Jimmy No Walkover At Oahu
Jason Day heads the betting for the Sony Open at the Waialae Country Club in Oahu but who offers the best value in the field?
2015 kicked off with the Tournament of Champions, and the focus of US golf lingers on Hawaii for the second event of the Pacific leg of the PGA Tour. After last week’s select gathering, we’re back to a full-size field, including twenty-four players who featured at Kapalua, and although that tournament only finished on Monday, the short recovery time shouldn’t be a problem. Ten of the last fifteen winners of the Sony Open had played in the Tournament of Champions three days earlier.
The course at the Waialae Country Club, Oahu, is short by modern standards. The keys to taming it are driving accuracy and the ability to keep the ball low through the unpredictable Pacific gales. The winds tend to be strongest in the afternoon, so it could be worth waiting to see what time your selection is teeing off before parting with your cash. And with the large greens, you should focus on reliable putters.
In The Bunker
After his storming finish at Kapalua last week, where he hit a final round 62 to come within a shot of eventual winner Patrick Reed, it’s no surprise to find Jason Day topping the antepost betting this week at 12/1.
But he hasn’t been a regular at Oahu, having played this event just three times, and on his last visit, in 2011, he finished twentieth. His lack of success on the course is enough to make me wary of backing him at significantly shorter odds than his main rivals.
There have only been four multiple winners of this event but Jimmy Walker could add his name to that list this week.
He won by three shots at Oahu last year and this time round goes into the tournament in even better form, having pushed Patrick Reed close to finish second in Kapalua last week.
His proven form on the course makes him better value than the favourite and he’s a solid bet at 16/1.
Matt Kuchar kicked off 2015 by finishing outside the top fifteen in Kapalua, but he was let down by a poor third round and can be forgiven for being a little rusty after a month off. With its emphasis on precision, the course at Oahu suits him perfectly and it’s worth noting that he’s finished in the top ten on each of his last two visits. Back him to bounce back from last week’s result and pick up an early victory at 20/1.
Chris Kirk made a solid start at Kapalua, but a second round 73 was followed by a third round 78 as he plummeted down the leaderboard. But he shook off those poor efforts on Monday, posting a spectacular 62 and if he can carry that momentum forward to Oahu, he could be hard to beat. He finished second last year behind Jimmy Walker, and is worth a look at 20/1.