The PGA Tour sticks around paradise for one more week as they head to Honolulu for the Sony Open. This week’s course is slightly tougher test, though it’ll still be a high scoring affair. Last year’s win by Patton Kizzire in a playoff over James Hahn wasn’t the highlight that we all remember.
COURTESY OF FANTASY GOLF INSIDER
The PGA Tour sticks around paradise for one more week as they head to Honolulu for the Sony Open. This week’s course is slightly tougher test, though it’ll still be a high scoring affair. Last year’s win by Patton Kizzire in a playoff over James Hahn wasn’t the highlight that we all remember. Unfortunately, there was an emergency communication alert sent out to all cell phones falsely notifying the state of Hawaii of an inbound missile, which probably shook people up.
More notably though was the camera crew staging a walkout before the 4th round, causing the golf channel to show the worst coverage of golf we’ve ever seen. Much of the debate of the course is accuracy off the tee or bomb & gouge. Winners here haven’t really hit fairways, while everyone else finishing four rounds have been much more accurate off the tee, so I’d say it’s more of a mix of accuracy than just bombing. Since the overview is such a riveting piece of every preview article, I’ll be including my Top 5 selections for One & Done’s this year as well. This week my Top 5 OAD’s are – JT, Spieth, Bryson, Leishman, and Champ. Woodland will be the chalky selection in large One & Done leagues this week.
- Wailalae CC
- Par: 70
- Yardage: 7,000 yards
- Greens: Bermuda
- Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
- Corollary Tournaments/Courses: OHL Mayakoba, St. Jude, RSM Classic, RBC Heritage, Honda
- 2018: Patton Kizzire -17 in a playoff over James Hahn
- 2017: Justin Thomas -27 over Justin Rose (by 7 strokes)
- 2016: Fabian Gomez -20 in a playoff over Brandt Snedeker
- 2015: Jimmy Walker -23 over Scott Piercy (by 9 strokes)
- 2014: Jimmy Walker -17 over Chris Kirk
KEY STATS TO TARGET
- Strong Emphasis – SG: APP, P4 Scoring 400-500 yards, Birdie Or Better
- Important –Scrambling, P3 Scoring 175-200 yards, APP 150-200 yards, Par 5 Scoring
THIS WEEK’S SUGGESTIONS
- Justin Thomas (DK $11,400)
Course History: 14th– Win – MC – 6th
Stats: 28th– SG: OTT, 4th– SG: APP, 47th– SG: P, 3rd– SG: T2G
Analysis: JT is a bomber who can mash it with less than driver off the tee when the situation calls for it. He’s the highest upside play in the field this week, possibly aside from Bryson (see below), and someone who brings elite course history in a short period of time to our lineups at a hefty cost. I’m looking at him as a high end GPP play this week.
- Gary Woodland (DK $10,800)
Course History: 7th– 6th– 13th– 3rd
Stats: 3rd– SG: OTT, 24th– SG: APP, 114th– SG: P, 18th– SG: T2G
Analysis: Historically strong on less than driver courses and following a strong showing in Maui, Woodland gets the price bump this week and for good reason. He’s still prone to taking his bogeys, but he’s a high upside, high floor play that we should be targeting most weeks and will probably be the chalk on chalk play this week, but we’re going back again.
- Charles Howell III (DK $8,900): There are plenty of “better options” as far as course horses go, but Woodland & JT are the only ones with better overall course history than CH3 who played last week and that’s why he’s getting the nod here. He’s consistently an above average finisher here as well as most events he plays, so lock him into your cash lineups and move on. I’d look to play someone with higher upside in GPPs at this price.
- Jimmy Walker (DK $7,400): Probably best suited for GPPs at this point, Jimmy used to dominate this event back in his heyday (when he was the best player in the field). He’s missed the cut here two straight years, but there’s always something about him showing up when you least expect it and I doubt he sees much ownership with those two MC’s staring everyone in the face.
- Russell Knox (DK $8,100)
Course History: 10th– 11th– MC – 13th
Form: No recent form
Stats: 101st– SG: OTT, 58th– SG: APP, 138th– SG: P, 58th– SG: T2G
Analysis: Accurate ball striker and someone who typically finds fairways from the tee, Knox sets up as good of a value play as anyone this week and not just because of his strong course history here the past four years as he’s also done well on our corollary courses over that same time frame. I like him in all formats this week.
- Scott Piercy (DK $7,600)
Course History: 25th– 57th– 13th– 2nd
Stats: 65th– SG: OTT, 14th– SG: APP, 186th– SG: P, 24th– SG: T2G
Analysis: Through three rounds last week, Piercy was 11thin birdie opportunities and if he could putt he’d be someone we target almost every week. The same goes for this week as he stays in Hawaii after knocking off the rust in Maui and looks as a better play in cut events than he does in the no-cut limited field events. Because of his putting, I prefer him in GPPs, but don’t mind the play in cash either.
- Adam Scott (DK $8,300): Any time we don’t need to rely on putting and ball striking is rewarded, we’re going to look at a cheap Adam Scott. His best finish here in the last five years was an 8thin 2014 so we know he has some positive vibes here. Outside of that he also has a 56thhere in 2016 and no other appearances. His skillset presents us great opportunity at a low cost, and we’re going to exploit that whenever possible.
- Vaughn Taylor (DK $7,000): 76th & 57thhere the last two years isn’t exactly inspiring, but VT’s ball striking over his last 50 rounds is what’s driving the suggestion as he ranks 7th in the field in birdie opportunities and 9th in birdies gained over that span. He’s better served as a GPP dart in my opinion, but someone you could also throw into lineups as a throwaway cheap play to help jam in more studs.
TOURNAMENT ONLY PLAYS
- Si Woo Kim (DK $8,000)
Course History: 58th– DNP – 4th– DNP
Form: No recent form
Stats: 117th– SG: OTT, 153rd– SG: APP, 151st– SG: P, 109th– SG: T2G
Analysis: You’ll probably get more return on your money if you just bet him outright, but Si Woo has had his moments of paying off in DFS lineups as well, as recently as the RBC Heritage last season (which is a corollary course this week). He’s a strong ball striker who can catch fire with the putter, but will also drive you nuts if the putter isn’t working which is exactly what makes him a tournament only play and one who shouldn’t be very popular.
- Sam Burns (DK $7,200)
Course History: DNP – DNP – DNP – DNP
Form: No recent form
Stats: Stats didn’t qualify, negative in all SG metrics except SG: OTT & SG: P
Analysis: Burns is someone who rarely sees more than 10-12% ownership, so right out of the gates we don’t really have to worry about him being a chalk play. He’s a strong bermuda grass putter, and has gained more strokes on approaches than lost over his short career on Tour. As far as his record on our corollary courses, he was 2/4 in cuts made with his best finish being an 8that last year’s Honda.
- Bryson Dechambeau (DK $11,100): This is the 2nd week of the season, and the 2ndtime I’ve written up Bryson as a favorite play. Get used to it. His nuances are really the only thing keeping his price and ownership down, so if you like winning money he’s our guy every week until he loses his touch.
- Jordan Spieth (DK $10,300): The missed cut at the OHL was the icing on the cake for last year’s horrible season. I know I’m not the only one to think he rebounds this year with a much better year, but I think we’re going to need to take our shots on him early, before the masses catch on. Putting was his primary weakness last year, and he’s never been a strong driver of the ball, luckily this week requires excellent ball striking and that’s one thing we can usually count on with him.
- Joel Dahmen (DK $7,200): Strong tee to green, approach/ball striking and someone who presents a ton of upside in birdie opportunities, Dahmen is our prototypical “ball striker who can’t putt” and someone who will probably be a forgotten player as the year starts over. When looking at his putting trends over the past three months, he looks ready for spike upwards so keep that in mind these next few weeks if this week isn’t the spike week.
- Keith Mitchell (DK $6,900): Strong bermuda putter who doesn’t putt well on any other grass type, and someone who’s typically known as a fast starter who fades on the weekend. Mitchell is gearing up for his second season on the PGA Tour and towards the end of last year, his ball striking was much improved to the point where he wasn’t solely relying on his OTT game. He’ll be another player we target early on, and especially on courses with bermuda greens.
As a tiebreaker between players I like this week, I’ll be using Par 3 Scoring from 175 to 200 yards as all four Par 3’s on the course fall within these parameters. Below are the players in both who are listed in the Top 20 of both Par 3 scoring from that yardage, as well as Approach from the same distance in their last 24 rounds.
- Patton Kizzire $7,900
- Peter Malnati $6,500
- Hideki Matsuyama $9,300
- John Huh $6,200
- Zach Johnson $8,600
- Emiliano Grillo $9,200
Thanks for reading and good luck this week from the FGI team!