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Remind me next time

16/1 Tony Finau was the best of the four tips from last week's Sentry Tournament of Champions, who unfortunately finished just 1 shot outside of the places on -21. 12/1 Justin Thomas and 30/1 Seamus Power finished T25 on -15 and 28/1 Sam Burns limped home on -11. A pretty bleak start to the 2023 golfing year to say the least, but a very welcone return to a full field event this week at the Sony Open.

One last comment on last weeks action, eventual winner Jon Rahm trailed the 54 hole leader Collin Morikawa by 7 shots with 11 holes to play. A combination of a brilliant back 9 by Rahm and a truley miraculous collapse by Morikawa meant that Rahm won by 1 shot.  

Sony Open Betting Odds

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We move onto the second and final stop in Hawaii for this season and visit the Wai’alae Country Club in East Honolulu for the first full field event of 2023. 

This tournament was established in 1965 and has always been held at Wai’alae, it has just taken on different sponsorship names down the road. However, here we are under the name of the Sony Open as it has been since 1999. 

Lets go a little bit into what the players will face here in Hawaii. 

Wai’alae Country Club  

  • Par 70 – Coastal track 
  • 7044 yards Approx. 
  • 4 x Par 3s - ranging from 162-215 yards 
  • 12 x Par 4s - ranging from 355-494 yards 
  • 2 x Par 5s - 494 and 546 yards 
  • Seth Raynor originally designed, most recent renovation from Tom Doak in 2017. 
  • TifDwarf Bermuda greens 
  • Renowned for its easy Par 3 and Par 5 scoring averages 
  • Tricky set of Par 4s – 7 of them are over 450 yards 
  • Larger than Tour average green surfaces 

With tighter fairways than last week and more of an emphasis on the classic ‘Second Shot’, the 24 guys that are teeing it up here that played last week in the Tournament of Champions will have to adapt to the polar opposite to what they saw last week. 

A huge 600 yards shorter this week, less Par 5s and slightly smaller surfaces will result in a much more realistic scoring week with high teens/early twenties expected if the wind does not blow too hard.

Sony Open Past Winners

Heres a list of the past 5 winners here at the Sony Open: 

  • 2022 - Hideki Matsuyama (-23) 
  • 2021 - Kevin Na (-21) 
  • 2020 – Cameron Smith (-11) 
  • 2019 – Matt Kuchar (-22) 
  • 2018 – Patton Kizzire (-17) 
  • 2017 – Justin Thomas (-27) 

More of a methodical type of golfer has recently succeeded here, with quality putters and great wedge players prevailing. 

Rather than assuming and going by names, lets delve a little more into the 6 previous winners and their stats for the week that led them to victory. 

2022 - Hideki Matsuyama (-23) 

  • T13 DA
  • 5th OTT
  • 5th T2G
  • 25th APP
  • 6th Scramble
  • 3rd PA  
  • T4 Par 3s
  • T1 Par 4s
  • T6 Par 5s 

2021 - Kevin Na (-21)

  • T50 DA
  • 44th OTT
  • 2nd T2G
  • 4th APP
  • 6th Scramble
  • 6th PA  
  • 3rd Par 3s
  • 6th Par 4s
  • 5th Par 5s 

2020 - Cameron Smith (-11) 

  • 41st DA
  • 18th OTT
  • 30th T2G
  • 53rd APP
  • 20th Scramble
  • T2 PA  
  • 6th Par 3s
  • 3rd Par 4s
  • 13th Par 5s 

2019 - Matt Kuchar (-22) 

  • 4th DA
  • 7th OTT
  • 3rd T2G
  • 7th APP
  • 9th Scramble
  • 5th PA  
  • 5th Par 3s
  • 2nd Par 4s
  • 4th Par 5s 

2018 - Patton Kizzire (-17)

  • 56th DA
  • 30th OTT
  • 20th T2G
  • 3rd APP
  • 19th Scramble
  • 2nd PA  
  • 1st Par 3s
  • 4th Par 4s
  • 45th Par 5s 

2017- Justin Thomas (-27) 

  • 66th DA
  • 16th OTT
  • 1st T2G
  • 4th APP
  • 14th Scramble
  • 1st PA  
  • 9th Par 3s
  • 1st Par 4s
  • 1st Par 5s 

Average stats for the 6 winners - Score -20 

  • 38th DA
  • 20th OTT
  • 10th T2G
  • 16th APP
  • 12th Scramble
  • 3rd PA  
  • 5th Par 3s
  • 3rd Par 4s
  • 14th Par 5s 

Aside from these stats, its important to also note that 17 out the last 4 winners of the Sony Open have played the week before at the Tournament of Champions. With that stat and the greens resembling alot of similarities, it may be worth a further look into last weeks leaderboard. 

Stats to Focus on this Week 

  • T2G 
  • GIR 
  • Par 4 Performance 
  • Scrambling 
  • Putting Averages – especially from last week 
  • Course Correlation form – other short coastal tracks i.e. El Camaleon, Harbour Town Sea Island

All in all, we are looking for a guy with a recent outing (preferably last week), who loves coastal/windy tracks as mentioned above. A good OTT game is slightly preferred, to set up an optimum Approach chance as SG: Approach has been a factor here in the past. T2G game is always important on the PGA Tour every week but even more on a shorter course where accuracy is preferred, as mistakes off the tee will be exaggerated, and the rough that looms off the fairway is thick and tretorous this week.  

A final word on Putting Average, we are coming again to a course with Bermuda greens and they are renowned for being slower than average on tour just like last week, so a look into the putting stats from last week may not be a bad shout, as this may boil down to a putting contest this week as we have seen in the past here. 

Sony Open Betting Tips

Back to a full field this week, so we are back to 5 selections, all 1pt each way, totalling 10pts staked in total! All have been taken with 8 places.

1. Tom Hoge 22/1

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2. KH Lee 33/1

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3. Keith Mitchell 33/1

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4. Keegan Bradley 33/1

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5. Taylor Montgomery 33/1 

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