The PGA Tour stays in Hawai after last week’s Hyundai Tournament of Champions and heads to Waialae Country Club for the Sony Open. The Sony Open is a solid tournament that draws a good field each year and this year is no different. It’s not fair to people in the frozen north to show all the Hawaii shots in HD that the Golf Channel will be milking this week, but it’ll make for some beautiful and highly competitive golf.
Congratulations to “Boss of the Moss” who dominated the FantasyCPR group (which you can join) with 221 points thanks to Steve Stricker and Jonathan Byrd who tore it up for him this week. I finished above average in overall percentage but well back in the pack in the 55th percentile. Steve Stricker is so clutch late in the season that I try to save Stricker starts (limited to 10 in the yahoo game), but he tears it up in Hawaii too and not having him was a risk that came back to bite me this last week… This week I won’t be taking the same risk. Here’s how I’m pickin:
Steve Stricker: I hate taking the front-runner since you can’t gain on the field this way, but Stricker’s been so good in the 50th state and so hot lately that I can’t afford not to start him this week.
Keegan Bradley: Bradley had the best round of the day on Sunday and will look to carry over his momentum to Waialae where he had a dreaded MDF last year in his rookie season. He’s a hot player right now, and he could be there at the end come Sunday. I can be a little risky with this pick since Stricker’s so reliable.
Mark Wilson: the B group is thin this week, but having the defending champ who obviously knows his way around the course is a good thing.
Steve Marino: Marino is still looking for win #1 on the PGA Tour, but has been a consistent birdie-maker the past few years. He finished T2 last year and T7 in 2009, and while past performance is no guarantee of future results it bodes well for his chances at a course that plays to his strengths.
Harrison Frazar: Frazar played well last week. He’s from my native Texas, and has a very cool story. I’ll be cheering for him as a cool story and as one of my picks in group B.
Chris Kirk: Kirk had a quiet T7 last week (albeit in a small field), and did play this event last year where he made the cut and finished T30. This is a little bit of a hunch play, but Kirk is a solid pro who is looking to step it up this year on tour.
Jonathan Byrd: Byrd played well week (T3) and since this group has lots of unknowns I’ll go with a “safe” pick this week with Byrd who has played this event many times before and offers some pretty solid upside.
Jerry Kelly: Kelly isn’t a up-and-coming rookie to be sure, but he can be a solid group C pick with a bunch of unknowns in this category this early in the season. Kelly had a top 10 finish here last year and has made the cut every year since 2006 except when he had to withdraw. His highest finish here is a T3 but he’s a reliable pick in a danger-filled group.
Early in the season I try to go with what I know until the contenders from the lower groups prove themselves over a few tournaments and we can get a little bit more of a track record on them. It’s the first full-field tournament and the first cut of the year, so it’s very important to get your players past that cut line so you don’t end up with 0′s on the weekend. We should have a good feel in the next couple weeks for who’s bringing their A-game this year and who needs some extra time at the range. Look every week for our fantasy golf picks and come on over and tee off in our group as well. Have a great rest of the week and weekend and enjoy all the Hawaiian golf action this weekend!