Sony Open Fantasy Picks, Sleepers and Preview
Sony Open – Daily Fantasy Sports Preview
The first tournament in the year is in the bag and congratulations to Patrick Reed, who has become only the fourth player in the last 20 years to have achieved four wins by the age of 25 (the others being Tiger Woods, Rory Mclroy and Sergio Garcia). A good week for picks too, having picked the winner, three of the top four and five of the top ten in my eight.
This week we move onto the Sony Open, the course celebrating its 50th anniversary as a PGA tour host. Jimmy Walker defends this week, and will hope to go one better than last week, having been defeated by Reed in the playoff. Interestingly, in the 15 years since the Tournament of Champions moved to Hawaii, 10 Sony Open winners have played the previous week.
Here are my picks, sleepers and value plays at DraftKings
Jimmy Walker – Walker is an obvious choice this week. When choosing a player for a golf tournament ideally you want some current form as well as course form, and Walker ticks both of these boxes completely – being both the defending champion and going so close last week. Walker has moved to a career high world ranking of 17th this week and with his new found confidence in the last couple of years it would be a surprise if he doesn’t push on for the top 10.
Jason Day – Day finished third in Hawaii last week and will look to go a couple of places higher this week. The early Sportsbook lines see Day as the current favorite for the event – this due to the fact that he is amazingly solid, regularly making the top ten and knowing how to cross the winning line. Day is known to start the season well – in the last two years he has finished in the top ten 6 times out of 8 in January and February.
Chris Kirk – Kirk had an interesting week at the Tournament of Champions. He headed into the final round in last place and played without a partner – and took just 2 hours and 48 minutes to shoot a 62, which equaled the course record. This round might give him great confidence going into this week, a tournament where he has finished 2nd and 5th in the last two years.
Russell Henley– Having picked Henley last week, I see no reason why he shouldn’t offer value again this week. His last six tournaments have seen an amazing four top 5 finishes, including finishing tied 3rd last week. Of course having course form helps, and in 2013 he won this tournament solidly, with three 63’s on the way to a 3 shot victory. I expect we’ll be hearing about Henley a lot in 2015.
Charles Howell III – Howell III hasn’t perhaps fulfilled the promise that might have been expected of him when he first arrived on the scene, and you might say that his results show something of a ‘journeyman’ game, making the cut most weeks, but rarely competing at the top end. However, it’s at the Sony Open where some of his best form has come – with top ten finishes in both 2013 and 2014, and this persuaded me that he is worthy of a pick.
Pat Perez – Perez is another player who has a good record at the Sony Open – tied 8th and tied 9th in the last two years. This pick is something of a gamble, as his form is not particularly great, however his form wasn’t great going into the same event last year. He had disappointing final rounds in both of those Sony Open top ten finishes, so hopefully he will have learnt from those, and if in a similar position again can go lower.
Tony Finau (sleeper) – Finau graduated from the Web.com tour at the end of last season and made an immediate impact on the PGA tour with four top twenty finishes in his five outings so far – two of those being in the top ten. He began last year ranked 1218th in the world, but right now sits at 146th. Finau is famed for his long hitting – and will certainly make some headlines this year.
Jerry Kelly (sleeper) – Jerry Kelly is a player who was at his peak around ten years where he spent three years inside the world’s top 30 players. He has slowly drifted and two years ago had reached a low of 270th in the world. Since then however Kelly has been on the rise and now sits at 124th in the World – and a look at his form shows 13 straight made cuts with two top 5 finishes. Kelly finished 3rd here last year – so is a great value pick this week.
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