The 2021 Tokyo Olympics are finally here, and Kasumigaseki Country Club (par 71, 7,447 yards) in Kawagoe, Saitama, Japan, will be hosting the men’s golf competition this week. Kasumigaseki is one of the oldest golf courses in Japan and it was renovated by Tom and Logan Fazio back in 2014. For the most part, the father-son duo added some fairway bunkers, and they also increased the size and converted the greens to bentgrass.
The par 71 features a very interesting collection of holes. Four of the 11 par 4s fall under 400 yards, three of the four par 3s are over 200 yards, and two of the three par 5s range over 600 yards. Additionally, while most holes are tree lined, the fairways appear to be very wide and easy to find, and I absolutely believe longer players will have an advantage this week, particularly with the current weather forecast for Kawagoe. Rain from Monday night is expected to carry over to Tuesday morning, and then there is a chance of thunderstorms for every day of the tournament. The course is going to be wet and soft, and while this doesn’t mean we should only be rostering bombers, I would give the edge to the longer hitter if juggling between two players this week. Lastly, while the greens are on the larger size after the Fazio renovations, targeting strong iron players is still a must at Kasumigaseki.
For this Olympic tournament, 60 players from all over the globe will be competing for their country at Kasumigaseki, including 12 of the top-30 ranked golfers in the world. There will be no cut, so every player is guaranteed four rounds of golf, barring a disqualification or withdrawal. Automatically, this creates an excellent opportunity to build stars and scrubs lineups, and below I have featured four of my favorite targets sub 7.5K on DraftKings this week.
Jhonattan Vegas, $7,400
At only $7,400, Vegas is a must-have value play this week. The 36-year-old travels to Japan with four finishes inside the top 11 in his past six starts, most notably with runner-up finishes at the Palmetto Championship and then at last week’s 3M Open. Both of these events were held on par 71s, and Vegas ranks seventh in total strokes gained on this type of course this season.
As always, the Venezuelan has been a brilliant driver of the golf ball, ranking first in SG OTT and first in driving distance over his last 24 rounds. Additionally, Vegas’ irons have been top notch during this run, ranking ninth in SG APP, and he has been an elite fantasy option, ranking third in DKFP.
Mito Pereira, $7,200
After picking up his third career win on the Korn Ferry Tour in June, Pereira was automatically promoted to the PGA TOUR. He started off with a missed cut at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, but proceeded to the weekend at his next three events, finishing T34th, T5th and T6th, in that order. Over this three-start stretch, the 26-year-old out of Chile has been an outstanding ball striker, ranking fourth in SGT2G, 13th in SG APP and first in SG OTT.
Pereira’s work on the greens has been suspect, losing strokes with his flat stick in three of his first four starts as a member on TOUR, but his T2G game has been so strong that he has to be considered at this low salary.
Ryan Fox, $6,900
Fox is a big hitter that sets up well for Kasumigaseki. This season on the European Tour, the 34-year-old ranks 10th in driving distance, 15th in birdies converted and 19th in SG APP. Fox has advanced to the weekend in seven of his last nine starts, with four top 20s mixed in this run. The last time he teed it up in a no-cut event, the New Zealand native recorded 19 birdies en route to 77.5 DKFP and a 29th place finish at the 2020 WGC Mexico Championship.
His ability to rack up birdies in bunches makes Fox an ideal target for no-cut formats, and his price tag simply doesn’t reflect his upside.
Anirban Lahiri, $6,700
Representing India at the Olympic games this week, Lahiri heads to Japan on the heels of his best finish of the season. Outside of around the green, the 34-year-old gained at least three strokes in every major category at the Barbasol Championship, lifting him to a third place finish. Bentgrass has always been Lahiri’s preferred putting surface, and this was on full display at the Barbasol. For the week, he ranked fourth in SGP on the bentgrass greens at Keene Trace Golf Club and fifth in total birdies. This high finish marked Lahiri’s third made cut in his previous five starts, including a 25th at Congaree Golf Club for the Palmetto Championship, which is noteworthy given that the track is a Fazio designed par 71.
Surely, Lahiri comes with some risk, but his game sets up well for Kasumigaseki and he should come with little to no ownership in GPPs.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Hunta512) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.
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