The Sony Open Fantasy Preview
After the appetizer that was the Tournament of Champions over the weekend, we make the jump over to Oahu to the famous Waialae Country Club. Its a narrow, tricky par 70 track with some of the hardest fairways to hit, yet the till yields plenty of birdies and eagles. They are played on true bermudagrass greens, that usually don't run very fast either. This is the first full field event with a cut this season, so we can all look forward to a nice cut sweat on Friday night. The new rule implemented by the PGA Tour this year that every player must play a new event they haven't over the past four years may have affected the turnout this week, but in a positive way. This is a very strong field with tons of value on Draftkings, so I would recommend a balanced approach to creating cash game lineups, you won't need to have Spieth or Hideki in your lineup to cash, but it certainly wouldn't hurt to have one of them.
Key Stats for Waialae Country Club
As usual with a par 70, I looked at par 4 scoring (P4S) and there is definitely a correlation to success here. The top 3 has been littered with good par 4 scorers that last few years, including the top 3 in 2014 who were all in the top 40. Justin Thomas didn't make the picks segment coming off of his win last week, but he has been carving up the par 4's lately, with the best P4S average of anyone in the field who's played more than one event in the last 3 months (via FG Metrics). Birdie or better percentage (BoB%) is another key stat this week to nobodies surprise, with a finishing score expected around 20 under. Rory Sabbatinni didn't make the picks segment, but is an intriguing GPP option that will have around 1% ownership, and has a lifetime BoB% at WCC of 25% (huge sample size with 11 appearances). Finally, Strokes gaines around the green (SGAG) stood out to me, and will be crucial on this narrow golf course.