The CJ Cup @ Nine Bridges
Jeju Island, South Korea
Nine Bridges - Par 72 - 7,196 yards
Field - 78 Entrants
Purse - $9.25M
The PGA Tour’s Asian swing heads from Malaysia to South Korea for the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges, featuring a relatively unknown course and a handful of entrants ranked in the top 25 of the Official World Golf Ranking with a $9.25M purse on the line. Due to a lack of course history, SG: Tee-to-Green, GIR percentage and birdie average should be the primary focus when selecting potential options for this no-cut event as the field’s best ball-strikers figure to be at an advantage on a mysterious track. Nine Bridges’ main defense mechanism this week could be significant winds and mild temperatures, and players with relatively low ball flights earn a slight bump in their fantasy stock.
FantasyDraft Value Picks - based on $100,000 salary cap
Cream of the Crop
Justin Thomas - $19,600
The fourth-ranked player in the OWGR has finished outside of the top-six in just two events throughout his past six starts dating back to his maiden major victory at the PGA Championship. He was overpriced ($21,000) at last week’s CIMB Classic where he placed T17, resulting in a more reasonable tag of $19,600 this week in South Korea as stronger competition also becomes a factor. Thomas announced via his personal Instagram on Tuesday that he would be taking an unspecified -- but likely brief -- amount of time away from competition after the CJ Cup, so he may be extra motivated for a potential statement win before his version of an offseason. In 2016, Thomas played just four events from October through December, so a limited schedule until the turn of the calendar year doesn’t come as much of a surprise.
Jason Day - $18,100
Day is trending upward after ending an otherwise disappointing 2016-17 campaign with six consecutive top-25 finishes, including a fourth-place result at the BMW Championship and a T6 at the Northern Trust. Despite hitting just 64 percent of his greens in regulation last season, Day ranked sixth in birdie average, 31st in SG: Tee-to-Green, and 18th in par-five scoring, all of which should translate nicely to Nine Bridges.
Tony Finau - $16,800
Finau’s name is seemingly thrown around every single week among the daily fantasy community, and he very well could be one of the highest-owned players once again thanks to his elite ball-striking and impressive recent form. Finau followed up back-to-back T7s at the BMW and TOUR Championships with a runner-up finish at the Safeway Open. He also ranked 10th in SG: T2G and 11th in SG: Total last season.
Chez Reavie - $15,200
Reavie was unable to qualify for the TOUR Championship despite finishing T12 at the BMW Championship in September, but he hasn’t slowed down with results of a T17 at the CIMB Classic and a T13 at the Safeway Open. Reavie’s accuracy off the tee stood out last season, which should put him in position to fire at pins from the middle of Nine Bridges’ fairways. He also ranked fourth on Tour in terms of average proximity to the hole.
Lucas Glover - $15,000
Glover began his 2017-18 campaign with a T30 at the Safeway Open before placing T7 at last week’s CIMB Classic, while he hasn’t finished outside of the top-40 in eight consecutive starts. He hit nearly 70 percent of his greens in regulation last season, good enough to rank sixth on Tour in that department. Glover also finished his campaign at fourth in total driving thanks to a quality combination of both distance and accuracy off the tee.
Luke List - $14,500
List’s length off the tee and ability to rack up birdies continue to land him as an intriguing daily fantasy option at a moderate price, while the situation remains no different this week at Nine Bridges. List was most recently able to finish T13 at the CIMB Classic, despite carding double bogeys on the first two holes of his first round.
Stewart Cink - $13,900
The 44-year-old journeyman has finished T13-T27-12 in his last three starts since a missed cut at the Northern Trust, recently ranking T9 in terms of GIR percentage in Malaysia last week. He also carded 20 birdies and a pair of eagles, but couldn’t stray from the big numbers as he avoided contention near the very top of the leaderboard.
Nick Taylor - $13,500
After finishing no better than T50 throughout his last five starts of the 2016-17 season, Taylor’s 2017-18 campaign is off to a hot start thanks to a pair of top-13s at the CIMB Classic and Safeway Open. He hit 75 percent of his greens in regulation last week in Malaysia, lending hope that he’ll continue to strike the ball well at Nine Bridges this week.
Young-Han Song - $13,300
Song is approaching top-100 status in the OWGR thanks to a stellar stretch on the Asian/Japan Tours in which he’s finished T7-T9-T19-T4-T3-T9 throughout his past six starts. The South Korean should feel comfortable on home turf, while he ranks third in GIR percentage, second in par-or-better and seventh in scoring average throughout 2017.