I’m back again for another PGA season! This week we’ll be looking at the Sony Open at the Waialae Country Club. It’s a par 70 course, measuring around 7,000 yards. It’s not a very long course and doesn’t give long hitters an advantage off the tee. This is the type of course that will rely on accuracy and shot shaping, as these fairways are pretty tight. The greens are also fairly small, so golfers will really need to be on their game this week. Here are some key stats that I’ll be looking at to help me set my player pool:
SG: APP (Approach)
SG: GiR (Greens in Regulation)
BoB Gained (Birdies or Better)
SG: P (Putting)
Here are my favorite plays this week.
Justin Thomas – $11,400: JT is coming off a third-place finish at last week’s Sentry TOC and is currently ranked number four in the world. Thomas is checking the boxes in SG: App, SG: P4, and BoB Gained, ranking in the top 15 in the field over his last 24 rounds. Thomas also has great history in this event, with a T14 in 2018, 1st in 2017, and T6 in 2015.
Gary Woodland: $10,800: Woodland is one of the hottest golfers on the planet right now. He has two top ten finishes in the last two tournaments. Over his last 24 rounds, he is ranked in the top five in SG: APP, SG: P4, BoB Gained, and SG: GiR. His putting is just ranked 59th in the field, but the rest of his game has been so strong that I have no problem rolling with him. He also has phenomenal history in the Sony Open, where he has three top-ten finishes over the past four years.
Cameron Champ – $9,900: Champ, who is known for his power off the tee, will need to rely on more finesse this week. His approach hasn’t been fantastic, ranking just 86th in the field over his last 24 rounds. With that part aside, he has been phenomenal in every other key stat that I’m targeting. He ranks first in both SG: P4 and BoB Gained, seventh in SG: GiR, and 18th in SG: P. He is showing great recent form, with three top-eleven finishes in his last three tournaments.
Hideki Matsuyama – $9,300: Matsuyama doesn’t have a lot of experience with the tournament, playing just twice over the last five years, and hasn’t finished inside the top 25. He has shown good recent form, as he’s checking the boxes in SG: APP, BoB Gained, and SG: GiR. He hasn’t participated in a lot of PGA tournaments lately, but he did finish 18th in the Hero World Challenge last month.
Zach Johnson – $8,600: Over the last five years, Johnson has four top-15 finishes at the Sony Open. He also tied for seventh at the RSM Classic in November. This is a course that fits Johnson’s game very well. He’s checking the boxes in P4, BoB, and Putting. These stats will help him, as he’s a guy that isn’t known for the long ball.
Adam Scott – $8,300: Scott ranks in the top ten in the field in Approach, BoB, and GiR over his last 24 rounds. He doesn’t have a lot of recent history at the Sony Open, though he did have a T8 back in 2014. If he can improve on his putting this week, I like Scott’s chances to find the leaderboard on Sunday.
Andrew Putnam – $7,400: Over his last 24 rounds, Putnam ranks in the top 15 in four of the five key stats that I’m focusing on. His biggest area of opportunity is his putting, where he ranks 57th in the field. While he doesn’t have great history in this tournament, he does have a T14 in last week’s Tournament of Champions.
Jimmy Walker – $7,400: Walker is another low-price option I really like this week. He’s in the top ten in both P4 and GiR, along with a top-25 ranking in Putting. He was cut in the previous two Sony Open performances, but before that he had a T13 in 2016, and finished first in both 2015 and 2014. It’s his recent form and past success in this tournament that make him a great play, and at a nice price.
$6.9k and under
Ollie Schniederjans – $6,900: This price range can be tricky, as you need to find someone with solid recent form that will hopefully carry into the weekend. Ollie is checking the boxes for me in BoB Gained, GiR, and Putting. In 2018, he finished T7 at the Sony Open, and then T27 in 2017. His SG: APP is a concern, ranking 99th in the field over his last 24 rounds.
Cameron Davis – $6,800: Davis ranks 13th in BoB Gained, and has top 40 ranks in P4, GiR, and Putting. At this price, I’m okay with those numbers.
All statistics courtesy of Fantasy National Golf Club