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When $12,000 Isn’t Enough … The Justin Thomas Story: Sony Open PGA DFS Breakdown

Waialae CC is playing host to the Sony Open once again this year. It is a Par 70 that plays about 7,000 yards. Last year, I broke down the course from a statistical perspective and yesterday I unveiled proximity predictions for Waialae as our new preview format. 

Buy Or Sell

The big question is whether or not Justin Thomas ($12,000) can pay off his salary this week. It feels like people are forgetting just how good Thomas has been over the last few years because of a “lackluster” 2019. Since the start of 2017, he’s made 72 starts. Over that span, he’s made 63 cuts and has 10 worldwide wins. You have questions about his recent form? Well, he won last week and is in the top five of every major strokes gained category excluding putting over the last 50 rounds. He’s a buy if you can figure out the value to make him work in your lineup. Below you’ll find Thomas’ splits on courses under 7,100 yards. JT is course-proof and is in consideration every single week.

Hideki Matsuyama ($10,500) isn’t getting a ton of buzz at the moment. He’s No. 22 in the world and some would say hasn’t been the same guy we saw a few years ago. It’s also fair to say that it’s almost impossible to keep up the streak of golf that he played a few years ago. He’s in the -1.5 to -1 group of the Power Ranking this week. Golfers in that group have finished in the top 10 over 15% of the time. Whether or not he’s hoisted enough trophies lately is up for debate. Matsuyama’s ball striking though? Not up for debate. He has only lost strokes on approach during three events since August of 2018. We love the consistency that typically comes with that level of iron play. Matsuyama is a buy and it appears he’ll go under-owned as of the time of this writing.

Mid-Range Matchup

Corey Conners ($8,900) and Marc Leishman ($9,200) are just $300 apart on the salary scale. They both have positive splits on courses shorter than $7,100 yards, per our Splits App. Both Conners and Leishman have the potential to be popular, as well. Luckily, the Power Ranking model can help us parse out tight matchups like this. Leishman holds the edge in that department with a score of -0.54 to Conners’s -0.28. Historically, golfers in Leishman’s group have finished in the top 20 over 20% of the time compared to Conners’ group which hits that threshold at just a 15% rate. 

Make sure to check out the Bogey Free podcast for the Mid-Range Matchup between J.T. Poston ($8,100) and Sebastian Munoz ($7,900). 

Cheap GPP Darts

Harry Higgs ($6,700) is an interesting name that’s caught my eye this week. He finished second in Bermuda and is coming in on the back of three straight made cuts. His Power Ranking Score is -1.32 which puts him in pretty elite company this week. Higgs is fifth in the Power Ranking Model. Golfers with a similar score to Higgs have finished in the top 20 nearly 30% of the time. That would be a ceiling outcome, to be sure. But it’s certainly a result you’d take from a golfer at his price point. 

Cash Locks

A reminder that the cash locks are guys we’re willing to go all-in on. They will definitely be in cash/single entry teams and often weeks they will approach 100% exposure on our GPP teams. The results so far are in the screenshot below.

This week’s cash locks are:

  • Sungjae Im ($9,600)
  • Chez Reavie ($8,400)

Sony Open - Model Results and Ownership Projections

NameDK$Power RankingOwnership
Justin Thomas12000-1.6828.0
Webb Simpson11100-1.9416.0
Patrick Reed10800-1.113.0
Hideki Matsuyama10500-1.088.0
Collin Morikawa10300-1.3418.0
Matt Kuchar9900-0.5916.0
Sungjae Im9600-1.2115.0
Joaquin Niemann9400-0.9721.0
Marc Leishman9200-0.5416.0
Charles Howell III9100-0.5718.0
Abraham Ancer9000-0.6211.0
Corey Conners8900-0.2813.0
Alex Noren8800-0.533.0
Kevin Kisner8700-0.2813.0
Brandt Snedeker8600-0.8211.0
Cameron Smith8500-0.3911.0
Chez Reavie8400-0.9316.0
Brendon Todd8300-1.68.0
Brian Harman8200-1.1313.0
J.T. Poston8100-0.7923.0
Andrew Putnam8000-0.579.0
Sebastian Munoz7900-1.2417.0
Brian Stuard7900-0.9115.0
Russell Knox7800-0.7811.0
Aaron Wise7800-0.643.0
Carlos Ortiz7700-1.158.0
Dylan Frittelli7700-1.115.0
Emiliano Grillo7600-0.4313.0
Rory Sabbatini7600-1.0112.0
Ryan Palmer7500-0.3413.0
Lanto Griffin7500-0.7412.0
Vaughn Taylor7400-1.219.0
Zach Johnson7400-0.516.0
Pat Perez7400-0.816.0
Daniel Berger7300-0.538.0
Shugo Imahira73000.626.0
Brian Gay7200-0.734.0
Keegan Bradley72000.475.0
Matt Jones7200-0.772.0
Scott Piercy7100-0.529.0
Joel Dahmen7100-0.574.0
Russell Henley71000.022.0
Kyle Stanley7000-0.518.0
Ryan Armour7000-0.716.0
Bud Cauley6900-0.94.0
Fabian Gomez690012.0
Sung Kang69000.371.0
Brice Garnett6900-0.931.0
Patton Kizzire69000.411.0
Graeme McDowell6800-0.3511.0
Adam Long6800-0.564.0
Nate Lashley6800-0.324.0
Talor Gooch6800-0.163.0
Tyler Duncan6800-0.493.0
Jimmy Walker68000.22.0
Kevin Tway68000.183.0
Keith Mitchell68000.111.0
Charley Hoffman67000.436.0
Xinjun Zhang6700-0.664.0
Chris Kirk67000.122.0
Harry Higgs6700-1.323.0
D.J. Trahan6700-1.031.0
Zac Blair6700-0.041.0
Henrik Norlander6700-0.471.0
Nick Taylor6700-0.91.0
Doc Redman6600-0.818.0
Hudson Swafford66000.541.0
Luke List66000.451.0
Robby Shelton6600-0.011.0
Sam Burns6600-0.131.0
Robert Streb6600-0.431.0
David Hearn6600-0.471.0
Kyoung-Hoon Lee66000.390.0
Mark Hubbard6500-0.875.0
Troy Merritt6500-0.51.0
Sam Ryder6500-0.081.0
Adam Schenk6500-0.231.0
Jason Dufner6500-0.030.0
Kramer Hickok65000.060.0
Scott Brown65000.140.0
Aaron Baddeley6500-0.50.0
Scott Harrington6400-0.292.0
Matthew NeSmith6400-0.661.0
Brendan Steele64000.090.0
J.J. Spaun64000.850.0
Chesson Hadley64000.030.0
Cameron Davis64000.630.0
Hank Lebioda6400-0.040.0
Cameron Percy6400-0.630.0
James Hahn6300-0.032.0
Matt Every6300-0.292.0
Andrew Landry6300-0.161.0
Mackenzie Hughes63000.251.0
Michael Thompson63000.340.0
Patrick Rodgers63000.30.0
Doug Ghim6300-0.230.0
Chase Seiffert6300-0.170.0
Peter Malnati63000.150.0
Tom Hoge6300-0.290.0
Jim Herman62000.692.0
Jerry Kelly62000.441.0
Jamie Lovemark62000.781.0
Kristoffer Ventura62000.751.0
Sepp Straka6200-0.381.3
Bo Hoag6200-0.320.5
Tyler McCumber62000.080.5
Roger Sloan6200-0.170.5
Satoshi Kodaira62001.80.5
Brandon Hagy62001.010.5
Anirban Lahiri62000.450.5
Ben Martin61000.811.0
Graham DeLaet61000.191.0
Rafael Campos6100-0.161.0
Ryan Brehm61000.081.0
Rikuya Hoshino61001.120.5
Will Gordon61000.470.5
Mikumu Horikawa61003.510.5
Ryuko Tokimatsu61001.060.5
Ben Taylor61000.590.5
Ted Potter Jr.610010.5
Rob Oppenheim61000.240.5
Rhein Gibson61000.030.5
Joseph Bramlett61000.080.2
Kazuki Higa600010.2
Tyler Ota600010.2
Alex Beach60005.610.2
Michael Gellerman60001.650.2
Tim Wilkinson60000.020.2
Bo Van Pelt60002.070.2
Martin Trainer60002.240.2
Vijay Singh60000.880.2
Parker McLachlin60001.270.2
Colt Knost60001.180.2
Smylie Kaufman60005.320.2
Michael Gligic60000.810.2
Eric Dugas60001.650.2
Chris Baker60000.550.2
Image Credit: David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Justin Thomas.

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