2021 Sony Open in Hawaii DraftKings daily fantasy golf picks
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2021 Sony Open in Hawaii DraftKings daily fantasy golf picks

Each week, including this week’s 2021 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.

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2021 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.

Finish Trends

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.

  • Abraham Ancer – 2 – T-13 Masters, T-12 Mayakoba Golf Classic
  • Corey Conners – 2 – T-10 Masters, T-10 RSM Classic
  • Harris English – 3 – T-6 RSM Classic, T-5 Mayakoba Golf Classic, WIN Tournament of Champions
  • Patton Kizzire – 2 – T-11 Houston Open, T-10 RSM Classic
  • Hideki Matsuyama – 2 – T-2 Houston Open, T-13 Masters
  • Carlos Ortiz – 2 – WIN Houston Open, T-8 Mayakoba Golf Classic
  • Brendon Todd – 2 – T-8 Mayakoba Golf Classic, T-13 Tournament of Champions

Event Finish History

We like to look for potential horses for courses with most PGA Tour events, particularly those with regular host courses. We’re looking at players with multiple top-15 finishes in the last five years.

  • Corey Conners – 2
  • Brian Harman – 2
  • Tom Hoge – 2
  • Charles Howell III – 4
  • Zach Johnson – 3
  • Jerry Kelly – 2
  • Kevin Kisner – 3
  • Patton Kizzire – 2
  • Russell Knox – 2
  • Matt Kuchar – 2
  • Jamie Lovemark – 2
  • Ryan Palmer – 2
  • Chez Reavie – 2
  • Webb Simpson – 4
  • Brandt Snedeker – 2
  • Brian Stuard – 2
  • Hudson Swafford – 3

Course Fits

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, here’s our breakdown:

Putting: 33%
Tee to Green: 67%
Off the Tee: 20%
Approach: 34%
Around the Green: 13%

Some fits include:

Sungjae Im
Adam Scott
Rory Sabbatini
Joaquin Niemann
Cameron Davis
Abraham Ancer
Russel Knox
Daniel Berger

Strokes Gained T2G Trends

It’s important when looking at current form to see which players are overperforming and underperforming their long-term trends (last 50 tournaments) compared to short-term trends (last 10 tournaments).

Here are the overperformers:

  • Malnati, Peter: 1.89
  • Lahiri, Anirban: 1.214
  • Cook, Austin: 1.145
  • Bradley, Keegan: 1.022
  • Trahan, D.J.: 1.02
  • Sloan, Roger: 0.937
  • Merritt, Troy: 0.902
  • Piercy, Scott: 0.896
  • Niemann, Joaquin: 0.868
  • Kizzire, Patton: 0.844

Here are the underperformers:

  • Armour, Ryan: -1.131
  • Hearn, David: -1.916
  • Kang, Sung: -1.234
  • Lee, Kyoung-Hoon: -1.141
  • Murray, Grayson: -1.652
  • Ryder, Sam: -1.382
  • Swafford, Hudson: -1.397
  • Walker, Jimmy: -1.283
  • Watney, Nick: -1.301
  • Wilkinson, Tim: -2.638

We also have a new tool which looks at SG T2G over the last 30 tournaments and a player’s relative variance, showing you which players are the most consistent from week to week. Check it out!

This week’s model

Check it out here.

Also, we’ve updated our tools comparing players’ strokes gained by course length and par, as well strokes gained putting by grass!

2021 Sony Open in Hawaii DraftKings recommendations

$10,000 and up

We have six players in this group, and I like everybody except Hideki. He has to putt better than last week’s historical worst, but still. Webb is great, Harris is next best. Morikawa should do great here.


We have 15 players in this group, and this is where we want to make a lineup. My favorites are Sungjae, Cam Smith, Ancer, Palmer, Scott, Kisner, Zach Johnson (really!) and CH3


DraftKings typically breaks the rest of the field in half at the $7,000 mark. Brian Harman is on the upswing. Same with Patton Kizzire. Russell Knox, Rory Sabbatini and Scott Piercy are good enough plays. Stewart Cink is way too cheap. Brandt Snedeker is a horse-for-course and loves this weak depth. Talor Gooch is sneaky helpful. Tom Hoge is reliable if not spectacular.

Below or at $7,000

We’re looking for bargains in this range, and we have a lot of the field in this range. Brian Stuard, thank you. Harry Higgs. Wesley Bryan! Puttinge genius. I don’t want to risk Hudson Swafford, but he has a lot of potential upside.

A sample Sony Open in Hawaii DraftKings GPP lineup

  1. Webb Simpson – $11,100
  2. Ryan Palmer – $9,200
  3. Kevin Kisner – $8,800
  4. Patton Kizzire – $7,700
  5. Brian Stuard – $6,900
  6. Wesley Bryan – $6,300

About the author


Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for over a decade, working for NBC Sports, Golf Channel, Yahoo Sports and SB Nation. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He used to be a good golfer.

Ballengee can be reached by email at ryan[at]thegolfnewsnet.com

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