Sleeper Picks: Hyundai Tournament of Champions

January 03, 2012
Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM Fantasy Columnist
Jhonattan Vegas: The frenzy that surrounded Jhonattan "Jhonny" Vegas early in 2011 was slowly neutralized by a stretch of 18 consecutive starts without a top-30 finish. Yet, there is reason to endorse him this week. The Plantation Course at Kapalua annually ranks among the highest in birdie average.

Last year, it yielded a clip of 5.03 birdies per round, second only to the Nicklaus Course at PGA West, site of Vegas' victory. Vegas ended his seven-month drought with a T10 in, all of places, Las Vegas, where he ranked sixth in birdie average. The Venezuelan's distance off the tee is an advantage at Kapalua, but he also hit two-thirds of his greens in regulation for the year. That's a potent combination in Maui.

Scott Piercy: Piercy broke through at the Reno-Tahoe Open on what is arguably one of the most underrated courses on the PGA TOUR. Montreux Golf and Country Club annually ranks among the most challenging yet fairest par 72s. Its scoring average of 71.84 last year was its lowest in the last five years. En route to a one-stroke margin of victory, the Las Vegas native established a course record of 61 in the third round.

That he failed to break 70 the rest of the week underscores his inconsistency but it also revealed a dynamic that he can go low at any time anywhere. He shares a similar makeup with Vegas with power and precision tee-to-green, but Piercy also can roll his rock with the best of them. His aggressive style is worth watching at Kapalua.

Note: Beginning in 2012, fantasy expert Rob Bolton will provide his list of sleeper picks for every tournament. This week, he focuses on the 28-player Hyundai Tournament of Champions, so this week's list will be brief.