The Sony Open in Hawaii golf tournament is set for Jan. 10-13 at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu, Hawaii. That means it’s time to pick your optimal FanPicks fantasy golf lineup. Fortunately, our fantasy golf experts are ready to help.
Here’s what our best Sony Open 2019 lineup looks like (with top golfers, and sleepers):
Clemson’s dominant win this week gives us the courage to go slightly off the board with our top pick. Okay, we admit that going with last week’s runner-up doesn’t exactly put us in Siberia relative to the board, nor does Woodland’s record at Waialae, where over the last four years he’s gone T3, T13, T6, T7. Since his T6 at the PGA, the guy has done everything but win: two runner-ups and five other top-12 finishes. Look for him to hoist a comically oversized cardboard check one of these weeks.
Maybe not the lead horse at Waialae, but he’s in the paddock. The 2009 Sony winner has tacked on top-15 finishes in four of the last five years. ZJ is coming off a tough season, but this is the perfect spot for a confidence boost. Of note, he parted company in December with his caddie of 15 years, adding to the fresh start theme as 2019 dawns.
For the last couple of years, Kooch decided that a January trip to Honolulu just wasn’t worth it, and we have to wonder why: From 2011-16, his scoring average at Waialae was 66.85. That’ll play. He wasn’t a factor at the Sentry TOC last week, but he did win at Mayakoba in November and could get an early leg up in the FedExCup race.
Like ZJ, Harman is looking for a return to form after a lackluster 2018. Nothing in his recent offerings provides much hope, but his record at Waialae offers plenty: four-for-four in top 20s since 2015 with a scoring average of 66.88. Opened 63-64 here last year on his way to a T4.
His appearances are getting rarer, but when he shows up, he usually cashes a check — he’s 19-for-23 in that department over the last two years. Stricker’s strictly a gut-level play this week; he hasn’t played since August. But you well know that he’s more than capable of an out-of-nowhere top 10.
This week’s IPO has been rising sun levels of hot on the Japanese and Asian circuits the last two years: two wins and 26 other top-10 finishes, with 17 top 20s in his last 20 tournaments of 2018. We’ll see if it translates, but he’s worth a flyer at this price.