Sleeper picks: CIMB ClassicOctober 23, 2012
Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM Fantasy Columnist
Note: Fantasy expert Rob Bolton provides his list of sleeper picks for every tournament. This week, he focuses on the under-the-radar selections for the CIMB Classic:
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Marcus Fraser ... This globetrotting Aussie not only ranks second on the Asian Tour Order of Merit, he's also 24th on the European Tour's Race to Dubai, above such dignitaries as Charl Schwartzel (26th), Padraig Harrington (30th), Martin Kaymer (37th) and Sergio Garcia (41st). Fraser has connected top 20s in his last four starts worldwide. He's posted five top 10s this year, two of which runner-up finishes. He leads the Asian Tour in both scoring average and birdie average. Also ranks third in putting.
Gaganjeet Bhullar ... The Asian Tour's leader in fairways hit is just one week removed from his more recent of two victories this year, having won in Macau on Oct. 14. The 24-year-old has already chalked up four titles on his home circuit. He's logged a total of eight top 10s in 2012. In addition to his accuracy off the tee, he ranks seventh on the Asian Tour in greens in regulation and fourth in scoring average.
David Lipsky ... The former Big Ten champion at Northwestern and 2012 Asian Tour q-school medalist sits 227th in the Official World Golf Ranking [OGWR], higher than a number of golfers on the PGA TOUR currently inside the top 125 on its money list. What's more, the 24-year-old native of Los Angeles has made only 14 starts eligible for the OWGR (which carries a minimum divisor of 40), all of which since February. Of that lot, only five have contributed points, but all were as a result of top-four finishes, including a win.
Scott Hend ... The long-hitting Australian and former card-carrying member of the PGA TOUR arrives for his first CIMB Classic having posted top 15s in each of the last three weeks on the Asian Tour. Not surprisingly, he leads his circuit in distance off the tee, but he's also second in birdie average. No stranger to hoisting hardware on Sundays, he picked off his most recent of seven career victories earlier this year in Singapore.
Ricky Barnes ... One of six in the field that competed in both of the first two editions of this tournament. He arrived for the inaugural version in 2010 without a top 25 in nine consecutive starts, but then opened with a course-record 63 en route to a T11. (It stood until Jeff Overton went one stroke lower last year.) In 2011, Barnes went 10 straight starts without a top 35, but closed out his year with a solo 19th in this tournament. Granted, the fields went only 40 and 48 golfers deep, respectively, but he clearly enjoys a bit of a comfort zone at The MINES.