Golfweek Fantasy Tip Sheet: Sony Open

Steve Stricker and Carl Pettersson

The PGA Tour heads to Honolulu this week for the Sony Open, the first full-field event of the season. Our experts have made their picks, but first, a couple of facts worth considering before making your fantasy selections:

PAST WINNERS (since 2000)

2000 - Paul Azinger

2001 - Brad Faxon

2002 - Jerry Kelly

2003 - Ernie Els

2004 - Ernie Els

2005 - Vijay Singh

2006 - David Toms

2007 - Paul Goydos

2008 - K.J. Choi

2009 - Zach Johnson

2010 - Ryan Palmer

• A key stat this week will be driving accuracy. Last year Waialae Country Club (par 70, 7,068 yards) ranked as the toughest course on the PGA Tour in terms of hitting fairways.

• You don’t find many unfamiliar names on the list of past winners. Eight of the last 12 winners at the Sony Open have played the week prior, at the season-opening Tournament of Champions.

• Ten players who were at Kapalua to start the year have decided not to play the Sony Open. You may want to lean on players who teed it up last week at the Tournament of Champions, with their 2011 campaign already under way and their rust slowly coming off.

• • • 

JIM McCABE

Steve Stricker: He was in contention to win at the wide-open, big-hitting Plantation Course last week, and he’s perhaps even more effective at the tight and cozy Waialae CC stage this week.

Webb Simpson: Finished ninth here as a rookie two years ago and finished 2010 in great form. Let the Vegas tournament slip away, but as Robert Garrigus proved, those squanders sometimes come back to help you.

• • •

JEFF RUDE

Steve Stricker: World-class player got off Wisconsin rust in tying for fourth in the season-opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions. Plus, he finished third in last year's Sony Open.

Carl Pettersson: Same two-way rationale as with Stricker. In form and excelled at Sony last year. Pettersson tied for fourth Sunday in the Hyundai event and was T-5 at 2010 Sony.

• • • 

SEAN MARTIN

Hard to choose against Steve Stricker, who finished fourth last week and has finished 3rd, T-23, T-4, T-4 in his past four Sony starts. But everyone’s going to pick him. I want to help you out by giving you other names to consider. Tim Clark has finished T-25 and T-12 in the past two Sony Opens. Also, look out for Q-School grad Kyle Stanley and the top two players from last year’s Nationwide Tour, Jamie Lovemark and Chris Kirk.

• • •

ALEX MICELI

Steve Stricker: After a solid trip to Maui, the Wisconsin native has had great success in Honolulu, with three top 4s in the past four years. If Stricker putts a little better on the flatter greens of Waialae, anything is possible.

Having a week under your belt when you get to Sony is very important, and Arjun Atwal not only has that, but he played well last week, too. Waialae CC seems to line up well for him this week.

• • •

LANCE RINGLER

The field this week is loaded with players who have a good eye for Waialae Country Club. How do you not go with Steve Stricker? He was in the hunt last week, he has five top 10s in nine career starts at the Sony Open, and he is the top-ranked player in the field, according to the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index. Stricker has a scoring average of 68.7 at Waialae.

Looking for a sleeper pick? Why not go with last week’s winner, Jonathan Byrd, or how about Jerry Kelly? His past performances here include seven top 15s in 13 starts, including a win 2002.

• • •

The Sony Open field based on the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index:

  • 2. Steve Stricker
  • 3. Matt Kuchar
  • 10. Jim Furyk
  • 11. Bo Van Pelt
  • 15. K.J. Choi
  • 18. Ernie Els
  • 20. Camilo Villegas
  • 25. Zach Johnson
  • 26. Tim Clark
  • 29. Robert Allenby
  • 30. Justin Rose
  • 32. Jason Day
  • 33. Ricky Barnes
  • 34. Heath Slocum
  • 35. Charles Howell III
  • 36. Adam Scott
  • 37. Kevin Na
  • 50. Brendon de Jonge
  • 52. Charlie Wi
  • 53. Chris Kirk
  • 60. Tom Gillis
  • 63. Jeff Overton
  • 66. Fredrik Jacobson
  • 67. Spencer Levin
  • 68. John Senden
  • 72. Vijay Singh
  • 73. Jerry Kelly
  • 74. Steve Marino
  • 77. Tag Ridings
  • 78. Chad Campbell
  • 80. Carl Pettersson
  • 83. Jason Dufner
  • 84. Pat Perez
  • 85. D.J. Trahan
  • 87. Brian Gay
  • 88. Martin Piller
  • 90. Chris DiMarco
  • 92. Justin Leonard
  • 93. Anthony Kim
  • 96. WC Liang
  • 98. Jonathan Byrd
  • 103. Marc Leishman
  • 109. Aaron Baddeley
  • 112. Fabian Gomez
  • 116. Joe Durant
  • 117. Davis Love III
  • 121. Jason Bohn
  • 125. Shaun Micheel
  • 126. Michael Putnam
  • 128. Chad Collins
  • 131. Matt Jones
  • 135. Michael Connell
  • 141. David Mathis
  • 142. Paul Stankowski
  • 146. Hunter Haas
  • 150. Jamie Lovemark
  • 151. Tim Petrovic
  • 154. William McGirt
  • 156. Arjun Atwal
  • 157. Ryuji Imada
  • 158. Boo Weekley
  • 162. Brendan Steele
  • 163. Peter Tomasulo
  • 167. Michael Sim
  • 170. Tommy Gainey
  • 173. Webb Simpson
  • 177. Chris Riley
  • 178. Stuart Appleby
  • 186. Ryan Palmer
  • 187. Jhonattan Vegas
  • 189. Brian Davis
  • 191. Scott Gutschewski
  • 192. Daniel Summerhays
  • 193. Josh Teater
  • 195. Rory Sabbatini
  • 197. Alex Prugh
  • 200. Paul Goydos
  • 202. Kevin Kisner
  • 204. Robert Garrigus
  • 205. Alex Cejka
  • 211. Keegan Bradley
  • 212. Nathan Green
  • 215. Blake Adams
  • 216. Dean H. Wilson
  • 219. Tim Herron
  • 222. Mark Wilson
  • 228. David Hearn
  • 229. Colt Knost
  • 233. Brandt Jobe
  • 234. Jimmy Walker
  • 235. Kevin Chappell
  • 242. Charles Warren
  • 244. Scott Stallings
  • 252. Bobby Gates
  • 256. Johnson Wagner
  • 259. Jarrod Lyle
  • 260. Troy Matteson
  • 268. D.J. Brigman
  • 272. Nate Smith
  • 276. Gary Woodland
  • 278. Michio Matsumura
  • 283. Jim Herman
  • 285. Kyle Stanley
  • 286. Shigeki Maruyama
  • 291. Kent Jones
  • 294. Steven Bowditch
  • 296. Zack Miller
  • 298. Joe Affrunti
  • 311. Shunsuke Sonoda
  • 318. Jeff Klauk
  • 337. Rocco Mediate
  • 339. Jeff Maggert
  • 340. John Daly
  • 344. Billy Mayfair
  • 359. Derek Lamely
  • 360. David Duval
  • 362. Troy Merritt
  • 374. Steve Flesch
  • 379. Matt Bettencourt
  • 414. Roland Thatcher
  • 432. Koumei Oda
  • 434. Cameron Beckman
  • 462. Marc Turnesa
  • 463. Tadahiro Takayama
  • 473. Cameron Tringale
  • 754. Chris Baryla
  • N/R. Shane Bertsch
  • N/R. Joseph Bramlett
  • N/R. Dave Eichelberger
  • N/R. Fred Funk
  • N/R. Sunghoon Kang
  • N/R. Bio Kim
  • N/R. Ben Martin
  • N/R. Hideki Matsuyama
  • N/R. Matt McQuillan
  • N/R. Jesper Parnevik
  • N/R. Alexandre Rocha
  • N/R. David Saka
  • N/R. Michael Thompson
  • N/R. Duffy Waldorf
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