 in BoB Gained, Bogeys Avoided, and Putting. He also finished 20th in this event last year, and had a top 25 showing in the BMW Championship last month.
$6.9k and under:
Jason Kokrak - $6,800: At this price it’s hard to find a golfer who is in the top 20 in most key stats, and Kokrak checks the boxes in four of my five categories. BoB Gained has been a bit of an opportunity for him, but I’m not going to be too picky.
Hyun-woo Ryu - $6,500: Sixth in BoB Gained and seventh in Bogeys Avoided, Ryu is a guy that can shoot for par without gaining too many bogeys. That skill will be key this weekend, as this course will frustrate a lot of golfers. I’m not super excited by anyone $6.9k and under, but these are a couple to look at if you’re trying to save some money.
*All statistics courtesy of Fantasy National Golf Club