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PGA DFS: Sony Open Course Preview and Trends

We had an exciting Sunday finish with Xander Schauffele chasing down Gary Woodland on the strength of a course record-tying 62 to snatch the trophy (and quite a few dollars from my outright on Woodland, but that’s neither here nor there). The tour turns its attention to Waialae Country Club this week for the second event of 2019. Waialae CC is a Par 70 course that plays just over 7,000 yards. It’s another course that’s very gettable. In 2018, it played as the 39th easiest out of 51 courses. In fact, just one of the course’s 18 holes ended the year inside the top 100 most difficult holes on Tour.


Golfer Year Winning Score DraftKings Points
Patton Kizzire 2018 -17 122
Justin Thomas 2017 -27 148.5
Fabian Gomez 2016 -20 129
Jimmy Walker 2015 -23 132.5
Jimmy Walker 2014 -17 120.5


This is a bit of a tricky week from a stat perspective when it comes to numbers off the tee. Because this is an average length Par 70 course, it can be attacked in several different ways. Dating back to 1990, there have been 101 golfers to score over 100 DK points at this course. Just over 60 percent of that group finished the week in the top 25 of driving distance, while just under 44 percent hit that threshold in driving accuracy. From a macro perspective, though, the correlation between driving distance and total DK points just isn’t there. When chasing upside, bombers may have the advantage despite the fact that most people won’t be targeting bombers exclusively. Tee viz

Rank in 2018 Driving Distance Driving Accuracy SG: OTT
1 Trey Mullinax ($6,500) Ryan Armour ($7,200) Gary Woodland ($10,800)
2 Keith Mitchell ($6,900) Chez Reavie ($7,600) Bubba Watson ($8,400)
3 Kevin Tway ($7,500) Brian Gay ($7,300) Keith Mitchell ($6,900)
4 Grayson Murray ($6,200) Kyle Stanley ($8,700) Bryson DeChambeau ($11,100)
5 Justin Thomas ($11,400) Emiliano Grillo ($9,200) Cameron Champ ($9,900)
6 Gary Woodland ($10,800) Brian Stuard ($7,100) Trey Mullinax ($6,500)
7 Cameron Champ ($9,900) Ben Silverman ($6,800) Abraham Ancer ($8,800)
8 Bubba Watson ($8,400) Keegan Bradley ($7,700) Kyle Stanley ($8,700)
9 Adam Schenk ($6,600) Satoshi Kodaira ($7,000) Sam Saunders ($6,800)
10 Cameron Davis ($6,800) Russell Henley ($8,000) Dylan Fritelli ($7,500)


A hot putter can mask a lot of woes, but even the hottest putter can’t get around not having birdie putts. That’s where approach game comes into play. Golfers that make the trip to Waialae average right around 65 percent of greens in regulation. Golfers that finish in the top 20 of DK scoring average over 70 percent of greens in regulation. Five percentage points might not seem like a lot, but across 72 holes it means four extra birdie opportunities. The most greens hit in regulation in my database at this course was back in 1998 when John Huston hit 65 of 72 (90.2 percent). green box

Rank in 2018 Greens in Regulation SG: APP
1 Adam Scott ($8,300) Keegan Bradley ($7,700)
2 Gary Woodland ($10,800) Justin Thomas ($11,400)
3 Andrew Putnam ($7,400) Adam Scott ($8,300)
4 JJ Henry ($6,300) Stewart Cink ($7,300)
5 Bryson DeChambeau ($11,100) Bryson DeChambeau ($11,100)
6 Charles Howell III ($8,900) Hideki Matsuyama ($9,300)
7 Russell Knox ($8,100) Scott Piercy ($7,600)
8 Kyle Stanley ($8,700) Paul Casey ($7,600)
9 Keith Mitchell ($6,900) Sam Ryder ($7,200)
10 Stewart Cink ($7,300) Joel Dahmen ($7,200)


Key Stats

  • Greens in Regulation
  • SG: OTT
  • Good Drives
  • SG: Putting (Bermudagrass)

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