The last of 24 contributing events for PGA TOUR Champions One & Done presented by SERVPRO is this week's SAS Championship. It begins on Friday. Scroll for tournament notes, 12 notables and six wild cards from the field of 78 in Cary, North Carolina.
For the first of two items of business before we sink our teeth into the 78 options at the CIMB Classic, make note that the tournament is contested at TPC Kuala Lumpur. It's 12 hours ahead of the Eastern Time Zone in the United States, so your deadline to lock in your pick is 8:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday. Adjust accordingly to your clock.
Up next is the an important reality that I omitted in last week's column that analyzed the season as a whole.
If you missed it during the FedExCup Playoffs, the TOUR Championship got a makeover. In addition to the weighted scoring to open the tournament (on Aug. 22-25, 2019), neither FedExCup points nor official earnings will be applied to the results because the tournament will determine the FedExCup champion. (The winner also will be credited with an official TOUR victory.)
PGA TOUR Fantasy One & Done presented by SERVPRO adapted to this by assigning equivalent points values as the first two Playoffs events. So, the winner at East Lake will receive 2,000 points in the One & Done. (Refer to SCORING in Rules)
Earnings-based formats face a more challenging solution because the winner will receive $15 million of the bonus prize fund. Just as you've never used bonus money, you're not going to plug a value that's 50 percent greater than the previous just because there aren't official earnings this time.
So, what to do?
1) End your season at the BMW Championship. It doesn't align with the actual season, but it sidesteps workarounds.
2a) Use earnings distributed at the 2018 TOUR Championship. The purse was $9 million. Tiger Woods banked $1.62 million as the winner. You'll find the distribution here.
2b) Both THE NORTHERN TRUST and BMW Championship are rising to $9.25 million official prize funds this season, so do the math and use commensurate percentages for the TOUR Championship. In this adjusted scenario, because the winner would earn 18 percent of the total, the 2019 champ would receive $1,665,000 if official earnings were distributed. Calculate the remaining 29 percentages using the breakdown in my tweet based on a $9-million fund and apply accordingly. (If you need help, let me know.)
3) Use the same percentage breakdown on the actual bonus prize fund. In other words, assign a value of 18 percent off the $15 million for a reward of $2.7 million. It's a hefty bounty, but your league may approve this measure since it's not entirely unreasonable and it extends the opportunity for One & Doners back in the pack to have a chance at the finish line.
All right, to the matter directly in front of us, no doubt anyone preferring a jolt from Ryan Moore in advance of the CIMB Classic got just that at the Safeway Open. It's (not) funny how P2s in the same tournament are not alike. Both Moore and Brandt Snedeker lost in the playoff to Kevin Tway, but Moore's investors (including yours truly) were happier than Snedeker's. Don't you fret, Snedeker owner. What comes around goes around. It was only two tournaments prior when I winced as Justin Rose finished the BMW Championship bogey-bogey for his own P2. Build and advance. It's a long season.
Moore, not Snedeker, is one of many short-listers for TPC Kuala Lumpur found in Future Possibilities below. The two-time winner deserves your trust even though the course has transitioned from paspalum to bermudagrass throughout.
If you used Moore at Safeway or want to play around a likely push, Keegan Bradley presents as a timely alternative. With a runner-up finish last among three top 10s in four tries and his win at Aronimink just a month ago, he's as comfortable right now as he's been in memory.
I added several golfers in Future Possibilities who have never been included because of the absence of usable history. Among them is Rafa Cabrera Bello who trends confidently with a pair of T10s at TPC Kuala Lumpur. However, he's emerged as a rare horse at TPC Sawgrass. Consider this find valuable and holster the Spaniard with THE PLAYERS in mind. It's coincidental advice you've consumed time and again regarding his countryman, Sergio Garcia, in that tournament.
Paul Casey often burns a hole in our pockets, but we never need to rush him out there. With 10 events on his target and just one week removed from achieving his long-term goal of qualifying for and winning the Ryder Cup (again), we can't rule out a mild letdown in the shor-term.
Two-time champion Justin Thomas is built for TPC Kuala Lumpur. Yet, he's also in the conversation for most majors, WGCs and the Playoffs, all of which yield more FedExCup points than the CIMB Classic. While winning this tournament is a realistic expectation, that's essentially what you need to validate the pick in just the second event of 46 on the season.
Two-man gamers should stop at Cameron Smith, who is my lone selection. The Aussie also is a newcomer to Future Possibilities with a set of only three tournaments. The CIMB is at the top as he's recorded two T5s in three tries. Others worth a nod in your expanded format include Danny Lee, C.T. Pan and Anirban Lahiri.
RANK PANELIST PICK COMMENT 3rd
Cameron Smith A limited-field invitational with no cut is the ideal spot to play an upstart. The bonus is that he also has considerable success and experience in this tournament. 147th
Paul Casey Has recorded progressively better results in his last four CIMB starts. No reason he can’t build on last year’s T7 following a solid week at the Ryder Cup. 147th
Ryan Moore A two-time winner of the CIMB who’s obviously on form after his runner-up finish last week at Safeway. 409th
Ryan Moore An Aussie or Justin Thomas will win but I can’t waste them this early in the season. Moore is basically a lock for top 10, with top 5 more likely. 409th
On the Mark
Ryan Moore I was considering him for Kuala Lumpur at the start of the season and his solid play in Napa merely galvanized my feelings. 409th
Ryan Moore He did everything but win last week as he split tons of fairways and painted plenty of GIR. There's no rust to worry about and he plays this event every year so he should be comfortable again this week. He's 60-under in four previous starts and his worst paycheck is T17 so I'm riding the hot hand. 693rd
Billy Horschel He ended last season on a hot streak, with two top-3 finishes. Here's hoping he picks up where he left off.
NOTE: Select golfers committed to the tournament are listed alphabetically. Future tournaments are sorted chronologically and reflect previous success on the courses on which the tournaments will be held in 2018-19. The numerical values in parentheses represent the order of relative confidence of where to use each golfer if multiple sites are listed (e.g. 1 for strongest, 2 for next-strongest and so on). To present weighted confidence in real time, numerical values will not change all season no matter how many tournament remain listed for each golfer. All are pending golfer commitment.
Byeong Hun An … CJ CUP (4); Waste Management (2); Honda (3); Memorial (1)
Keegan Bradley … CIMB (1); Mayakoba (3); Farmers (2); Memorial (5); Travelers (4)
Rafa Cabrera Bello … CIMB (2); WGC-HSBC (3); WGC-Mexico (5); PLAYERS (1); Wyndham (4)
Paul Casey … CIMB (4); WGC-HSBC (5); WGC-Mexico (6); Honda (10); Valspar (7; defending); WGC-Match Play (8); Masters (2); Wells Fargo (9); Travelers (1); TOUR Championship (3)
Kevin Chappell … RSM (3); Arnold Palmer (1); Valero (2)
Jason Dufner … CareerBuilder (9); Honda (3); PLAYERS (7); Valspar (4); New Orleans (1); Charles Schwab (6); Memorial (5); U.S. Open (2); Wyndham (8); TOUR Championship (10)
Emiliano Grillo … Mayakoba (1); Arnold Palmer (2); Charles Schwab (3)
Branden Grace … WGC-HSBC (2); Heritage (1); Valero (3); Byron Nelson (5); U.S. Open (4)
J.B. Holmes … Farmers (1); Waste Management (3); Pebble Beach (2); Genesis (4); Wells Fargo (5)
Billy Horschel … RSM (5); Honda (4); Arnold Palmer (7); Valero (2); New Orleans (3; defending); Wyndham (6); TOUR Championship (1)
Charles Howell III … Shriners (5); Mayakoba (2); RSM (6); Sony (3); CareerBuilder (4); Farmers (1)
Si Woo Kim … Mayakoba (2); PLAYERS (3); Heritage (1)
Marc Leishman … CJ CUP (7); WGC-HSBC (5); Farmers (2); Arnold Palmer (1); Byron Nelson (6); Memorial (4); Travelers (3); Open Championship (8)
Ryan Moore … CIMB (1); Shriners (10); Waste Management (12); Genesis (5); Valspar (3); Valero (7); Masters (13); Memorial (11); Travelers (6); John Deere (8); Wyndham (2); TOUR Championship (9)
Kevin Na … CIMB (4); Genesis (2); Valspar (6); Charles Schwab (3); Wyndham (5)
Louis Oosthuizen … Valspar (3); WGC-Match Play (1); Masters (2); U.S. Open (5); PGA Championship (4)
Ryan Palmer … Sony (3); CareerBuilder (1); Valero (2); Charles Schwab (4)
Pat Perez … CIMB (3; defending); CJ CUP (6); Mayakoba (4); Sentry (1); Farmers (2); Pebble Beach (5)
Scott Piercy … CIMB (4); Shriners (5); Mayakoba (6); Sony (3); New Orleans (1; co-defending); Canadian (7; last winner at Hamilton in 2012)
Xander Schauffele … CIMB (2); Genesis (6); PLAYERS (5); U.S. Open (3); Open Championship (4); TOUR Championship (1)
Cameron Smith … CIMB (1); CJ CUP (2); Wyndham (3)
Brandt Snedeker … Sentry (4); Farmers (3); Waste Management (8); Pebble Beach (2); Masters (10); Heritage (6); Charles Schwab (7); U.S. Open (5); Travelers (9); Wyndham (1; defending)
Brendan Steele … CIMB (5); CareerBuilder (6); Waste Management (2); Honda (7); Valero (8); Wells Fargo (9); Travelers (4); Reno-Tahoe (3)
Justin Thomas … CIMB (1); CJ CUP (5; defending); Sentry (6); Sony (4); WGC-Mexico (2); Honda (7; defending); PLAYERS (11); PGA Championship (9); Memorial (8); TOUR Championship (3)
Jimmy Walker … Sentry (3); Sony (5); Farmers (4); Pebble Beach (1); Valero (2); Byron Nelson (6)
Gary Woodland … Sony (1); Farmers (2); Waste Management (3; defending); Memorial (4)
CHAMPIONS ONE & DONE
The last event to determine the field of the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs is contested at Prestonwood Country Club, the same site in Cary, North Carolina, that has hosted every edition since it debuted on the PGA TOUR Champions in 2001.
Prestonwood is a par 72 with three par 3s and three par 5s. It tips at 7,237 yards.
Each of the last nine winners of the tournament are committed to play, including two-time champ Russ Cochran (2010, 2013). Colin Montgomerie is defending a three-stroke win over Vijay Singh and Doug Garwood, who prevailed in 2016.
The purse is $2.1 million. The winner will receive $315,000.
NOTE: Select golfers committed to the tournament are listed alphabetically. Future tournaments are sorted chronologically and reflect previous success on the courses on which the tournaments will be held in 2018. The numerical values in parentheses represent the order of relative confidence of where to use each golfer if multiple sites are listed (e.g. 1 for strongest, 2 for next-strongest and so on). To present weighted confidence in real time, numerical values will not change all season no matter how many tournament remain listed for each golfer. All are pending golfer commitment.
Doug Garwood … SAS (1)
Paul Goydos … SAS (5)
Miguel Angel Jiménez … SAS (12)
Jerry Kelly … SAS (4)
Bernhard Langer … Usable everywhere.
Tom Lehman … SAS (9)
Colin Montgomerie … SAS (3; defending)
Tom Pernice, Jr. … SAS (5)
Kenny Perry … SAS (2)
Vijay Singh … SAS (1)
Kevin Sutherland … Usable everywhere.
David Toms … SAS (4)
WILD CARDS (short list of golfers not included above but on the rise or still building portfolios after recently turning 50): Paul Broadhurst; Bob Estes; Rocco Mediate; Scott Parel; Tim Petrovic; Wes Short, Jr.