Josh Culp

DFS Dish

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DFS Dish: Sony Open

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Prepping for the first full(er) field of the year, the PGA TOUR heads to Oahu for this week's Sony Open in Hawaii. 

Let's have a look at that weather forecast and then look at some angles that might help us build our DFS lineups this week... 

Weather Update

Thursday (R1): Mostly sunny with a high of 80 degrees. Winds ENE at 10 MPH. Not many wind gusts. 

Friday (R2): Sunny with a high of 80 degrees. Winds NE at 5-to-10 MPH. Gusts staying calm. 

It was a windfest last week on Maui but this week looks to be rather calm for a coastal course. It's only a par 70 but these weather conditions should lead to plenty of scoring this week. No major wave advantage at the moment. 
The best part about season-long leagues is the draft. You don't get that same rush with normal DFS contests but there is hope still. DRAFT has come along to fill that void and I'm having a lot of fun playing in their weekly golf drafts. 

The first place to start is to build your pre-draft rankings for the week. I will point out a few golfers I think are overvalued in the raw rankings and a few that are undervalued in the raw rankings. 


Kevin Na (63.98 Projected Pts): He withdrew right before his opening round last week at the Sentry TOC. He cited a fractured bone in his right pinky and said he'd likely be out for a month. Fast forward a week and he was seen practicing his putting at Waialae CC. If you weren't tuned in last week then it'd be easy to overlook his risk here. He is still very likely to WD before the event or if he does play then he'll be at less than 100%. 

Johnson Wagner (63.70 Projected Pts): He's a past champ here (2012) but overall he is just 2-for-10 here at Waialae. Don't let the win suck you in here. He's playing with conditional status only so we know we will get his full attention but the downside to that is that he may also put more pressure on himself to perform in the limited starts he earns.  Not someone that is really on my radar this week. 


Sungjae Im (40.61 Projected Pts): It's good to have full fields back as it gives us value options like Im. The young rookie went 5-for-7 during the fall including a T15 back in Asia for the JT Cup (Japan Golf Tour). That event was the first week of December which is nice to see he won't arrive with too much rust. 

Dylan Frittelli (52.80 Projected Pts): Speaking of staying in competitive mode, Frittelli played three times in December, back home in Africa. He finished T5-MC-T12 in those three events. Now he'll turn his full attention to the PGA TOUR as he plays his first full season as a card-carrying member. The Texas Longhorn product is a 4-time winner internationally (2 Euro Tour, 2 Challenge Tour) and one of the best ball-strikers on the planet. He is long off the tee but also more accurate than TOUR average. He is also on the record for being quite comfortable on bermuda, "I play a lot of golf on Bermuda back home in America, and a few PGA Tour events, as well as a few mainland Europe events, but I felt at home."

Course Fit

A major talking point during post-round interviews here is the bermudagrass greens. Some golfers really feel comfortable on them. 

Looking at sample-adjusted performance on bermuda greens since the start of 2014, the top 15 performers on a per-round basis looks like this: 

Justin Thomas
Adam Scott
Jordan Spieth
Paul Casey
Marc Leishman
Gary Woodland
Hideki Matsuyama
Bryson DeChambeau
Matt Kuchar
Emiliano Grillo
Ian Poulter
Zach Johnson
Kevin Kisner
Jimmy Walker
Charles Howell III

Other than raw performance, we can also look at who shows the biggest improvement on bermuda (versus their baseline). Using that as the criteria, the following names pop:  


Sam Burns
Nicholas Lindheim
Colt Knost
Si Woo Kim
Rory Sabbatini
Bryson DeChambeau
Gary Woodland
Ryan Blaum
Brian Gay
Andrew Landry
Ian Poulter
Grayson Murray
Dominic Bozzelli
Jonas Blixt
Chris Kirk

 Looking for golfers that crack both lists we find Gary Woodland, Bryson DeChambeau, and Ian Poulter

Value Spotlight
Steve Stricker: The 51-year-old may be past his prime but Waialae CC is a course that will put him on an even playing field against all the big-hitting youngsters. There are a lot of holes that forces golfers to hit into the same landing areas, so distance can't be exploited. If you remove SG OTT from the equation then Stricker is averaging 2.7 strokes gained over the field over his last 20 ShotLink starts on TOUR. That is per event, not per round but still very impressive to be AVERAGING that many strokes over the field in just three categories. SG APP and SG ARG are the two areas I'm targeting this week and that's where Stricker shines. As for his experience at the course, Stricker is 13-for-14 here with eight top 15s to his name. We should keep our expectations to a reasonable level but six podium finishes in seven starts last year on the Champions circuit proves that he still belongs on the main stage. 

Best of luck in all your contests this week! 

Josh Culp joined Rotoworld in 2014. The DFS enthusiast from Iowa State can be found on Twitter @futureoffantasy.
Email :Josh Culp

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