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DraftKings PGA DFS Lineup Picks - Sony Open Daily Fantasy Golf Advice (2023)

DraftKings PGA DFS lineup picks daily fantasy golf

What a start to the 2023 season we had last weekend at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, as Jon Rahm defied all odds on Sunday, eclipsing a nine-shot deficit at one point during the day and shocking Collin Morikawa down the stretch for the first title of the season.

That development provided massive swings for DFS gamers throughout the space, but it generated a mixed bag of returns for us in our weekly roster construction. From a full-tournament perspective, it was a forgettable week after we found ourselves massively underweight to both Rahm and Morikawa, but all was not lost with the run we went on during the event, including an excellent round four that included Rahm heavily inside our player pool.

Those in-tournament answers can be found if you sign up for RotoBaller's premium subscription, and if you have any questions about the week, be sure to follow me on Twitter @TeeOffSports.

Featured Promo: New for 2023, we've added A LOT of new exclusive PGA articles, picks, and tools to our PGA Premium Packages! Spencer Aguiar, one of the most successful PGA bettors in the industry, now features 10+ weekly articles with his exclusive picks, rankings and models in the TeeOffSports VIP subscription. Win big in 2023! Sign Up Now!


PGA DFS Rankings Wizard - Sony Open

We have some exciting changes that we are implementing this year over at RotoBaller. There will be multiple subscription-based tiers for our readers to enjoy, including my very own TeeOffSports VIP Package that will include the following items:

PGA Rankings Wizard Model (Pre-Tournament)

  • A powerful and interactive data spreadsheet that allows user inputs to create custom rankings and models for golf. If you are considering signing up, take a look at this how-to guide of everything you can find weekly inside my pre-tournament model. The sheet is loaded with sortable and weighable information to help you in all sectors of the market. 
  • Sony Open Link

Vegas Report (All Pre-Tournament Bets)

  • Top Pre-Tournament H2H Pick: (104-60-9) 63.41%
  • All Pre-Tournament H2Hs: (234-174-23) 57.35%
  • Total H2Hs Since 2017: (434-301-59) 59.05%
  • Outright Winners Since 2017: 36
  • Units: +311.229 Units
  • All Totals Are Entering 2023
  • Click here to see an example

In-Tournament Model (Updated Stats + User Configuration Ability)

  • Here you will find updated stats for the particular tournament - all sortable and weighable when you make a copy of your own under the file tab. The purpose of this is to provide an area where you can research the daily proceedings for DFS strategy or find outright or daily head-to-head wagers. There are over 25 weighable categories by the time round four comes around, including the ability to add back in your pre-tournament research for every day.

In-Tournament Head-To-Head Bets For Rounds 1,2,3 and 4

First-Round Leader Article

One & Done (Deep-Dive Into Potential Options To Consider)

  • 10+ million in earnings during two of the past three seasons while providing information for contests. We will take a comprehensive look into a handful of options to consider.
  • Click here to see an example

Late DraftKings Article (Condensed Player Pool)

  • We will build off the Monday article throughout the week and consolidate selections toward a more concrete player pool for everyone to consider by Wednesday.

Premium Discord Access

  • Join the community! There you will be able to talk to fellow subscribers and have real-time weekly chats with me.

TeeOffSports membership


Waialae Country Club

7,044 Yards - Par 70 - Greens: Bermuda

Designed in 1925 by Seth Raynor, Waialae Country Club has seen a few modifications over the last 100 years, including a 2016 renovation by Tom Doak to restore and infuse the original feel back into the layout. All of that radiates out of the course with its flat, tedious setup that emphasizes par-four scoring and ball striking, but it is paramount to remember that while we will be staying in Hawaii for the second consecutive week, the only parallels I can spot between the two properties would be the Hawaiian Bermuda-style grass and a similar resemblance when it comes to ease.

Much narrower fairways and the aforementioned flat nature of the grounds will remove some of that undulation and wide-open feel that Kapalua presented at the Tournament of Champions, but I want us to settle in on this idea of a venue that is highly predictable in its rollover success -- evidenced by ranking second on tour behind only Augusta National for calculable yearly totals.

We see that consistency with the emphasized proximity distribution out of Waialae from 125-200 yards, a range that creates 12.7% more impact here than a typical test, and the 67.5% expectation from that 75-yard bucket constructs this unique examination that pinpoints a specific sort of golfer. Essentially, if you aren't finding greens in regulation, you are struggling to score, and this is one of those shorter venues that flips the new-school moniker of distance over accuracy on its head by generating nearly two times more impact in finding fairways over any metric to do with length.


Let's Look At The Stats

Stat Waialae Tour Average
Driving Distance 285 282
Driving Accuracy 53% 62%
GIR Percentage 66% 65%
Scrambling Percentage 59% 57%
Average Three-Putts Per Round 0.49 0.55


Key Stats 

Let's quickly run through how I built my model.

Ball Striking (25%) - I think there is partially an overcorrection that some users may take since the reduction of fairways hit at this property drops from 62% to 53% -- an answer that immediately makes you want to overweigh accuracy for the entire piece of the pie, but we are still dealing with a relatively open course that does start to accentuate accuracy when we look at the tree-lined setup of the grounds and strategic makeup that rewards a heightened GIR rate. That explanation should point us in the direction of some recalculated combination of total driving (I used a 2x split of accuracy over distance), and then I merged in a 50/50 mix of my newly created driving category and my two-year sample size for GIR.

Weighted Proximity (17.5%) - With 67.5% of second shots occurring between 125-200 yards, we receive a 12.7% enhancement over your typical stop in that compressed range sector. That means golfers who have demonstrated past ability to gain strokes with their mid-iron play should be at an advantage over the field, and it creates this one-two combination of finding fairways and then hitting greens that will be all-important at Waialae.

Weighted Birdie or Better (10%) - I always mention how not every course predicts metrics accurately if you use the entire spectrum of what is available, which is why I took 90% of my weight from only the top 15 easiest-scoring courses and blended in 10% of all birdie totals over a longer running duration.

Weighted All Holes (17.5%) - This incorporated all expected proximity ranges, each hole that will be played daily and the anticipated strength for each yardage amount to yield a brand-new category.

Strokes Gained Total Easy Courses/Under 7,200 Yards (15%) - A self-explanatory category that pinpoints the two known commodities of ease and decline in total distance, highlighting what golfers are most inclined to find success when faced with this sort of test.

SG: Bermuda + Bermuda Putt (15%) - It is tough to determine how to weigh this course for multiple reasons. We get a 3.1% increase in strokes gained putting, but we also accumulate 67.5% of shots landing in that 75-yard bucket from 125-200 yards and 2x impact on accuracy over distance. In theory, quality iron players that are accurate and good with their putter would be the preferred way of targeting this board, but I wanted to run Bermuda play at some point since we already have all of that weighed once in the model. I will include where all players ranked only using those three metrics if you have access to my sheet.

I will dive deeper into what went into these totals later in the week on my podcast. If you aren't doing so already, you can follow Bettor Golf Podcast on Twitter.


Fantasy Golf Lineup Picks for DraftKings (PGA DFS)

We have tons of great weekly PGA articles, DFS analysis, tools and DFS advice. Be sure to read our other fantastic articles regarding this week's event.


High-Priced DraftKings DFS Players 

***There are four players priced above $10,000. Please remember that my DFS article is always a first look at the field. Opinions might shift as the week goes on, and I am more than happy to discuss anyone further on Twitter.

Early thoughts on the group: 

Tom Kim ($10,500) - I want to ensure we know where ownership is in this section before we find ourselves locked into a decision for any of these four names, but it is hard to pinpoint much to dislike about Tom Kim for the Sony Open. Sure, course matters here, which is why it ranks as the second most predictive venue on tour, but the projected profile of success that golfers have been able to use in the past could create this perfect picture for the 20-year-old this week. Kim ranks second in my model for weighted proximity, first when looking at proximity from 125-200 yards, first for GIR percentage and first for weighted birdie or better, and if nothing else, he is likely the safest cash-game target on the board.

Sungjae Im ($10,300) - There are currently two reasons I have Sungjae Im ranked higher than Tom Kim when it comes to GPP playability in the $10,000 range. The first would stem from the higher win equity total that my model believes Sungjae has when I recalculate the metrics to fit a longer duration of time, and the second would be the predicted reduction in ownership that we should get between the two players. Do I expect Kim to remain nearly three percentage points better long-term in GIR percentage over anyone in this field? No. And that alone means even if we believe he is one of the best players in the world, the numbers have to regress to the mean at some point. I don't want that statement to get misinterpreted as meaning he isn't playable, but my model knows exactly who Sungjae is as a player, and it isn't coming with as much heightened ownership early in the week. 

Hideki Matsuyama ($10,100) - It is hard to locate where Hideki Matsuyama is with his game. Injury concerns have been lingering for the past few months, and even though we did get a full four days out of him at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, it generated this awkward return of metrics – shown by losing 3.8 shots with his ball striking and gaining 3.5 with his short game. I can promise everyone reading this article that if that trend continues, we will be in for a bumpy ride moving forward, and I never love playing a popular Matsuyama near the top of the board. 

Jordan Spieth ($10,000) - I don't want everyone to get fixated on the 18th-place rank that you see on my model. That total is more indicative of a cash-game output since he got negatively struck for his missed cut at the course in 2019, and I have made some changes in my newer iteration to bump him up to seventh overall for the week. In fairness, that still doesn't register as a value when comparing his price and rank, but early numbers heavily favor Spieth being the contrarian target of this range.


As of Monday:

Early Rankings For Group: 

Golfer Rank
Sungjae Im 1
Tom Kim 2
Jordan Spieth 3
Hideki Matsuyama 4


Did you know RotoBaller has a Premium DFS PGA subscription? Like what you read today? You can show your support for Spencer by using the discount code TEEOFF when purchasing a PGA Premium Pass. You get 10% off and full access to all of our Premium PGA articles, DFS tools, and Lineup Optimizer! You also get access to weekly betting picks from Spencer Aguiar, one of the top betting minds in the industry.


Mid-Priced DraftKings DFS Players

$9,000 Range

Early thoughts on the group: 

Corey Conners ($9,600) - Corey Conners has averaged 3.5 shots to the field per start at the Sony Open with his putter over four attempts, outweighing his baseline projection by nearly four shots. The pessimist could look at that and say, "he has still only produced one top 10 to speak of during that timeframe," but the optimist in me is intrigued that the best ball striker in my model might have some help this weekend with other aspects of his game. Conners is one of my preferred outright targets to consider in the space near the top of the board if you can gain access to the 28/1 price over on PointsBet, and I do like that he already has a week under his belt after playing at the Sentry.

Billy Horschel ($9,500) - I view this as the Kevin Na corollary we saw a few years ago. Na finished third-to-last in 2021 at the Sentry before winning the Sony the following week, and there is something to be said about trying to avoid getting caught up with performances at a track that negates some of what Horschel will prefer from a stylistic sense. The ownership deduction makes the 36-year-old one of the savvier GPP targets, especially considering his recent course history.


As of Monday:

Early Rankings For Group:

Golfer Rank
Corey Conners 1
Billy Horschel 2
Brian Harman 3
Keegan Bradley 4
Russell Henley 5
Tom Hoge 6
Taylor Montgomery 7
Maverick McNealy 8


Mid-Priced DraftKings DFS Players

$8,000 Range 

Keith Mitchell ($8,300) - It is a relatively clean profile we get out of Keith Mitchell for the Sony Open, as my model places him inside the top 10 for strokes gained on Bermuda, projected scoring on both par-fours and par-fives, and total driving. Sure, the weighted proximity leaves something to be desired, but there is a reason Mitchell has provided four top-25 finishes at this track in his last five trips to Waialae.

Emiliano Grillo ($8,000) - Many of the $8,000 names will work themselves into being fade candidates over the next few days, but it has been hard narrowing down my player pool in this section with where current ownership is for the week. Stay tuned for my Wednesday piece for where I go on my final decisions, but despite sharper markets not loving Emiliano Grillo, he remains one of my front runners for exposure. Grillo is no worse for wear with his putter on Bermuda than any other surface, and the birdie potential and ball striking place inside the top 10 of this field.


As of Monday:

Early Rankings For Group: 

Golfer Rank
Keith Mitchell 1
Emiliano Grillo 2
Rest To Come Later 3


Low-Priced DraftKings DFS Players To Consider ($7,000+)

The list removes all players outside the top 60 in overall or upside rank + negative totals against their DraftKings price, upside, and ownership. We will break this list down more as ownership continues to trickle in over the next few days.

*** The names showing would be my early leans that I am going to take a deeper dive into over the next few days.

Lucas Glover ($7,000), Russell Knox ($7,200), Alex Smalley ($7,800), and Greyson Sigg ($7,300) would be my four favorite targets in this section on Monday afternoon, although let's continue to dive through these numbers throughout the week. A lot is subject to change.


Sub-$6,000 Options To Consider

All the players below were inside the top 60 in one of the two iterations and positive during either the differential against DraftKings price or ownership. You can use my model to get a complete field breakdown, but this condensed things nicely as a first run.

Early Lean For Favorite Player in Each Range:

$10,000 - Sungjae Im ($10,300)
$9,000 - Corey Conners ($9,600)
$8,000 - Keith Mitchell ($8,300)
$7,000 - Russell Knox ($7,200)
$6,000 - Ryan Armour ($6,900)



Win Big With RotoBaller

Golf is back, and it's time for you to win big with RotoBaller! Our PGA DFS Premium Package features several savvy analysts and proven DFS winners.

Our very own Joe Nicely recently took down a big DraftKings DFS tournament for the Travelers Championship. And as an encore, RotoBaller subscriber @tenndolly2 won $100K on FanDuel with the help of Joe and the rest of our Premium PGA team: Between all the incredible Premium PGA DFS content and tools we put out each week, and our Premium Slack Community where we chat with our subscribers before lineups lock, RotoBaller PGA subscribers are armed with the tools, analysis, and advice to win big.

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