Loading scores...
Playing the Tips

Our Picks: Sony Open

by Mike Glasscott
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET



Welcome to Playing the Tips!


Each week this will be the one-stop resource to soak in all the picks from our group of fantasy staffers from Rotoworld.com. We’ll have all of our selections from the GolfChannel.com, Yahoo! Fantasy Golf, my weekly selection for One-and-Done players plus DFS love from Josh Culp and European Tour insight from Dave Tindall.



GolfChannel.com Fantasy Golf









2015 Earnings: $746,000

2015 Rank: 13,195



Week one of 2015 in the books and I couldn’t crack a million bucks in a field of 34. Kuchar opened great and never fired after and T17 with him feels like MC. So much for playing it “safe”. Fortune favors the bold, eh? Kirk’s five-under as well, like Kuchar, to open made the 76-73 middle rounds even more painful. The closing 62 was nice but T33 or T14 doesn’t help much of anything. Henley in Group 3 and Bae in Group 4 did everything you could ask besides winning as they were the best two from each. Day in Group 1 and Reed in Group 2 would have gotten you a piece of first place. It’s nice and cool down here in the basement…




Group 1: Jimmy Walker

Group 2: Russell Henley

Group 3: Charles Howell III

Group 4: Jeff Overton


ANALYSIS:  I’m riding the BOUNCE BACK theory on Walker this week after he couldn’t close a three shot lead on the back nine on Monday. Henley goes right back out as his game across the board last week was nothing but solid and he holds the tournament record here. CH3 has finished in the top 10 five times in the last six years. I don’t care if he’s playing with one hand. Overton is my wild card but after the top 10 in each of the last two years I’ll take my chances on a guy who has had success here instead of an up-and-comer.




Rob Bolton




2015 Earnings: $988,324

2015 Rank: 8,964



Group 1: Zach Johnson

Group 2: Brendon Todd

Group 3: Scott Piercy

Group 4: Fabian Gomez




ANALYSIS: Rob is riding a couple of top 10ers from last week in Groups 1 and 2. Piercy and Gomez both played very solid golf in the fall but the nod goes to Piercy in experience at Waialae. We match zero players!




Ryan O’ Sullivan




2015 Earnings: $1,411,000

2015 Rank: 5,036


Group 1: Jimmy Walker

Group 2: Tim Clark

Group 3: Charles Howell III

Group 4: Spencer Levin


ANALYSIS: O crushed me last week as he had Reed, the winner, in group 2. I bow down. This week we match Nos. 1 and 3 and so we’ll battle with Henley-Clark and Levin-Overton. That should be pay-per-view…




Ned Brown





2015 Earnings: $696,334

2015 Rank: 14,693



Group 1: Jimmy Walker

Group 2: Russell Henley

Group 3: Charles Howell III

Group 4: Jeff Overton



ANALYSIS: Well, that’s interesting. We matched one in a field of 34 last week. This week, in a full field, we match all four. Gulp.





Abu Dhabi




Group 1: Rory McIlroy

Group 2: George Coetzee

Group 3: Andy Sullivan

Group 4: Anders Hansen





Group 1: Rory McIlroy

Group 2: Charl Schwartzel

Group 3: Tyrrell Hatton

Group 4: Richard Bland





Group 1: Rory McIlroy

Group 2: Victor Dubuisson

Group 3: Emiliano Grillo

Group 4: Lucas Bjerregaard




Group 1: Rory McIlroy

Group 2: Thorbjorn Olesen

Group 3: Nicolas Colsaerts

Group 4: David Drysdale



Yahoo! Fantasy Golf



Ned Brown is a long-time contributor for Rotoworld Golf.  He’s had documented success in Yahoo!’s game for years.  Even if you’re confident in your selections for that game, give his insight a read. He’ll lead us off each week in the Yahoo! game.


“Pure Spin”


WINTER Segment Points: 222

WINTER Segment Rank: 4,320




Group A


Luke Donald: Just like last week Group A is pretty thin this week. I'm using Donald this week because he looked pretty good at the Nedbank (T3) and he has played well in the past here with a T2 in '07.


Ryan Palmer: I think this spot is a real toss-up between Harris English and Ryan Palmer. I giving Palmer the nod because he was playing well in the FedEx Cup Playoffs and that carried over into the three European Tour events he played. He has two top 10s in his last five starts at the Sony, including a championship in '10 and a T8 last year.




Harris English, Webb Simpson



Group B


Jimmy Walker: The Texan did everything but win at the TOC and he is the defending champion at the Sony. A letdown is a possibility, but he looked so good last week that I would be surprised if it happens.


Charles Howell III: The Sony Open has been an ATM for CHIII. He has eight top 10s in 13 career starts and in his last six starts here he has five top 10s (fourth in '09, T5 in '10, T2 in '12, T3 in '13 and T8 last year.)


Chris Kirk: I was looking at the leaderboard on Sunday evening and wondering how Kirk was bringing up the rear of the field. All he did on Sunday was rack up a round of 11-under-par 62 and moved into a tie for 14th place. His recent record at the Sony has been very good with a T5 in '13 and a second place last year.


Jason Day: He also exploded for a final round of 11-under-par 62 on Monday. Normally, I might try to go with another player and try to save a start on Day, but he will be so heavily picked this week that I going with him as almost a defensive play.




Zach Johnson, Marc Leishman, Hideki Matsuyama



Group C


Russell Henley: He was playing well at the end of last year and that carried over last week at the TOC, where Henley tied for third place. He only has two starts at the Sony, but one of those was a championship in '13.


Sang-Moon Bae: It seems like 75% of the field in Group B this week. I'm going to use Sang-Moon Bae. He looked very good in his sixth place finish at the TOC and can go all out this week because he has to go back this month to South Korea to appeal his draft into the military service.




Brendon Todd, Tim Clark, Kevin Na, Brendon de Jonge



Ryan O’Sullivan (O)


The Golf Aficionado”


WINTER Segment Points: 195

WINTER Segment Rank: 18,708




Group A:


Ryan Palmer

Webb Simpson



Group B:


Zach Johnson

Marc Leishman

Chris Kirk

Jimmy Walker



Group C:


Russell Henley

Tim Clark




Rob Bolton




WINTER Segment Points: 203

WINTER Segment Rank: 14,127



Group A:


Luke Donald

Ryan Palmer



Group B:


Chris Kirk

Charles Howell III

Zach Johnson

Jimmy Walker



Group C:


Russell Henley

Boo Weekley








WINTER Segment Points: 187

WINTER Segment Rank: 23,284


Well, that was fun. Nothing like having a pair of 62s on the bench to close out the week but hey, that’s Yahoo! I guessed wrong. I lose. My job in Yahoo! is to get you the best players in each group. Your job is to out-guess everyone else on when the players will or will not perform. I didn’t sub Watson in Group A or Reed in Group C. Jimmy Walker didn’t make my final cut as I went with Kirk, Day, Kuchar and Matsuyama. Kuchar being the weak link in ANY fantasy game is shocking and that’s what happened. Sigh.



Group A:


Ryan Palmer

Webb Simpson



Group B:


Jimmy Walker

Jason Day

Chris Kirk

Charles Howell III



Group C:


Russell Henley

Tim Clark




Group A, like last week, is quite thin but at least it is interesting. I could totally see sneaking in Donald (form player) or English (course horse). Since Donald has gone back to Coach Goss he’s improved every week. Group B is an embarrassment of riches so good luck. I’ve entered CH3 because he just doesn’t fire rounds over par on this course and that scores in Yahoo! Group C will also cause separation this week unlike last week where everyone had the same pair. Molinari or Stuard provides a nice outlier if you, like me, have given up after one week. Just kidding. I think.




Daily Fantasy Sports [DFS]


Josh Culp is our resident DFS guru. Every week, he’ll publish his lineup and alternatives for DraftKings.com.


Josh provides his DFS picks for this week's Sony Open. Come take him on in the two-dollar Chip Shot contest where the winner walks away $2,000 richer.


Take on Josh now by clicking this link!



DraftKings Picks



Matt Kuchar ($12,600) ... Anytime you can get Kuchar as the third-highest salary option you have to pull the trigger. He is as safe as it comes as far as making cuts go. His overall course history look okay at first glance, but he's figured out Waialae as of late, with top 10s in each of his last three trips.


Charles Howell III ($9,100) ... Speaking of course history, CH3 is the man for the job. He's a perfect 13-for-13 at this venue with four podium finishes. He may be the highest owned golfer this week, but he's hard to fade unless you are going ultra-contrarian.


Marc Leishman ($9,000) ... Noted for his great performance in the wind, Waialae CC is right in his wheelhouse. In five previous starts at the venue, he hasn't escaped with anything worse than a T27. He's signed for red numbers in 15-of-20 career rounds here. Lock him in and don't look back.


Chris Stroud ($7,300) ... He hasn't cracked the top 10 at this venue in five tries but short, par-70 tracks are exactly where we want to target Stroud. This isn't a slam dunk of a pick, but this is all about getting in before the iron is hot.


Brian Stuard ($9,000) ... The price is a little high for a golfer who hasn't reached the winner's circle, but this is one of the venues where that maiden win is certainly possible. With 9-of-12 rounds played at 68 or better, look for Stuard to make a serious charge this week.


Stuart Appleby ($4,800) ... He's past his prime but short courses like Waialae CC are still right up his alley. He is 10-for-13 at the venue with top 25s in six of those. Those stats would be worthy of a look at $8,800, so he is almost in must-play territory for $4,000 cheaper.




Others to Consider



Alternate for Appleby: K.J. Choi ($5,900) ... The stats all lined up perfectly for him prior to my remembrance of his 2008 victory. As a past champion who still has some gas in his tank, you should feel safe firing him up as a salary-saving option.


Alternate for Stuard: Tim Clark ($9,300) ... A hefty price for the South African plodder. That is exactly what this course demands, and his pair of runner-up finishes here proves that. If you don't trust a non-winner like Stuard, then Clark provides a great alternative.


Alternate for Howell III: Webb Simpson ($8,900) ... Howell III had a relatively disappointing fall, so fading him on his favorite course is not completely loco. Targeting a known winner that can eat up par 70 courses like Simpson can is the perfect option if you decide to go against the grain this week.




2015 Fantasy Race to Dubai


Dave Tindall is our newest contributor, but he’s been a fixture in Europe. In addition to his weekly previews of European Tour events on Mondays, he’ll share his selections and analysis for the Fantasy Race to Dubai at EuropeanTour.com.





Pick 10 golfers. Players accumulate points based on Race to Dubai (R2D) points earned. Star player’s points are doubled. Unlimited team changes and unlimited star player changes are available each week.


Team Tindall


Rory McIlroy

Justin Rose

Jamie Donaldson

Danny Willett

Thorbjorn Olesen

Rafael Cabrera-Bello

Pablo Larrazabal

Romain Wattel

Tyrrell Hatton

Lucas Bjerregaard


Star Player: Rory McIlroy


There will be times when Rory isn’t in for double points (I can’t think of any of those times right now) but three second places in this event, a love of desert golf and an ability to fly out of the traps after a break make him a no-brainer this week.



The Rest


Ryder Cup stars Donaldson and Rose pick themselves having finished 1-2 in this event two years ago while Olesen almost qualified for star player status given his surge in form at the end of 2014 and hot record in the Middle East.


The heat makes the Spaniards feel at home so defending champ Larrazabal and Cabrera-Bello (a previous winner in Dubai) get the nod.


Willett is the form-horse (win and a fourth on his last two starts).


Consistent Wattel may well be a fixture in this 10-player format while Hatton’s debut 10th last year and strong desert form gets him in.


Bjerregaard might do anything but it's fun to roll the dice on this emerging talent.


The obvious omission is Stenson. North of 95% will pick him but his recent course form (three MCs and no top 20s in last six appearances) says he’s a legitimate swerve.


As a non-European Tour member, Fowler isn’t eligible for a pick. Shame that.





Each week I painfully writhe and wretch trying to figure out the proper strategy to find a player that will hit the top 10. Wins are great but aren’t likely so I’m satisfied with having a CHANCE to hit the big money. Missed cuts are absolutely the death in this game but even the surest of things don’t always happen in the reality world of fantasy golf. Remember, fade or follow, it’s up to you! I’m going to leave my 2013-14 results up for a few weeks so if you have any questions “mapping” your season, you can learn from my plays from last year.

Those who don’t recall history are condemned to repeat it.



2014-15 Glass OAD


Frys.com: Brooks Koepka. Let’s get this started off on the right foot. Koepka, playing without any status last year, led on Sunday by three shots at the turn. He finished T3 and learned a valuable lesson. His recent form has been scintillating as he has four top 15s in his last four worldwide starts, including the PGA at Valhalla (T15). He was T9 last week at the Dunhill. Koepka, T8, did what was expected and racked up a top 10 for $168,000.


Shriners Open: It came down to Moore, Watney and Piercy for the OAD place this week. Laird was also in the conversation but I’m going with the best putter of the group mentioned above and there’s not a place that Moore HAS TO BE USED later. Sure, he beat Gary Woodland in a playoff last year at CIMB but I don’t use defending champions. #WeakSauce. He shares the tournament record has three top 10s in his last four. More Moore please! ANY SINGLE ONE OF THOSE THREE OTHER THAN MOORE would have been just fine. Moore has wiped me twice in eight events. The good news is I don’t even have to CONSIDER his presence again until October of 2015.


McGladrey Classic: This is the CLASSIC HEDGE MOVE for gamers. I’m going with Kuchar above but Simpson down here to cover my ASSet. Look, save Simpson for Greenbrier, Sedgefield or TPC Boston, but I’m going with a guy who is hot NOW and will find someone else later. HOW COULD THIS GO WRONG, RYAN MOORE??? Nothing like a T41 to back up a MC; $19,600.


CIMB Classic: I’m loading up on Charl Schwartzel since I can’t play him on the Sunshine TOUR at the Dunhill or Joburg. His course form is overwhelming and in a limited field with limited views of this track, his experience and successes here are huge. He’ll probably WD. He couldn’t catch up after his opening round 74; T19, $94,500.


WGC-HSBC Champions: I’ll go with the guy who holds the course record, the 2011 title plus two other top eight finishes in four starts, Martin Kaymer. Did I mention he made 29 birdies here last year? Ok, good. If I was a casual golf fan and just picked up the newspaper on Monday morning to see that Kaymer finished T6 I would have been thrilled…$216,337


Sanderson Farms: It came down to Tony Finau or Hudson Swafford and I went with the Georgia ‘Dawg. Both are hot so I’ll go with the local-er of the two and the better ball-striker. I should be required to take the “Silly Season” off. BOTH missed the cut. I’m ready for 2015…


OHL Classic: Can I just pass? Since I couldn’t pull the trigger on Jason Bohn in the Golf Channel game, I’ll hedge him here with Stroud and Sabbatini right behind him. WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG? I need a vacation. I was gun-shy but the hedge paid off with T7 and $196,275


HTOC: This is a good news/bad news event. The good news is that there are only 34 players and this is a track that requires previous experience. The bad news is if the guy you pick doesn’t finish in the top five it’s a complete waste of time. For the conservative/saver this is THE ONLY WEEK TO PICK Ogilvy since he’s won here twice. For the throw-caution-to-the-wind player, Kuchar, Day or Watson should lead the line. I’ll find myself right in the middle with Chris Kirk. WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG? Kirk needed to tie the course record on Monday to hit six figures. Yeah, that’s all I needed to pocket $110,000, 11 birdies and 62. Day pulled the same trick but he finished T3.


Sony Open: I’m going with the man who has eight top 10s in 13 career starts, Charles Howell III. He’s hit the top five in five of the last six years and I’m not going to find that anywhere else on TOUR. #EasyChoice.






SEASON TOTAL: $804,712; 8 events






Top 10s: 3

Top 25s: 5

MC: 2, Ryan Moore (Shriners), Hudson Swafford (SFC)

Thermometer: So much for a bright start to 2015. It’s better than DFL which is what Kirk was when he began the final round!




Coming Wednesday


And the analysis doesn't end here. Rotoworld's Rob Bolton and I will be co-hosting a live chat Wednesday at NOON ET. We will be breaking down the field at the Sony Open and answering your questions. Simply return to the golf home page to join in on the chatter.


Mike Glasscott
Fantasy Golf columnist Mike Glasscott joined Rotoworld in 2012. He can be contacted via email at RotoworldGlass@gmail.com or on Twitter.