PGA DFS: Sony Open in Hawaii

With the NFL DFS season coming to a close, it’s about time we turn our attention to the PGA season that is just starting. For those of you unfamiliar with DraftKings PGA Scoring, follow the link for an in-depth primer on the rules. The basic synopsis is simple though, per hole scoring is as follows:

 

Per Hole Scoring Points
Double Eagle +20 Points
Eagle +8 Points
Birdie +3 Points
Par +.5 Points
Bogey -.5 Points
Double Bogey -1 Point
Worse than Double Bogey -1 Point

The per hole scoring is the easy part to follow. After that, players get bonuses for a Top-50 or better finish. Come in 50th place, get a point. Win the tournament, and it’s worth 30 bonus points. You’ll also get bonuses for a Streak of 3+ Birdies (+3 Points), Bogey Free Round (+3 Points), All 4 Rounds Under 70 Strokes (+5 Points), and Hole in One (+10 Points).

Sony Open in Hawaii

Now that you know the rules, let’s take a look at the upcoming tournament. After a 30 man field of 2016 tour winners in Kapalua, we’re back to our full complement of golfers in Waialae for the Sony Open. That means that there are 141 players to choose from this week. There are obviously no “positions” in golf, so the possibilities while mixing and matching players in a way that can come in under the cap are almost endless. Many players have taken some time off over the winter so there isn’t a ton of 2017 data points, but long term skills and stats are more useful in golf than in other sports.

The Clear Studs ($9k+)

As we look through the players that are $9k and above, there are no real pricing mismatches when compared to their Vegas odds. The two guys I’m considering paying up for are Jordan Spieth ($11,500) and Justin Thomas ($10,500). Spieth is always in consideration because he has a legitimate shot to win each week. Vegas has him at 7-1 to win, and 8/5 to come in the top 10. Thomas is in a similar boat with even better odds to Top 10 this week. The rest of the top salaried players are all fine plays as well. Their odds to win and odds to finish in the Top 10 all match up with their salaries on DK.

When you look at Hideki Matsuyama’s ($11,000) last few starts, it’s hard to pick holes in his recent finishes. He has a string of 6 Top-2 finishes worldwide but, with the exception of last week, they haven’t always come against the strongest fields. If I’m paying over $10k, it’s Thomas or Spieth.

The Mid-Range Guys ($7k-$9k)

Smack in the middle of this range is Pat Perez ($8,000). He comes in at the 20th highest salary but has the 9th best chance to win and to Top 10 according to Vegas odds. He’s played well in Waialae in the past with 3 Top-20 finishes since 2013. Perez will be my starting point for many of my lineups.

Charles Howell III ($7,800) has a good blend of course success and good form coming into the week. He has had 3 Top-15 or better finishes since 2013 at this tournament. William McGirt ($7,900) played well last week (T9) and has had success in Waialae. He hits fairways and greens as good as almost anyone. If his putter gets going, look for McGirt towards the top of the leaderboard on Sunday afternoon.

Deep Values (Sub-$7k)

Cameron Smith ($6,800) is the most exciting player in this range. Despite coming in at such a low salary, he has 8-1 odds to Top 10 in this event. Smith has made all 5 of his last cuts with an impressive 3 Top-10 finishes.

It seems like this could be the week of the $6,800 golfer. With Webb Simpson, Cody Gribble, and Patrick Rodgers all slated at 8-to-1 or better to Top-10 this weekend. Smith, Simpson, Gribble, and Rodgers are in the 65 or lower salaries on DK this weekend. However, they each have odds that should put them in the 40 most expensive salaries. If you’re going for a stars and scrubs type lineup, mixing and matching these golfers could prove to be a useful strategy.

 

Sony Open in Hawaii Picks (Sub-$9K)

 

Name Salary
Pat Perez $8,000
Charles Howell III $7,800
William McGirt $7,900
Cameron Smith $6,800
Webb Simpson $6,800
Cody Gribble $6,800
Patrick Rodgers $6,800