The PGA Tour’s Hawaii swing continues with the Sony Open. Here’s who we’re expecting to challenge, but first…
Sony Open in Hawaii details
Venue: Waialae Country Club, Hawaii, USA
Date: January 14-17, 2021
Course stats: Par 72; 7,044 yards
Course summary: This short track is a different test to last week’s venue, with a Harbour Town links vibe that requires accuracy and precision from players. Wind is the main defence here, with scoring very interchangeable dependent on the conditions. Average width, tree-lined Bermuda fairways lead to large Bermuda greens that often play slow. This is an old-school type test that requires accuracy from tee-to-green and consistently strong putting.
Purse: $6.6 million
Defending champion: Cameron Smith (-11)
Sony Open in Hawaii TV coverage
Thursday: Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Main Event from midnight (Friday)
Friday: Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Main Event from midnight (Saturday)
Saturday: Sky Sports Golf from midnight (Sunday)
Sunday: Sky Sports Golf from 11pm
Sony Open in Hawaii staking plan
Abraham Ancer – 2.5pt e/w @ 28/1 with bet365
A closing 76 cast a shadow over what was an impressive performance from Ancer at Augusta, so I fancy him to go well on a course that plays to his strengths. The Mexican has good form at similar venues, evidenced by a T12 and T8 finish in his last two visits to El Camaleon, a 14th place at Colonial, and a runner-up finish at Harbour Town in 2020. A couple of respectable visits to Waialae in recent years adds to his appeal, but his progressive performances are what really interest me. Ancer currently ranks 8th for Driving Accuracy, hits an average 72% of GIR, and ranked 3rd for SG: Putting at Kapalua last week. He certainly fits the profile of a winner here, and as he searches for his maiden PGA Tour victory I get the feeling it is not far away.
Cameron Smith – 2.5pt e/w @ 28/1 with bet365
The defending champion of this event is in scintillating form, with a T2 finish at the Masters in November an obvious highlight. The Australian’s last five appearances read 24-2-4-11-24, and a positive performance last week banishes any concerns of rust caused by the Christmas break. In the last five years the winner of this event has ranked in the top five for SG: Putting, so Smith should have a great chance as one of the top putters on tour. The two strongest areas of his game in the last three months, according to SG data, are Tee-to-Green and Putting, so this venue should play to his strengths.
Brendon Todd – 2pt e/w @ 45/1 with bet365
A positive week in Hawaii last week will boost the confidence of Todd, and this course should compliment his game even more than Kapalua. Interestingly, 2019 winner Matt Kuchar described similarities between the Waialae and El Camaleon, a course that Todd has had great success at. A victory in the Mayakoba in 2019, followed by 8th place a year later, is worth considering. Todd had a top-25 finish at Waialae last year and currently ranks 4th for SG: Putting on tour this season, which is an important measure for success here. On this track Todd will need to rely on his consistent Driving Accuracy, so when you consider he ranks 2nd on tour in this area and hits an average 74% of fairways, it would be no surprise to see him go close here.
Michael Thompson – 0.5pt e/w @ 160/1 with bet365
After a steady start to 2021 at Kapalua last week, Thompson could be a great each-way shout at a big price here. Thompson ranked 5th for SG: Approach in Round 4, and 11th in the same category over the four rounds. Thompson also performed well with the putter at Kapalua, ranking second in the field for SG: Putting behind only eventual winner Harris English. Those two measures are crucial for success at Waialae, and with T6 and T20 finishes here in the past he should be able to draw upon his wealth of course experience. Realistically speaking it would be a surprise to see him win the event, but with a win at the 3M Open and an 8th at Harbour Town in 2020, Thompson offers plenty of each-way value.
For more prices, visit bet365.
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