By: Jake Friedman
The PGA Tour stays in Hawaii this week for the Sony Open. Another week of prime time golf on the east coast in the United States. Even though we stay in Hawaii, the difference between the course last week and the one this week is rather large.
Please refer to Nate's article for a very in-depth breakdown of the tournament's field, course, and more!
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Tyrell Hatton ($10,300) - Making his tournament debut this week, I was impressed with what I saw from Hatton last week finishing T-14. Hatton profiles as a great approach, around the green, and putter. He is above average in driving distance and below average in driving accuracy. The factor that will determine how Hatton's week goes is the driver. They've grown the rough out similar to last year and the results showed the importance of staying in the fairway. That being said, Hatton is one of the most consistent golfer's on tour with a lot of finishes close to the top of the leaderboard. He's a safe play in DFS this week.
Matt Fitzpatrick ($10,200) - Another player making his tournament debut this week and another player I was impressed with what I saw last week also finishing T-14. Fitzpatrick gained rather big across the board last week aside from approach where he lost 0.77 strokes per round. With that being said, he profiles as an amazing player around the greens and with the putter. He is above average in driving distance and approach and below average in driving accuracy. Fitzpatrick's ceiling this week will be determined by if he can turn around his approach play from last week, which long term stats show us he should be able to do. Another golfer who puts out very consistent results on the PGA Tour and is another safe play in DFS this week.
Brian Harman ($9,900) - My pick to win this week, I think Harman is a surefire play in DFS this week. Everything I saw from him last week, which feature gaining strokes across the board per round and finishing T-5, points to him winning this week. A bit shorter off the tee, Harman makes up for that with his accuracy. He is also above average in approach and a phenomenal player around the green and with the flat stick. He profiles almost ideally at a course like Waialae and at this price, you can even skip the 10k range and have him headline some of your lineups.
J.T. Poston ($9,100) - Finishing the 2023 season hot, continuing that form into the fall swing and to start the 2024 year, it's hard to not like J.T. Poston. T-5 last week and gaining across the board, it seems like Poston is bound to peak this week and win this tournament. Poston profiles as an elite putter, above average approach and around the green player, and below average in driving distance and accuracy. If Poston can stay in the fairway this week I like his chances to win, but regardless, he is going to be a high value play in DFS this week.
Harris English ($8,300) - Profiling ideally for Waialae, English is one of my favorite plays in DFS this week. He finished T-14 last week while losing stroke on approach and around the green, albeit very small. Long term statistics show he is above Tour average in both of those categories. To add to it, he's above average in driving accuracy and is a phenomenal putter. I'm expecting a great week from English and think he is a must play in DFS.
Adam Hadwin ($8,000) - Another player who profiles ideally for Waialae, Hadwin is going to be another great play in DFS this week. He also finished T-14 last week and lost small on approach each round which is uncharacteristic as he is above tour average in that category. He's above average in driving accuracy and around the green and he is a great putter. Similar to English, I'm expecting a great week and think he is a must play in DFS.
Andrew Putnam ($7,500) - Popping in my model this week, similar to all my previous plays he has the profile we are looking for at this course. He's above average when it comes to driving accuracy, approach, around the green and putting. Having a disappointing week last week finishing T-40, I'm hoping we can get a bit of an ownership discount on Putnam. I'm expecting him to fully bounce back from last week disappointing performance and get back on track here.
Nick Taylor ($7,200) - Similar to Putnam, Taylor popped in my model and profiles extremely well here. Although he also had a disappointing week last week finishing T-52, he profiles ideally for Waialae. He is above tour average in driving accuracy, approach, around the green, and putting. In his last 3 starts here, he's continued to improve coming in T-32, T-11, and T-7. I'm looking for Taylor to continue to improve his finishing position here and get us a T-5 or better.
Takumi Kanaya ($6,700) - An all-star on the Japan Golf Tour, Kanaya comes over to the PGA TOUR and looks to continue his success. Last season, he had 3 wins and a ton of top 5 finishes. He is an extremely accurate driver of the golf ball and he is above average in around the green. He is slightly below average on approach and with the flat stick but I'm hoping his accuracy off the tee will carry him across the cut line.
Zac Blair ($6,200) - For those in a budget crunch and are looking for someone in the lower half of the 6k range to fill out their lineup, I like Blair to fill that role. He profiles similar to Kanaya where he is an extremely accurate driver of the golf ball, is above average in around the green and is slightly below average in approach and putting. He also has a T-6 here in 2015 and a solo 3rd in 2016. He hasn't been great as of recent but he profiles decently and is about the best you can get in the lower half of the 6k range.
Outright Betting Card
Brian Harman +2800
J.T. Poston +4000
Hideki Matsuyama +5000
Harris English +5500 Adam Hadwin +6000
Nick Taylor +8000
*As most of these are long long shots, I still have room in my budget for the week and will most likely add a play or two which I will post on my X @THEJakeFriedman
As always, good luck in all your action this week and please bet responsibly!