2014 Sony Open in Hawaii
Thursday, January 9-Sunday, January 12, 2014, TV: Golf Channel
Waialae Country Club – Honolulu, Hawaii
Par 70 – 7,068 yards
Defending Champion: Russell Henley
All Odds and props courtesy of Bookmaker
The Sony Open in Hawaii used to be the first full field event of the PGA season after the Tournament of Champions open only to winners from the previous season. However, last year the PGA started the FedEx Cup season in the fall with 3 events before taking a month and a half break.
This event started off as the Hawaiian Open and has been played annually since 1965. The Waialae Country Club was built in the late 1920’s and opened in 1927. The course was remodeled and lengthened in 1999. Waialae was the easiest Par 70 on tour last year. Winner Russell Henley tore shooting -24 for a three stroke victory over Tim Clark in 2013, the third lowest four round score in PGA history. Really if the winds aren’t blowing, this course is no challenge for the top pros. Similarly mild weather to last year is expected this weekend. It should be mostly sunny with hihgs in the 80’s and low winds all four days.
Here is a look at some of the contenders and head-to-head match-ups with odds courtesy of Bookmaker.
Adam Scott (+771)
Scott had a brilliant 2013 campaign including a Masters title for his first major win. He had two wins, a second and a third in four tournaments in his native Australia to close out 2013. This is his 2014 debut and he will take six weeks off after this event. Scott finished tied for second here in 2009. He should definitely contend again. Scott is -132 to beat Matt Kuchar and -147 to beat Zach Johnson. I like Scott to beat Kuchar.
Zach Johnson (+1030)
Johnson won the Tournament of Champions last week to kick off his 2014 season. He won this event in 2009, but has only one other top 30 finish here. Johnson is one of the most consistent players on tour, and he is always worth a play to win. I like him at +127 to beat Scott and at -108 to beat Kuchar.
Matt Kuchar (+1240)
Kuchar closed out 2013 with 4 top 7 finishes, but 3 of those were unofficial Tour events. This is his 2014 debut. He tied for fifth in his last two trips to Waialae in 2011 and 2013. Like Johnson, Kuchar is a threat to win every time out.
Jordan Spieth (+1442)
Spieth was the 2013 PGA Tour rookie of the year with a win, 3 seconds, and 5 other top 10’s. He came in second last week at the Tournament of Champions last week losing by a stroke to Johnson. He is making his Waialae debut, but I think his game suits the course. Spieth is my pick to win the Sony Open. Spieth is also a good play at -140 to beat Charles Howell III.
Jason Dufner (+1859)
Dufner won his first major last year by taking the PGA Championship. He came in fifth last week at the Tournament of Champions. Dufner has only 2 top 20 finishes in 6 appearances at the Sony Open. Dufner is -141 to beat Tim Clark.
Charles Howell III (+1943)
Howell has 3 top 10’s so far in the FedEx Cup Season, but is making his 2014 debut. Howell loves this course having 7 top 5 finishes and he is also 12 for 12 in making the cut here. He could be worth a play.
Tim Clark (+2082)
Clark has finsihed second here his last two trips in 2011 and 2013. He is making his 2014 debut, and should do well at this course. I like Clark at +121 to beat Dufner.
Harris English (+2105)
English won twice in 2013 including the OHL Classic last November. He tied for ninth here last year and shot a 62 in the third round. He could contend again this year. English is -135 to beat Hideki Matsuyama. I like English in that match-up.
Hideki Matsuyama (+2317)
Matsuyama won 4 times worldwide last year including the Casio World Open. He is making his debut at Waialae. Matsuyama isn’t very well known in the United States but that will change as he plays a full schedule on the PGA Tour this season.
Brian Gay (+2594)
Gay loves this course. He has three top tens and three more top 25’s at Waialae in 14 career starts here. He has also shot par or better for 20 straight rounds here. He is making his 2014 debut, but tied for fourth in the McGladrey Classic last November. I like Gay at -112 to beat Brendon De Jonge.
Chris Kirk (+2959)
Kirk is making his 2014 debut but won the McGladrey last year. He tied for fifth last year and shot a 62 in the second round. I like Kirk at -138 to beat Jimmy Walker.
Other Contenders and their odds include Brian Stuard (+3393), Mark Leishman (+4145). Brendon De Jonge (+4267), Russell Henley and Jimmy Walker (both +4270), and the field is +285.
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