The good fall swing that we had turned into a good start to the 2024 season, and we look to continue that trend this week at the Sony Open. The Sony Open has always been an interesting event simply due to the timing of the event, this is typically the first event for many golfers on the PGA Tour, and many of them will be (have) traveled to Hawaii after having 2+ months off of playing competitive golfer on the PGA Tour. This is what tends to led to more of a hit or miss nature when selecting golfers to be on whether that be for betting or DFS.
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Below you will see my breakdown this slate, calling out what data points we will be looking at to determine which golfers are the best plays this week and it will show why. The NineToFive Data is all curated data to specifically tell us and show us why a golfer is a good or bad play this week. I will be going through and putting my analysis to how the NineToFive Data views those plays and whether or not I agree with those plays. If you would like access to this great data, or the plethora of data that NineToFive offers click the join now button below and signup for just $10 a month.
*Based off of which key stats led to golfers winning but also making the cut in previous years at the course tournament. When no course history is available I will difficult to compare course history. I look for which one or two Strokes Gained stats matter the most. Look to see whether this is a wedge fest or a long iron event. (175-125 stats don't really matter in terms of predicting who will play well in a given week) Find out which scoring stat matters the most (BOB, B2B, or BA). Find if this is a course in which accuracy or distance matters the most.
Par 4 Scoring
Strokes Gained Putting
A good example of why this tournament can be so hit or miss is looking at the key stats for this week. Very rarely is Strokes Gained Putting a stat that we use when looking at golfers to be on, but over the past 6 years now golfers that putt well have been tended to make the cut more, and those are the golfers that one.
The course is a short Par 70 course, where the fairways are more difficult to hit, so it is no shock that Par 4 Scoring pops.
Going forward Course History for an event with go by H1, H2, H3, and H4. For most weeks that will simply be 2023, 2022, 2021, and 2020 course history. (Last 4 years is course history is when the data is the most significant)
Last 4 years.
SLATE CONFIDENCE RATING: Yellow/Green
I do feel like it is pretty easy to make a good lineup this week, but again early season, golfers not playing too much leads this week to be more hit or miss.
On Thurday the wind could play a factor, but after that the weather seems to not be playing a big factor this week.
First Round Leader
AM Tee Times
I will be targeting AM Tee Times that rank out top 7 for FRL betting using the NineToFive betting sheet until further notice (basically if weather tells us not to)
3 Ball Bets:
Available by clicking on either the Ownership Leverage, or Props page on NineToFive, then click on the 3 person Icon.
Picture 1 = Golfers that are the statical best Outright Bets. This is determined by looking at which data points were the most predictable in regards to players that won the past two seasons. These golfers meet at least 80% or more of the statical thresholds used to determine winners.
My outright bets will be:
Brendon Todd. Eric Cole, Corey Conners, Adam Svennson, Brian Harman, and Byeong Hun An.
Core Plays + Outright Bets
Core Plays are the golfers that I am prioritizing the most
We have 3 Core Plays on paper this week, and I think they also make for great outright bets. They are all coming in checking all the boxes, and they all played last week as well. I think having played last week, and not having to deal with the travel this week is huge.
Corey Conners has made 3 straight cuts at this event finishing top 12 or better in each start. We have two worries with Conners, his putting and he lack of recent upside. I'd argue those two will go hand in hand this week though. if he has a good week putting he could easily end up winning.
Brendon Todd has made 4 straight cuts at this event, and has been playing well making the cut in his past 10 starts. Most of his finishes have been great finishes considering the price that we are getting on him this week.
The last play is Adam Svensson, and I more surprised at this priced than I am that he is popping up this much. Svennson has finished 41st, and 7th at this tournament both results we would take at this price. He is coming in with the 6th best form in the field, and is ranking out top 20 or better in all the key metrics that we look at. To me he feels like an easy plug and play in DFS, and someone at his odds I am more than happy to bet on.
Players that I am still going out of my way to roster, but have a slight pause for whether that be course history, recent form, stat fit, safety, upside or price. (*This is based off of the the NineToFive Data Tag, which accurately marks a slight flaw in a great play thus why they would only be high exposure plays)
I would agree with all of these plays being High Exposure plays, but I do want to start with saying that after the Core Plays my priority would be Tyrrell Hatton, and Brian Harman to me those are the next to best options.
One of my favorite plays this week and outright bets is Byeong Hun An as he has two top 3 finishes over his past 4 starts. Add on the fact that he finished 12th here last year and he becomes very appealing.
Vince Whaley is a play I am a little shocked by, as I did not realize the good form he had to end his 2023 season. 6 straight made cuts with 3 out of the last 4 being top 20 or better finishes. Add on that he finished 17th here in 2022 and he is looking like a great value play this week.
Players that are still good plays but have more than one flaw to them as a play this week. This could be due to recent form, stat fit, course history, injury uncertainly or just due to the fact that their are better plays around their price tag.
This field is loaded with "good enough" plays which given the event that we have it does make since. Again I do think that Brian Harman and Hatton are two plays I feel we should be going out of our way to make.
Two plays that I do agree are mid exposure plays given their price and given the other plays around them is Russell Henley, and J.T. Poston. These are two golfers that are strong stat fits, and two golfers that you almost expect to be in content to play win on Sunday the issue is where they are priced sandwiched in between better options.
The few other plays I want to call out here are Akshay Bhatia, just because I do think he is someone we will be playing a lot this year as I fully expect him to have a heavy tournament schedule this year. I like the fact that he played last week as I think the same for Nick Taylor. Although Taylor had a terrible finish last week I think I am ok with it because his game fits this course so much better. He has finished 7th, 11th, and 32nd at this event.
Ryo Hisatsune is the last player I want to call out from this range, and this is because we hardly see him on the PGA Tour but the last few times that we have seen him he has played well. Most of his starts however are coming from the DP Tour where he has been playing well as well.
Risk/Reward Plays, Plays to get a made cut, Shoulder Shrug Plays, or Fomo Plays
We have a lot of golfers this week that are solid risky/reward plays this week considering their price.
The players that I like the most are Matt Fitzpatrick, Justin Rose, Adam Hadwin, Keegan Bradley, Nicky Hardy, and Ryan Palmer.
Player Pool Breakdown:
Player Pool is rank in order of how I am prioritizing a golfer as a play this week
CASH AND GPP PLAYS:
(Finalized on Tuesday Member Writeup)
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: Conners, Todd, Svennson, Harman, Taylor, Whaley, English, Jaeger, Hadwin, Putnam
GPP: Poston, Henley, Fitz, McCarthy
*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. (Finalized on Tuesday Member Writeup
In theory this sample lineup will be a "safe" lineup basically targeting all of the golfers that have a strong chance to make the cut, and all the golfers that are a little bit too cheap.
Taking a look at the players that are under-owned, and too high owned. Talking about why. \
*Tool Update Alert* New to 925s Ownership Leverage Tool - Return Value for Finishing Position: Measuring where a golfer needs to finish to return value based on their current ownership projection at their price point. (Comes out Tuesday Evening)
(Currently going through updates this fall)
The golfers that are coming in as being the most over owned are all plays I think we could pass up on. None of them are must plays.
In terms of the leverage plays I like them all, I will say I am very surprised at the ownerships for Cole, Jaeger, and Todd. All golfers that should be at least 3% higher owned. Same goes for Hatton who should be at least 22% owned.