Last week was a predictable week, but because it was a no cut event that was also high scoring it make the event a very high variance week, which was also predictable. Overall I am satisficed with the player pool, and the model that we had for last week, and if that continues throughout the whole season we are going to have a great year. The issue with events like last week is that it is typically dependent on being most correct. A perfect example of that would be Cam Smith. I loved Sungjae Im, and Daniel Berger. Due to that I saw no reason to play a chalky Smith on the main slate. Both Berger and Im were the correct plays, but being on Smith would have been the more correct play. All three of them were however top 10 plays in the model.
I did find it very interesting though just how predictable last week was. Typically we see these first events back be much more higher variance in terms of the model accuracy. Typically we can be on the correct plays just not at the right ownerships. Well so far in 2022 that has not really been the case, the good plays have simply been the good plays. I think a good example of that is so far this year we have only had 2 winners that weren't rated top 12 in the model. Max Homa for the first event of the year. (Makes sense), and Lucas Herrbert which was a higher variance tournament. So basically I am really hoping that this trend continues because if it does we are going to have a great year.
This week we get the Sony Open which has been a week that has been pretty predictable in the past. Although Kevin Na got hot and won last year we were on many of the top finishers. This leads me to believe that we do have nailed down what we should be looking at.
One thing to note is that players that did play the week before in Hawaii tend to have a slight advantage. So that being said if you're deciding between two plays you can use that as a potential 50/50 decision maker.
The big issue with this week is that no one is really under priced at all, we aren't going to get a Core Play like Sungjae Im, or a High Exposure play like Seamus Power last week. We just have to play the prices that we get and focus more on lineup contraction rather than fitting in the "Free" squares.
Course Name: Waialae Country Club
Designer: Seth Raynor
Course Style: Seaside
Event Type: Full
- Effective Scoring
- Par 5 (Par 5 Scoring)
- BOB (Birdie or Better %)
- BS (Ball Striking)
Going forward Course History for an event with go by H1, H2, H3, and H4. For most weeks that will simply be 2021, 2020, 2019, and 2018 course history.
SLATE CONFIDENCE RATING: RED/YELLOW
Like I mentioned earlier it does seem like the whole "early season variance" might not be as much of a factor this year, so that is why I am giving this a slight week in how much I want to attack it. On top of that we have a lot of similar plays this week across multiple price point ranges. I think that the pricing is somewhat soft this week as well. Getting 6/6 this week should be difficult but getting 5/6 I think will be the norm for us.
This is typically a week in which basically anyone can win. Last year we were on Chris Kirk, Webb Simpson, and Joaquin Niemann who all ended up short not being able to beat out Kevin Na. In fact the 3 out of the last 4 winners were rated as good plays that week but none of them as players you wanted to go out of your for in DFS. The expectation was Matt Kuchar. Him winning was one of the predictable outcomes that season. That is my long way of sayin it might be best to bet top 10 finishers instead of outright.
As always these are the players that stand out with out with upside. Last year the betting card somewhat dominated in terms of "Cash Out" early opportunities. Basically players that won, had the lead heading into the back nine, or finished 2nd. This finished over 50% on the season. That being said you could have just used the players listed to bet top 5s, 10s, 20s, First Round Leader etc. To have had a profitable betting year.
Webb Simpson 12/1
Sungjae Im 16/1
Marc Leishman 16/1
Corey Conners 18/1
Billy Ho 45/1
Chris Kirk 70/1
Longshot: Mark Hubbard 130/1
HIGH TIER PLAYS: ($9,000 AND UP)
Webb Simpson - $10,500 - Core Play: Remember a few tournaments ago when we faded a chalky the ownership Webb Simpson because it felt like he was due for a missed cut? Well I think the days of worrying about Webb missing the cut in events that he is good at are over. That really seemed like one of those situation where he just needed to miss the cut to reset. This week Webb comes in with 3 straight finishes of 4th or better at this event. He also had an 8th place finish at his most recent event. In simple if Webb is even bringing half of his talents to this event he should make the cut. I think he could end up winning this event as well.
Sungjae Im - $10,300 - Core Play: Well Sungjae ended up doing excatly what we wanted him to last week which was get us a top 10 finish. I think he will do the same again this week for us. A good week for Sungjae will be making the cut and finishing top 20. Sungjae has made the cut here 4 straight years. He is the best stat fit in the field, and is in the 3rd best recent form out of anyone in the field. He should be a safe play with upside.
Marc Leishman - $10,000 - Core Play: I was on the fence as to whether or not Leishman should be a core play or a high exposure play, and I think that is mostly just due to the fact that he hasn't been this good of a play in a long time so his price point has not been this high (compared to the field) in a long time. Leishman has made the cut here each of the last 4 years, and has two top 5 finishes in that span. He is coming off of a top 10 finish last week and a top 20 finish in his event prior. Leishman is actually in the 4th best recent form out of anyone in the field, and is the 3rd overall rated play this week.
Corey Conners - $9,600 - Core Play: My biggest issue with each of the last 3 players I already listed is the fact that we can get Corey Conners at this price point. I think this is simply due to the other players having played last week. Conners has made the cut here in each of his last 3 starts going: 12th, 3rd, and 39th. Conners is one of the best ball strikers in the field, and he has been scoring really well thus far this season. Overall Conners is tied with Leishman as the third best pick.
MID TIER PLAYS: ($8,900 - $8,000)
Billy Horschel - $8,700 - High Exposure: This really feels like a spot in which Billy Ho could go out and win. If you look at the past winners they are all basically the same type of players as Billy Ho. Billy Ho finished 7th at this event last year and is sporting so solid recent form making 7 straight cuts in a row. The issue with Billy Ho is where he has been consistent he really hasn't had many elite finishes lately.
Maverick McNealy - $8,300 - Low Exposure: Going back to the theme of DK pricing this slate well McNealy is a great play but due to his lack of course history I worry about him slightly at this price point. I feel like he should be priced lower than CH3, Kirk, and Steele. Still McNealy has been playing extremely well lately ranking out as a top 15 stat fit, and ranking top 15 in recent form as well. You piece those together and it makes sense why he is a top 10 play in the model this week. McNealy does seem like he should have no problems making the cut.
Seamus Power - $8,100 - Low Exposure: Power is basically the same play for us this week except for the fact that I see him mostly as a GPP only play. This is due to bad course history where he has finished: MC, MC and 54th at this event. But he is coming off of a solid week last week, and a solid stretch of golf over the past 6 months. It would not be shocking at all to see Powers get another top 20 finish this week.
Charles Howell III - $8,000 - Mid Exposure: Typically speaking I hate looking at data past 4 years because it gets less significant after each year past 4 years. But CH3 would be the expectation to that in terms of course history. The guys has not missed a cut here throughout his career. Over the past 4 years he has finished 19th, 12th, 8th, and 32nd. Basically if we get his worst finish here in the last 4 years that would be great. CH3 is also playing better golf as of late making 3 straight cuts, and those made cuts have been ascending finishes. The worry with Howell is that he isn't a good stat fit thus far with how he has been playing this season and really over the past year. We are hoping that the strong course history will make up for that.
LOW TIER PLAYS: ($7,900 - $7,000)
Chris Kirk - $7,900 - Low Exposure: My worry with Kirk this week is that he has not been in that good of form prior to this event. He had been trending toward a missed cut for quite awhile. So much like with Webb that could actually be a good thing where maybe he just need a missed cut to naturally reset. Kirk has two missed cut here and top top 10 finishes. So the range of outcomes is pretty wide open.
Brendan Steele - $7,900 - Mid Exposure: I like Steele slightly more than I do Kirk simply because Steele has made 3 straight cuts in a row, and he does rank out as a top 25 stat fit. Steele has great course history here though finishing 4th, and 2nd over the past 2 years. Overall Steele ranks out as a top 10 play this week. He is a similar player to Webb, and CH3.. I see him making the cut his week.
Joel Dahmen - $7,600 - Mid Exposure: One of my issues with this week is that we can get a play like Dahmen at this price point. A guy that played last week, has 3 straight made cuts here with ascending finishes, and a guy that has made 7 straight cut in a row on tour. Really Dahmen is checking all the boxes for us this week ranking top 25 in RF, ST, and CH. So basically we have no reason not to play him at this price point.
Keith Mitchell - $7,600 - Low Exposure: Looking at Mitchell's course history is the exact reason why I like him as a play. He has made 3 out of 4 cuts here. With those 3 made cuts being top 25 finishes. That is a great ceiling at this price point. Mitchell also ranks top 50 or better in all the key stats that we are looking at this week. Mitchell also has recent form that has gotten better over the past 3 weeks. He is a good play at this price point.
Matt Kuchar - $7,500 - Low Exposure: Prior to his win here Kuchar had good course history, since he has 2 missed cuts. Last year was an extremely down year for Kuchar in his career so either he is too old to compete or he just had a down year. I think he just had a down year which would suggest that he would have a good week this week.
Denny McCarthy - $7,400 - Mid Exposure: McCarthy has not played this course in the last 4 years, and he is not a great stat fit. Bu what we do get from McCarthy is great recent form. In his last 3 starts he has finished 10th, 11th, and 15th. If he can strike the ball a little bit better this week he could easily keep up that solid recent form.
Adam Long - $7,300 - Low Exposure: If I like McCarthy I have to like Long for all of the same reasons. Long has finished 16th, 11th, and 22nd in his last three starts on tour. The bigger issue with Long is that he has missed two straight cuts here.
Aaron Rai - $7,700 - Low Exposure: Rai could end up being a sneaky play this week. Like McCarthy, and Long he too has some good recent form finishing top 20 in 3 straight events. The thing with Rai is that he is the 3rd best player on short tracks in this field. Now that sample is only based on two starts but that is still impressive. It would not be a shock to see him have an outside chance to win on Sunday.
Other Picks I like: Stuard, Kanaya, Kizzire, Cink, and Palmer
VALUE TIER PLAYS: ($6,900 - $6,000)
John Huh - $6,900 - Low Exposure: Another somewhat short course specialist is John Huh who in his past 5 starts on short courses has an average finish of 22nd. Huh has shown a little upside during the fall with a top 12, and a 15th place finish. His best track is a short seaside course.
Scott Piercy - $6,800 - Mid Exposure: Piercy is basically a value shoulder shrug play this week. He has made three straight cut on tour, although not elite this points to him having a better season this year than he did last year. He has made 3 out of 4 cuts here in the past as well. If he end up on Piercy as the last player in year build I am fine with him.
Kramer Hickok - $6,700 - Low Exposure: Hickok has missed two out of his last 3 cuts on tour with a 4th place finished mixed in there. He has made two out of three cuts here as well. He is a GPP only play.
Mark Hubbard - $6,600 - Mid Exposure: Hubbard is easily going to be my highest owned value play on this slate and this is due to the fact that he has made 8 straight cuts in a row. He also has been scoring on Par 5s ranking 14th on tour, and he ranks 48th in SGT2G. Hubbard finished 32nd here last year, and missed the cut the year prior to that. Overall I think we are getting a made cut out of Hubbard which is why I like him as a play at this price point.
Peter Malnati - $6,600 - Low Exposure: Malnati is a very solid value play this week. He has finished 14th, 12th, MC, and MC at this course. So his last two starts here have been top 15 finishes. Seaside Courses are his second past Course Style, and Short Courses are his course course length. 4 events ago at the Bermuda Championship Malnati finished 7th. So the upside is there with him.
Vince(nt) Whaley - $6,600 - Low Exposure: Now I do not like Whaley as much as I do Piercy or Hubbard, but Whaley is a solid value play as well. He missed his only start here. But he is in good recent form making the cut in his past 5 events. He ranks out as someone that should be in for a cut sweat which is really all you can ask for from a play at this price point.
Player Pool Breakdown:
Player Pool is rank in order
CASH AND GPP PLAYS:
Cash Play: Highest Likelihood to make the cut.
GPP Play: Reduced Likelihood to make the cut, but if they do they have a high likelihood to exceed their salary.
Cash: Im, Conners, Webb, Leishman, Billy Ho, CH3, Hubbard, Dahmen
GPP: Smith, Kirk, Mitchell, Rai, Malnati
*This is a sample lineup for you to use as a reference tool. This is typically the first look lineup that I get onto for the week. Most of the time my main lineup will be adjusted throughout the week as I do a deeper dive.
This week it will be extremely tough to fit 3 core plays or even 2 core plays and Billy Ho into a build. As a result I was forced to go with more of a balanced approach in this weeks build. Im and Conners give us a strong cut lowlihood and also top 10 chances. The rest of the build is filled with players that are expected to make the cut as well. This build looks like a lock for 4 out of 6 across the cut line.