The Sony Open 2016 Preview

Written by Matt Cee for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now!

The Sony Open | 14 January - 17 January | Waialae Country Club


After Jordan Spieth destroyed the field in last week's Hyundai Tournament of Champions the PGA Tour will remain in Hawaii for the Sony Open, which will hopefully prove to be a bit more competitive and offer a little more value. That looks like it may be unlikely though as this course is almost as easy as last week’s, which means that whilst Jordan Spieth may not be around to blow the field away, someone else could. Measuring a little over 7 000 yards, this layout doesn’t offer much in the way of challenges so the key will be making a lot of birdies which shouldn’t prove to be too difficult unless the wind picks up.

Last year Jimmy Walker won with an outstanding 23 under which was nine strokes better than the runner-up. This shows that it is definitely possible to run away with this tournament. So what are we looking for this week? Well, birdie making ability is obviously key and on this layout, the only real hurdle in doing that will be putting. Most of the field will be able to hit greens in regulation, so the key will be capitalising on those by one putting. Other than that, keep an eye on those players known for their consistency. A single mishit shot could well mean the difference between winning and losing, so avoiding those is going to be vital. So who will win in Hawaii this week? Let’s have a look.

To Win Outright
Jimmy Walker: 14/1
Adam Scott: 20/1
Matt Kuchar: 20/1
Kevin Kisner: 22/1
Zach Johnson: 22/1

Jimmy Walker (14/1 a win, 3/1 a place)
Although Walker is by no means as well known as a number of the players who feature at the top of the betting this week, he seems to have figured out exactly how to play this course and given that he’s won the last two installments of this tournament, he certainly seems worth an each way bet. He’s one of those players who blows hot and cold but he closed the year with some solid performances and it’s that kind of consistency that could see him fare well here this week. Three wins in a row may seem impossible but I don’t think it’s out of Walker’s reach. Each way is the bet for me.

Harris English (30/1 a win, 66/10 a place)
Harris English is another player who seems to love this layout and although he hasn’t fared quite as well as Walker, he has finished inside the Top 10 in his last three outings and is certainly worth an each way bet. He arrives in Hawaii having closed the year playing really consistent golf and although he hasn’t won in a while, I’m hoping that could all change this week. At this price English can’t be ignored, so I’ll be backing him each way.

Scott Piercy (50/1 a win, 11/1 a place)
Scott Piercy didn’t seem to be at his best last week but that was due in part to some poor driving, which saw him end up in trouble more often than not. Reassuringly, he was one of the better putters in the field and if he can keep his driver under control here there’s no reason he can’t pull off another top five finish this week. He has the all round game to fare well on a layout like this and given that he seems to enjoy the course I’m surprised he’s available at such long odds. Again, I’ll be having an each way bet.

TOP BET:
Brandt Snedeker (28/1 a win, 62/10 a place)
Last week Snedeker looked like he was back to his best and some ultra consistent golf saw him finish 3rd against a tough field. After a bit of a dip in form he looked to be returning to his best in 2015 and last week showed that improvement should continue this year. If there’s one player who you can count on to drain putts it’s Snedeker and over the years, he has consistently ranked highly in that area of the game. Given that ability and his recent form, I’m finding it hard to look past Snedeker this week and will be backing him each way.

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