15 DFS Golf Picks for the Sony Open in Hawaii

Written by Jeremy Campbell
January 7, 2020

Daily Fantasy Golf Tips

I enjoy betting on and watching exclusive PGA Tour tournaments such as last week's Sentry Tournament of Champions, but it's refreshing to have a full field back in play this week for the Sony Open in Hawaii. The players will be competing for $6.7M in prize money in the 2nd tournament in 2020, with the winner taking home the $1.34M top prize and also receiving 500 valuable FedEx Cup points.

This week we will see 144 golfers competing, where the standard 60 top players plus ties will get to play rounds three and four on Saturday and Sunday. Recent winners at this tournament include Matt Kuchar in 2019, Patton Kizzire in 2018, Justin Thomas in 2017, Fabian Gomez in 2016, and Jimmy Walker won in both 2015 and 2014.

The Waialae Country Club in Honolulu will once again host the Sony Open in Hawaii event for the 55th straight year - it's a 7,044-yard track, is a par 70, and the greens are of the Bermuda grass variety. The winning score is typically around -20 - so much like last week's birdie-party, we can expect to see lots more this week as the tournament moves from Maui to Honolulu. Some of the key stats to work into your decision-making this week are Strokes Gained: Approach, Greens in Regulation (GIR) Gained, Birdies or Better Gained, and Strokes Gained: Par 4s.

Let's get to the information you really came for, my picks for this week - my top 10 players to pay up for are included and 5 value picks (all 15 players are in no particular order), plus I include player salaries for both DraftKings and FanDuel.

10 Players Who Are Worth the High Price Tag This Week

Joaquin Niemann (Salary: DraftKings - $10,800, FanDuel - $10,800) - Niemann was the leader at last week's Sentry Tournament of Champions after round 1 and ultimately settled for a 5th, not bad for a tourney rookie. Niemann won the first event of the season, and I think there's a decent chance that he wins again at some point this season. He has no course experience to draw on this week, but he didn't last week either and played very strongly, so ride the hot hand!

Justin Thomas (Salary: DraftKings - $12,000, FanDuel - $12,300) - What else can you say about JT except that he's a super-elite player for many reasons, and he again showed us why last week when he won in the three-player sudden-death playoff against Reed and Schauffele. He has already won twice this season and I would expect another two more wins coming before the campaign is over later this year.

Webb Simpson (Salary: DraftKings - $11,100, FanDuel - $11,500) - Simpson has gone 7th-2nd-10th in the only three events he has played in this season, and I expect another top 10 this week. From 2016-2018 he has a 4th and two 13ths at this tournament, so you can invest in him with confidence as per usual this week.

Hideki Matsuyama (Salary: DraftKings - $10,500, FanDuel - $11,300) - Matsuyama is on a heater right now with a runner up, a 3rd, and an 11th in his last three tournaments played and had a 16th prior to that. He was 27th in 2017 and 51st here last year, but I suspect we will be seeing him better those finishes this week.

Sungjae Im (Salary: DraftKings - $9,600, FanDuel - $10,700) - Im keeps playing great golf with 17 straight cuts made (excluding majors), was 3-1-1 at the Presidents Cup, and has a 2nd and a 3rd this season in 6 events with all of them being top 49's. In his rookie debut last year he finished 16th, and I'm betting on an even better result come Sunday.

Matt Kuchar (Salary: DraftKings - $9,900, FanDuel - $11,100) - Last year's champion plays so well on this course with many top 10's to his name, and he has three 14ths over his past three tournaments played. Kuch is comfortable and confident on this track and should fare well in his title defense this week but don't expect a repeat.

Charles Howell III (Salary: DraftKings - $9,100, FanDuel - $10,700) - Has made the cut here 18 years in a row and has ten top 10's during that stretch, wow! He missed the cut in his last start but otherwise is having a solid campaign with 4 top '20s over his previous 6 starts. Expect a fantastic bounce-back week this week from CH3.

Marc Leishman (Salary: DraftKings - $9,200, FanDuel - $10,600) - Leishman consistently scores well at Waialae and was 3rd here last year so that's evidence of that fact. He has only missed one cut this season, had a runner up finish on the European Tour and a 3rd at the Safeway Open in September.

Corey Conners (Salary: DraftKings - $8,900, FanDuel - $10,500) - The supreme ball-striker is the best at finding greens on the PGA Tour, and has 5 straight top 20's. Conners shared 3rd place with Leishman last year and had a 39th in 2018.

Collin Morikawa (Salary: DraftKings - $10,300, FanDuel - $10,900) - Is 5 for 5 this season, and over his past four events, his results just keep getting better and better - going 42nd, 36th, 22nd, and 7th last week. The rookie might look like a veteran on this course this week, and is a serious threat to win.

5 Solid Value Picks ($7,500 or less on DraftKings)

Lanto Griffin (Salary: DraftKings - $7,500, FanDuel - $9,300) - Lanto has played a ton this season - 9 events in all and just one missed cut. He was on a top 18 streak for six straight tournaments, and he was 13th last week so he might be ready to go on another run again. He earned a 58th here in 2018 and I expect him to at least cut that result in half this week.

Ryan Armour (Salary: DraftKings - $7,000, FanDuel - $8,700) - Armour started the season off with three straight missed cuts, but since then he has picked up the slack going 23rd-8th-33rd-23rd over his past four events. He has a 22nd and a 39th over the past two years, so to see him finish in the '20s again this week is a good possibility.

Scott Piercy (Salary: DraftKings - $7,100, FanDuel - $8,900) - Over the past four years at this tournament Piercy has finished 33rd, 25th, 57th, and 13th - so his game fits with this track. He finished 26th last week in what was his 2nd best finish of the season, his best since the 19-20 season opener at The Greenbrier where he finished 19th.

Brian Gay (Salary: DraftKings - $7,200, FanDuel - $8,900) - Before Gay's missed cut back in late November, he had six straight made cuts and was in the top 23 in four of those events. Gay has a 22nd and a 13th over the past three years at this tournament.

Adam Long (Salary: DraftKings - $6,800, FanDuel - $8,500) - How much longer can this guy's cut streak made last for? He's 8 for 8 this season and his worst finish to date is a 51st. Long was runner up at the Mayakoba Golf Classic under two months ago and will be hungry to rectify his missed cut here last year. 

Fine-tune your lineups until they look like winners, and all the best with placing high in your contests this week!

Recapping my 15 pick's finishes from last week's Sentry Tournament of Champions

My High-Priced Picks

  • Jon Rahm - 10th
  • Justin Thomas - 1st
  • Xander Schauffele - T2nd
  • Dustin Johnson - T7th
  • Patrick Reed - T2nd
  • Patrick Cantlay - 4th
  • Gary Woodland - T7th
  • Brendon Todd - 29th
  • Rickie Fowler - T5th
  • Paul Casey - T19th

My Value Picks

  • Lanto Griffin - 13th
  • Sung Kang - T25th
  • Adam Long - T23rd
  • Ryan Palmer - T17th
  • Corey Conners - T19th

Jeremy Campbell

Jeremy has been playing fantasy sports for over 20 successful years, and actively plays golf, hockey, baseball, and table tennis. He has over three years of fantasy sports writing experience - including writing a daily fantasy sports strategies and tools eBook in 2016. He is an active member of DraftKings - specializing in NHL and PGA contests over the past 5 years. He enjoys spending time with his family, traveling to hot places in the frigid Canadian Winters, binge-watching on Netflix, and starting and managing digital businesses.