As we gear up for the PGA Tour’s second week in Hawaii, this week at the Sony Open on Oahu, we have just four words for you: Don’t forget the sunscreen!
You’re looking a little sunburnt after spending a week on Maui at Kapalua’s Plantation Course. Give us a little sunscreen, a hat, and a cold beer, and we’re ready for Round 2 of the Hawaiian journey.
After the limited-field event in Maui, won in miraculous fashion by Jon Rahm, this full-field event will see 125 new golfers on the course along with 19 from last week who made the trip to Oahu.
The rest of last week’s field will take their guaranteed winnings back to the mainland, and gear up for the West Coast swing events that will be held in California and Arizona. But, for now, we’re still in Hawaii, so remember that sunscreen.
The 144-man field brings up a few intriguing things: One, there will be a cut this week after Friday’s round. Two, the latest group of players will be trying to knock the rust off their game. Finally, the oddsmakers are having a tough time with this event and this field as the favorite, Tom Kim, is at a staggering (and inviting) +1200.
Get ready to hopefully make some good money. We’re going to pick two players who teed it up last week on Maui, as those guys will have the competitive edge. We’re also going to consider two inviting prop bets.
Seeing is Believing
OK, class, what we learned during last week’s stop on Maui is that the old saying “No lead is safe” is apparently not just a saying but reality. We watched as Rahm rallied to win the Tournament of Champions, posting a 10-under-par 63 in the final round to overtake Collin Morikawa for the title. That included making a bogey on the first hole which left Rahm a full nine strokes off the lead.
Morikawa, who hadn’t made a bogey all week, made three in a row on the back nine and never got it going on the final nine holes as he wound up with a one-under-par 72 last round.
So, as we head to the second week of play in Hawaii at Waialae Country Club, make sure to hang onto those betting slips until all results are final because you just never know.
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Odds to Win the Sony Open (DraftKings)
Tom Kim +1200
Sungjae Im +1400
Jordan Spieth +1600
Hideki Matsuyama +1800
Brian Harman +1900
Russell Henley +2200
Tom Hoge +2500
Corey Conners +2500
Taylor Montgomery +2800
Billy Horschel +3000
Maverick McNealy +3500
Keith Mitchell +3500
Keegan Bradley +3500
K.H. Lee +3500
Adam Scott +3500
Si Woo Kim +4000
J.J. Spaun +4000
Cam Davis +4000
Matt Kuchar +4500
Gary Woodland +5000
Emilliano Grillo +5000
Christiaan Bezuidenhout +5000
As always, shop around the sports betting industry for the best odds on your plays.
Expert Sony Open Betting Analysis
Kim, who was the youngest player in the Maui field last week by four years (at age 20) is showing he more than belongs in the same conversation with those who have much more PGA Tour experience.
Kim, the favorite this week at +1200, wound up T-5 last week and being on the big stage hasn’t slowed him down at all. This is a great price to back one of golf’s brightest up-and-coming stars.
In fact, with two PGA Tour wins already under his belt, he’s proving age is just a number. He won earlier in this wraparound season in Las Vegas, and is already fourth in the FedEx Cup standings and has risen to No. 15 in the world golf rankings.
Not bad for someone who won’t be old enough to drink that beer in most states until he turns 21 in late June. Kim had four rounds in the 60s on Maui in his first trip to Kapalua with its many elevation changes.
Let him loose on the course at Waialae Country Club, which is fairly flat, and we feel he’s going to get dialed in very quickly.
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Horschel Never Gives Up
It would have been easy for Billy Horschel, +3000 this week, to phone it in last week in Maui after a less-than-dazzling first round. After all, he was the only player in the 39-player field to post an over-par score as he had a three-over-par 76. (Remember, Kapalua is a par-73 layout).
Horschel followed that up with another mediocre 71 before turning up the heat with rounds of 64 and 69 to pick up some momentum heading into this week. He was T-36 at the Sony last year, but was T-7 in 2021, so when he tees it up here he’s in the picture.
Horschel’s only 97th in the FedEx Cup standings in the early going, but remember he’s 18th in the world golf rankings so he’s been consistent.
Can he play well enough for four straight rounds to stay near the lead? We like to think he’s going to use last week’s late-round play as a boost this week.
Around the Prop Scene
This one’s a complete guess based on dedication on two fronts. We’re going to take a flier on Tom Hoge to finish in the top 10 at +280.
Now this may not seem like a big deal, but it is. Hoge, who was T-3 last week in Maui at 23-under-par, added a little excitement to his Hawaii trip. He took a flight back to the mainland on Sunday night to watch his TCU Horned Frogs get thrashed by the Georgia Bulldogs for college football’s national championship on Monday night.
He then hopped back on an airplane (we’re guessing he had private flights lined up) and is now on Oahu getting ready to play. There’s no rest for the weary but this gives new meaning to the term dedicated — both to his college and to his game.
One more prop to look at: Will there be a playoff? Picking “Yes” at +300 is a good bet. Well, at least we think it will be.
There have been four playoffs in the last seven events. That’s the good news. The bad news is this event has gone to a playoff every other year (2018, 2020 and 2022) and last year was one of those years. In that playoff, Hideki Matsuyama beat Russell Henley with a memorable 3-wood to tap-in distance for an eagle on the first extra hole.
The numbers say we should wait a year to make this bet, but we’ll buck the odds and say we go back-to-back years with a playoff.