Before we surf for a One & Done at the Sony Open in Hawaii, let's tackle two items of business.
First, the 2018 PGA TOUR Champions launches next week at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai. It'll begin on Thursday, January 18, and conclude on Saturday, January 20. PGA TOUR Champions One & Done presented by SERVPRO will be back. So, if you've yet to navigate to that game, it'll be turning over for the new season in the coming days. More on how I will be assisting below.
The other matter plugs my conversation with Mark Immelman on his podcast, "On the Mark." In addition to a wide-ranging array of topics related to fantasy golf, he and I fired through all of the remaining tournaments on the PGA TOUR this season with a heavy emphasis on consideration for One & Doners. It was fun to play a variation of word association as it pertained to golfers off the top of my head in connection to each event. It'll also be fun to look back to see how many, if any, connected for a good performance. On Mark's behalf, thank you for making time if you give it a listen.
Directing our focus to the 144-man field at Waialae Country Club, my enhancement to Future Possibilities should already come in handy. While many notables are not only committed to play and line up nicely for our format this week, the individual ranking system immediately helps filter out guys to whom we'll turn later without having to research further. So, when the PGA TOUR Champions cranks up next week, I will share a similar section for that One & Done.
To name three short-listers, Russell Henley, Marc Leishman and Webb Simpson will be more valuable deeper into 2017-18. Meanwhile, Brian Harman, Kevin Kisner and defending champion Justin Thomas present strong cases to burn right now.
Harman is atop my Power Rankings, so I'll stick to that story. While he has a good record at Waialae, the decision is to invest primarily in a scorching-hot hand. I'd have zero issues pulling the trigger on Kisner, so I'm equally pleased that he remains on my board. Thomas isn't available to me but he's still building a portfolio of sites at which he'll be valuable, so you'll have no problem working him at any number of spots. For example, if you're end-weighting your season for the FedExCup Playoffs, go ahead and lock him in as one of your four reservations now.
You'll note that the Sony isn't represented beside Jordan Spieth. No matter what you use to measure value – FedExCup points or earnings – he essentially needs to win or place to validate your decision. Remain patient and he'll pay dividends time and again.
Charles Howell III is one of two for whom the Sony ranks No. 1. If he's available, weigh this week and the Farmers Insurance Open in two weeks as options. He'll be a dynamite choice against a band of heavy hitters sure to descend on Torrey Pines, so he'd be worth the wait.
The other No. 1 slot belongs to Jamie Lovemark, he of a T7 at Waialae in 2016 and a T4 last year. The soon-to-be 30-year-old (come Jan. 23) failed to deliver on his promise at The RSM Classic, but the Sony is his top choice among all tournaments on the schedule. Two-man gamers are encouraged to pair him with CH3.
Other worthy complements in two-man include Chez Reavie, J.J. Spaun, James Hahn, Brian Gay and Brian Stuard.
SELECTION COMMENT 136th Mark Immelman
On the Mark
Charles Howell III
I just have to do it. He loves it at Waialae, a course that demands precision ball-striking. He also appears to have done a lot of good off-season work with Dana Dahlquist on his game. Aloha! 272nd Ben Everill
Si Woo Kim Taking an early season gamble on this one but - and I can see Rob Bolton cringing - I’ve got a feeling about this guy this week... 281st Jonathan Wall
Charles Howell III Thought about taking Berger, but I'll holster him for later in the season. Howell's record at Sony makes him a strong choice. 367th Sean Martin
Brian Harman Charles Howell III will be the popular pick this week, but fortune favors the bold. I’m going to buck conventional wisdom to take one of the TOUR’s hottest players. 437th Rob Bolton
Brian Harman I never look back, but he would’ve been dandy at Kapalua. Thing is, he looks even better at Waialae. He’s fearless and has never been more confident. 485th
Zach Johnson I’ll go with a former SONY champ who’s looking to bounce back from a lackluster 2017 season.
NOTE: Select golfers committed to the tournament are listed alphabetically. Future tournaments are sorted chronologically and reflect previous success on the courses on which the tournaments will be held in 2017-18. The numerical values in parentheses represent the order of relative confidence of where to use each golfer if multiple sites are listed (e.g. 1 for strongest, 2 for next-strongest and so on). To present weighted confidence in real time, numerical values will not change all season no matter how many tournament remain listed for each golfer. All are pending golfer commitment.
Daniel Berger … Waste Management (5); Houston (3); St. Jude (1; two-time defending); Travelers (2)
Keegan Bradley … Farmers (6); Waste Management (7); Genesis (4); Houston (3); Memorial (5); WGC-Bridgestone (2)
Luke Donald … Honda (2); Valspar (3); Heritage (1)
Jason Dufner … CareerBuilder (5); Valspar (1); DEAN & DELUCA (2); Memorial (3; defending); U.S. Open (4); Wyndham (6); TOUR Championship (7)
Tony Finau … Farmers (1); Valero (5); Memorial (3); Greenbrier (2); Canadian (4)
Bill Haas … CareerBuilder (1); Genesis (3); Valspar (4); WGC-Match Play (5); Wyndham (2)
Brian Harman … Sony (2); CareerBuilder (1); Arnold Palmer (5); DEAN & DELUCA (4); John Deere (3)
Russell Henley … Sony (4); Houston (1; defending); Greenbrier (3)
Charles Howell III … Sony (1); CareerBuilder (5); Farmers (2); Valspar (4); Houston (7)
Zach Johnson … Sony (3); Waste Management (4); Arnold Palmer (7); DEAN & DELUCA (2); John Deere (1); Open Championship (5); WGC-Bridgestone (6); TOUR Championship (8)
Chris Kirk … Valero (4); PLAYERS (3); DEAN & DELUCA (2)
Kevin Kisner … Sony (3); Heritage (4); DEAN & DELUCA (1; defending); Memorial (5); Wyndham (6)
Russell Knox … Sony (4); Honda (6); Heritage (2); PLAYERS (8); Dell Technologies (7)
Marc Leishman … Sony (6); Arnold Palmer (3; defending); DEAN & DELUCA (7); Memorial (5); Travelers (2); Open Championship (1)
Jamie Lovemark … Sony (1); Arnold Palmer (3)
William McGirt … Genesis (3); Heritage (1); Memorial (4)
Kevin Na … Waste Management (2); Valspar (5); Arnold Palmer (7); Heritage (6); Memorial (10); John Deere (9); Wyndham (3); THE NORTHERN TRUST (11)
Ryan Palmer … Sony (4); CareerBuilder (3); Waste Management (5); Valero (1); DEAN & DELUCA (2); St. Jude (6)
Scott Piercy … Sony (3); Houston (5); John Deere (6)
Webb Simpson … Sony (6); CareerBuilder (9); Waste Management (2); Wells Fargo (7); DEAN & DELUCA (4); Travelers (8); Greenbrier (5); Wyndham (1)
Jordan Spieth … Pebble Beach (5; defending); Valspar (8); Houston (11); Masters (1); Heritage (12); DEAN & DELUCA (2); Travelers (6; defending); John Deere (7); Open Championship (9; defending); WGC-Bridgestone (10); TOUR Championship (4)
Justin Thomas … Sony (4; defending); WGC-Mexico (7); Valspar (8); Wells Fargo (9); Dell Technologies (6; defending); TOUR Championship (3)
Jimmy Walker … Sony (4); Farmers (3); Pebble Beach (2); Genesis (5); Valero (6); Greenbrier (8); Dell Technologies (7)
Gary Woodland … Sony (2); Farmers (4); Honda (6); Wells Fargo (5); Barracuda (1); Dell Technologies (3)