Sony Open Preview & Betting Tips6 min read
The first full-field PGA Tour event of the year takes place this week in Hawaii at the Sony Open.
Waialae Country Club is a 7,044-yard par 70 featuring two par fives. Wind is expected to play a significant part this week with a strong coastal breeze challenging the players.
A major pointer for this tournament is 15 of the last 21 winners, including the last six, competed the previous week at the Tournament of Champions in Maui. This suggests the group of players that were in action last week are at a significant advantage.
No doubting Thomas in Hawaii
Justin Thomas won last week’s Tournament of Champions after a dramatic three-man play-off and the world number four is worth backing to follow up with another victory.
Thomas completed the Hawaii double three years ago and will be confident of landing back-to-back PGA Tour titles again.
He blew away the field, after an opening 59, in 2017 to win by seven shots and another runaway success cannot be ruled out. The worthy favourite was also sixth in 2015 and comes in this week playing some of the best golf of his career.
Thomas has won three of his last seven tournaments and has been in exceptionally consistent form since returning from his wrist injury at the end of last summer.
His last 11 events have all resulted in top 20s and the 12-time PGA Tour champion is hungry to establish himself as the best player in the world.
40 MPH wind gusts.
Hardest hole on the course Sunday.
No one hit it inside 10 feet …
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) January 7, 2020
Thomas made a field-leading 24 birdies last week and his iron play looks in mint condition. The 26-year-old, who is fourth for strokes gained tee to green this season, looks poised to contend again and is undoubtedly the man to beat at 5/1.
Collin Morikawa has been a revelation since launching his PGA Tour career during the middle of last year.
In just his eighth event, the 22-year-old clinched his breakthrough victory at the Barracuda Championship last summer. This ball-striking machine has adapted seamlessly to competing at the highest level and has not missed a cut, since turning professional, with six top 20s.
Morikawa will be making his first start at this tournament but he has the benefit of local knowledge with family ties in Hawaii. He has spent plenty of time on the island with his comfort level likely to help him on the course.
Morikawa knocked off the rust last week with an impressive debut at the Plantation Course, finishing in a tie for seventh. This week’s layout should be even more suitable for his accurate tee-to-green game and Morikawa can mount a strong challenge at 18/1 each way.
Poston to post another PGA Tour win
JT Poston enjoyed the benefit of competing last week and this emerging talent is an appealing price to threaten a win at the Sony Open.
Poston featured on the leaderboard during his first start at the Tournament of Champions, with an excellent opening round of 64 on his way to a tie for 11th. He will head to Waialae optimistic of a big performance after a tie for 20th 12 months ago.
Poston is lurking just outside the world’s top 50 after a strong run of form which started with his maiden PGA Tour win. The 26-year-old American produced a superb performance to shoot 22-under-par for victory at the Wyndham Championship in August.
His win came on Bermudagrass greens and this bodes well for his chances on similar putting surfaces this week. Poston merits support at 50/1 each way.
Sebastian Munoz claimed his first PGA Tour win at the start of the new season and he can add to his growing reputation with a quickfire second in Hawaii this week.
Sebastian Munoz came *this* close to making an ace. ?pic.twitter.com/DBBss6mqVK
— Golf Digest (@GolfDigest) January 3, 2020
The Colombian demonstrated plenty of bottle to win his play-off against Sungjae Im at the Sanderson Farms Championship in September.
The 27-year-old ended last year with an impressive third at the RSM Classic and appears ready to bolster his trophy cabinet.
Munoz has positive experience at the Sony Open after an encouraging tenth place on his only tournament start last year. This featured two rounds of 65 and the South American returns with confidence levels soaring after his breakthrough win.
Competing last week in Hawaii is another significant bonus with Munoz finishing tied 17th. Much better can be expected at a venue he took to on his debut and Munoz offers each-way value at 50/1.
Collin Morikawa Each Way
JT Poston Each Way
Sebastian Munoz Each Way