Sony Open in Hawaii Predictions, Betting Odds & Top Picks
- This is the second leg of the two-week Hawaiian Swing
- Waialae CC stages the first full-field event of the calendar year
- Aussie Cameron Smith defends the title on the Seth Raynor par 70
Sony Open in Hawaii Odds
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Sony Open in Hawaii Predictions and Picks
Mexico’s Abraham Ancer finished strong at the Sentry TOC and is worth an each-way bet at +2800 with bet365 (1/4 1-2-3-4-5).
Masters runner-up Sungjae Im made an impressive start to 2021 with top five in the Sentry TOC. He can beat Hideki Matsuyama over 72 holes -118 DraftKings Sportsbook.
Si-Woo Kim likes this sort of test and has T8 and T17 in his last four PGA Tour starts; he can land another top 20 at +300 DraftKings Sportsbook.
Abraham Ancer each-way (1/4 1-2-3-4-5) +2800 at bet365
Sungjae Im to beat Hideki Matsuyama in a 72-hole match -118 at DraftKings Sportsbook
Si-Woo Kim to land a top 20 at +300 at DraftKings Sportsbook
Sony Open in Hawaii How to Watch
|Sony Open in Hawaii Information|
|What||Sony Open in Hawaii|
|Where||Waialae Country Club, Honolulu, HI|
|When||Thursday, January 14 – Sunday, January 17|
|How to Watch||Thursday 7.00pm-10.30pm ET (Golf Channel), Friday 7.00pm-10.30pm (Golf Channel), Saturday 7.00pm-10.30pm (Golf Channel), Sunday 6.00pm-10.00pm (Golf Channel). All 4 days on Sky Sports|
Sony Open in Hawaii Profile
After just 42 players pegged it up in the first event of the Hawaiian Swing – the Sentry Tournament of Champions – the PGA Tour hops from Maui to Honolulu for the first full-full field event of the calendar year.
The Sony Open has been a regular part of the early-season schedule and Waialae Country Club has hosted every year since 1965.
The Seth Raynor design is in stark contrast to last week’s Plantation Course. Par there was 73 but it’s 70 at Waialae with a par 5 rounding off each nine. Compared to the Plantation it’s much flatter, with narrower fairways and smaller greens and yet we’ve seen players win at both courses – sometimes in the same year.
The event has also provided two back-to-back winners since the turn of the century: Ernie Els (2003-2004) and Jimmy Walker (2014-2015).
Hoping to match them is Aussie Cameron Smith, who took the title after a play-off with Brendan Steele 12 months ago. Smith’s winning total of 11-under was the highest since 2005, showing that the short 7,044-yard track does have some teeth if the wind blows. He returns to defend.
Americans have won 10 of the last 12 editions while 15 of the last 22 Sony Open winners had played the week before at the Sentry TOC.
Abraham Could Be the Answer in Tricky Puzzle
Abraham Ancer is still looking for his first PGA Tour win but it looks a matter of when not if. The Mexican was a big contender on his Masters’ debut in November and followed that with tied 12th in front of his home fans in the Mayakoba Golf Classic. He pegged it up for the first time in 2021 when qualifying for the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
On a course he’d never seen before, Ancer started steadily but then hit the gas on the weekend. Indeed, his final 36-hole score of 11-under matched that of winner Harris English. The 29-year-old University of Oklahoma grad is a fine wind player and this week’s course looks a great fit for him.
He’s shot in the 60s in seven of his last eight rounds at Waialae and this year he’ll have the benefit of extra sharpness having contested last week’s Hawaii event.
Strong putting and accurate approach play are the keys to Sony success and he displayed both elements last week when ranked third for SG: Putting and 13th for SG: Approach.
“It’s a golf course that I like a lot. Got to be precise off the tee; can get really windy,” he said of Waialae on his third visit last year.
Ancer has an incentive, an ideal course, and his game in the right place to make a big challenge.
Back him each-way (¼ 1-2-3-4-5) with bet365.
Im To Outscore Matsuyama
Asian stars Sungjae Im and Hideki Matsuyama are pitted together in a 72-holer this week and it’s the Korean star who looks to hold all the aces.
Im’s confidence was high after finishing a brilliant runner-up on his Master’s debut and he kept the engine running in December by finishing a creditable T14 in the European Tour’s DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.
He was seeing the courses at those two events for the first time and that was again the case in last week’s Sentry Tournament of Champions.
The Plantation Course is a hard one to learn quickly and first-timers often struggle. But Im proved the best of the newbies with four rounds in the 60s on the par 73 to finish in a tie for fifth.
Now he finally faces some familiarity as he heads to Waialae Country Club, a venue where he’s played twice previously. Those events went pretty well. He was T16 on debut and then tied seventh with 18 to play last year before finishing T21. In other words, he likes the course.
Opponent Matsuyama spent most of last week at the bottom of the leaderboard and eventually finished joint-last in tied 41st. His putting was dreadful (lost -9.742 strokes SGP) and he’ll again face slowish greens here.
This is a track that has caused him problems down the years. He missed his first four cuts and hadn’t managed a top 25 until last year’s T12. That will help to some extent but even then he opened with a 4-over 74 so I’m not convinced.
However you cook it, Im looks the better bet and is a wager at -118 with DraftKings Sportsbook.
Kim To Land In Top 20
Despite golf’s obsession with length, there are still a few short par the 70s/71s in existence on the PGA Tour. This is one of them while others such as Sedgefield and Harbour Town highlight the chances of my top 20 pick – Si-Woo Kim.
The Korean was a winner at Sedgefield (Wyndham Championship) in 2016 and has made the top five there the last two years. He was runner-up at Harbour Town (The Heritage) in 2018. At this week’s track, Kim posted a top-four on debut and he played well enough throughout 2020 to suggest he can have another good week.
On very basic recent numbers, he’s finished in the top 20 (T8 Shriners, T17 CJ Cup) in two of his last three non-majors.
Take that into account along with his liking for this type of layout and a top 20 at +300 at DraftKings Sportsbook looks a smart play.
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Dave Tindall is former golf editor at SkySports.com and Golf365.com and has been writing betting previews for the PGA Tour and European Tour since 1997. He has also written for a range of betting companies, including William Hill and Betfair, as well as being a regular columnist for Rotoworld, The Guardian, Sporting Life and Planet Sport. His other area of speciality is football while he's also covered cricket and tennis.
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