Honestly, if it weren't for DFS, I would have no interest in golf. I'm always looking to do something fun and different, and going to the Sony Open surely fit the bill. Luckily for me, Oahu is just a 5o-minute plane ride away and taxis and Uber made it easy to get to and from the Waialae Country Club for the last two rounds of the tournament.
The golf course is nestled in a residential area along the waterfront. Saturday felt like perfect spectator weather; a bit overcast with a light breeze that made for watching golf under the shade pleasurable, to say the least. I wasn't sure what to expect but our time at a live event was perfect because we walked the entire course with Justin Thomas, Hudson Swafford, and Gary Woodland.
Starting at the first hole, there were more putts missed than I had expected, and some of them looked to come within inches! Thomas had a more than exceptional first round on Thursday, so expectations were high. On the fifth hole, it looked like Swafford hit a ball off the tee, which ended up in a creek with very little water, possibly hitting the trees (but I can't say for sure). Both Woodland and Thomas hit balls outside of the fairway during the third round. At the 18th hole, Thomas hit a ball off the tee that was far left into the trees. I assume he was trying to hit it over the trees but it didn't have the distance. He had to hit the ball through the trees to get it to the green and made it, by only hitting a leaf from a coconut tree.
From early Sunday morning, it was obvious that it was going to be a hot, sunny day. It wasn't as overcast as the day before but it was more breezy at the golf course. As expected, Thomas drew a massive following, so I was glad we tagged along on Saturday. The fourth round started at the end of the 17th hole for us with Bryson DeChambeau's group, which also included James Hahn, and Andres Gonzales. We also jumped ahead and got a chance to see Robert Streb, Sean O'Hair, and Seamus Power. We waited at the 17th and 18th holes for Jamie Lovemark, Jordan Speith, Justin Rose, and Thomas.
Thomas was the obvious winner since he was so far ahead of the field, but still exciting to watch, nonetheless. As someone who doesn't watch much golf at all, I have to express how enjoyable the Sony Open was, and would absolutely love to go to another event. It was fascinating for me to be so close to the golfers off the tee, and the zip of the golf ball is a sound I will never forget. Also, to be in close proximity to the greens was unbelievable, and you can certainly feel the emotion with each putt.
On to the fantasy golf portion! I didn't do much research for the Sony Open, and put together these three lineups:
I really liked Lovemark this week, but to be honest, I didn't expect him to be my highest scoring golfer. DeChambeau hung in there nicely after battling dehydration and food poisoning. Although Swafford struggled in the last round, he still had a good showing. Brandt Snedeker and Jimmy Walker were disappointments by not making the cut. I thought Snedeker would rebound from the previous week at the Tournament of Champions, and Walker's course history didn't factor in to his results this time around.
Even though I know I won't be able to visit each course, this weekend has surely helped me to understand and relate more to course descriptions, and the meaning behind their interpretations which will be helpful for DFS. It's one thing to know what data to look for when doing DFS research, but all of it is put into clearer perspective for me now that I've attended my first live golf event.