Sony Open - Hawaii Preview
A look back at that Kawa collapse
Shorter one this week mainly because I’ve been developing my new site and a new fantasy golf element, if you are reading this, don’t think twice just visit it here and enter.
Well, Sunday, what a turn of events, everyone watching seemed
as though they couldn’t believe their eyes. Even crazier is those who woke up on Monday, looked the leaderboard with Rahm on top and instantly knew they had missed a hell of a couple of hours. The chop from 70 yards out the bunker to fly it out back, and then two horrible chunks on the fairway, which all week have been meat and drink for Morikawa, it was a sad sight to see for those couple of seconds of each shot. I don’t know whether Collin looked at the leaderboard at all during that collapse, but of anyone, I don’t think a fiery angry Spanish man behind you is the best person to try and keep your game together at that stage in proceedings. Congrats on those who had the melons to lump on Rahm at that price and, more so, for those who hedged and probably got a huge price on Rahm when he was still 4/5 back on Sunday.
On to Waialae Country Club….
So a very different kind of test this week compared to last week, this course is much more of a resort course, and even though we are on one of the surrounding islands to last week, this is flat, short, and offers a much more of a test off the tee and on the greens. Bermuda greens are back and that already shortens the shortlist of picks this week, as we know it really can effect some people’s putting. Par: 70; 7,044 yards; 5 holes with water in play, and the course is reporting the rough is an inch thicker than in previous years, interesting.
I expect a winning score this week however to be around (-18) , we have seen in the past much lower and much higher winning scores, but I think the main defendant of this course, the only thing similar to last week, is the wind.
Fairways are much smaller, greens are smaller, and I think they have to be, just because the course is so short, this gives me thoughts on a real emphasis for someone with a good driving accuracy and some strokes gained off the tee and tee to green.
The theme this week, which I don’t think I often put in my previews, is some strong event form from previous years and players who like these types of short, accurate courses with Bermuda grass. One tournament that springs to mind for comparison is the Honda Classic, which is a shame because we haven’t got a Lowry or Straka playing this week otherwise, we’d be all over them.
My model to help with my picks this week is as follows;
SG Off the tee
SG Tee to green
Short course form
Par 3 & Par 4 Performance
Top 20 players based on that model;
Sungjae Im 14/1
Russell Henley 20/1
Corey Conners 25/1
Keith Mitchell 35/1
Tom Kim 12/1
Hideki Matsuyama 16/1
Hayden Buckley 75/1
Cameron Davis 35/1
Webb Simpson 70/1
Keegan Bradley 30/1
Maverick McNealy 33/1
Billy Horschel 28/1
Matt Kuchar 55/1
Brendon Todd 90/1
Denny McCarthy 45/1
Adam Svensson 80/1
Christiaan Bezuidenho 50/1
Andrew Putnam 50/1
Gary Woodland 55/1
Greyson Sigg 80/1
Russell Henley – (w/o Kim/Im) 1pts to win 16/1
It’s very simple with Henley with me this week, he was by far the best player at this event last year and looking at the data he was in the top 3 for Strokes gained Off the tee, Approach and putting, all as separate entities and you just can’t ignore those figures. He is the easiest play this week but may be the hardest to watch if he goes close and blows it again at the final hurdle. For that reason I’ve taken him in the without market. Tom Kim and Sungjae Im are big dangers to Henley especially as they are multiple winners so I’m happy with the point at 16/1.
KH Lee – 2pts to each way 36/1
Main reason for KH is the price. He has just slid to a number I really like, especially in a field like this where there aren’t as many big hitters. KH has no problems on Bermuda surfaces, has great form recently and of what I saw of him last week where he managed 24 birdies, only a couple behind the leaders, he stood out this week, LFG KH.
Adam Svensson – 1pts each way 80/1
Svensson has top 10’s at the Honda Classic, seems to put very well on Bermuda grass and finished here last year tied for 7th. We got no issues with hitting fairways, no issues he can put the ball on the green close, we stay out of trouble here, 80/1 could be an absolute steal.
Greyson Sigg – 1pt each way at 150/1
You may see this name this week quite a few times, and you may
wonder why. Greyson Sigg has the best Strokes gained putting stats of this bracket in this field and is set for a good week. Hopefully he doesn’t know that we’re putting that pressure on him, but he hasn’t missed a cut since July and all the data and the trends say it’s only going to get better for Sigg, the hunch of many.
Cam Davis – (Top 8 Finish) 2pts 6/1
Cam has been playing more recent golf than anyone else in the fall season, he played the Zozo and the CJ cup well after his horah in the presidents cup. He then went on to continue his arms in his homeland of Australia where he continued his great ball striking form. Hits the ball long and straight and he could be 20 yards further down the fairway than anyone else this week. I don’t see him winning yet, but I do see him winning on tour this year, and for this week, 6/1 is a great price for a top finish.