The Cheat Sheet provides fantasy golf players with course info, player history and the most noteworthy trends of the week to help them with their roster selections.
The field this week consists of 144 golfers and there will be a cut this week after Friday’s round. While most of the big names from last week chose not to island hop to play in this event there’s still a great field here and a really strong contingent near the front. Jimmy Walker, Zach Johnson and Matt Kuchar are all in the field and prove as suitable targets and reliable plays in DFS. Still, with so many players kicking off their season here there’s a ton of great players at the lower end of the scale too and that is really where this week will be decided. Players with high odds have won here out of the blue before and given the quality of field don’t be shocked if that happens again.
Waialae Country Club, Honolulu, Hawaii.
Par 70, 7000-7100 yards
The Waialae Country Club is a par 70 course which generally favours accuracy and shot making over pure power. Windy conditions and small Bermuda greens are a staple of this event, but if the winds hold off, scores can get low. It’s a complete and stark contrast to the week before where huge fairways and long holes awaited the players but the Hawaiian trade winds means the courses still play somewhat similarly. The course features only two par 5’s and so par 4 scoring here will be crucial. While there are a couple longer, challenging holes, in general even the toughest holes play fairly straight forward as water is an almost non-factor here and the rough is not super penal. Although the course could be characterized as “tight” in some places big hitters have faired well here in the past and this course can be overpowered as Jimmy Walker showed us last year.
The course also features small Bermuda greens and putting well here can go a long way to a successful week. Looking for players who are coming in with good putting stats and have a nice history of doing well on similar style greens is a decent place to start research this week.
Last 5 winners
– Each of the past 5 champions had a top 6 or better in one of their last 3 starts prior to their win at this event
– 4 of the last winners ranked inside the top 40 on tour in Strokes gained putting for the year in which they won at this event
Par 4 scoring
Par 4 birdie or better average
Approach proximity (50-125, <200)
There’s a couple big factors I think you can look to as far as stats go this weekend. The first is putting and par 4 scoring/performance. Past winners and players who have had success at this course have tended to be some of the best putters in the business. Jimmy Walker and Russell Henley, the past two winners of this event, ranked inside the top 12 in Strokes gained putting in the years of their victory and other players who have fared well at this event over the years like Chris Kirk, Ryan Palmer and KJ Choi putted very well in the years they finished higher up in the standings. Additionally, since this course consists of numerous par 4’s with similar attributes, taking advantage of them will be key to scoring this week. Targeting players who rank highly in both Par 4 scoring and Par 4 birdie or better average is a good way to identify those who can have success on this course.
Finally, approach proximity on a shorter course with smaller greens is often key and past incarnations of this event have shown that to be true. Jimmy Walker murdered this course with long drives and accurate approaches the last couple of seasons and looking for players who might be able to do the same thing here is a decent idea when working through player stats. This course is very much a second shot course and those who are striking it well into the green should be favoured here.
This section is going to detail a few of the players who have the best fantasy value comparative to their odds of winning this week:
|Player||Vegas Odds||DraftKings Price||Comparables|
|Jason Dufner||56-1||$7900||– Danny Lee $9100 and 56-1
– Emiliano Grillo $9300 and 51-1– Francesco Molinari $8100 and 61-1
|Boo Weekly||71-1||$7400||– David Lingmerth $7600 and 81-1
– Webb Simpson $7700 and 71-1– Padraig Harrington $7500 and 91-1
|Pat Perez||100-1||$6500||– Zac Blair $6700 and 100-1
– Ryo Isikawa $6700 and 110-1– Scott Stallings $6800 and 110-1
Horses for Courses
– These players have had a lot of success at this event over their career
o Charles Howell III has only missed two cuts here in his last 12 appearances at this course, he has 7 top tens and two runner-up finishes in that span.
o Jerry Kelly also only has two missed-cuts in his last 12 appearances here. He has five top tens in that span.
o Pat Perez has made 9 of his last 12 cuts at the Sony and finished inside the top 20 in each of his last three appearances here.
o Matt Kuchar hasn’t finished worse than 8th in his last four starts at this course, he also loves the venue.
It’s tight at the top this week and there’s a lot of solid names to chose from in the 9000-12000 price range. The good news is that it’s quite easy to fit these players in as there’s lots of good value choices to pick from this week. I’d definitely recommend trying to squeeze in some of the top names and think a stars and scrubs approach is a good way to about making rosters.
Top Performing Studs from recent weeks
o Jimmy Walker
o Kevin Kisner
o Kevin Na
Top Performing Value plays from recent weeks
o Peter Malnati
o Fabian Gomez
o Spencer Levin
My Pick: Danny Lee
Lee had an interesting start to the season last week, posting two amazingly solid rounds followed by a couple of up and down ones. Still, he’s everything you want statistically here as he was top 30 in putting and top 30 in both the par 4 scoring and birdie or better categories in 2015. I think this course sets up very well for him and won’t be shocked if he pulls home the second win of his career here.
My Sleeper: Daniel Summerhays
Summerhays ended last season quite well with a couple top twenty finishes in the fall series events and was an extremely solid player for fantasy in many stretches last season. On top of ranking 3rd on tour in strokes gained putting last season, Summerhays also ranked 18th in par 4 scoring and 23rd in par 4 birdies or better. He’s boosted some nice results at similar venues before and I think this week sets up well for him to land a big finish. At $7100 I expect low ownership.