If you play PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf presented by SERVPRO, only the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open will utilize ShotLink between now and the holiday break that doubles as the endpoint of Segment 1. Furthermore, since all three of the TOUR stops in Asia this month guarantee four rounds for everyone who commits, our objective is as simple as it gets all season: Go all-in on golfers you think will finish highest on the final leaderboard.
If you're new to the format, in tournaments that do not use ShotLink, bonus points awarded are equal to one-half FedExCup points earned by your starters in the final round. The winner of this week's CIMB Classic will yielded 250 bonus points. Meanwhile, he may total as many as 100 fantasy points, give or take, for actual scoring in all four rounds.
So, if you're keen to review my "others to consider" in the Scoring category below, consume them with a grain of salt as those are specific to actual scoring and not leaderboard finish like the Power Rankings.
One other reminder about the CIMB, because it's contested in Malaysia, it's scheduled to start at 8:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday. That's 5:00 p.m. on the West Coast and 2:00 p.m. in Hawaii. Set an alert and thank me later.
The first season of PGA TOUR Champions One & Done concludes with this week's SAS Championship. I've had a blast competing with the other experts in that stand-alone game and I'm already gearing up for a renewal in 2018. As always, I'll include notes on several notables in Wednesday's One & Done column.
PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf presented by SERVPRO
My roster for the CIMB Classic (in alphabetical order):
Rafa Cabrera Bello
You’ll find my starters in Expert Picks.
Others to consider for each category (in alphabetical order):
Scoring: Anirban Lahiri; Scott Piercy; Xander Schauffele; Charl Schwartzel; Cameron Smith
Power Rankings Wild Card
Bud Cauley … Silverado catered to his tee-to-green strength and he capitalized with a T7, but it was expected. This week's angle could expose his weakness on the greens and in his debut in the CIMB Classic. He's a streaky putter at best. With no cut and a plethora of alternatives on the board, consider taking a pass on the 27-year-old.
Graham DeLaet … This is a checkpoint to determine where he is long range. Still a non-winner and not getting younger at age 35, he's nonetheless springing off his best season with a putter. In fact, because he put it all together in 2016-17, newer fans of the sport wouldn't associate his reputation as a surgeon tee to green. However, if he wasn't coming off a T5 at Silverado where you'd expect him to shine, he wouldn't have received this endorsement. A T7 in his debut at TPC Kuala Lumpur in 2013 proved that he's comfortable on the putting surfaces, but it's his body of work recently that deserves our confidence.
Adam Hadwin … A limited-field, no-cut event on a course that rewards putting? Heck, yeah! Ignore his sputtering form and invest in what you know. The bonus is that he's already familiar with TPC Kuala Lumpur after placing T21 last year.
Emiliano Grillo (all)
Scott Hend (DFS)
Anirban Lahiri (DFS)
Jason Dufner … Given he's survived eight consecutive cuts, the last two guarantees for advancing to the TOUR Championship, he doesn't need a tune-up. Yet, that's what this week presents the 40-year-old. He'll break his goose egg in FedExCup points, but gamers' expectations should be tempered since he's not a short-lister in putting contests (even though he prevailed at the 2016 CareerBuilder Challenge). Also still chasing his first top 25 in what is now his third appearance at TPC Kuala Lumpur.
Branden Grace … From the Presidents Cup to the Dunhill Links and now to the CIMB Classic, his stamina will be tested. As we know, touring professionals from South Africa endure the worst of the travel challenges, and there are examples to prove that we shouldn't be concerned, but the 29-year-old is best reserved for limited-use contrarian plays in DFS.
Kyle Stanley … TPC Kuala Lumpur sets up like a photo negative to Silverado where his ball-striking would have mattered more. (He didn't play, though.) Instead, his skill set is neutralized in Malaysia by the premium to putt the lights out. Not surprisingly, even before he reconnected with his career arc in 2016-17, he performed inconsistently here with three rounds of 73 or worse sprinkled amid five red numbers.
Returning to Competition
Danny Lee … When he walked off Conway Farms during his opening round of the BMW Championship with discomfort in his lower back, it effectively ended his Playoffs, but it also extended his drought to 0-for-5 since the PGA Championship.
Andrew Johnston … Just some housekeeping here because he's no longer a PGA TOUR member after finishing 189th in the FedExCup standings. He's scheduled to compete in the Italian Open. It's his first commitment since withdrawing during the PGA Championship two months ago with a sore shoulder.
Power Rankings Recap – Safeway Open
Power Ranking, Golfer, Result
1 Tony Finau 2nd
2 Brendan Steele Win
3 Kevin Na T37
4 Sam Saunders MC
5 Phil Mickelson T3
6 Jamie Lovemark T43
7 Chez Reavie T13
8 Bill Haas T17
9 Ryan Moore T17
10 Zach Johnson T13
11 Martin Laird T17
12 Webb Simpson T17
13 Bud Cauley T7
14 Mackenzie Hughes MC
15 Ollie Schniederjans T17
Wild Card Peter Uihlein MC
Sleepers Recap – Safeway Open
Bronson Burgoon T17
Chesson Hadley T3
Denny McCarthy MC
Keith Mitchell MC
Rob Oppenheim MC
Birthdays among active golfers on the PGA TOUR
October 10 … Charlie Beljan (33)
October 11 … Greg Chalmers (44)
October 12 … none
October 13 … none
October 14 … Tyrrell Hatton (26)
October 15 … Len Mattiace (50); Richard S. Johnson (41)
October 16 … Ryan Blaum (34)