After a beautiful (and heartbreaking, but we’ll get to that later) week in Maui, it’s time to head over to the big island for the Sony Open. Defending champion Hideki Matsuyama, Jordan Spieth and Tom Kim highlight a solid field bound for the PGA Tour’s second event of the new year.
Waialae Country Club is a marksman’s paradise — a par-70 track measuring just more than 7,000 yards that requires accuracy on every shot.
Kim enters the week as the betting favorite at +1000 followed by Sungjae Im at +1300 and Spieth at +1500. The 20-year-old is coming off a T-5 performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
Waialae Country Club | Par 70 | 7,044 yards | Seth Raynor design
Michael Thompson walks on the 17th hole during the second round of the Sony Open in Hawaii golf tournament at Waialae Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Data Golf Information
Course Fit (compares golf courses based on the degree to which different golfer attributes — such as driving distance — to predict who performs well at each course – DataGolf): 1. TPC Sugarloaf, 2. Colonial Country Club, 3. Austin Country Club
Trending (the players’ last three starts): 1. Brian Harman (2, T-2, T-16), 2. Maverick McNealy (T-18, T-10, T-27), 3. Tom Hoge (MC, MC, T-3)
Percent chance to win (based on course history, fit, trending, etc.): 1. Sungjae Im (7.2 percent), 2. Brian Harman (5.3 percent), 3. Tom Kim (5.1 percent)
Last week (Sentry TOC)
Collin Morikawa (left) is consoled by Jonathan Jakovac (right) on the 18th hole during the final round of the Sentry Tournament of Champions golf tournament at Kapalua Resort – The Plantation Course. (Photo: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)
I was almost counting the money, then the back nine started. We had Collin Morikawa outright at +2000, and Saturday night it looked all but wrapped up. Hopefully, the golf gods pay us back this time around.
Picks are posted every Wednesday on my Twitter account: @rileyhamel_
Sony Open odds
Tom Kim of South Korea looks on from the 14th tee during the first round of the Sentry Tournament of Champions at Plantation Course at Kapalua Golf Club on January 05, 2023 in Lahaina, Hawaii. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Tom Kim is a stud, no question about it. But, still, it’s a little uncomfortable to bet on him at 11 to 1. However, Waialae screams Kim. Short, accuracy-dependant, roll the rock and make birdies. That’s what the kid does.
Kim tied for fifth at the Plantation Course last week.
Bets to consider: Outright (+1100)
Corey Conners hits his chip shot on the ninth hole during the third round of the Sentry Tournament of Champions golf tournament at Kapalua Resort – The Plantation Course. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Conners didn’t have the best week in Maui, finishing T-16, however, he left on a high note shooting a final-round 6-under 67.
The Canadian’s last three Sony Open starts: 11th (2022), T-12 (2020) and T-3 (2019).
Bets to consider: Outright (+2000), Top 20 (+125)
Brian Harman hits his tee shot on the eighth hole during the third round of the Sentry Tournament of Champions golf tournament at Kapalua Resort – The Plantation Course. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Harman had a solid week in Maui shooting sub-70 for the first three days before posting a final-round 3-under 70. The Georgia Bulldog has made the weekend at Waialae in four of his last five appearances including T-4 in 2018.
Bets to consider: Outright (+2000), Top 20 (+100)