Waialae Country Club
Par: 70 (35-35)
Greens: Bermudagrass (6,500 square feet on average)
Rough: Bermudagrass at 2.5”
Water Hazards: 4
Course Architect: Seth Raynor (1927)
Winner’s Share: $990,000
FexExCup Points: 500 to the winner
Defending Champion: Johnson Wagner held off Carl Pettersson, Sean O’Hair, Charles Howell III and Harrison Frazar to claim his third victory on TOUR.
Dates: January 10-13
Format: The first full-field tournament of 2013 that will feature stroke play for 72 holes with the top 70 and ties advancing to the weekend.
Notes: In the Hawaiian language, Honolulu means “sheltered bay” or “place of shelter”. Who says you don’t learn anything by reading this column? After taking a beating from the wind and the rain last week at Kapalua (“arms of the sea”) this is fitting!
Happy New Year and 2013!
I’ll leave these opening paragraphs in the column for these first few tournaments in January so everyone can get caught up!
I hope that you were naughty AND nice in 2012 and were rewarded by the fat man in the red suit for your efforts.
Now that you have throttled the turkey dinners and swigged down gallons of egg nog, it’s time to get back to being athletic by playing Fantasy Golf.
This will be my second year of trying to entertain and educate you guys as we all try to hoist the trophies in our respective leagues.
The “rules” this year are no different than they were last year: You ask, I’ll answer. Whether it’s via email, Twitter or carrier pigeon, all of us here at Rotoworld.com will do everything rational in our power to make sure that you have all the information you need to dominate your weekly, monthly or season-long fantasy leagues.
The Weekly Process
Each week, I go inside the course and the numbers trying to find you the players I believe who project to have the best chance of playing well. Since we are dealing with human beings, there are many factors I will consider when putting together my projections.
First, I’ll always take a look at class. There’s an old saying in the world that “form is temporary and class is permanent.” I’m a believer in that but I’m also watching to make sure that the form is doing its part as well. It’s silly to try and force square holes into round pegs (see: majors and WGC events) when the class players usually dominate.
I’ll also take a look at recent form (who’s hot), course history (horses for courses) and statistical trends (which players games fit the course) to develop the best projections possible. You’ll see over the year that riding a hot player is easy. The hard part is determining when to jump off. There are certain players who eat up certain courses; there are guys who stripe irons; there are guys who roll the rock. Depending on the style of course, I’ll make sure I cover all the angles.
Tell Me Who Are You?
Information is power. I’m here to help those of you who don’t have 40 hours a week to set your fantasy roster. Here are some great resources that you should bookmark to help you set your weekly line ups:
Rotoworld.com, as you are aware if you are reading this, is the best source of up-to-the-minute news, injuries and golf information. We’re glad you’ve found us. Now, follow us on Twitter (@Rotoworld_GF).
Rob Bolton (@RobBoltonGolf) is the Dean of fantasy golf writing. His insight for Rotoworld.com and PGATour.com cannot be missed on a weekly basis.
Ryan O’Sullivan (@RyanGolfBlogger) joined the crew at Rotoworld.com, as I did, last year and has great insight and strategy on all aspects of fantasy golf.
Please bookmark the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR) and Jeff Sagarin’s Rankings at Golfweek.com to make your life easier.
Facebook, Twitter and player websites are another great source for information as they give us an inside-look at what makes them tick or what’s going on in their lives. Remember, even know they are golfers, they still are human beings, believe it or not. They have to deal with births, marriages, divorces, health issues and everything us mere mortals experience as well. These bumps in the road are good to know before drafting players, not after.
I will answer all of your questions at email@example.com or @GlassWGCL on Twitter. Please don’t hesitate to ask and I’ll be happy to help!
Don’t forget, this column will feature the weekly picks of myself, Rob, Ryan and Ned Brown in the GolfChannel.com Fantasy Challenge PLUS Ned’s world-famous weekly Yahoo! Fantasy Golf Picks. You can follow Ned on Twitter @Esoxgolf.
Last “Week” at Kapalua…
Usually, I will write a wrap-up column, “The Takeaway” Sunday nights after the golf finishes. As we all know, the golf was going to finish Monday night of this week if everything went according to Hoyle but obviously Hoyle was still on winter break or didn’t answer his phone this week. Whatever. We’re tough, we’re dealing with it and we’re moving forward!
Since the tournament wrap-up and preview have overlapped, I’ll give you a quick recap of the events at the HTOC below before I preview the Sony Open in case you’ve been out of the loop.
After cancelling play twice on the island of Maui, the PGA TOUR finally kicked off the 2013 season on MONDAY with 36 holes and finished on Tuesday with 18 more. Dustin Johnson avoided three-putts and lost balls over 54 holes to fire 16-under-par 203 to win the Hyundai Tournament of Champions at Kapalua. He held off fellow U.S. Ryder Cup teammates Steve Stricker, who finished second four shots back, Brandt Snedeker (six back) and Bubba Watson and Keegan Bradley (seven back).
This is Johnson’s seventh victory on TOUR in his PGA career. He joins Tiger Woods as the only TOUR players to win in six consecutive seasons after leaving college. Johnson collects 500 FedExCup points and $1,140,000. Remember, since the tournament went 54 holes, all the exemptions, payoffs and FedExCup points were the same as a 72-hole finish. Johnson is the king of 54-hole victories on TOUR as this is the third one of his career. He won a rain-shortened AT&T Pebble Beach and a hurricane-shortened Barclays so this was old hat for him. Johnson arrived the week before the tournament and was playing Kapalua every morning. His homework and his short game work paid off this week. He was the only golfer to play all rounds in the 60’s and still was 16-under in THAT weather. His driver was crooked and led to some nervy moments but when he’s chipping in and holing birdie putts from everywhere, he’s almost unbeatable. He’s now eligible for this tournament again next year and he is a must on your radar EVERY time he tees it up.
Steve Stricker fought through a nerve problem that was giving him shooting pains in his back and leg on Monday to finish 67-69 for solo second. Stricker will have to find a victory in 2013 to make it back here next year but if he’s not an automatic choice (if healthy) for you here next year, you need your head examined. In five starts here Stricker has finished second, WIN, T4, T10 and second.
Brandt Snedeker, buoyed by his quite amazing 2012, showed no signs of slowing down this week as he finished in third place by himself. The TOUR and FedExCup Champion made a run at Stricker and Johnson on Tuesday but his usually wonderful flat stick went cool on the back nine. I wouldn’t worry about that one bit as the season progresses and I liked the grit “Opie Taylor” showed this week.
Here are the players moving on to the Sony Open (as of 6 pm Tuesday):
Keegan Bradley: His T4 finish should have him confident and ready to go on Thursday.
Tommy Gainey: T6 with all three rounds under par. Well done, rookie!
Carl Pettersson: Solo eighth with all three rounds under par.
Matt Kuchar: T9 after an opening round 74. Rallied for 71-69 finish.
Mark Wilson: Best finish ever, T11, even with a second round 76.
Webb Simpson: He was three under through 7 the FIRST time they threw the scores out. Didn’t break 70 in three rounds but all were under par for T11.
J.J. Henry: T13 with nine birdies and six bogeys. Lots of pars.
Johnson Wagner: Three straight 72s. T13. Defending champ at the Sony.
Scott Stallings: He was seven over on the first day. Made the most of his mulligan T13.
Scott Piercy: Three bogeys and a late double knocked him out of the top 10.
Jonas Blixt: He’ll be happy not to play No. 5 again for a while. He was four OVER on this par 5 at Kapalua. T18.
Ben Curtis: Four putted the first two holes on the second attempt to get things going. His middle round of 76 sunk any chances he had. T18.
John Huh: One round under par in his first time here. Experience pays usually. T18.
Zach Johnson: Another year at Kapalua, another year outside the top 10. In six events, his best finish was T6 in 2009. T18 this week.
Marc Leishman: Finally broke par in the final round 75-75-71 as the rookie here finished T23.
Ted Potter, Jr.: Ten bogeys and a double = T26.
Ryan Moore: 77-76 finish doesn’t inspire confidence for Sony but I’m sticking with him as he knocked off the rust. Adjusting to the wife and kid will keep my attention. T28.
George McNeill: One top 10 in now six events. T28.
Kyle Stanley: 78-80 before his final round of 72 (-1). Nike clubs didn’t’ help this week. 30th.