2017 Sony Open in Hawaii Yahoo Fantasy Golf Picks

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Sony Open in Hawaii

Yahoo Expert Fantasy Golf Advice & Predictions

Previous Sony Open in Hawaii champions include:

  • Fabian Gomez (2016)
  • Jimmy Walker (2015)
  • Jimmy Walker (2014)
  • Russell Henley (2013)
  • Johnson Wagner (2012)
  • Mark Wilson (2011)
  • Ryan Palmer (2010)
  • Zach Johnson (2009)
  • K.J. Choi (2008)
  • Paul Goydos (2007)

Waialae Country Club near Honolulu, Hawaii, will host the Sony Open in Hawaii from January 12-15, 2017. Waialae Country Club is a par 70, 7,044 yard test.




2017 Sony Open in Hawaii
GolfStrat Fantasy Edge

    VS.    



YAHOO “GROUP A” PICKS

Player
Recent Finishes
Tourn. Hist.
Comments
(A1) Bill Haas (13) RSM Classic
(4) WGC HSBC Champions
(20) Safeway Open
(32) BMW Champ
MC 2010
(9) 2009



Done with my Tide/Tigers hangover. Bill enters this week’s event after a month layoff but before that he was a starting to play well. Nothing worse than 20th in his last 3 events with a top 5 at HSBC. It’s been a while since he’s played the Sony, but he does have a top 10 in two appearances dating back to 2009. He also has a respectable course fit rank at #38, so his scrambling prowess should come in handy with the small greens. Decent in the wind if it comes to that. In a weak Group A, he’s an obvious choice this week.
(A2) Gary Woodland (2) OHL Classic
(47) WGC HSBC Champions
(56) CIMB Classic
(10) TOUR Champ
(13) 2016
(3) 2015
MC 2011
MC 2009

Gary had a very nice run through the Fedex Cup playoffs and then started the fall season slow, though he did end it with a 2nd at the OHL in mid-November. It’s been a while but you have to like his upside with a 3rd and 13th place finish here the past two years and an expectation that he’s bringing his form this week. While his course fit is #105, course history matters more and with long knockers like Gary, it can often be misleading. The higher upside play is Haas/Woodland this week with a potentially more conservative play being Haas/Leishman since Leishman is a cut maker here. Wind ranking is solid here in case it blows.
(A3) Marc Leishman (24) OHL Classic
(5) CIMB Classic
(52) BMW Champ
(46) Deutsche Bank
(28) 2016
(37) 2015
(5) 2014
(9) 2013
(27) 2011
(20) 2010
Marc had a nice fall season and looks to continue that momentum in 2017. He’s our #7 horse for the course and typically makes the cut here, peaking at 5th place in 2014 but consistently in the top 40. We would expect a similar finish this week (top 25) but he’s only carded one PGA Tour victory in his many years on tour, so it’s unlikely he’ll pull out a victory this week. He’s not a natural course fit here but perhaps his Australian (it’s summer there) helps him start the year well.
(A4) Branden Grace (32) SBS Tourn of Champ
(20) Alfred Dunhill Champ
(19) DP World Tour Champ
(3) Nedbank Challenge
No Course
History



Branden Grace was the biggest disappointment last week, finishing last place in his first attempt that Tournament of Champions. Given his hot recent play, it was a big whiff on his part and kept an otherwise great DK lineup of ours from winning some larger money. He’s never played here as well, so we suggest that you avoid him for the better options above. He could likely rebound on a completely different course but it’s not worth the risk.
(A5) James Hahn (22) SBS Tourn of Champ
(15) Shriners Hospitals Open
(9) CIMB Classic
MC Safeway Open
(28) 2016
(26) 2015
(46) 2014
(67) 2013

Hahn entered last weeks tournament with a hot hand but cooled dramatically. He should probably make the cut this week with a small chance for a top 15. Better options are out there. Weak group A this week.
Other options include: (A6) Vaughn Taylor, (A7) Colt Knost, and (A8) Kyle Reifers.
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YAHOO “GROUP B” PICKS

Player
Recent Finishes
Tourn. Hist.
Comments
(B1) Justin Thomas (1) SBS Tourn of Champ
(23) WGC HSBC Champions
(1) CIMB Classic
(8) Safeway Open
MC 2016
(6) 2015



Now to Group B, where all the action is this week. Justin has the type of recent performance that makes you think of Jordan or Dustin. Two wins in his last three. He’s a bit of a wild card this week with recent play trumping a mixed history here and a mediocre fit. If he can continue driving and putting like he has recently, you can throw the rest of that stuff out and look for a top 10 here. 6th in 2015 shows what he can do when he overpowers a course and hopefully winning is becoming more common. All he had to do this week is hop islands. Solid starter this week.
(B2) Brandt Snedeker (14) SBS Tourn of Champ
(6) Hero World Challenge
MC Australian PGA
(45) RSM Classic
(2) 2016




Sneds is a bit of a wild card this week after some mediocre finishes through the fall season. His 6th at the Hero isn’t as good as it looks and 14th last week is just okay. He’s only a few shots from a top 10 or 5, so it’s not far off and his only shot at this course last year yielded a 2nd place finish. He’s our #1 course fit as his scrambling and putting skills are perfect here. We’ll hope a 2nd week of play in a row will contribute to a nice finish.
(B3) Jimmy Walker (9) SBS Tourn of Champ
(13) Hero World Challenge
MC Shriners Hospitals Open
(77) WGC HSBC Champions
(13) 2016
(1) 2015
(1) 2014
(26) 2013
MC 2012
(4) 2011
For a two-time champion, he’s a little farther down the list than you would think but his recent play (we’re encouraged by his start at the TOC) has lacked consistency. 13th at Hero is not good and 9th at TOC is good but not great considering the way he started. He’s the type who could win this week but also has the potential for a medicore finish. Pretty good course fit though. Group B is tough this week with Jordan and Matsu to consider as well. See below as we’re still weighing options for our bench.
(B4) Jordan Spieth (3) SBS Tourn of Champ
(6) Hero World Challenge
(17) TOUR Champ
(9) BMW Champ
MC 2014




Spieth came through for us last week in round 4 – we were patient given his hot play but propensity for doubles and triples in rounds 1-3 and it paid off with an 8-under final round. This is a course where Jordan should shine and perhaps you can explain away his MC in 2014 as that was just the beginning of his tour career. He’s an option that we may stash on our bench and pull out if he’s there on Sunday. We used him last week so we’ll have to be cautious with using him too much too soon this year.
(B5) Charles Howell III (13) RSM Classic
(7) OHL Classic
(15) Shriners Hospitals Open
(39) CIMB Classic
(13) 2016
(26) 2015
(8) 2014
(3) 2013
(2) 2012
MC 2011
Charles is a solid play if you want someone who is likely to make the cut and who should pull off a top 15. He’s come closer here numerous times and could be a nice Group B plug for the first three days if you’re waiting on a high flier who you don’t want to burn a start for unless they’re in position for bonus points. Course fit of #47 is pretty good for Charles and he’s playing well right now.
(B6) Hideki Matsuyama (2) SBS Tourn of Champ
(1) Hero World Challenge
(1) WGC HSBC Champions
(2) CIMB Classic
MC 2015
MC 2013
MC 2012
MC 2011

It’s hard to ignore a player who just finished 2nd, 1st, 1st, 2nd in his last four Tour events. It’s also hard to ignore four missed cuts here in the past though, like Jordan, he was a youngster and is now a man. Not surprising, his course fit is solid at #18 due to an arround game that is one of the best though he often struggles with his putter which is the only thing keeping him back from being #1. He’s similar to Jordan, a player to put on your bench and wait and see. We’re having trouble figuring out our top 4 given the Spieth/Matsu dynamics and not wanting to burn them unless absolutely necessary. We think Spieth is in while it’s Matsu vs. Walker/Sneds at this point.
(B7) Paul Casey (12) WGC HSBC Champions
(21) CIMB Classic
(3) Safeway Open
(4) TOUR Champ
(30) 2015




Casey has been rock solid since July, but he’s cooled slightly recently (if two top 20s are considered cooling off). He placed 30th last year in his first try here. We’d look for a top 20 given his good recent play and being more familiar with the course. It’s not the best fit for him but it should suffice. He’s higher in our power rankings than he is here in Group B, but we’re not sold he’s going to win this week.
Other options include: (B8) Justin Rose, (B9) Russell Knox, and (B10) William McGirt.
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YAHOO “GROUP C” PICKS

Player
Recent Finishes
Tourn. Hist.
Comments
(C1) Pat Perez (3) SBS Tourn of Champ
(1) OHL Classic
(7) Shriners Hospitals Open
(33) CIMB Classic
MDF 2016
(17) 2015
(8) 2014
(9) 2013
(46) 2012
MC 2011
Ever since returning from injury, Pat has been hot, ranking #3 in recent performance. We had him on our team last week though we didn’t start him – great final round took him to #3. He was only owned in 13% of DK lineups and he paid off there for us. Solid course fit with nice finishes from 2013-2015 here, so ride the streak and hope it continues.
(C2) Scott Piercy (4) OHL Classic
(24) Shriners Hospitals Open
(63) WGC HSBC Champions
(10) CIMB Classic
(13) 2016
(2) 2015
MC 2014
(15) 2013
(23) 2012
MC 2010
Piercy finished 2016 with a 4th place finish in Mexico and while he’s fairly volatile, he’s had success here in the past. Most recently, a 2nd place finish in 2015. It’s not a natural set up for him but he’s a decent play this week.
(C3) Daniel Berger (14) SBS Tourn of Champ
(2) WGC HSBC Champions
(51) CIMB Classic
(15) TOUR Champ
(42) 2016
(13) 2015



Berger cooled off last week and just couldn’t get things going. Above average stats all around which is why he’s still near the top of the power rankings but he’s a toss up with Piercy this week as to who to pair with Perez. Good in the wind which is a plus in Hawaii.
(C4) Ryan Palmer (4) BMW Champ
(24) Deutsche Bank
(13) The Barclays
(42) PGA Championship
(13) 2016
(17) 2015
(8) 2014
(66) 2013
MC 2012
(52) 2011
Palmer is another one who you could pair with Perez and not feel bad. He ended his 2016 with a nice finish at the BMW and has had success here with a victory in 2010 and some good finishes the past 3 years. We’re contemplating bumping him up to our 2nd spot but it’s been a while since he’s played. His twitter feed feels positive which is nice.
(C5) Keegan Bradley (15) OHL Classic
(7) Shriners Hospitals Open
(6) CIMB Classic
(22) Safeway Open
MC 2016
(50) 2013
(13) 2012
MC 2011

Fall season was very good but hasn’t had success here with nothing pointing to a breakout top 5. We’ll see but he’s outside our lineup this week.
Other options include: (C6) Soren Kjeldsen, (C7) Russell Henley, and (C8) Jason Dufner.

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