The Sony Open in Hawaii is a FedEx Cup Series ranking, professional golfing event for players on the PGA Tour. Unlike many tournaments of its kind, this event has remained at the same course – the Waialae Country Club in Honolulu, Hawaii – since its inception in 1965. Today, it is also the first full-field event of the golfing calendar to run in the new year, allowing punters to enjoy some post-Christmas wagering on golf.

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The Sony Open Hawaii takes place each year in the middle of January and is held at the Waialae Country Club in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA. Going off so early in the year means that this is the first fully participated PGA event of the new season.

Somewhat uniquely, alongside the regular PGA Tour criteria of eligibility for their event, the Sony Open has the power to invite as many as three emerging professional golfers of their choosing, which is how Michelle Wie first played this event when she was just 14 years old.

Especially for this event, the front and back nines are switched around at the Waialae Country Club so that the 18th and final hole actually becomes the ninth, which contains a dogleg bend.

The Sony Hawaii Open begins, as do all golf tournaments, on a Thursday, and finishes on the following Sunday. On each of the four days running from Thursday through Sunday, each of the golfers in the field will play a full round of golf over 18 holes.

After 36 holes have been played by the close of play on the Friday, a cut is enforced in order to trim the field of players. Those that remain in the competition will play the final two days, finishing on Sunday.

Once all of the golfers have finished on Sunday’s final day, the player who has amassed the highest below-par score is the winner of the Sony Hawaii Open. On occasions, stroke play golf tournaments such as this one can end in a draw between players tied on the same par, in which case a three-hole playoff is employed in order to split the tied players and determine a winner.

Playoffs are becoming more common as the competition continues to get stronger, with finer margins between players. Four of the last ten tournaments have ended in a playoff, an enormous increase from previous years, with only four playoffs having been played in the preceding 25 tournaments.

  • Although it isn’t open to all golfers, the first official event of the calendar year also takes place in Hawaii on the island of Maui, and is called the Sentry Tournament of Champions. The event is limited to tournament winners from the previous season, meaning that it’s a rather exclusive golf tournament only allowing a maximum of 50 participants.

With so much action in only a few days, betting on the Sony Open opens up plenty of opportunities. Here’s all the information you need to get to betting.

Sony Open Winner Odds

The 2023 Sony open leader board, which is a list of the 144 players set to participate in this year’s event hasn’t been confirmed yet. The deadline for players to officially commit to playing is Friday 6th January at 5pm E.T (10pm GMT). We’ll update you on the best odds for the tournament once the players are announced.

Sony Open Hawaii Betting Tips & Predictions 2023

Since the names of the players, who will compete in the Sony Open haven’t been announced yet, our predictions section will undoubtably be slightly limited. However here are our top pics of players to watch throughout the tournament.

Rory McIlroy

Currently world number one in this season of the PGA tour McIlroy is looking to rekindle his old form of 2012-2015 where he raked up the majority of his 23 PGA Tour titles. He’s already won this season’s CJ Cup and is on the hunt for more. The Northern Irishman would be the first British player ever to win the tournament.

Keegan Bradley

Bradley is currently top of the Money Leaders leader board, amassing a massive $2,380,224 in prize money so far. He’s already won the Zozo Championship in Japan this season and will be looking for a second title win this season. To be at the top of the Money Leaders, you have to be able to consistently do well and end up in some high positions, we’re sure he's capable of keeping up this consistency.

Adam Svensson

Svensson has just won his first tournament in his PGA Tour career. The last tournament to be played so far; the RSM Classic will forever be a major milestone in his career, he’ll be looking to keep up his fine form in the Hawaiian competition. The Canadian is also seventh in the Money Leaders, showing his consistency.

Sony Open Hawaii Betting Promotions 2023

  • At BoyleSports, golf betting can be very rewarding, as they offer a great welcome offer that gives £40 in free bets to newcomers who bet an initial £10 when they first sign up.
  • At William Hill, punters can find very valuable golf odds, together with a bet £10 get £30 welcome offer – making them a great Sony Open betting site.
  • This is the first full field event of the calendar year.
  • It has a prize fund of $7.9 million (£6.5 million).
  • It’s the 2nd leg of the Hawaiian Swing.
  • The world’s best golfers are just getting into the swing of the new year.
  • It is a hugely prestigious event.
  • bet365
  • Unibet
  • Betfair
  • Coral
  • William Hill

Golf is an amazing bettor’s sport with a ton of options to take advantage of. One of the truly great things about golf betting is that, because the entry numbers are so vast, there is always value to be had – even on the tournament favourites. Moreover, because of the tournament formats, betting markets will open up based on two- or three-ball betting, or even certain players making or missing the cut, for example. As we said – a bettor’s dream, and with any luck, an online bookmaker’s nightmare.

  • Outright Winner Betting Outright tournament betting doesn’t change from sport to sport, but some are easier to predict than others. The main purpose of the bet remains the same, though: to successfully predict the winning player – in this case, the golfer that wins the Sony Open by amassing the best score after 72 holes have been played. Even for beginners, betting doesn’t get simpler than this. However, if you are completely new to all of this, here’s a useful guide on how to place a bet.
  • First Round Leader Betting As is quite common in golf, a player can race ahead on day one only to stutter and fall back on the following days. Fortunately, for the purposes of this bet, this wouldn’t matter if it happened to your pick. All that is required for your bet to pay out is for your selection to be on top of the Sony Open in Hawaii leaderboard at the end of play on the first day. If he falters after that, that’s his bad luck and not yours.
  • To Make the Cut Betting Another great Sony Open betting option is to bet on someone making or missing out on the cut. The cut is a golfing term where the field of players is trimmed after two days’ play, with any struggling players removed from the tournament. This bet tends to pay better if a well-known and high-ranking player that is expected to make the cut doesn’t, or if a low-ranking player not expected to make the cut does. One way to successfully gauge the best up and coming outsiders is to follow the very best betting tips Top 5, Top 10, Top 20 Finish Betting Another way to bet on the Sony Hawaii Open is to place a wager on a player finishing among a certain number of places from the top. This could be as big as a top 20 finish or as small as a top five finish. As long as your pick manages to finish in the top number of players that you stated in your bet, then the wager is a winner. It does not matter where they finish so long as it’s in your allotted amount. It is worth noting that this is not the same as an each-way bet.
  • Betting on the Winning Country Another emerging market in the golfing world, as golf becomes more and more globalised, so too do the best players. Betting on which country to bet may be a safer option as there’ll be multiple players from each country unless you go for a smaller nation. Throughout the years out of the 57 previous winners, the vast majority have been American. There have been multiple other countries who have won multiple times, these include Australia, Japan and South Africa.
CountryWins
USA47
Australia3
Japan2
South Africa2
Fiji1
Australia1
South Korea1

The Sony Open started out in 1965 and, for its first five renewals, was originally an autumnal wintery event, taking place in November. In 1970, the event was put back to a later winter date of February, meaning it wasn’t held in 1970 at all but in early 1971 instead. The dates were later moved to early January as we know it today.

Something which hasn’t changes throughout the tournament s history, is its location. The Sony Open has been held at the Waialae Country Club, Honolulu, Oahu in Hawaii ever since its inception. This makes it the 3rd longest serving host in the entire PGA Tour.

It was 26 years after moving to February before the Hawaii Open picked up its first sponsor, when United Airlines backed the event in 1991 and stayed with the tourney until 1999.

That year, Sony, the tournament’s present day sponsor, picked up the commercial partnership. They’ve been chief sponsors ever since making them the 3rd longest serving sponsors in the PGA Tour. Along side Sony, the event boasts over 100 total sponsors.

In 1965 Gay Brewer became the inaugural champion. He almost become the first player to retain his title but fell short by 3 strokes finishing second behind Ted Makalena. Makalena also made history by becoming the first Hawaiian born winner of the event.

In 1969, Bruce Crampton became the first Australian and first non-American to win the competition. It took another 13 years until the next non-American winner when Japanese golfer, Isao Aoki, became the first Japanese player to win a PGA Tour event.

Throughout the years five players have managed to win the tournament twice. Most surprising of all is that four of the five players actually won both tournaments back-to-back. Only Lanny Wadkins won twice without defending a title, winning in 1988 and 1991. The last person to achieve the feat was Jimmy Walker winning in 2014 and 2015.

The closest a player came to winning the competition three times was the South African golfer Ernie Els, who won the tournament in 2003 and 2004. Els was just one stroke behind the Fijian golfer Vijay Singh in 2005, finishing second.

In 1998, John Huston broke the 43 year old scoring record previously belonging to Ben Hogan when he shot 28 under par. In 2017 Justin Thomas smashed the tournament records for lowest score in every section scoring 59 in 18 holes, 123 in 36 holes, 188 in 54 holes, and finally the entire tournament record of 253 shots across 72 holes.

The Sony Open, uniquely have been given the right to award three additional spots to any up-and-coming golfers. The tournament was made famous for inviting, then 14-year-old Hawaii local Michelle Wie to participate. In fact, she was invited and attended four years in a row, but sadly missed the cut on all four occasions.

The 2018 Sony Open was remembered for some entirely different reasons besides the golf. On the third day of playing, the first day after the cut off, an automatic SMS was sent to everyone in Hawaii including players and staff that a ballistic missile had been launched directed towards Hawaii. Staff hid in locker rooms and many players shared their experiences live on their social media pages.

The event was able to be played and events carried out as normal after it was confirmed that the message, which was sent by the government, was sent in error. With play resumed, Patton Kizzire beat James Hahn in a playoff final to secure top spot.

The event is hosted by the Friends of Hawaii Charities, Inc. and the event has served as an excellent form of fundraising to over 350 entities benefiting since 1999. To date the event has donated over $23 million (£19.1 million) to charity so far.

With the competition gaining in popularity, the prized pot has also increased throughout the years. The Sony Open’s full purse is £7.9 million (£6.55 million). This purse is shared between the players who made it passed the cut off and is divided according to how well the player does. The champion receives a cool $1.42 million (£1.18 million) in prize money.

2022 saw the second Japanese golfer to win the Open in 39 years. Hideki Matsuyama hit an excellent -23 par performance. This wasn’t enough to shake off Russell Henley, who ended the 72 on the same points. The playoff was closely contested, however, Matsuyama emerged victorious.

YearWinnerCountryScore (below par)Winning margin
2022Hideki MatsuyamaJapan257 (-23)Playoff
2021Kevin NaUnited States259 (-21)1 Stroke
2020Cameron SmithAustralia269 (-11)Playoff
2019Matt KucharUnited States258 (-22)4 Strokes
2018Patton Kizzire United States263 (-17)Playoff
2017Justin Thomas United States253 (-27)7 Strokes
2016Fabián Gómez Argentina260 (-20)Playoff
2015Jimmy Walker United States257 (-23)9 Strokes
2014Jimmy Walker United States263 (-17)1 Stroke
2013Russell Henley United States256 (-24)3 Strokes
2012Johnson Wagner United States267 (-13)2 Strokes
2011Mark Wilson United States264 (-16)2 Strokes
2010Ryan Palmer United States265 (-15)1 Strokes
2009Zach Johnson United States265 (-15)2 Strokes
2008K. J. Choi South Korea266 (-14)3 Strokes
  • In 2017, Justin Thomas broke three records from the second round onwards, posting the 18-hole record (59), the 36-hole record (123), the 54-hole record (188) and, of course, the tournament record of 253.
  • Of the Sony Open past winners, only Hubert Green, Corey Pavin, Lanny Wadkins, Ernie Els and Jimmy Walker have all won this competition twice.
  • In 1983, Isao Aoki won the Sony Hawaii Open and, in doing so, became the first ever PGA Tour winner from Japan.
  • The reigning champion, Hideki Matsuyama, is the second Japanese golfer to win the Sony Open.
  • Just four days after his 16th birthday, Tadd Fujikawa made the cut at the Sony Open in Hawaii in 2007, becoming the second youngest player to ever achieve that feat in an official PGA Tour event.
  • The Sony open made headlines after inviting a local female golfer Michelle Wie four times in a row between 2004 and 2007. Wie was just 14 years old, the first time she entered. Wie never made the cut.
  • Only 10 players outside of the US have ever won the tournament. Not a single European player has ever won the event.
  • 30th January – 5th February 2023, AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am: Held annually in February on three separate golf courses in California, this event features amateur participation.
  • 9th – 12th February 2023, WM Phoenix Open: A real fan favourite on the PGA Tour and has one of the highest prized pot of the calendar.
  • 16th – 19th February 2023, Genesis Invitational: Following on from the two above and another part of the West Coast Swing, this Californian PGA event takes place in late February each year.

The best betting sites for Sony Open betting are Paddy Power, bet365 and BoyleSports.

The 2022 Sony Open is available to watch on Sky Sports, with broadcasts going live from midnight on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 11pm on Sunday night. All times GMT.

The PGA Sony Hawaii Golf Open takes place, and always has, at Hawaii’s Waialae Country Club, which is located in Honolulu.

The Waialae Country Club is a par-72 championship course, and is played at 7,125 yards.

Yes, this is a common golf bet. However, remember that in the past decade only three non-Americans have won the event.

The Sony Hawaii Golf Open is enjoyed by many golf punters looking to place a few early-season golf wagers. While not technically the first PGA tournament of the year, the Sony Hawaii Open golf tournament is the first to go off with a full field.

The event follows on from the Sentry Tournament of Champions which has a field of competitors that is completely restricted to tournament winners from the previous PGA season. This means there are more options for Hawaii Sony Open betting, such as betting on rookie golfers, for example.

WRITTEN BY Jeremy Sant Fournier
View all posts by Jeremy Sant Fournier

If there’s one thing Jeremy loves, it’s sports. A football fanatic at heart, Jeremy can always been found watching, playing or talking about sports. It’s in his blood, and with a keen interest in sports betting, sports writing is a match made in heaven.

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