Welcome to the Jungle – literally! The CIMB Classic, one of the more odd events on the PGA Tour, is a no-cut event in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on a very short Par 72 that butts up against southeastern Asian jungle.
It’s a tiny, top-heavy, no-cut event that was the site of Justin Thomas‘ first PGA Tour victory. It’s the birdie fest of all birdie fests, with low scores of 61 and ridiculous winning scores that will likely get into the -20 to -23 territory – or lower.
The replacement of the old slow, weird, coastal paspalum greens with Florida-like Bermuda greens instead is something that should convince you to stick to the guys who have played PGA events and perhaps not to take a shot at an Asian Tour hotshot. Another thing I looked at is aggressive golfers with a high birdie rate. Playing for four days on this gettable course, you need a guy that is going to be aggressive. Bogeys might be OK if they are paired with a whole lot of birdies.
Ryan Moore ($1o,900 – DraftKings, $11,600 – FanDuel)
Though JT is the favorite going in, I think in this event you take a chance that Moore – who is also a former champion here – finishes at just about the same level or better than Justin Thomas. The key here is that extra $1,000 DK, which will enable you to pick that extra guy that finishes in the T10 that gets you the win.
Emiliano Grillo ($9,500 – DraftKings, $9,000 – FanDuel)
An aggressive SG:Approach player, I like Grillo here at this price in DK, but in FanDuel his price is simply crazy. He’s definitely an aggressive player with win equity, and I like that he has an event under his belt coming into this week. That little bit extra might be a big difference this week.
Byeong-Hun An ($8,900 – DraftKings, $9,500 – FanDuel)
An is the type of golfer that can get in such a groove approaching Par 4’s that he could definitely get hot and get a great finish here. He’s aggressive, has done well here before, and is a good fit – the only question is whether he might be shaking off some rust.
Pat Perez ($8,300 – DraftKings, $9,200 – FanDuel)
A fun fact about the CIMB Classic is that the last two champions (Justin Thomas and Ryan Moore) went back-to-back both times. Perez won in 2017, so that means… there’s a very good chance it happens again? More scientifically, nobody does well on resort courses than Pat Perez, and his aggressive approach game seems to dictate he’ll at least do well here again.
Brice Garnett ($7,000 – DraftKings, $7,600 – FanDuel)
Though this is his first time in Kuala Lumpur, it’s unlikely that this course will surprise Garnett much, and his tremendous performance at the end of last year and at Puntacana in the Dominican Republic is an interesting hint as to how well he could do here. Birdie fests and Brice Garnett go well together, and people will likely forget about him this week. Don’t make their mistake.
Shubhankar Sharma ($6,500 – DraftKings, $7,800 – FanDuel)
His pricing is broken in DraftKings, and Sharma, who played here in the EURO’s Maybank Championship in the spring and finished 1st, could essentially be playing a home match here as he is a rock star in his native India. He’s one of the rare guys in the lower half of the player pool that I think could very possibly get his first-ever PGA Tour victory in this event. Better yet, he is so easy to just plug-and-play around your cores involving Justin Thomas or Ryan Moore. I’ll be loaded with Sharma.