The PGA stays in Hawaii this week for the Sony Open at Waialae Country Club. The course is more narrow with plenty of doglegs and wind possibly coming into play. I’m targeting players that putt well on Bermuda grass greens and have a solid history playing at this course. Here are two full tournament head-to-head matchups to consider.
Full disclosure, these picks went 0-3 last week after going 10-1 the previous six tournaments. It is a new year and some players haven’t set foot on a course in at least a couple of months, so perhaps this is an adjustment period.
Corey Conners (-120) vs. Harris English
We haven’t seen Conners play since November. However, a player with his iron-shot ability is hard to pass up. Conners is fifth in the field for strokes gained approach, second in the field for strokes gained total, while also having a pretty good track record in this event. Conners isn’t known for his putting abilities, yet he has gained strokes putting at this course in three straight years.
Harris English did play in last week’s Sentry Tournament of Champions but he lost six strokes ball striking and was negative from tee-to-green. With possible windy conditions on this type of course layout, you can’t afford to have a sloppy iron game. I’ll put my trust in one of the best ball strikers on tour who just so happens to have had his best putting rounds at this course.
Charles Howell III (-110) vs. Harris English
I’m in a complete fade of English, which could turn profitable results or backfire. Howell has the most experience in the field on this course, leads in strokes gained total here and is top eight in strokes gained putting. Just like Conners, we haven’t seen Howell on the links since November. However, three things are working in his favor. He’s great off the tee, around the green and a great Bermuda greens putter. He could certainly be a dark horse for this course.