After a wacky opening week filled with plenty of wind and false starts, it’s time for the PGA Tour’s first full-field event of the season at the Sony Open in Hawaii. The course is set up to reward shot-makers and again could be affected by serious wind conditions. You’ll want to stock your lineup with accurate, birdie-making hitters who capitalize on the par-5 opportunities. The par-70 Waialae Country Club outside of Honolulu is surely a beautiful location and hopefully your fantasy golf team can bring plenty of picturesque points to your entry.
Last week Dustin Johnson pulled out the delayed win with Steve Stricker closing for a second place finish and Brandt Snedeker finishing third. As expected our Fantasy CPR Group is again very competitive. My entry, Eagle’s Nest, and Hoochblues all had 214 points putting us in the top 4% of all entries headed into the second week of the season. Here’s who I’m rolling with at Waialae:
Charles Howell III- CH3 is third on the all-time money list for this event but has never won. He’s also never missed a cut in his 11 starts finishing six of them in the top 5. He finished tied for second last year and had a trio of top-15’s in his last three events in the Fall Series.
Tim Clark- Clark missed last year’s tournament due to injury but was co-runner up in 2011 and finished last season strong. Expect the sharpshooting South African to excel on this track that allows him to compensate for his lack of booming distance.
Dustin Johnson- Johnson could pull off the Hawaii sweep after dominating in Maui early this week. He’s played this event every other year with a pair of top 20’s in 2008 and 2010. DJ’s reputation of being able to play in less-than-ideal conditions is well-deserved and could again get him a trophy this coming Sunday.
Matt Kuchar- Kuchar didn’t play here last year but had a top 5 in 2011. He’s the kind of ball-striker that excels at Waialei and if his short game and putting is on could easily pull out the victory.
Carl Petersson- Petersson finished in the top ten in Maui and tied for second in this event last season. He finished last season with four top 20s in a row and will look to continue that success this year.
Keegan Bradley- Bradley finished tied for 13th last year at this event and is coming off a fourth place finish in Mauilast week. He can grind it out in the wind and led the Tour in all-around ranking last season. Expect Bradley to be near the lead on plenty of Sunday’s this season including this week.
Matt Every- Every finished last year’s Sony tied for sixth after holding the lead after the second and third rounds. He finished tied second at the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic in his last PGA start in November. Every set up for a nice season.
Harris English-English is coming off back-to-back top 20’s to wrap up the Fall Series and has four top 25’s in his last six PGA starts. Last season, he made 22 cuts in his 27 events including this one and added three top ten finishes. After turning pro in 2011, I expect the Georgia product to be one of the new names to get used to near the top of leaderboards all season long.