This week marks the HSBC Champions. It is the first “major” event of the Tour season, and the first of the World Golf Championship series. Always attracting the world’s best, this week’s field is a very deep one.
Jeff Shain, of PGATOUR.com, describes the Shanghai venue this way:
Sheshan International GC (West), 7,266 yards, par 72. Opened in 2004 as the Shanghai region’s first golf club, Sheshan International will serve as a WGC host for the 11th time in 12 editions in China. Still one of the area's most exclusive venues, the Nelson & Haworth design is set amid 1,000-year-old gingko trees, man-made waterways and a natural quarry, creating a landscape Tiger Woods once called “the crowning jewel of all of Asian golf.” To fashion the layout’s drastic elevation changes, work crews reportedly moved more than 2 million cubic yards of earth.
Let’s take a look at the players to watch this week, along with some DraftKings suggestions.
Rory McIlroy – Coming off a successful late run to capture the FedEx Cup. While he may have been a bit “lucky” to have that late approach shot find the bottom of the cup, his play as a whole certainly revealed that his game is in a very positive
Dustin Johnson – I’m really interested to see how he follows up his player of the year season. Has struggled with consistency in the past, but the last year has seemed to put much of these issues behind them.
Adam Scott – Coming off a solid playoffs, and history suggests that you can expect him to play well in big events.
Paul Casey - Playing some tremendous golf over the course of the last couple of months. Made a serious run at the FedEx Cup.
Justin Thomas – A great week last - defending his CIMB title, to go along with a solid playoffs. Playing some very good golf right now.
Henrik Stenson – There isn’t a field he can’t defeat. In the last two years his game has been stellar. Has battling injury.
Patrick Reed – Playing some of the best golf of his career. A confident player to begin with, but seems to be soaring now.
Hideki Matsuyama – Spent some time sharing the lead last week at the CIMB, with eventual runner-up finish. Hideki is consistently on or around leaderboards. Very consistent performer.
Bubba Watson – After playing some incredible golf in early 2016, has cooled off a little. I think he’s due for a stretch of really good golf. He’s simply too talented to go too long without such a stretch.
Scott Piercy - Continues to perform at a high level regardless of the stage. It will be interesting to see if he can continue with this consistency throughout the 2017 season.
Rickie Fowler – May seem like a strange “sleeper”, but after not making it to the final stage of the playoffs, he certainly didn’t end his season on a high note. However, we forget that he did.
And now my DraftKings lineups for this week.
Sometimes you have a week where it is tough to make picks because the field is shallow, while other times it is difficult for the opposite reason – the field is extremely deep. This week’s field is a very deep one. Many feel that this makes it easier to pick, but I would suggest that this is a false sense of confidence. We can feel confident in our picks because we are selecting big name players, but the reality is that because the field is deep, it means that there are a higher percentage of players who have a high likelihood of having a big week.
Henrik Stenson - $9.800
Adam Scott - $9,400
Scott Piercy - $7,900
Emiliano Grillo - $7,800
Branden Grace -$7,500
Kevin Na - $7.200
Hideki Matsuyama - $10,000
Justin Thomas - $9,300
Charl Schwartzel - $8,200
Danny WIllett - $8,000
J.B. Holmes - $7,200
Matthew Fitzpatrick - $7,100
This article was written by Jonathan Carr (@jonathanwcarr) as part of our weekly #FantasyGolf series. Each week we preview the upcoming PGA Tour event and highlight some of the players we'll be keeping an eye on. As a scratch golfer himself, Jonathan has a keen eye for what it takes to be successful on and off the golf course. His passion for golf is surpassed only by his passion for his faith and his family.
Read some of Jonathan's other articles here.