He may be ranked 3rd in the world, but for all intents and purposes, Justin Thomas is the best golfer on the planet right now.
With his win this past weekend, JT capped off a 10-week stretch that included his first Major win (PGA Championship), a win at the Dell Technologies Championship which led to winning the FedEd Cup Playoffs, went 3-1-1 en route to a decisive United States President’s Cup victory, and topped it all off with a clear-cut win of the PGA Tour Player of the Year Award. Now, he’s kicked off this season much the same as last; with yet ANOTHER victory, his 7th on Tour
His latest win came in a playoff over Marc Leishman at 9-under-par, the two squaring off in the best Final Round duel we’ve seen in this early portion of the season. Cameron Smith finished in Third, a stroke back of the Playoff.
Meanwhile, as JT was grinding out another win, his…”best buddy”… Jordan Spieth, was doing his own thing on the course, teeing it up with the likes of Steph Curry and Barack Obama.
Wonder what they talked about?…
Oh and… Another week, another Tiger Woods swing posted on Social Media. This time, it was to show the world he is bringing back “The Stinger.” It’s basically a go-to shot he went to in his prime that goes low and straight as an arrow, and can be repeated on cue under pressure. All good news for me! And hopefully for Tiger going forward. JT and Rickie Fowler had a few chirps for El Tigre, but that’s par for the course with those two.
Any-who… This week’s event is the final WGC of the calendar year, The WGC – HSBC Champions Event in Shanghai. It is yet ANOTHER No cut event, which is getting sort of annoying, but it is what it is.
Before getting into the details, I just wanna leave this here, without comment.
Okay, moving on. The course this week is Sheshan International GC. It is a 7,266 yard, par 72 track. Sheshan International will serve as host for the 12th time in 13 editions of the HSBC Champions. Not long after its opening, Tiger Woods praised the layout as “the crowning jewel of all of Asian golf.” That would make for a good sign out front.
Last year, Hideki Matsuyama became the first Asian winner in 18 years of WGC competition, winning by a record 7 strokes.
World No.1 Dustin Johnson and defending champion Matsuyama, who hold all four World Golf Championships titles between them, headline the 78-man roster. Other big name guys include:
- Jon Rahm, Henrik Stenson, Jason Day, Matt Kuchar, Justin Rose, Paul Casey, Patrick Reed, Phil Mickelson, Xander Schauffele & Thomas Pieters
We have some good course history to look at this week, so I balanced that with Recent Form and the following Stat Categories:
Main: DK Pts, Birdies, GIR, SG : Par-5’s, SG: Par 4’s 450-500 Yards
Complimentary: SG: Approach, SG: Par-3 200-225 Yards
Throw-In: SG: T2G
As for the field, I fully analyzed about half of it. Of the guys priced below $7500, of which there were 43, I only added 7 to the sheet due to lack of info or just not enough good stuff to include them. So without further ado, the spreadsheet. Optimal Lineup is below
Optimal Lineup: Chez Reavie $7500, Lucas Glover $7800, Francesco Molinari $8000, Tyrell Hatton $8200, Pat Perez $9100, Paul Casey $9400
Total = $50,000
- Close: Branden Grace $7600, Tony Finau $7700, RCB $8100, Ross Fisher $8400, , Marc Leishman $9900, Matsuyama $11,400
Real quick: Had a Good week on DraftKings last week. I put 10 $3 Entries in the PGA $10k Birdie Event, and was in 1st place after 36 Holes. I ended up 6th, still pretty good! Getting a taste of 1st was a big tease though. Maybe this is the week!
Follow me on Twitter @RJMcCullough and Check out the Podcast on either Itunes or Soundcloud “Teeing Off Podcast”