2019 CIMB Classic

THE OVERVIEW

TPC Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia   The tour swings all the way over to Malaysia for an Asian Tour co-sanctioned event at The West Course at TPC Kuala Lumpur. The field consists of 78 players selected from the top 60 in FedEx Standings, the top 10 in the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit, and the rest from exemptions and local pros.

The course this week is among the easiest the players will face this season and the winning aggregate should be south of 20 under. The West Course plays as a 7,005-yard, par 72 and features wide fairways, a few reachable par 4s, some water in play, and significant elevation changes. Another important note for this year is that the 2018 course changes included the change from paspalum grass to TifEagle Bermuda. That change has been implemented coursewide and that change, in part, was to help with the green run-off areas.

As for weather it will be hot and wet. Joy Chakravarty tweeted a short video last night of torrential rain in Kuala Lumpur, so the greens should be super receptive and allow the players to just throw darts at pins all day.

When selecting players this week, I’ll be looking at current form, course history, SG:Approach, and Birdie or Better Percentage.

 

PAST WINNERS

2017  -24   Pat Perez   (Runner Up :    -20   Keegan Bradley)

2016   -23   Justin Thomas   (Runner Up:   -20   Hideki Matsuyama)

2015  -26   Justin Thomas    (Runner Up:   -25   Adam Scott)

2014  -17   Ryan Moore    (Runners Up:   -14   Sergio Garcia, Kevin Na, Gary Woodland)

 

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2019 Safeway Open

THE OVERVIEW

The North Course, Silverado Resort & Spa, Napa, California   The 2019 PGA Season kicks off with the Safeway Open in Napa, California. The Silverado Resort’s North Course will play this week as a 7,166-yard, par 72. It is a Robert Trent Jones Jr. design that was renovated by Johnny Miller in 2011. The course features some tree-lined fairways, tricky greens, and strategically-placed bunkering.

Like Ty Hatton on the Euro Side, Brendan Steele will be looking to three-peat at the Safeway this week.

When selecting players this week, I’ll be looking at SG: Off the Tee and SG:Approach as well as some proximity inside the 150-yard range.

PAST WINNERS

2017  -15   Brendan Steele   (Runner Up :    -13   Tony Finau)

2016   -18   Brendan Steele   (Runner Up:   -17   Patton Kizzire)

2015  -15   Emilano Grillo    (Runner Up, Playoff:   Kevin Na)

 

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2018 Tour Championship

THE OVERVIEW

East Lake Golf Club, Atlanta, Georgia   The PGA Tour is making its final stop for the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Georgia. The final 30 players in the FedEx Standings are on hand to see who will take the big prize. The course is famous for its associations with Donald Ross and Bobby Jones and this week it will play as a 7,385 par 70. Damn.

It’s a mostly-straight, tree-lined parkland style layout with average width fairways, bermuda greens with runoff areas, and a little bit of water in play. The pros this week should be able to use all of their length off of the tees and scores should be super low.

This event has been played here since 2004, so there is a bunch of history to dig through (if you are keen to do so). We’ll be looking at approach stats and putting, but will ultimately be going with our guts on this one. Whatever happens, it is sure to be a fun stamp on an already extraordinary year.

PAST WINNERS

2017  -12   Xander Schauffele   (Runners Up :    -11   Justin Thomas)

2016   -12   Rory McIlroy   (Runners Up, Playoff:    Kevin Chappell, Ryan Moore)

2015  -9   Jordan Spieth    (Runners Up:   -5   Danny Lee, Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson)

 

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2018 BMW Championship

THE OVERVIEW

Aronimink Golf Club, Newton Square, Pennsylvania  – The FedEx Playoffs move on to round three in Pennsylvania. The top 70 remaining players tee it up this week to decide who will be the final 30 moving on to play in the Tour Championship at East Lake. The pressure will no doubt provide plenty of spectacle and entertainment.

Aronimink Golf Club is a much-storied track that is highly regarded as one of the greatest (and toughest) in America. Originally, a traditional parkland design by Donald Ross, the course was renovated earlier this year to what is believed to be a purer version of its earliest form. Gil Hanse oversaw the renovations which enlarged the greens to their original dimensions, widened fairways, and rebuilt teeing grounds. The number of bunkers also increased from 74 to 176, although the “total area of hazards isn’t much greater.” Which implies that the potential for awkward, and potentially disastrous, lies is much greater.

The course this week will play as a 7,237-yard par 70. It features tree-lined fairways, significant elevation changes, tough rough, a lot of strategically-placed bunkers, and large, well-protected, undulating bentgrass greens. Position off of the tee will be crucial to having the best angles on approach and setting up birdie opportunities.

For the model this week we’ll be going with current form, GIR, and Driving Accuracy.

 

PAST WINNERS

2017  -23   Marc Leishman    (Runners Up :    -18   Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose)   @ Conway Farms Golf Club

2016   -23   Dustin Johnson   (Runner Up:   -20   Paul Casey)   @ Crooked Stick Golf Club    

2015  -22   Jason Day    (Runner Up:   -16   Daniel Berger)   @ Conway Farms Golf Club

 

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2018 Dell Technologies Championship

THE OVERVIEW

TPC Boston, Norton, Massachusetts  – The FedEx Playoffs continues with round two. The top 100 in rankings are at TPC Boston and only the top 70 at the end of the week will get to go on to the BMW Championship in Pennsylvania.

This week, TPC Boston will play as a 7,342-yard, par 71 and it features wide-open fairways, fairly easy rough, and small, tough bentgrass greens. There will be an advantage to the bombers this week as they’ll be able to carry some of the strategically-placed fairways bunkers. However, with the relatively easy layout and playoff competition in the air, all types of players will be able to score and everyone will be in attack mode.

The weather should be interesting to keep an eye on as there is a good chance for rain on the final round of Monday and some gusty winds throughout the week.

When selecting players this week, we’ll be looking at course history, current form, SG:T2G/Approach, SG:Putting, and Par-4 Scoring.

 

PAST WINNERS

2017  -17   Justin Thomas    (Runner Up :    -14   Jordan Spieth)

2016   -15   Rory McIlroy   (Runner Up:   -13   Paul Casey)    

2015  -15   Rickie Fowler    (Runner Up:   -14   Henrik Stenson)

2014  -15   Chris Kirk    (Runners Up:   -13   Russell Henley, Billy Horschel, Geoff Ogilvy)

2013  -22   Henrik Stenson    (Runner Up:   -20   Steve Stricker)

 

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