PGATOUR.COM Fantasy Columnist Rob Bolton lists five against-the-grain fantasy selections to consider for this week's Sony Open in Hawaii.
Jon Curran ... Probably feeling pretty good coming off a T11 at the Waste Management Phoenix Open where he didn’t miss on 64 looks from 8 feet and in. That included 14 tries from 4-8 feet. In his debut at Pebble Beach last year, he ranked T9 in greens hit and sixth in scrambling en route to a T10. Currently fifth on TOUR in strokes gained: putting. Obviously goal is to celebrate his 29th birthday (on Feb. 17) with a breakthrough victory, but his form and fit give reason to its potential.
Jhonattan Vegas … The tournament debutant arrives in terrific form for a guy who’s saddled with Past Champion status. After hanging up a pair of top 10s and a T25 in the fall, he’s added a T18 at the Farmers and sits 47th in the FedExCup standings. Because of his low-lying position in the overall pecking order, every start is precious, but that’s nothing compared to fatherhood, which is imminent for the first time for the 31-year-old Venezuelan. Ranks inside the top 50 in both strokes-gained stats and slots T33 in par-5 scoring.
Chesson Hadley … Pebble Beach has served both as a site of his repeated success and renewal. After taking solo second at the annual (and unofficial) Pebble Beach Invitational in November of 2013, the then-PGA TOUR rookie extended a skid to 0-for-5 into January of 2014. The week of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in early February, he then confessed the following on Twitter: “New attitude coming out on the golf course today. I have been arrogant and lost that sense of thankfulness just to be out here... From now on I am just thankful to be on the PGA Tour. I don't deserve to be here but God has blessed me with this amazing opportunity... Humble confidence is what I am going to try and demonstrate from now on.” In direct response, he tied for 10th, and then broke through for victory in Puerto Rico a month later. In his return to the Monterey Peninsula last year, he again finished T10. With zero top-35 finishes since last May, the 28-year-old strides into this week with the positive experience that can contribute to snapping out of his slump.
Jason Kokrak … The bomber has a bit of Rory Sabbatini in him; that is, he’ll pile up top 25s with the missed cuts. Case in point, Kokrak is 4-for-8 this season with three top 25s and 2-for-4 at Pebble Beach with a pair of top 20s, both of which in the last two even-numbered years. Coincidence and trend aside, the mild success proves that he can navigate the Monterey Peninsula just fine. Length also has its advantages on courses with smaller greens. Led the 2012 field in greens in regulation and ranked fifth in 2014.
Alex Prugh … The Washington native has conditional status this season, so any West Coast start is golden for multiple reasons, but he’s enjoyed the bulk of his good times on TOUR in the time zone. In four appearances in this tournament, he’s registered three top 30s, including a set-best T10 last year when he led the field in total driving and ranked T3 in greens in regulation. Opened the 2016 Web.com Tour season with a T7 in Panama.
ROB BOLTON'S WRITING SCHEDULE
PGATOUR.COM's Fantasy Columnist Rob Bolton will be filing his usual staples leading up to this week's event. Look for the following features later this week:
MONDAY: Power Rankings
TUESDAY: Sleepers, Fantasy Insider
WEDNESDAY: One-and-Done, Comfort Zone
THURSDAY: Most-picked players