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PGA DFS Picks: Sony Open Leverage Leaders I DraftKings & FanDuel

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Fantasy Golf: FREE PGA DFS picks for DraftKings + FanDuel lineups based on Awesemo's expert projections, grades + values for the Houston Open

For the second straight week, the PGA TOUR will be in Hawaii to host a golf tournament. This time around they head to Waialae Country Club (par 70, 7,044 yards) in Honolulu for the 2021 Sony Open. This is the only course to ever host this PGA event, and after a small field with no cut last week, we get back to standard daily fantasy golf on DraftKings and FanDuel this week for the first time in 2021. One hundred forty-two golfers have made the trip to Honolulu, and there will be a normal top 65 and ties cut taking place after the second round. We’re going to be taking a look at the top PGA Optimizer picks

Below are some of my favorite PGA optimizer picks of the week for both DraftKings and FanDuel based on Awesemo’s Top Golfers Tool. This tool was designed by Alex “Awesemo” Baker to provide leverage scores for each golfer in the field, based on their ownership, salary and the player’s chances of finishing inside the top six or winning the tournament.


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PGA Optimizer Picks: Sony Open Leverage Leaders

Erik van Rooyen

Awesemo Leverage Scores: DraftKings: 4.5%, FanDuel: 5.1%

This will be van Rooyen’s Sony Open debut, but the South African’s game sets up well for Waialae Country Club. Disregarding his withdrawal at the Masters, the 30-year-old has made six cuts in a row worldwide. He didn’t finish worse than 27th during this stretch, and in his last 24 rounds, van Rooyen ranks ninth in strokes gained tee to green, seventh in greens in regulation and eighth in ball striking.

With Waialae being a par 70, we need to put a heavy weight on par-4 scoring when choosing our players this week, and over his last 50 rounds, van Rooyen ranks 13th in strokes gained on par 4’s. Plus, he has made four consecutive cuts on par 70s, finishing inside the top 25 in three of those events. When we put all of these golfers’ last 36 rounds on par 70s side by side, van Rooyen ranks eighth in total strokes gained. Most likely due to his withdrawal from the Masters, van Rooyen is expected to carry sub-5% ownership on both DraftKings and FanDuel while presenting an appealing 8.2% chance of finishing inside the top six. Combine these two factors and van Rooyen is the highest-rated leverage play for both DraftKings and FanDuel this week via the Awesemo’s Top Golfer Tool.

Kyle Stanley

Awesemo Leverage Scores: DraftKings: 1.6%, FanDuel 2.1%

Stanley just posted a sixth at the RSM Classic in November and is currently on a three-made-cut streak. During that sixth at the Sea Island Golf Club, he was on fire with his irons, leading the field in strokes gained on approach. He gained a whopping 8.1 strokes when approaching the green, which was the most of the week by a wide margin. Second in the stat was Corey Conners with 5.7.

Stanley failed to make the weekend at last year’s Sony Open, but that was the first time Stanley has ever missed a cut at Waialae in eight appearances. From 2016 to 2019, the 33-year-old teed it up here every season and produced an average finish of 20.3 over the four-year span.


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Brian Stuard

Awesemo Leverage Scores: DraftKings: 2.9%, FanDuel: 2.9%

Stuard is two for his last three in made cuts, and the Sony Open is arguably his favorite PGA stop on the annual calendar. For his career, he is 7-for-8 at this seaside venue, with a notable four top-eights on his resume. Furthermore, the 33-year-old ranks fifth in total strokes gained at Waialae Country Club when we compare all of these golfer’s histories at the Sony Open.

The PGA veteran presents positive career splits on Bermuda greens, and if we focus on par 70s that sport this type of grass, Stuard has made seven cuts in a row. While many DFS players may not believe so considering his extremely low projected ownerships on FanDuel and DraftKings, Stuard is a relatively safe bet to get through the cut this week.

J.T. Poston

Awesemo Leverage Scores: DraftKings: 2.6%, FanDuel: 3.0%

This is an excellent time to buy low on Poston. He missed back-to-back cuts to close out 2020 but had made it to the weekend in eight of his previous 10 starts. Even though he failed to make the cut, Poston’s game found some life at his last event. At the RSM Classic, he posted a high 83.3% greens-in-regulation rate and positively gained strokes tee to green, on approach and off the tee, but he was dragged down by an ugly showing with his flat stick (1.5 strokes lost putting).

Before this outing, the 27-year-old had gained strokes with his putter in seven of his previous 10 events, and he should bounce back on the Bermuda greens at Waialae. This is easily his top putting surface as he ranks fifth in total strokes gained when we analyze this entire field’s past 50 rounds on Bermuda grass. Lastly, Poston’s first career win at the PGA level came at the Sedge Field Country Club in 2019, which is also a par 70 that is home to Bermuda greens. He is 2-for-3 at Waialae, and Poston’s upside is getting vastly overlooked this week. Per Awesemo’s projections, his GPP ownership levels are expected to be under 3% on both DraftKings and FanDuel.


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