AP’S CORE FORE (FREE this week)
DUSTIN JOHNSON, 11,000 -> DJ is the defending champion and has never finished outside of the top 10 in this event. I read a stat on pgatour.com, ‘He’s played 31 rounds at Kapalua and never shot over par’. With this being such a small field, we should have a few goals in mind; (1) each of our six golfers must have legit win equity, (2) we want multiple finishers inside the top 5 & (3) we want at least four out of our six to finish inside of the top 10. In my opinion, Dustin Johnson checks all three of those boxes and should be a core play in all formats (cash/tournaments).
PATRICK REED, 8,200 -> I don’t expect Patrick Reed to be a popular choice this week which means he’ll provide us with decent leverage over the field. Reed is a scrappy golfer who always plays with a chip on his shoulder in stacked fields. Reed won in 2015 and has followed his win up with 2nd and 6th place finishes. Reed checks all the boxes; win equity✔, T10 & T5 or better equity✔✔. Additionally, Reed is coming into this event in excellent form with a win at the Hero World Challenge and T7 finish at the HSBC World Golf Championships.
JASON DAY, 9,000 -> When wind conditions are ‘moderate to extreme’ Day ranks 2nd overall in total strokes gained relative to this field of players. When weather conditions appear to be unfavorable, I’m looking for two things out of that golfer; (1) they consistently perform well in said conditions (rain/wind etc) and (2) they have elite putting skills. Putting is always going to be the difference maker in golf. It seems like every year Day, statistically speaking, is ranked as one of the top overall putters in the world. Lastly, Day has solid course history with finishes of 12th, 10th and 3rd place.
PATTON KIZZIRE, 6,200 -> At first glance, this pick is about as egregious as it gets. Let me explain the logic behind Kizzire this week. As I build my six man roster, my ultimate goal is simple; get the winner right, multiple T5 or better, multiple T10 or better and everyone inside T15. With these goals noted, as I build my six man roster, I’m looking at it like a diversified investment portfolio. Let me explain->
Dustin Johnson-> (16.6%) DJ gives me win equity with a high probability of T10 & T5 finish
Patrick Reed-> (16.6%) Reed gives me win & leverage equity with a great shot of T10/T5 finish
Jason Day-> (16.6%) Weather condition based play providing moderate win equity & T10 finish
Patton Kizzire-> (16.6%) Salary relief play + Wind condition equity & moderate T15 finish
Player 5-> 7,800 remaining
Player 6-> 7,800 remaining
The first thing Kizzire does in my portfolio is frees up enough salary to obtain two more quality golfers that should give us some moderate win & T10 finish equity. Second, when wind conditions are extreme, Kizzire ranks 10th in total strokes gained in this field of players. Let me explain why I think he has fared better in extreme wind conditions. In 2018, Kizzire ranked 163rd in strokes gained off the tee. He makes up ground on the field with his approach to the green (37th). In extreme wind conditions, his game off the tee doesn’t change much, it’s still bad. The difference is most of the field is negatively affected by these conditions off the tee. What this does is even things out a bit off the tee and puts greater emphasis on Kizzire’s stronger skill sets (approach). Lastly, the fairways here are very easy to hit, which makes the case for this salary relief play a bit stronger.
AP’S 2 GOLFERS TO FADE
BROOKS KOEPKA, 10,200 -> Courtesy of social media we can better understand what these golfers are up to. Koepka spent the weekend partying in Vegas to celebrate his girlfriends birthday. It looked like they arrived out in Hawaii on Monday so I really question his overall mindset coming into this event. Now, I’d never fade a golfer just due to pure speculation, but when you combine this knowledge with the fact that he struggles in the wind (ranks 2nd to last in this field), I think he makes for an easy fade this week.
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU, 8,700 -> Due to his price, overall talent & many other sites talking him up, I think Bryson will be very popular this week. DeChambeau is obsessed with understanding every scientific aspect to the game of golf; which is why they call him ‘the Scientist’. With that nickname and with his approach to the game, my first guess would be to think the wind would give him an advantage. However, that is not the case. When wind conditions are extreme, Bryson ranks 30th in total strokes gained relative to this field of 37 golfers. When conditions are moderate, Bryson ranks 8th in total strokes gained. And when conditions are calm, Bryson ranks 4th in total strokes gained. With this fade, I’m really hoping the wind projections of 24+ MPH with strong gusts on Thursday and Friday are spot on. This play does feel like I’m playing with fire a bit as Bryson is easily one of the best 10 golfers in the world right now.