Golf specialist Rob Taylor (@RobTaylorSport) previews the PGA Tour’s Sony Open in Hawaii and provides us with his best bets for this week’s event.
2019 Sony Open in Hawaii Betting Preview, Odds & Tips
- Date: 10-13 January
- Venue: Waialae Country Club, Honolulu, Hawaii
- Channel: Sky Sports Golf.
At last week’s Sentry Tournament of Champions, Xander Schauffele shot a stunning final round 62 to win and cement his position in the top 10 in the world. For me though, the PGA Tour kicks off properly in 2019, with the visit to Honolulu and the Sony Open. Held at the stunning Waialae Country Club, Justin Thomas, Bryson DeChambeau and Jordan Spieth, head a field trying to get their year off to a fast start.
Patton Kizzire is the defending champion, with other recent winners being: Justin Thomas, Fabian Gomez, Jimmy Walker (twice) and Russell Henley.
Key Stats & Facts
Waialae Country Club, a Seth Raynor designed resort, has been tweaked in recent years. A coastal track, where being a short and accurate hitter is no longer the only way to succeed around this 7,044 yard par 70 course. It remains a course though where strong Strokes Gained Approach, Strokes Gained Putting and a positive putter on Bermudagrass, will see you with a decent chance of lifting the trophy on Sunday.
Despite its coastal location, unusually little wind is forecast this week, so this course is there to be attacked and lots of birdies should be expected. Recent winning scores include -17, -27, -20 and -23, so the evidence is clear.
One other key factor is that playing the week before the Sony Open seems to pay off. Whilst this and last week’s events are very different, dusting off the Christmas cobwebs has seen the last 5 winners all play at Maui week before.
Betting Odds from Bet365 – the top 10 in the market
- Justin Thomas 13/2
- Bryson DeChambeau 10/1
- Jordan Spieth 14/1
- Gary Woodland 14/1
- Marc Leishman 20/1
- Cameron Champ 25/1
- Patrick Reed 28/1
- Cameron Smith 28/1
- Hideki Matsuyama 30/1
- Charles Howell III 30/1
Whilst Justin Thomas is an obvious favourite this week, being a previous winner and having a strong showing last week, 13/2 never gets me wildly excited, so I’ll be looking a bit further down the field to try and get some value.
Marc Leishman 20/1 is my idea of a good value bet this week. Following up a strong end to 2018, in which he had a win at the CIMB Classic and a 2nd place at his home PGA Championship, the Aussie kicked off 2019 with a 4th place last week. With 5 top 20 finishes at this event, and strong performance in both Strokes Gained Approach and Putting in the early season, I think he is primed to go well. Leishman remains one of the most underrated players on tour and is someone I expect to be in contention throughout the year. I’m even tipping him to win a major!
Brandt Snedeker 45/1 is my 2nd pick this week. A guy that just seems to love it by the coast and when the wind blows. Whilst the forecast for the wind remains low at the moment, Snedeker’s putting stats and experience by the sea cannot be ignored. 16th in Strokes Gained Putting last season, Snedeker is finding his rhythm again after an injury hit 12 months, getting things going with a 22nd place last week. He came 2nd here in 2017, and is known for doing well in the early part of the year.
Scott Piercy 60/1 has called this his favourite course on the tour and with 4 top 15 places, including a 2nd back in 2015, you can see why he is excited to be returning. Piercy has been in decent form recently too, with 5th, 10th and 6th place finishes at his last three events in 2018. He finished 19th last week after a very poor first round left him out of contention. He was however 14th in Strokes Gained Approach last season and it’s clear that his price would be a lot lower if it wasn’t for his poor putting stats.