Every week, if I find one thing I think is notable about a PGA tournament or a certain course, I will use this space to point it out to you, and see if there is a way it can be used to help inform your lineup decisions for that week. This week, the Tour heads to Malaysia for the CIMB Classic, hosted at Kuala Lumpur CC. The course also hosts the Maybank Malaysian Open every spring, in an event co-sponsored by the Asian and European Tours, so you definitely want to pay attention to golfers who you might not see often playing in the States. But, the one name you are bound to hear more than any other this week is an American: Ryan Moore.
Moore has won this event each of the past two years, and since the event is only two years old, Moore is batting a thousand. Which, of course, makes Ryan Moore a very viable choice this weekend (as well as Gary Woodland, who finished second to Moore in both iterations). But the interesting thing here is to look at how Moore won. He won with a -14 in 2013 and a -17 last year, and you would think that in order to score that low, he must have abused the course’s five par-5s (which rank among the most difficult on tour), but that’s not exactly the case. He was T25 in par-5 scoring in 2013 and only 39th in that category last year. Instead, he co-led the field in scoring on both Par-3s and Par-4s.
Even further, consider this: with all of his scoring being done on the shorter holes, he still managed to rack up 25 birdies in 2014 and 24 in 2013, so clearly there are scoring opportunities to be had. So what does it all mean? It means don’t concentrate on Par-5 scoring, because there won’t be much of it, instead looking at who performs best on the par-3’s and 4’s. It means you should concentrate more on holes under par (“Birdie or Better %“) than on Bogey Avoidance (usually a good rule of thumb for fantasy anyway, since birdie-bogey is more valuable than par-par). And it means making the cut six times might be enough to get by in your 50/50s, but it’s not going to win you any big tournaments – there will simply be too many fantasy points flying around to play it safe en route to a victory.