Golf Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

    Chris Durell

    Daily Fantasy PGA Picks and Betting Guide for DraftKings & FanDuel – Sony Open

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    The Course

    Waialae Country Club
    Par 70 - 7,044 Yards
    Greens - Bermuda

    **Click the image above to see a hole by hole breakdown from PGATour.com**

    Previous Five Winners

    • 2021 - Kevin Na(-21)
    • 2020 - Cameron Smith(-11)
    • 2019 - Matt Kuchar(-22)
    • 2018 - Patton Kizzire(-17)
    • 2017 - Justin Thomas(-27)

    The PGA Tour stays in Hawaii this week but jumps north to O'ahu Island for the Sony Open and the first full-field event of 2022. The field got a little weaker on Monday with Bryson DeChambeau dropping out with wrist soreness. With that, the field is led by last week's winner Cameron Smith who joined a shortlist of players who have won both Hawaii events(Furyk, Els, Singh, ZJ, JT) and also broke into the OWGR Top 10 for the first time in his young career.

    The host course, as it has been since the inaugural event back in 1971, is Waialae Country Club. It will be a much different test than last week in that we move from a Par 73 with wide fairways and some of the largest greens on Tour to a Par 70 with tight fairways that include several doglegs and average-sized greens. It's very much a positioning style golf course and for that I will rely heavily on Strokes Gained: Ball Striking in my model. The second stat I will be looking at in my model this week is Par 4 scoring which becomes a focus on a Par 70 with just two Par 5's. Looking at last year, it also had an extremely high correlation to success. Finally, the other main stat in my model is Birdie or Better % as the winning score has averaged right around -20 which even includes the very windy 2020 event in which Cameron Smith won. This year's forecast looks very similar to last week which saw winds in the 5-10 mph range for most of the event.

    Other stats I like are: Strokes Gained: Putting on Bermuda, Proximity from 125-150 and 150-175, Rough Proximity, and Sand Save %

    With all that said, let's get into the picks.

    Corey Conners
    World Golf Ranking (#38)
    Vegas Odds (25/1)
    Draftkings ($9,600)
    FanDuel ($11,000)

    Let's start north of the border with Canadian Corey Conners. I mean, if we are hunting ball-strikers there is no better place to start as the canuck leads this field in SG: Ball Striking going back to the start of last season. That ball-striking is also the formula behind his elite consistency as he comes in having made 27 of his last 29 cuts. Finally, he returns to Waialae CC with some excellent course history having made the cut all three trips with a T3 and T12 in his last two trips. I will have exposure to Conners in all formats in DFS and also in the betting market.

    Webb Simpson
    World Golf Ranking (#29)
    Vegas Odds (16/1)
    Draftkings ($10,500)
    FanDuel ($11,700)

    Webb is actually a couple of spots higher in my model on the sheet but falls to #2 in my PTS/$ ranking due to the price differential. Either way, he checks every box this week starting with his elite course history here at Waialae CC. Not only has he made the cut here all 12 times but he returns with Top 5 finishes in three straight and Top 15 finishes in six straight. Webb also finished the fall season in style with a T14 at the CJ Cup and a T8 at the RSM Classic where he gained a whopping 9.8 strokes on approach. Webb was made for courses like this and will be a core play for me in all formats.

    Joel Dahmen
    World Golf Ranking (#91)
    Vegas Odds (75/1)
    Draftkings ($7,600)
    FanDuel ($9,500)

    He is coming off a disappointing performance at the Tournament of Champions last week which is crazy to say about a player that shot 15 under par. I am not at all concerned as he checks almost every other box starting with course history here at the Sony Open. He missed the cut in his first trip back in 2018 but has improved each year with a T22 in 2019 and a T12 in 2020. Statistically, he ranks(in this field)15th in SG: Ball Striking, 19th in Good Drive %, 3rd in Rough Proximity, 21st in Par 4 Scoring, and 8th in Birdie or Better %. And to top it off, he is a +5 in odds to fantasy pricing differential this week making him my top PTS/$ value in all formats.

    Russell Henley
    World Golf Ranking (#56)
    Vegas Odds (35/1)
    Draftkings ($8,500)
    FanDuel ($10,300)

    The course history has been anything but consistent for Henley but he has won this event(2013) and is coming off a T11 last year. He has also been fairly consistent making 15 of his last 18 cuts with four Top 10's and 10 Top 25 finishes and while putting can be his Achilles heel, he ended the fall season gaining strokes(4.8 total) in both events. He also stands out in almost all my key stat categories ranking 5th in SG: Ball Striking, 15th in Good Drive % & Rough Proximity, 10th in Par 4 SCoring, and 15th in Birdie or Better %. Fire up Henley in all formats at these prices.

    K.H. Lee
    World Golf Ranking (#64)
    Vegas Odds (110/1)
    Draftkings ($7,000)
    FanDuel ($8,600)

    Ranked #13 in my model at just $7K on DraftKings/$8600 on FanDuel, Lee is easily a top value this week. The odds to pricing differential agree as he is +11 and +9 on Dk and FD respectively and then checks off every other box after that. He finished T19 here in his first trip last year and has good form finishing the fall season making four straight cuts(T33, T18, T25, T14) with three Top 25 finishes. He is likely chalk but will be in my cash core and my GPP exposure will depend on ownership projections comes Wednesday night. Stay tuned!


    image sources

    • Webb Simpson: (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)




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