Yahoo DFS Golf: WGC-HSBC Champions
Yahoo DFS Golf: WGC-HSBC Champions

This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Golf series.

WGC-HSBC Champions

Shanghai, China
Sheshan International GC - Par 72 - 7,261 yards
Field - 78 Entrants
Purse - $10M

The Preview

The third and final leg of the PGA Tour's Asian swing brings us to the exclusive Sheshan International Golf Club, also known as Shanghai's premier private golf gem marked by rave reviews and significant elevation changes. Unlike the recent CIMB Classic and CJ Cup, however, a much stronger field featuring four of the top-5 in the OWGR and 19 of the top-30 will be in attendance for 2018's last prestigious WGC event. Household names were abundant at the top of the leaderboard come Sunday afternoon during the 2017 edition as Justin Rose outlasted the likes of Dustin Johnson, Henrik Stenson and Brooks Koepka down the stretch. This quartet finished within two strokes of each other as Sheshan catered to the field's top ball strikers yet again. In terms of playing conditions this week, weather may only have a role late Thursday and into Friday morning in the form of relatively insignificant showers.

Recent Champions

2017 - Justin Rose
2016 - Hideki Matsuyama
2015 - Russell Knox
2014 - Bubba Watson
2013 - Dustin Johnson
2012 - Ian Poulter (Mission Hills Olazabal Course)
2011 - Martin Kaymer
2010 - Francesco Molinari
2009 - Phil Mickelson

Key Stats to Victory

SG: Tee-to-Green - A consistent measure of success, and Sheshan International GC is a ball striker's paradise

SG: Off-the-Tee - Thick rough among a wooded setting calls for an emphasis on FIR percentage, but distance also plays a role in accumulating makeable birdie chances

Par-5 scoring - Holes 2, 14 and 18 (all scorable par-5s) grade among the easiest at Sheshan

SG: Approach and Proximity - All four par-3s measure 200+ yards, so quality long iron play becomes key on more than just the lengthy par-4s

Yahoo Value Picks - based on $200 salary cap

Cream of the Crop

Rory McIlroy - $48

McIlroy hasn't appeared in a stroke-play event since posting a T7 at the TOUR Championship, so he should be fully rested while a majority of the field has been participating in either the Asian swing or European Tour as of late. He's gone T4-T11-T6 in his last three voyages to Sheshan International GC and ranked fifth on Tour in SG: Tee-to-Green while leading his peers in driving distance this past season.

Brooks Koepka - $47

The 2017-18 PGA Tour Player of the Year picked up right where he left off in his season debut at the CJ Cup, enjoying a dominant four-stroke victory while ascending to No. 1 in the OWGR. Koepka ranked top-10 on Tour in SG: Off-the-Tee, birdie or better percentage and scoring average during his award-winning campaign this past season. It's promising to see him mentally locked in at these non-major events.

Jason Day - $42

Day is back inside of the top 10 in the OWGR after three consecutive top-25 results, most recently a T5 at Nine Bridges. He played his final 36 holes at the CJ Cup in a combined 12-under and continues to roll the rock at an elite level.

Glue Guys

Rafa Cabrera Bello - $34

The Spaniard bounced back from a T50 in his season debut at the CIMB Classic with a top-3 performance on Jeju Island at the CJ Cup. He ranked second among the field in GIR percentage and birdied his last four holes to post a final-round 65, sparking plenty of positive momentum as he travels to China. Cabrera-Bello collected a respectable T5 at the WGC-HSBC Champions in 2017.

Tyrrell Hatton - $29

Hatton managed a top-15 finish at last week's CJ Cup despite an issue with big numbers, as he carded three doubles and a triple throughout the tournament. He rode a hot putter to play his final two rounds in a combined 10-under-par, making up for his blemishes on the scorecard earlier in the week. With top-30 finishes in seven consecutive starts, Hatton makes for a great value under $30.

Ian Poulter - $26

Poulter followed Europe's demanding Ryder Cup victory with a T10 at the CJ Cup, where he earned a spot in Sunday's final group before faltering down the stretch. He won the WGC-HSBC Champions the one year Sheshan International GC did not host, but Poulter notched finishes of 2-T6 the following two seasons at the Shanghai venue.

Bargain Bin

Matthew Fitzpatrick - $23

The 24-year-old added his first win of 2018 at September's Omega European Masters, where he was one of only seven entrants to reach double-digit red numbers. Fitzpatrick has since added a T16 at the British Masters and ranks top-35 on the European Tour in both driving accuracy and GIR percentage. He has posted no result worse than a T16 in three career trips to the WGC-HSBC Champions, collecting a pair of top-10s in the process.

Andy Sullivan - $20

Sullivan heads to Shanghai coming off five consecutive top-30 finishes on the European Tour, including a T9 most recently at the British Masters. The Englishman sits among the top 30 in the Race to Dubai as a consistent fairway finder.

Haotong Li - $20

The top-ranked Chinese player in this week's field is up to 21st in the European Tour's Race to Dubai after back-to-back top-10 finishes. This will be Li's sixth appearance at the WGC-HSBC Champions even though he just turned 23 years old in August. He's only managed one top-10 in five trips to the event, but is a good bet for success on his native soil.

Strategy Tips on Yahoo this week

For a third-straight week a 78-man field removes the anxiety of a 36-hole cut, enticing fantasy gamers to deploy riskier lineups than usual. You might gain an edge by including a certain percentage of international players, who earn less press stateside – and therefore potentially less ownership – with minimal PGA Tour schedules but otherwise deserve attention at a WGC event. Conveniently enough, you can actually stack the 'Cream of the Crop' and 'Bargain Bin' options in this article to create a competitive studs and duds lineup.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Bryce Danielson plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: brycedanielson99, FanDuel: brycedanielson99, Yahoo: RotoBOOM.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bryce Danielson
Bryce covers the PGA for RotoWire and provides input on the golf cheat sheet. He also contributes to the coverage for NFL, NBA and other sports.
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