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Redkacheek’s DFS Rundown: 2019 CIMB Classic

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The CIMB Classic is the first of three events that will take place in Asia, and what that means for us in our DFS and golf betting research is that we have no ShotLink data to go off of. So, it is back to the basics of evaluating the scorecard, yardage, and the traditional accuracy/distance stats: GIR, driving accuracy, and driving distance.

I personally like this type of event because many people will be looking for hard-coded answers to who to play and it will be a huge advantage to understand what kind of traditional stats to look for and how that can be translated from prior events (advanced stats), including last week’s Safeway Open.

This event will be a limited field, about 78 players, with no cut. This may be surprising, but for most PGA Tour pros, traveling to Malaysia is a bit of an expensive endeavor to not be guaranteed a check. I am not sure I totally agree with that since it is already a limited field, but we will deal with what cards we are dealt. In other words, this is another tournament you should try to play light and preferably try to limit your exposure to cash games. Depending on the prize pools that are offered, I will probably do some of the MME GPPs, perhaps mixed with some single-entry or 3-max tournaments.

The CIMB Classic will take place at TPC Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. Interestingly enough, Kuala Lumpur translates to “Muddy Confluence,” as it receives about 100 in. of rainfall annually. This course is easy. This course is easy. No, that is not a typing error, this course is so easy it deserved to be pointed out twice. Why so easy? TPC Kuala Lumpur plays just over 7,000 yards at a par of 72. As shown below, it averaged 1.33 shots under par for 2018 (also -1.7 in 2017) and only 18 players finished the tournament at even par or worse last year.

Pat Perez won last year’s event, finishing at 24 under with 27 birdies and only three bogeys. Justin Thomas won in 2017 at 23 under with 29 birdies. First off, these are two drastically different types of players but both with success here. To further elaborate, this course gave up an average of 4.16 birdies per round, which ranked 45th most difficult out of 51 events last year. This is where we will find the first stats to target this week: birdies-or-better gained or DK points, or perhaps both.

This course has a good balance of short and long par 4s but the one type of hole that stands out to me is the par 5s. The par 5s played 1.5 shots under par each day and that is huge considering the average birdies each round was 4.16. So guys that take advantage of the par 5s will be gaining one to two shots per day on the field. Pat Perez birdied the par 5s nine times (16 attempts) last year and Justin Thomas birdied eight in 2017’s event. Suffice it to say, par-5 scoring will also be a key this week.

What else is there to this course? Well there isn’t a whole lot, to be honest. I think looking at recent form is going to be huge and even eyeing results from the two previous years has shown valuable but TPC Kuala Lumpur is a scorer’s delight and no one stat will lead us to the promised land. Driving distance has not shown to be corollary, so that won’t be beneficial, but I think overall ball striking and looking for strong strokes gained numbers in the past month will be the key to building strong lineups.

With all that out of the way, let’s get into my core plays for this week.

Paul Casey (DK $10,200)

So there is a guy up top named Justin Thomas…I think he is a phenomenal play (he has won here twice and finished 17th last year) but in my limited lineups this week, he will not make the cut. Paul Casey will be the man I will ride with as my most expensive player this week. His best finish at this event came last year where he finished seventh, and with his strong finish during the FedEx Cup Playoffs, I am putting a good bit of faith in Paul Casey’s ball striking skills to continue his strong play. To cap off his 2018 season, Paul gained 5.3 shots T2G at the Dell Championship and then 3.3 SG:T2G at the Tour Championship. This should be a great setup for PC this week.

Rafa Caberera Bello (DK $9,200)

This limited field has kind of led me to a slightly more ownership-focused build. I think in the $9k range, most people will look to Keegan Bradley or Gary Woodland. While I do not think those are bad plays, I think Rafa adds some nice upside with quite a lot of consistency. Rafa finished 10th here the last two years and has the game to really excel on this course again. In the last 24 rounds Rafa has played, he ranks ninth in birdies-or-better and 13th in GIR percentage. We haven’t seen much of Rafa in the past month but he is a world-class player and should pop right back into form this week.

C.T. Pan (DK $8,000)

C.T. Pan will be someone I will look to have in all of my lineups this week. Again, this is a limited field event with no cut and it will be very important to make stands, whether 100 percent locks or complete fades, and C.T. is someone that fits this course quite well. He ranks top 13 in most of my key stats for TPC Kuala Lumpur including SG:T2G, SG:APP, DA percentage, GIR percentage and SG:Total over the past three months. This course is just over 7,000 yards so even with the large amount of rain expected to dump in Malaysia this week, I think he can certainly manage this course with his shorter length.

Sam Ryder (DK $7,700)

Kind of like C.T. Pan above, Sam ranks out so well this week in my key stats and also with his strong showing last week in Napa, California, that I just cannot overlook him here in this field. Sam is my second overall ranked player this week in key stats rating top five in all by driving accuracy, which was pretty forgiving last year. I think some people may have differing views but I see Sam continuing his strong play even with a very, very long flight from California to Malaysia. At $7,700, I think Sam has a really superb chance of paying off his price and even contending for the win again this week.

Andrew Putnam (DK $6,900)

People may have forgotten about Andrew Putnam but this kid is so solid. He finished the year with six-straight made cuts including a 16th, first, and an eighth. He has never played this course/event but looking at the course setup, I can see Andrew having a really good week. Since April this year, Andrew lost strokes T2G only fou times. Overall, I think he has a ton of appeal on this course this week but at $6,900 and overlooked (sub five percent) he may be another one I lock in at 100 percent.

Also consider

Justin Thomas
Ryan Moore
Keegan Bradley
Gary Woodland
Louis Oosthuizen
Kevin Na
Kevin Tway
Austin Cook
Anirban Lahiri

Good luck this week everyone!

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I am ranked in the Top 35 of all DFS Golf players and best known for winning the DraftKings Millionaire Maker contest during the week of The Masters earlier this year. I am very active around the community, always willing to help whether with strategy or research and you can find me on Twitter @Redkacheek and also each week on the Fantasy Golf Bag Podcast. One last note, my history is in professional golf, which definitely adds a unique perspective to DFS that most people do not have and you will find really gives you an edge when evaluating players each week.

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Opinion & Analysis

A different perspective

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A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to play a round with two of the greens keepers at a local golf course and it was a fascinating experience. It gave me a chance to get a behind-the-scenes view of what it takes to make a golf course great.

Many of us play at public courses, and sometimes its luck of the draw if the course we are at is in good condition. In my case, if I find a course that is well maintained and taken care of, I make it a regular stop. In this case, I was at Ridgeview Ranch in Plano Texas and it is a great public course and I play here at least once a month.

The two guys I played with were Tony Arellano and Jose Marguez. Both were great guys to share a round with. Tony shared what it’s like to make sure that all the greens are maintained properly and watered correctly. He showed me where there were some issues with one of the greens that I would never have noticed. We talked about how the invasion of Poa annua grass forces his guys to pull it out by hand with a tool that is smaller than a divot repair tool. It became clear to me that as a golf community, we need to lift up the people that do this labor-intensive work and thank them for all they do. Ridgeview Ranch is without a doubt one of the better public courses in my area, and it is because of the hard work these men do that keeps it this way.

As we watched the Masters tournament a few weeks ago we were awestruck by the awesome beauty of Augusta National and in my case I believe that is what heaven looks like. I think we take that kind of beauty for granted and forget the massive amount of time and hard work that go into making a golf course look good. These people have to deal with all of the different factors that Mother Nature throws at them and be prepared for anything. In addition to that, they also have to make sure the watering system is maintained as well as all of their equipment.

I have played at other courses in the DFW area that have a terrible staff and a superintendent that either don’t care about the course or don’t know how to stop it from falling apart. The course won’t spend the money to go get the right people that will take pride in their work. Some of these places will charge you more than $80 per round, and when you get to the first green that has dry spots that are without any grass you feel like you have been ripped off.

We all love this game not because it’s easy but because it’s a challenge and being good at it takes a ton of effort. We also love it because it gives us a chance to hang out with friends and family and enjoy time outside in the sun– hopefully without cell phone interruptions and other distractions of our modern day. We spend a ton of money on green fees, equipment and sometimes travel. We want to get what we pay for and we want to have a great course to spend the day at.

I wanted to write this article to thank all of those men and women that start work in the early hours of the day and work through the hottest stretches of the summer to keep our golf courses in great shape. They are people that never get the credit they deserve and we should always thank them whenever possible. Tony and Jose are just two examples of the people who work so hard for all of us. Ridgeview Ranch is lucky to have these two men who not only work hard but were fantastic representatives of their course. So next time you are out there and you see these people working hard, maybe stop and say thank you let them know what they do really makes a difference.

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Opinion & Analysis

5 most common golf injuries (and how to deal with them)

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You might not think about golf as a physically intensive game, but that doesn’t change the fact it is still a sport. And as with every sport, there’s a possibility you’ll sustain an injury while playing golf. Here’s a list of the five most common injuries you might sustain when playing the game, along with tips on how to deal with them in the best way possible so you heal quickly.

Sunburn

While not directly an injury, it’s paramount to talk about sunburns when talking about golf. A typical golf game is played outside in the open field, and it lasts for around four hours. This makes it extremely likely you’ll get sunburnt, especially if your skin is susceptible to it.

That’s why you should be quite careful when you play golf

Apply sunscreen every hour – since you’re moving around quite a lot on a golf course, sunscreen won’t last as long as it normally does.

Wear a golf hat – aside from making you look like a professional, the hat will provide additional protection for your face.

If you’re extra sensitive to the sun, you should check the weather and plan games when the weather is overcast.

Rotator Cuff Injury

A rotator cuff is a group of four muscles that surround the shoulder joint. This group are the main muscles responsible for swing movements in your arms. It’s no surprise then that in golf, where the main activity consists of swinging your arms, there’s a real chance this muscle group might sustain an injury.

To avoid injuries to this group, it’s imperative you practice the correct form of swinging the club. Before playing, you should also consider some stretching.

If you get an injury, however, you can recover faster by following RICE:

Rest: resting is extremely important for recovery. After an injury, the muscles are extremely vulnerable to further injury, and that’s why you should immediately stop playing and try to get some rest.

Ice: applying ice to the injured area during the first day or two can help. It reduces inflammation and relaxes the muscles.

Compress: bandage the rotator cuff group muscle and compress the muscles. This speeds up the muscle healing process.

Elevate: elevate the muscles above your heart to help achieve better circulation of blood and minimize fluids from gathering.

Wrist Injuries

Wrist tendons can sustain injuries when playing golf. Especially if you enjoy playing with a heavy club, it can put some strain on the wrist and cause wrist tendonitis, which is characterized by inflammation and irritation.

You should start by putting your wrist in a splint or a cast – it is necessary to immobilize your wrist to facilitate healing.

Anti-inflammatory medicine can relieve some of the pain and swelling you’ll have to deal with during the healing process. While it might not help your wrist heal much quicker, it’ll increase your comfort.

A professional hand therapist knows about the complexities of the wrist and the hand and can help you heal quicker by inspecting and treating your hands.

Back Pain

A golf game is long, sometimes taking up to 6 hours. This long a period of standing upright, walking, swinging clubs, etc. can put stress on your back, especially in people who aren’t used to a lot of physical activities:

If you feel like you’re not up for it, you should take a break mid-game and then continue after a decent rest. A golf game doesn’t have any particular time constraints, so it should be simple to agree to a short break.

If you don’t, consider renting a golf cart, it makes movement much easier. If that’s not possible, you can always buy a pushcart, which you can easily store all the equipment in. Take a look at golf push cart reviews to know which of them best suits your needs.

Better posture – a good posture distributes physical strain throughout your body and not only on your back, which means a good posture will prevent back pain and help you deal with it better during a game.

Golfer’s Elbow

Medically known as medial epicondylitis, golfer’s elbow occurs due to strain on the tendons connecting the elbow and forearm. It can also occur if you overuse and over-exhaust the muscles in your forearm that allow you to grip and rotate your arm:

A nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug is the way to go to alleviate the most severe symptoms of the injury at the beginning.

Lift the club properly, and if you think there’s a mismatch between your wrist and the weight of the club, you should get a lighter one.

Learn when you’ve reached your limit. Don’t overexert yourself – when you know your elbow is starting to cause you problems, take a short break!

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Podcasts

TG2: Our PGA picks were spot on…and Rob hit a school bus with a golf ball

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Rob picked Brooks to win the PGA and hit the nail on the head, while Knudson’s DJ pick was pretty close. Rob hit a school bus with a golf ball and we talk about some new clubs that are going to be tested in the next couple days.

Check out the full podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes or here to listen on Spotify.

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