This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Golf series.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
TPC Kuala Lumpur - Par 72 - 7,005 yards
Field - 78 Entrants
Purse - $7.0M
A nightmare-inducing back-nine performance by Brandt Snedeker allowed first-time winner Kevin Tway to emerge last week at the Safeway Open, as the former choked away a five-stroke lead to begin his 2018-19 campaign. The PGA Tour now makes the long trek to Malaysia for a joint event with the Asian Tour featuring only 78 entrants. The field includes just one player from the top 15 in the Official World Golf Ranking, with Justin Thomas headlining the event coming off an impressive Ryder Cup performance where he made a valiant effort to steal the "Captain America" nickname from a villainous Patrick Reed. The CIMB Classic, hosted by TPC Kuala Lumpur, has developed a reputation as a birdie-fest in its short history, but a change to Bermuda greens should increase the overall firmness of the course and make scoring a bit more difficult with quicker conditions. Nevertheless, a 7,005-yard layout is considered cute by today's standards for a par-72, highlighting the importance of short-iron and full wedge play. A handful of thunderstorms could pop up throughout each day of the tournament, which somewhat counteracts the effects of the Bermuda grass. Expect the field's best ball strikers to experience an advantage under these conditions in the second event of the season.
2017 - Pat Perez (TPC Kuala Lumpur)
2016 - Justin Thomas (TPC Kuala Lumpur)
2015 - Justin Thomas (TPC Kuala Lumpur)
2014 - Ryan Moore (TPC Kuala Lumpur)
2013 - Ryan Moore (TPC Kuala Lumpur)
2012 - Nick Watney
2011 - Bo Van Pelt
2010 - Ben Crane
Key Stats to Victory
SG: Off-the-Tee - Driving accuracy is rewarded on this relatively petite par-72 layout
Birdie or Better Percentage - The winner has reached at least 23-under in three consecutive years
Par-5 Scoring - Three of four par-5s at TPC Kuala Lumpur measure under 540 yards
Proximity - There is no better feeling than racking up short, makeable birdie putts (don't ask Luke List)
Yahoo Value Picks - based on $200 salary cap
Cream of the Crop
Justin Thomas - $47
The two-time CIMB Classic champion is a combined 60-under-par in three trips to TPC Kuala Lumpur, earning him the highest price tag on the board by $8 this week. Thomas posted a 4-1 record at the Ryder Cup despite dealing with minor wrist tendonitis, so health shouldn't be a concern as he looks to add his third win of the 2018 calendar year.
Xander Schauffele - $39
Schauffele avoided the dreaded "sophomore slump" throughout his 2017-18 campaign by totaling 12 top-25 finishes in 27 starts, rising to 18th in the Official World Golf Ranking in the process. He ended his season with a T7-T3 combo at the TOUR and BMW Championships, and Schauffele also placed T3 at the CIMB Classic last year. The 24-year-old ranked 16th in par-5 birdie or better percentage this past season.
Billy Horschel - $39
Horschel was stellar throughout the FedExCup Playoffs with a trio of top-3 finishes, and things could have been even better had he avoided a pesky sinus infection that forced him to withdraw from the Dell Technologies Championship. He statistically fits the mold this week in Malaysia after ranking 16th in driving accuracy, third in GIR percentage, ninth in par-5 scoring and 27th in birdie average during his 2017-18 campaign.
Cameron Smith - $34
The Aussie finished T5 in two of his three appearances at TPC Kuala Lumpur, but he now enters the event at a career-high 32nd in the OWGR. Smith ended the 2017-18 season with top-25s in four of his last six starts, including back-to-back third-place finishes at the Northern Trust and Dell Technologies Championship.
Ryan Moore - $31
Moore succumbed to Kevin Tway in a three-man playoff this past week at the Safeway Open, but the T2 result marked his second top-6 finish in four starts dating back to the Wyndham Championship. Moore also won the first two CIMB Classics hosted by TPC Kuala Lumpur, so he brings a combination of both recent form and course history to the table. It should be noted that Moore led the field at Silverado North in driving accuracy last week, and also hit nearly 80 percent of the greens in regulation.
Thomas Pieters - $31
Pieters has fallen under the average lineup salary of $33 per player with finishes of 60-MC in his last two starts on the European Tour, but the Belgian ranks 13th in driving distance, 16th in stroke average and sixth in putts per GIR across the pond in 2018. It would be fairly surprising to see Pieters make it through 2018 without a single top-3 finish, so it could be said he is due.
Sam Ryder - $27
Ryder is coming off a T4 finish at the Safeway Open, missing out on a three-man playoff by one shot. However, he has ascended to a career-best 169th in the OWGR with top-10s in three of his last six starts. He was seventh among the field in proximity from 50-125 yards at Silverado North, and also ranked second on Tour in GIR percentage as a rookie last season.
Kevin Tway - $25
Tway will look to stay hot and avoid a post-win hangover following a long flight to Malaysia, but he remains extremely affordable despite four top-25s in his past six starts. A maiden victory on the PGA Tour at the Safeway Open is another step in the right direction for someone who just moved into the top 100 in the OWGR for the first time in his career.
Danny Lee - $25
Lee is beginning to round into form with no finish worse than a T49 in his last six events, a span that includes four top-25s as well. He posted a T7 at the CIMB Classic last year and ranked 39th in birdie average during his 2017-18 campaign.
Strategy Tips on Yahoo this week
Much like we saw during the latter stages of the FedExCup Playoffs, a no-cut structure allows for additional flirtation with risk, as the field's top birdie-makers have an advantage in terms of scoring potential. Spending a fortune on the most dominant player in the field shouldn't be too difficult with plenty of value in the $25-$31 range, so lineups generated around Justin Thomas in GPP formats could be a popular play.