2012 PGA Sony Open in Hawaii
Waialae Country Club – Honolulu, Hawaii
Par 70 – 7,068 yards
Thursday, January 12-Sunday, January 15, 2012, TV: Golf Channel
Defending Champion: Mark Wilson
All odds courtesy of Bookmaker
After last week’s season opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions the PGA returns to Hawaii for the Sony Open, this time in Honolulu. This is first full field event as last week was only open to tournament winners from last season. Here is a look at some of the contenders and their odds as well as some of the head-to head match-ups. All odds are courtesy of Bookmaker.
Steve Stricker (7/1)
Stricker won last week in Maui to open the 2012 season. Stricker is the #5 golfer in the world. He missed some time last year with a herniated disc in his neck, and there were some concerns about his health. However, Stricker erased those doubts with a 3 stroke win at the Hyundai. Though he has never won this event, he has finished in the top ten four of the last five times he has played here. He will certainly contend here. He is worth a play to win and to beat Webb Simpson at -130.
Webb Simpson (11/1)
Simpson is #7 in the world. He tied for third last week with Jonathan Byrd. Simpson had a top 10 here in his debut at Waialae in 2009, but hasn’t contended since. He sometimes struggles on short putts but Simpson did lead the all-around last year. Simpson will contend here, but I don’t know if he can beat the hot Stricker.
K.J. Choi (14/1)
Choi tied for 5th last week at Plantation, but did shoot a 65 in the final round Monday. Choi won this event in 2008, and 4 other top 15’s here but none since 2009. Choi is very resilient as he has finished in the top 30 in scrambling the last two years on the PGA tour. Choi is -120 against Zach Johnson, and I like Choi to win that match-up.
Zach Johnson (14/1)
Johnson is making his 2012 debut here, but he won the event in 2009. Johnson finished 2nd to Tiger Woods in last month’s Chevron World Challenge. He isn’t the strongest driver on tour, but this course is pretty short, so it shouldn’t matter too much. Johnson was in the top 10 in fairways hit, and was fourth in scrambling last season. I think Johnson will contend, but I just don’t know if he can beat Stricker, Simpson, or Choi this week.
Charles Howell III (22/1)
Howell is also making his 2012 debut at Waialae. He has never won here but has 5 top 5 finishes in 10 trips here. He has never missed the cut in this event. Howell has finished in the top 7 in scrambling the last two years. He could be a nice semi-dark horse to win, and I like him to beat Keegan Bradley at -170.
Jonathan Byrd (28/1)
Byrd tied for 3rd last week at the Hyundai TOC. He has never really contended at the Sony with a 23rd place finish as his beat effort. I don’t see that changing here. He is +110 to beat Jason Dufner, and I like Byrd as an underdog.
Kevin Na (28/1)
Na shot a 64 in the second round last week in Maui, but finished in a disappointing tie for 12th out of 27 golfers. He had a top 20 finish here last year, and 2 top 5’s in ’08-’09. He is getting better off the tee, and has finished in the top 15 in scrambling each of his 8 years on tour. Na is -130 against Rory Sabbatini.
Rory Sabbatini (28/1)
Sabbatini arrived late to the first tee last week in the second round, and was assessed a 2 stroke penalty. That cost him a top 5 finish, but he still finished tied for 9th. He has never won here but has 2 runner ups since 2006. He sometimes struggles with accuracy off the tee, but has played well at this course. I like Sabbatini to beat Na head to head at even money.
Keegan Bradley (28/1)
Bradley won the PGA Championship last year as well as the rookie of the year. He finished 16th last week in Maui. He was tied for 68th last year in his debut here. The young and talented Bradley will contend… in a couple of years, but I don’t see it happening this year on this course.
David Toms (30/1)
Toms finished 26th out of 27 golfers last week in Maui. However, the Plantation course doesn’t fit Toms well, as he doesn’t have a lot of distance off the tee. Waialae is a much shorter course. Toms won here in 2006 and has a runner up in 2009. He is a dark horse to win here, and I like him at -120 to beat Mark Wilson.
Jason Dufner (30/1)
Dufner is making his 2012 debut at the Sony. He has never won on tour, but does have a couple of top 20’s here at Waialae. I don’t see anything better than that for him this week.
Here is a look at the odds for other golfers. Jerry Kelly, John Senden, Mark Wilson, Jeff Overton and Ryan Palmer (all 40/1), Robert Allenby, Bud Cauley, Carl Pettersson, Machael Thompson, Steve Marino, and Chris Kirk (all 50/1), field (+125).
This should be another great event, and the scores should be pretty low on a course that isn’t too difficult.