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PGA Tour Stats Review: Entering the CIMB Classic

Jeremy Schilling

Jeremy Schilling

Schilling covers golf for RotoWire, focusing on young and up-and-coming players. He was a finalist for the FSWA's Golf Writer of the Year award. He also contributes to PGA Magazine and hosts the popular podcast "Teeing It Up" on BlogTalkRadio.

This week the PGA Tour moves to Malaysia for the limited-field CIMB Classic in Kuala Lumpur. The 78-man event has no cut, so everyone playing will get FedEx Cup points as this event becomes part of the FedEx Cup schedule for the first time.

HISTORY LESSON

Like a lot of things this fall, a history lesson does little good for two reasons. First, this year's event is taking place at a new course, the West Course at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club. Second, because the event boasts FedEx Cup points and a Masters invite, the field is much, much stronger.

This is only the fourth year of the event. Ben Crane wonin 2010, Bo Van Pelt won in 2011 and Nick Watney won in 2012. The latter two are in the field this year.

WHO'S PLAYING

Some big names are playing this week, including Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler, Keegan Bradley, Sergio Garcia, Bubba Watson, Ernie Els and Watney.

We recommend avoiding Mickelson, as he talked about reducing his schedule at the Presidents Cup (and surely sounded like someone who needed a break) and may not be in tip-top shape after a couple weeks off.

Conversely, we recommend Fowler - he's had a ton of time off and has posted a ton of pictures of him practicing with friends - and Watney, who is working through a swing change with new coach Todd Anderson and showed success during the FedEx Cup Playoffs, precisely for the opposite reason: they are working on their games at the moment.

In addition, it's always good to start Bradley - who showed his sharp game during the Presidents Cup and hit more than 66 percent of his greens in regulation last season on the PGA Tour, a trait that may come in handy on what's a supposedly harder golf course. (We say supposedly because no players had seen it until this week.)

SUNDAY SURGERS

Then there are those players who chose to go from last week's event Las Vegas to Malaysia. There are 36, including Harris English, Brendan Steele, Charles Howell III, Jimmy Walker and Tim Clark. You may want to avoid those players as jetlag could be a major factor.

As for those who made a move on Sunday in Vegas and are playing this week, there were slim pickings, but we found two. They are:

John Huh - He shot a Sunday 66 to move up 20 spots to a T30 finish.

Chris Kirk - Kirk's Sunday 67 that saw him jump 14 spots on the final leaderboard led to a tie for 37th finish, which moved him to 60th in the early going on the FedEx Cup points list.

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