Welcome to our weekly DFS article for the 2023 Sony Open. Every week, we will look in each price tier to find some of the best plays in each range using stats, narratives, feel, and much more. Some weeks we will have more plays than other based on size of field and how much I like each guy. Let’s get to it!
Wai’alae Country Club is a course where you want to prioritize accuracy off the tee, birdie making ability, and success in easy scoring conditions. This course provides some of the most predictive course history of any course on tour. Referring to leaderboards from past seasons will be a great tool this week.
Here’s who I like in DFS at the 2023 Sony Open.
2023 Sony Open DFS – $9,000+
Sungjae Im – $10,300
I have played Sungjae Im almost every single time he tees it up on a positional, bermuda track. There is no reason to stop here. Im is coming off a 13th place finish in at the Sentry TOC and he hit the ball extremely well. This indicates success is on the way for Sungjae.
Unfortunately, he lost 0.24 strokes putting. That is not necessarily concerning because putting statistics can flip while ball striking stays sticky. Sungjae is a notoriously great Bermuda putter, so look for him to be in contention this weekend. He’s an excellent DFS play at the 2023 Sony Open.
Jordan Spieth – $10,000
The 2023 Sony Open feels like a a week where Spieth will shine in DFS. He played pretty well at Kapalua, finishing T13. Truthfully, he did not hit the ball that well and kind of made his way around with the chipping. That is very on brand for Jordan.
But it looks like the game is heading in the right direction. When the vibes are going well for Jordan, that is a wave you want to ride. He thrives at golf courses that prioritize position off-the-tee and iron accuracy. He also has success here with a 3rd place and 18th place finish at prior Sony Opens. Combine that with a solid outing at Kapalua and I think we can be in for a nice showing. Play Jordan Spieth in DFS at the 2023 Sony Open.
Tom Hoge – $9,900
Tom Hoge will be popular this week. He should be. The dude is just playing exceptional golf and elevating his game on a weekly basis.
Hoge is coming off a T3 finish at his first appearance at the Sentry TOC. He gained a whopping 10.22 strokes on approach. That should carry into the 2023 Sony Open. Hoge will be faced with tons of approach shots in the 125-200 range, which is a range he rates out extremely well in.
Just like Jordan Spieth, he has had great success at positional golf courses. While Hoge has missed four out of 7 cuts at the Sony Open, this is the best form he has had on the eve of this tournament. Eat the chalk and play Tom Hoge in DFS at the 2023 Sony Open.
2023 Sony Open DFS – Middle Tier
Alex Smalley – $7,800
Alex Smalley is entering the first start of 2023 after a really solid rookie season. He is coming into 2023 off a great fall swing. Smalley made six of 7 cuts and capped it off with two consecutive Top 5 finishes at the Houston Open and the RSM Classic.
Smalley seems to do his best work at courses on coastal tracks. He finished Top 10 in Punta Canta, Sea Island, and Vidanta Vallarta. Wai’alae Country Club fits this narrative perfectly. Smalley is an excellent tee to green player, and the x-factor will come down to his putter. Don’t leave Alex Smalley off your 2023 Sony Open DFS lineups.
2023 Sony Open DFS – <$7,000
David Lingmerth – $6,700
David Lingmerth is the first guy that caught my eye in the $6K range. On paper, he is perfect for Wai’alae. He is extremely accurate and can get hot with the putter.
Lingmerth has not played since the RSM Classic in late November, so like many in the field he’ll have some rust. But his fall swing is too good to ignore. He finished 11th, 8th, and 10th at 3 of his last 4 events last fall.
Surprisingly, he has not played here since 2017. But he has made three of his last 4 Sony Open cuts. If he can dial in any sense of form from the fall, he should fare well this week. Play David Lingmerth in your 2023 Sony Open DFS lineups.
Michael Thompson $6,700
Grizzled Michael Thompson has as good of course history as anyone in this range, let alone the entire field. He has finishes of 5th, 25th, and 38th in his last three trips to the Sony Open. History often repeats itself at the Sony Open. Those with positive experience tend to have several good finishes at Wai’alae down the road.
Thompson will be a great test to this narrative as his recent form is horrible. He has not had a Top 30 finish since the Rocket Mortgage Classic in July. I will take the side of “predictive course history” and run out Thompson in my 2023 Sony Open DFS lineups.