Each week, including this week’s 2020 Sony Open in Hawaii, Golf News Net offers daily fantasy (DFS) golf advice, picks, lineups and tips for DraftKings PGA Tour games, scrutinizing the pricing model and looking for players who will perform best in both guaranteed prize pool (GPP) events and cash games.[s2If !is_user_logged_in()]
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2020 Sony Open in Hawaii preview
The Sony Open in Hawaii is the first full-field event of the year, and it’s a player favorite. Waialae Country Club in Honolulu is a Seth Raynor design with small greens, accessible par 5s and a delightful layout. The scores will be low, barring some kind of weather event to change the course of things.
If you look at winners historically, they’re not really longer hitters, and they typically are either great ballstrikers or great putters who excel that week in an area they might otherwise struggle. That’s not to say bombers can’t win here. They just don’t usually.
Make sure to join our Sony Open in Hawaii thread to ask specific questions and get advice from fellow players!
2020 Sony Open in Hawaii DraftKings picks
Each week, we’ll offer players in 3-5 buckets of pricing so as to offer some mix-and-matching with your lineups based on our recommendations.
Recent PGA Tour Trends
We start by looking at the recent past, back at players who have finished inside the top 15 in the last five individual PGA Tour events.
- Corey Conners – 2 – T-12 CJ Cup, T-6 Zozo Championship
- Brian Gay – 2 – 3rd Bermuda Championship, T-14 Mayakoba Golf Classic
- Matt Kuchar – 2 – T-14 Mayakoba Golf Classic, T-14 Tournament of Champions
- Hideki Matsuyama – 2 – 3rd CJ Cup, 2nd Zozo Championship
- Joaquin Niemann – 2 – T-12 CJ Cup, T-5 Tournament of Champions
- Alex Noren – 2 – T-15 Bermuda Championship, T-10 RSM Classic
- Ryan Palmer – 2 – T-12 CJ Cup, T-10 Zozo Championship
- JT Poston – 2 – T-14 RSM Classic, T-11 Tournament of Champions
- Vaughn Taylor – 2 – 2nd Mayakoba Golf Classic, T-10 RSM Classic
- Justin Thomas – 2 – WIN CJ Cup, WIN Tournament of Champions
- Brendon Todd – 3 – WIN Bermuda Championship, WIN Mayakoba Golf Classic, T-4 RSM Classic
Event Finish History
We like to look for potential horses for courses with most PGA Tour events, particularly those with regular host courses. Here are players with multiple top-15 finishes in this event in the last five years it was played.
- Daniel Berger – 2
- Zac Blair – 2
- Brian Harman – 3
- Charles Howell III – 3
- Zach Johnson – 3
- Jerry Kelly – 3
- Kevin Kisner – 2
- Patton Kizzire – 2
- Russell Knox – 3
- Matt Kuchar – 3
- Jamie Lovemark – 2
- Scott Piercy – 2
- Chez Reavie – 2
- Webb Simpson – 4
- Kyle Stanley – 2
- Brian Stuard – 2
- Hudson Swafford – 3
- Justin Thomas – 3
- Jimmy Walker – 2
It seems to me the best way to use Strokes Gained data is to give a sense of a course fit. My working theory is a player is a course fit — or a potential course fit, at least — if their Strokes Gained breakout when they finish in the top 25 is similar to the average for top-25 finishers at this week’s event.
This week’s breakdown:
Tee To Green: 67%
Off The Tee: 20%
Around the Green: 24%
Some potential fits include:
- Jason Dufner
- Daniel Berger
- Dylan Frittelli
- Russell Knox
- Matt Kuchar
- Marc Leishman
- JT Poston
- Andrew Putnam
- Webb Simpson
- Hudson Swafford
- Jimmy Walker
2020 Sony Open in Hawaii DraftKings recommendations
$10,000 and up
We have five players in this group, and I think you can make several big plays here. JT is obvious. Webb Simpson, Pat Reed and Hideki Matsuyama are all solid. Morikawa is probably the weakest choice, but his ballstriking is just so good he should have a chance on a familiar track.
We have 16 players in this group, and this is where you really make your team. Kuchar, Im, CH3, Alex Noren (yup, he’s back), Kisner, Chez Reavie and JT Poston are my guys here.
DraftKings typically breaks the rest of the field in half at the $7,000 mark. Brian Stuard makes money and loves this course. Dylan Frittelli should be a great fit here. Ryan Palmer has done well here in the past. Vaughn Taylor ended 2019 nicely. Shugo Imahira is a top-50 player on the cheap this week. Brian Gay has a tremendous track record here. Maybe take a flier on Russ Henley.
Below or at $7,000
We’re looking for bargains in this range. Adam Long is making cash money this season. Zac Blair has enjoyed here in the past. Chesson Hadley is dirt cheap. Jamie Lovemark is down on his luck, but could be a good gamble at $6,200.
My Hero World Challenge DraftKings lineup
- Webb Simpson – $11,100
- Charles Howell III – $9,100
- Brian Stuard – $7,900
- Dylan Frittelli – $7,700
- Shugo Imahira – $7,300
- Adam Long – $6,800