Recap Sony Open

Sony Open Full Event Recap: Was It A Profitable Week? Na, Not Really.

Na Na Na Na, Na Na Na Na, Hey Hey Hey, goodbye to full-fading Course History, Recent Approach form, and Non-Short Game stats on Bermuda.

Kevin Na rode a 61-65 weekend to take down the Sony Open with a final score of -21, besting the Steele/Niemann final pairing and late surges from Chris Kirk, Webb Simpson, and Marc Leishman. Na got it done in typical Kevin Na fashion, hitting fairways and walking in putts. Here’s a look back at what we got right and wrong, and some final takeaways as we look ahead to The American Express next week.

Betting Card Recap


  • Russell Henley (+4000): -17 (T11)
  • Brendon Todd (+5500): -11 (T41)
  • Talor Gooch (+9000): -3 (MC)
  • Tom Hoge (+11000): -3 (MC)
  • Brian Stuard (+25000): -10 (T47)

Just finished putting all the polos back up in my closet. I really was all-in on Russell Henley in this tournament, and in hindsight, should’ve just shortened the card to leave more room for live bets because I was so confident it was going to be him that won. Henley was a Top-4 favorite to win come Sunday, but delivered a very vanilla -2 Sunday round, Parring his first 13 holes and getting lapped by all others around him on the leaderboard. Gooch and Hoge missing the cut on the number stung a bit, but I can stand by the process that got me there.

Matchups (Season Total: 4-2)

  • Webb Simpson -118 > Harris English (W)
  • Talor Gooch -106 > Keegan Bradley (W)
  • Ryan Palmer -110 > Joaquin Niemann (L)

Hello Niemann…(Seinfeld voice). Almost a clean sweep, but I’m to blame for fading the young Chilean prodigy. I thought that on a tight Par 70 course that values driving accuracy over distance and emphasizes strong Putting and Around The Green play, Waialae CC would exaggerate the imperfections in his game. Turns out he’s just all around great at golf, chips in often, and is no longer a putting liability. Let this be the last time I fade Joaquin!

One And Done

  • Daniel Berger: T7

Pretty good! I think T7 is my best result of the season so far, which is sad, but perhaps a sign to come that using a top player who I can’t get exposure to in DFS or Betting due their price/value is the best way to round out these cards. Also got some bonus leverage by fading the Sungjae & Ancer chalk, who finished T56 & MC.

DFS Recap

I played 2 lineups in the $10 Entry, $600K Resurgence GPP on Draft Kings this week. Good news, I was able to get 6/6 through the Cut in one lineup; Bad news, neither were able to cash. My DFS core of Henley/ZJ/Harman did all make it through the cut, but weren’t able to make much noise on the weekend between the 3 of them.

As we look at the winning lineup, they went with a Stars & Scrubs-type build with Morikawa ($10.6K), Berger ($10K), Leishman ($7.9K), Na ($7.5K), Kirk ($7K), M. Jones ($7K). I think it’s important to note that Webb, despite the T4 finish, did not make the optimal lineup. He was a popular play as the highest-priced player and odds-on favorite, but pivoting to Morikawa/Berger allowed for more flexibility in lineup construction. There were some rumblings of Leishman finally piecing it together this week – I’m content to play wait and see with him a bit longer before I jump back on the Leish train.

Final Thoughts

This was my first full-blown dive into the Fantasy National database for tournament research and overall, there were plenty of positives to take away. Everyone I wrote up in Top Plays made it through the cut, topped by performances from Patton Kizzire (T7) and Russell Henley (T11). Unfortunately however, the weekend really was not kind to any of them. Bombs & Values were a mixed bag, riddled with low-priced players who missed the cut on the number and other middle-of-the-pack values.

I was never going to get on Kevin Na with his mediocre recent form, lackluster course history, and overall struggles on Bermuda courses. But he won, so fading him was a mistake, and we need to correct the process for us to get there. In hindsight, Kevin Na and Kevin Kisner profile with very similar games: Not much distance OTT but accurate, and great putters. We were high on Kisner this week so Na would have slotted in as a nice correlation play. I also overlooked that he finished T36 and T28 in 2 of his last 3 trips to the Sony Open. Hardly an indication that he’d go on to win outright, but enough to keep him in consideration. I’m going to cull down the SG: Grass-type metrics in my models going forward to open up the player pool a bit more for under-the-radar guys like Kevin Na.

And that’s it, we’re off to La Quinta for The American Express next week!