This article is part of our FanDuel PGA series.
Sheshan Golf Club (7,261 yards, par 72)
Winner: $1,845,000 and 550 FedExCup points
The first two legs of the PGA Tour's Asian Swing had some big-time winners. First, Justin Thomas put on a dominant performance at the CJ Cup; then last week, Tiger Woods won the inaugural Zozo Championship for his record-tying 82nd win on the PGA Tour. While neither of those players are among the 78 players in the field this week, there should still be another big name hoisting the trophy in the final World Golf Championship of the year. The field includes a strong contingent of former winners in Shanghai, led by Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose, Xander Schauffele, Francesco Molinari, Phil Mickelson, and Sergio Garcia. Other big names that are looking for their first win here include Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood, Adam Scott, Paul Casey, Tony Finau, Patrick Reed, and Jordan Spieth. The weather is expected to be terrific, all but assuring the winning score is likely to top 20-under-par. This will be the third straight event in which there is no cut.
Key Stats to Victory
Putts per GIR
The greens this week will be similar to what the players faced at Nine Bridges. They have to be slow in case of gusty winds, but most of the players in the field should be adjusted by now. Sheshan is primarily a second shot golf course. Many greens this week will feature a significant amount of undulation, meaning players will need to have their irons and wedges dialed in to reach the correct tiers. Missing these greens will leave a challenging up and in. Most of the surfaces are raised, so you will see players attempting a variety of different shots when they need to scramble. Lastly, both winners on the Asian Swing have made exactly 27 birdies, and with winds expected to be benign, the champion this week is likely going to have to post a similar number. To do that, the putter is going to have to be rolling.
FanDuel Value Picks
Hideki Matsuyama, ($11,400)
Matsuyama came so close to his first win anywhere since 2017 last week on his home turf. He ultimately settled for second place after a T3 the week prior in Korea. It makes top-16 finishes in five of his last six starts worldwide. Matsuyama was dominant here back in 2016 when he posted 23-under-par to win by seven.
Justin Rose, ($11,200)
The 2017 winner at Sheshan has three career top-five finishes here. His putting and short game has been among the best in the world this season, and his ball striking seems to be coming back around after a disappointing playoffs. Rose has posted finishes of 8th-T34-T15 over in Europe the last month.
Paul Casey, ($11,100)
The Englishman has always been consistent in Shanghai, posting top-25 finishes in five of his last six starts here. Casey has also posted top-25s in six of his last seven starts worldwide, including a victory at the Porsche European Open. He ranked T3 in greens hit in regulation and seventh in putts per GIR last week.
Sungjae Im, ($10,500)
For someone who plays nearly every week, Im is incredibly consistent. Over his last 16 starts worldwide, the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year has posted 12 top-26 finishes. He is really trending with a trio of top-three's in his last five starts. Im is as solid as it gets all the way through the bag, especially at just 21 years of age.
Longer Shots with Value
Matt Wallace, ($9,600)
Wallace has been rolling on the European Tour for a couple months, finishing inside the top 15 in four of his last five starts. He is a total of ten top-10's over the last 12 months across the globe. Wallace ranks 10th on the Euro Tour in putts per GIR and seventh in scoring average. There's a lot to like here for a price under $10,000.
Corey Conners, ($9,300)
The Canadian is trending going T13-T12-T6 in his last three starts. Conners led the PGA Tour last season in GIR's and proximity. That strong iron play takes pressure off every other aspect of his game because he knows he will have ample chances for birdies. Conners will have a very high floor because of that, part of the reason he has posted finishes of T27 or better in eight of his last nine starts.
Ian Poulter, ($9,000)
Poulter has had great success at Sheshan, notching a win back in 2012 and following it up with a solo second in his title defense. The 43-year-old has posted a T16 and a T13 in the first two legs of the Asian Swing. The putter is still as hot as ever and he has a world-class short game to get him out of a tough spot whenever he misses a green. Poulter already has 13 top-20's in 2019 alone.
Joost Luiten, ($8,500)
Luiten is as solid of a ball striker as the European Tour has to offer. He has ranked second and sixth the last two seasons in greens in regulation percentage. Luiten has made the cut in each of his last eight events thanks to that consistent ball striking. The value this week really dips under $9,000, leaving Luiten as one of the more trustable options in this range.
Strategy Tips for this week (based on a 60k standard salary cap)
I'm not saying Rory is not going to play well this week by any means, but a $12,400 price tag, which is $1,000 more than any other player in a pretty loaded field, just doesn't make sense to me. For that reason I'm avoiding the Northern Irishman and focusing on loading up on players in the $9,000-$10,500 range. Other players in that range that I did not mention above but will garner my interest include Billy Horschel, Cameron Smith, Bernd Wiesberger, Tyrrell Hatton, and Matthew Fitzpatrick.