The Daily Spin – DraftKings Daily Fantasy Golf Preview – Sony Open

Zachary Turcotte
By Zachary Turcotte January 9, 2019 00:42

The Daily Spin – DraftKings Daily Fantasy Golf Preview – Sony Open

My Xander streak continues after a masterful final round stole a win away from Gary Woodland, who had to have been beside himself after shooting a bogey free 68 on Sunday only to lose to a miraculous -11 from Xander. I went into the event thinking of some of the struggles I have seen Xander have in dealing with heavy winds which were certainly in play for the first three rounds, but he handled it well last week and put on an amazing display on Sunday. His play on the final two holes were just jaw dropping. The 17th hole at Kapalua is hardly what I would call a birdie hole at well over 500 yards and Xander got there in two and drained the birdie putt. On 18, very few players can even contemplate an eagle opportunity at well over 600 yards and Xander hit his approach shot about 275 yards to 11 feet from the pin and then was able to tap in for an easy birdie after just sliding his eagle attempt the the left of the cup. We have seen this Xander before and it honestly reminded me of some of the vintage performances that we have seen from Rory McIlroy over the years where when he gets hot, it is electrifying in all phases of his game. I can only imagine Gary Woodland’s disbelief after finishing his round. I am sure that he took some heart in the fact that he did not choke it away, but just happened to run into a buzz saw.

Unfortunately, for me, that meant that I was not going to win anything in GPP events as my exposure to Patrick Reed over Xander spelled doom for me by late Sunday afternoon. It is one of the reasons that I usually am not in big on these small field, no cut events. If you miss on the winner, it it means that you are going to be facing 20% 6/6 lineups that have the winner which is difficult to overcome even with plenty of Woodland exposure which was not going to help a lot when he was owned by over 30% of the field in all of the big contests. We had good exposure to many of the right players up top, but missing out on Xander hurt me personally although many of you mixed him in as a tertiary play so congrats to those who were smart enough to extend their play pool to get him into your player pools.

I am excited about the Sony Open this week in Honolulu as we ended up with a really strong field considering that this event can be a little hit and miss with the overall quality of players, but quite a few opted to stick around Hawaii after the TOC to play this week and a few more who were not involved made the trip to round it out which means that after waiting for many months, we have ourselves a strong, full field event with a cut. If you are working off of a game plan like I suggested, this is the type of event that you want to circle on your calendar each year as one to target, particularly if you are a cash game player.

The only issue that could pop up to shake things up would be if the winds were going to be out of hand as the course is right on the coast and much its natural defense comes from when the winds pick up. I have linked the forecast for Waialae here for you to consult over the next couple of days. For now, it does not appear that the winds are going to be terribly significant although they appear to be heaviest on Thursday morning. For roster builds this week, you need to make sure you are getting back into the habit of stacking tee times since it has been a while since it has been a consideration. The PM/AM wave looks like it will have an edge this week being lowest on Friday morning and not too significant on Thursday afternoon. This being a coastal course, that means that this could all change very quickly so be sure that you do not forget to stack a few lineups to the other side as a contrarian play if you are building a large number of lineups this week. Use a baseline of around 15-20% of your lineups towards the PM/AM wave and around 5% of your lineups as AM/PM teams and then make sure you check out the weather page again on Thursday morning before lineup lock so you can adjust as required if anything changes.

In looking at the course this week, Waialae is a short, Par 70 that is just over 7,000 yards long and one of the easiest stops on tour all season. Water only comes into play on a couple of holes and though the fairways are some of the narrowest on tour, the rough along the edges in not very penal meaning that we have had plenty of winners over the years who are not exactly known for their driving accuracy as the big hitters will club down setting this up as another course where mid range approach play and scoring ability will be big factors in determining the outcome. Both the fairways as well as the greens are Bermuda and the greens are smaller than average for the tour, with a fair amount of bunkers guarding them. Scoring is fairly easy for the course with the majority of the Par 4 holes playing in the mid 400 yard range with a few playing closer to 400 on the back nine. The two Par 5 holes are required scoring opportunities for players that want to contend as both are holes where many players can reach in two shots, especially the 9th. We’ve been seeing the winning score get to around -20 for the last 5-6 years so that should be a good starting point to shoot for this week as the winds do not look to be a big factor.

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Zachary Turcotte
By Zachary Turcotte January 9, 2019 00:42

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