Kuala Lumpur G&CC (West Course)
Bukit Kiara, Malaysia
6,985 yard, par 72
The top 60 from last year’s FedExCup Points list, the top 10 from the Asian Tour Order of Merit, and eight sponsor exemptions will tee it up Thursday, which means DFS contests lock Wednesday evening in North America. There is no cut in this event. This is the third time that the contest has been played on this course, so course history is only relevant for the last two years. The Malaysian Open on the European Tour plays here annually here also. Anirban Lahiri won that event in February.
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This course is short. Although it features four par 5s, three of them are under 540 yards and one is over 600 yards. This course is easy as well. The winner should be around 15-under and the median score will be around 4-under.
One would think that driving accuracy would be important here, and it might be, although data from the last two years show that driving distance is more important. I can see distance being helpful with the four par 5s, so I’m looking more at total driving. Greens in regulation and both strokes gained stats are important, and I’m leaning toward putting. Scrambling also is important to me, which probably correlates with the less accurate bombers who have done well here.
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Wind seems pretty nonexistent on Thursday, holding steady at 5km/hour for most of the day. There is a 51% chance of afternoon thunderstorms by 4pm. The last golfer tees off at 9:45am, though, so this is irrelevant.
On Friday, the wind still stays steady at 6 km/hour all day, but it’s supposed to rain and be a downright downpour in the afternoon. Rain is 40% all morning and then 70% by 1pm. It might mean there’s a slight edge to the guys teeing off first on Friday.
Ryan Moore – 1st, 1st.
Gary Woodland – 2nd, 2nd
Honorable mention to Anirban Lahiri – 1st here in February, 52nd last year, 10th the previous February, 35th on Moore’s 1st victory, but cut, cut, 53, and cut before that.
Danny Chia, Ben Leong, and Arie Ahmad Irawan are your Malaysians. Danny Chia is the only one with a shot.
Stenson 12.1k – The clear favorite. Stats look good. I don’t know if he’s worth paying up for, so it depends on what value we can find. He’s never played here, 4 straight top tens with 2, 10, 2, 2, 25, and 6 over the last 3 months. Knee surgery in December.
Hideki 10.9k – He’s a fine play, but too expensive for me. 21 and 25 here, 17, 12, 7, 25, 13, cut, and 57 is form.
Kevin Na 10.8k – 2nd last week. 2nd the week before. 2nd here last year. He looks good, but I think he’s too expensive.
Sergio 10.7k – I like Sergio. I like his discount from Hideki. Better history than him too, 2nd and 11th here. Rough form, but he’s had 6 weeks off. 39, 54, 37 in last 3 months.
Branden Grace 10.5k – I reckon he’s going to be too busy watching the Rugby World Cup Saturday night to finish on Sunday. I’m off him.
Patrick Reed 10.1k – Finished 3rd last week in Asia. 27, 28, 4, 62, 30, and 15 before that. 26 and 40 here. I’m not paying that much for him.
Ryan Moore 9.9k – Back-to-back winner. Stats line up with the course too. 43, 10, 28, cut, cut, 10, 37, 42 is his form. Probably going to be really popular and rightfully so.
Anirban Lahiri 9.8k – Sneaky GPP play. I can’t imagine him being picked much over Moore or Scott. He won here in February in the Malaysian Open, 10th the February before, not so good here in October, though. Great form, 7, 16, 6, 5, and 53rd lately.
Adam Scott 9.7k – I’m off him. I hope others take him. Long putter nightmare coming?
Justin Thomas 9.6k – I love him this week. He will be a staple across my lineups. 1st try here, 3, 13, 56, 16, 56, 18, 4 this summer. He’s good at golf.
Paul Casey 9.5k – My pivot off of Thomas, I like him 2nd most in this price range. 37th here last year, but he was scraping off rust. 5, 23, wd, 39, 3, 30, and 17 lately.
Luke Donald 9.3k – No.
Danny Lee 9.2k – My 4th favorite play at 9k. 13th last year, 17th and cut in 2011 and 2010. 2, 47, 33, 30, 43, 6, and 4.
Harris English 9.1k – My 3rd favorite play in the 9k range. I think he will go overlooked. Nice stats. 7th here 2 years ago. 22, 19, 12, 30, 31, 48, and 46 lately.
Gary Woodland 8.7k – Back-to-back 2nds here. Shaky form, 60, 12, cut, 57, and cut. I’m off him.
Daniel Berger 8.6k – First time here. Back to playing good golf after a really rough stretch – 17, 12, 2, and 12 since a bunch of cuts. I’m off him.
Tony Finau 8.5k – I’m for him. 1st time here, 16, 32, 47, cut, 16, 10, and 39. Underpriced.
Scott Piercy 8.4k – No.
John Senden 8.3k – 7th here. Shaky form. Too expensive.
Robert Streb 8.2k – Yes. Cut a couple of weeks ago, 18, 23, 38, 39, 10, and 5th otherwise. Great stats for the course. 1st try here.
Cameron Tringale 8k – 73rd here 2 years ago. 2nd last week. 64, 7, 44, 30, cut, and 21. Intriguing but meh.
Brendan Steele 8k – Love him as always. Hope he goes under-owned with the cut in Vegas last week. It wasn’t his fault, as the wind blew like crazy Friday morning. 25th here 2 years ago.
Nick Watney 7.9k – 35th here 2 ago, 11, 64, 19, 44, cut, 31, 30, and cut lately. I’d rather have…
Keegan Bradley 7.9k – Also got blown in Vegas last week and missed the cut. 10th here 2 years ago. Cheap. I like him.
Brendon de Jonge 7.9k – 13 and 53 here. 13th last week, shaky before that. I’m off him.
Summerhays 7.8k – Barely sniffs my list. 53rd here 2 ago. 16, 32, 41, 9, 6, 43, and cut lately.
Scott Hend 7.7k – Almost a course horse. 14, 18, 40, cut, 11, cut, and 78th here. Bad form – cut, 54, cut, 4, cut, 30, 33.
Jason Dufner 7.6k – 26th here last year. Cut, 60, 30, 51, and 68 lately. No thanks.
Russell Knox 7.5k – 38, cut, 45, 12, 20, cut, cut, 39 for form has me scared. 1st try here. Nice stats for the course, though.
Guys I Like Under 7.5k
Ben Martin 7.4k – 1st try here, 25, cut, 68, 25, 68, 10, cut, and 57.
C. Howell III – 7.3k – 7th here 2 years ago. In his typical consistent form. 70, 17, 56, 58, 31, 65, and 11th.
Matt Jones 7.3k – 52nd and 40th here makes me want more. Cut, 32, 4, 53, and 21 is form.
Kevin Chappell 7.3k – 13 and 25th here. That’s better. 62, cut, 23, 12, 24, 43, and 18.
Cameron Smith 7.2k – Cut last week, cut the week before, 5th here last year. Had a good summer, but has looked terrible last couple of weeks.
Jerry Kelly 7k – 19th 2 years ago. 41, 62, 9, cut, and 18 is meh form, but this is his kind of course.
Hudson Swafford 6.8k – Also got blown by the wind last week. Cut there, 17, 33, 50, cut, cut, and 21 before that. Nice stats. Always unpopular.
Pat Perez 6.6k – 33rd last year. Way out of form though – cut, cut, cut, 45, 29, 20, cut, and 21. GPPs only, but is the way to unlock Stenson imo.