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Aaron Wise
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
FanDuel Strategy

FanDuel Fit: THE CJ CUP @ SUMMIT

by Josh Culp
Updated On: October 12, 2021, 12:37 pm ET

The PGA TOUR generally returns to the same courses year after year but the pandemic has increased the number of new courses we've seen,over the last two years. 

This week we will be introduced to another new venue. This is The Summit Club in Las Vegas, Nevada. Summit will play the host role for this week's CJ CUP @ SUMMIT. 

The course has a unique feel to it because there are lots of trees surrounding the wide fairways but there is also desert terrain if you are missing too far offline, beyond the trees. It reminds me a lot of TPC Scottsdale, if they were to add a line of trees to each hole, instead of bushes. 

Without any past history to work with, let's take a look at some historical stats to see who likes playing out West and who enjoys an easy scoring environment. 

 

Regional Comfort

You don't reach the PGA TOUR level by not being able to take it low on all styles of courses and grass types. However, most of these pros do have preferences in terms of location, grass type, time of year, etc. 

Over the long haul, these preferences compound and they over-perform on the type of course that fits them best. 

For some, they get more comfortable when playing out West, compared to Florida, Texas, or the Northeast. Let's look at history over the last two years and see who some of those golfers might be. 

Here are the golfers in the field who have gained the most strokes per round when playing in the Western Region of the United States, over the last two years: 

Xander Schauffele
Tony Finau
Dustin Johnson
Justin Thomas
Collin Morikawa
Louis Oosthuizen
Rory McIlroy
Patrick Reed
Joaquin Niemann
Russell Henley
Adam Scott
Max Homa
Sungjae Im
Webb Simpson
Scottie Scheffler

We can also look at a golfer's performance versus their baseline to see who over-performs most. Here is that list: 

Marc Leishman
Tony Finau
Max Homa
Tom Hoge
Cameron Davis
Russell Henley
Joaquin Niemann
Harry Higgs
Byeong Hun An
Jason Day
Kevin Streelman
Maverick McNealy
Xander Schauffele
Adam Scott
Collin Morikawa

Overlap List: names that show up on both lists include Tony Finau, Max Homa, Russell Henley, Joaquin Niemann, Xander Schauffele, Adam Scott, and Collin Morikawa.

Four of these seven names have roots out in the region so there is something about playing close to home that makes some golfers more comfortable. 

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Easy Courses

This week's course is a par 72 that has a relatively average length, especially when you factor in the touch of altitude that will help balls fly a bit further. 

Add in ideal weather in the forecast, and I would be surprised if the winning score doesn't eclipse 18-under this week. 

Here are the top performers per round, when playing easy courses (-0.75 RTP or easier) over the last two years: 

Dustin Johnson
Justin Thomas
Xander Schauffele
Webb Simpson
Harris English
Rory McIlroy
Cameron Smith
Abraham Ancer
Sam Burns
Tyrrell Hatton
Scottie Scheffler
Viktor Hovland
Alex Noren
Sungjae Im
Tony Finau

We can also look at a golfer's performance versus their baseline to see who over-performs most. Here is that list: 

Dustin Johnson
Kevin Kisner
Webb Simpson
Tom Hoge
Alex Noren
Emiliano Grillo
Abraham Ancer
Harris English
Mackenzie Hughes
Keegan Bradley
Sergio Garcia
Cameron Smith
Viktor Hovland
Cameron Davis
Rickie Fowler

Overlap List: the names that show up on both lists include Dustin Johnson, Webb Simpson, Alex Noren, Abraham Ancer, Harris English, Cameron Smith, and Viktor Hovland

Most of these names are golfers that make it look effortless when they are in the zone. They can string together three or four good rounds and they do it more consistently when the course is ripe for the taking. 

 

FanDuel Focus 

Cameron Smith ($9,800): When you look at golfers becoming popular on a week-to-week basis, one thing that is generally important is how they've played recently or if they've even played at all recently. For Smith, he is making his first start of the season. With five weeks off, gamers may just let him slip past their radar for others who have been in action last week or the week before. The long layoff does make him more of a wildcard in terms of needing to shake off the rust or not, but if he's dialed out of the gate, he should be in contention come Sunday and you will find him on a relatively low percentage of rosters. 

Aaron Wise ($8,900): If Smith is more of a high-risk, high-reward option, Wise may be the more steady value option this week. Wise moved out to Las Vegas after college so he should be plenty comfortable when taking on The Summit Club this week. Wise has found his game this summer. He has positioned himself inside of the top 30 after 15 of his last 16 rounds played. 

 

Good luck with your lineups this week and check back tomorrow for some more course-fit analysis. 

Josh Culp

Josh Culp joined NBC Sports Edge in 2014. The DFS enthusiast from Iowa State can be found on Twitter @futureoffantasy.