The PGA Tour got the year off to a good start last week in sunny Hawaii where Zach Johnson continued his top form and rolled to a win in the Hyundai Tournament of Champions on Monday at Kapalua. This week, the tour stays in the 50th state as they head to Honolulu for the familiar ground of Waialae Country Club. A yearly tour stop for the Sony Open, Waialae has been a birdie fest in recent history especially last year where Champion Russell Henley cruised to a win with a -24 on the easiest par 70 on the Tour last season. For your fantasy team, you’ll want players who can go low in a hurry and have a good history on this course. You can find my picks below.
The Fansided and Friend group on Yahoo! (open invitation here) is our biggest in the years I’ve been covering fantasy golf with 42 members in what should be a ultra-competetive group. Last week, my Z-Shot entry had a great week with the top three finishers on my team as I piled up 227 points. It still wasn’t good enough for the win, though, since “NEPA Duffers” also had the top three and made the right call to play them in the right rounds six points better than I did. In this group, even to pull in a top 10 finish will require a good week, so come join in and show your stuff in what promises to be a fun group all year.
I wish I could guarantee that I’ll have the top three finishers this week too, but since it’s a full-field event and our first cut of the season, this week will have many more challenges. What I will guarantee is that Hawaii sure will look nice to those of us in the frozen parts of the US as we try to soak in some of the warmth from the success of our fantasy golf team. Here’s my picks for the 2014 Sony Open:
Charles Howell III- CH3 loves this event. He has seven top-5 finishes in his 12 career starts here and hasn’t missed a cut yet at Waialae. He’s also been in good form with a pair of top ten’s in the October PGA Tour events.
Matt Kuchar- I didn’t have to use a Kuchar start last week thanks to a solid week from Adam Scott and the fact that Kuchar faded a bit Saturday so I left him on my bench. He’s got a huge year ahead of him, so I’ll roster him but try and preserve starts in the early going.
Zach Johnson- Johnson was red hot to finish last season and started this season on the same foot with a win in the season opener. He has a win in his previous trips to the Sony but hasn’t played consistently great here. In his current form, though, he’s too good an option to leave off your roster.
Jason Dufner- Dufner comes off a top 5 last week and a great finish to last season. He’s in top form and has the shot-making ability to go low at Waialae in a hurry.
Jordan Spieth- Spieth finished 2nd last week and looks like he’s ready to follow up a big rookie season with a great 2nd season. I’m not going to start him since I may want to use him a lot later in the season, but if he’s in contention or one of my starters falter I’ll get him in my starting foursome.
Hideki Matsuyama- Matsuyama is one of the better golfers few people know about. He won four times internationally last year and had a solid season on tour after a missed cut at this event. The rest of his six PGA Tour starts resulted in a t21 or better, so I think he makes a nice sleeper picks here.
Tim Clark- Clark’s a big name for the C-list which is usually home to sleeper picks. He finished runner-up last year giving him two second place finishes in his career on this course. He also finished runner up in the McGladrey Classic earlier this season (in the new wraparound format). His lack of big-time length off the tee won’t hurt him on this course and he should be able to put some shots together for another solid week.
Harris English- English was the low-scorer of the C-listers at the Hyundai last week and has been in great form coming into the year. Last season, he finished t9 at Waialei with a scorching 62 in the third round to jump into top ten contention after opening with a pair of 69′s. Based on his history and form, I like English to have another solid week in Hawaii.