The first full-field event of the new calendar year is the Sony Open at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu.
The dude on the right has raked here over the years and should be on your radar this week!
Each week I painfully writhe and wretch trying to figure out the proper strategy to find a player that will hit the top 10. Wins are great but aren’t likely, so I’m satisfied with having a chance to hit the big money. Missed cuts are absolutely the death in this game, but even the surest of things don’t always happen in the reality world of fantasy golf.
2015-16 Season total: $5,978,929; 47 events
- Wins: 2 (Matsuyama, Hoffman)
- Seconds: 0
- Thirds: 1
- Top 10s: 9
- Top 25s: 18
- MC: 8 (Mickelson, FIO; Oosthuizen, SHO; Chappell, Colonial; Casey, Memorial; Woodland, FESJC; Hearn, RBC Canadian; McGirt, Wyndham; Justin Thomas, DBC)
2016-17 Season total: $6,533,509 45 events
- Wins: 1
- Seconds: 1
- Thirds: 1
- Top 10s: 12
- Top 25s: 20
- MCs (10): Grayson Murray (Safeway Open); Patton Kizzire (SFC); Jamie Lovemark (CB Challenge); Jimmy Walker (FIO); Charl Schwartzel (Genesis); Russell Knox (Honda); Henrik Stenson (API); Thomas Pieters (Zurich); Kevin Kisner (WFC).
Safeway — Tony Finau, 2nd
CIMB — Paul Casey, T-7.
CJ CUP — Keegan Bradley, T-47.
WGC-HSBC Champions — Hideki Matsuyama, T-50
Sanderson Farms — Chesson Hadley, T-2
Shriners — Patrick Cantlay, WINNER
Mayakoba — Kevin Chappell, MC
RSM Classic — Charles Howell, III, MC
Sentry Tournament of Champions — Kevin Kisner, T-17
A bit all-or-nothing but three podium finishes in nine events is hardly GAWBIDGE.
I won’t bore you with the details about how many times I flipped Kisner and Leishman last week but let’s say I didn’t make the best final answer. Leishman will be in my final two again this week so I’m hoping to get it right. Didn’t find any gold off the radar but Pat Perez was a nice hit. He’s never finished outside of the top 10 in all three tries at Kapalua.
My Choice: Kevin Kisner — T-17
Close Second: Marc Leishman — T-7
Outliers: Russell Henley — T-17, Patrick Cantlay — T-15, Xander Schauffele — T-22
Gut Shot(s): Pat Perez — T-4, Cameron Smith — T-17
Rank Outsider(s): Austin Cook — T-22
Waialae Country Club in Honolulu has been trashed over the last few years as the wind, the main defender of the par 70, 7,044 track, has been noticeably absent. The list of winners over time usually consisted of “mature” players who had been around the block a time or two as only three players in their 20’s have won since 1997. Of those three, two have happened in the last five years and they both set the tournament record (Russell Henley, 2013; Justin Thomas last year). If you need course horses, check out The Confidence Factor for more details.
My Choice: Brian Harman
Close Second: Marc Leishman, Russell Henley
Outliers: Hudson Swafford, Brian Gay
Gut Shot(s): Charles Howell, III (already used), Jamie Lovemark
Rank Outsider(s): Austin Cook, Brian Gay
Keys this Week:
Fade or follow, I’m not worried either way!
Of the last 19 champs, 13 played the week prior at Kapalua. There are 20 dudes from that field in this week. Signs point to THEM.
Should I be saving guys for later?
If you can predict the future, why are you playing? The short answer is “yes”.
The long answer is maybe.
Every gamer should have a FLEXIBLE plan for majors, WGC, THE PLAYERS and FEC Playoffs. But as I wrote last week, if you’re saving players for “later” and you’re dead last, what good is that going to do? I agree you’ll need some bullets in the gun down the road, but if the road is a dead end, one-way street, what’s the reason for it? We’ll keep this discussion fluid as the season goes along, undoubtedly!
Where have I been?
As most of you know, I’m now on board at PGATOUR.COM and will be handling The Confidence Factor every week plus post-round fantasy wrap-ups, The Emergency 9, Thursday through Sunday.
You should find some helpful hints in those pieces to navigate the waters of fantasy golf.
Don’t forget to check Rob Bolton’s Twitter feed for all the PGATOUR.COM Fantasy info!
Argue? Disagree? Whatever is clever!
You do you.
I’ll do me.
We can learn from each other.
Thanks for reading!