Sony Open in Hawaii
When: January 14 - 17th
Where: Waialae Country Club, Honolulu, HI
2015 Winner: Jimmy Walker (-23)
The format of this will go: I will select golfers based on the Yahoo format. I will select one A golfer, 2 B golfers and 1 C golfer that I think will do well as well as one dark horse pick, this should space out the selections and provide a vast field to select from for anyone who is in a format where you are limited to 10 starts per year.
Plantation Course: designed by Seth Raynor, this course has been around since 1927. It has been hosting the Hawaiian open since 1928. This course requires accurate shots as it bends and turns through Bermuda Grass. The course has heavy winds which can manipulate shots and the Greens can be tough on the approach.
Chris Kirk. Two top 5 finishes here over the last 2 years. He knows how to navigate the Bermuda grass well. He has finished in the top 25 over the last three tournaments (now 24th at Hyundai out of 31 total isn't good but I'll let that pass). He can scramble around the greens very well (top on the tour within 10 yards this season) so if the wind throws his approach askew as it will this weekend, he will be quick to recover.
Jimmy Walker. This should come as no surprise. He won it last year, he won it two years ago and has 3 top ten finishes. He had a rough first tournament but then finished in 8th and 10th in the Hero World Challenge and Hyundai Tournament of Champions. Jimmy is good going for the Green and a patient golfer which should allow him to appreciate and excel (yet again) this course.
Charles Howell III. He doesn't win a ton but he does play well at Sony Open. Going into his break over the Hyundai tournament (due to ineligibility) he had a 10th place (CIMB Classic), 17th place (OHL Classic), 9th place (RSM Classic) and 10th place (Franklin Templeton Shootout). So he has been hitting well going into a tournament where he plays well.
Matt Kuchar. Him being in the C-list means I am going to max him out quickly. He has 4 top ten finishes here. He's never won but he did finish 3rd here. He's one of the most consistent golfers on the circuit and I back him to start 2016 strong.
Dark Horse Bonus Pick:
Jerry Kelly. This is the 26th year for Jerry. He finished 6th here last year behind three strong rounds after a 73 on the opening Thursday. He is quite accurate off the drive and his experience should help him navigate the course. Finally he has 2 top 3 finishes at Waialae.
Last tournament results - Hyundai Tournament of Champions: (granted there are 31 total people in the tournament)
A: 10th place
B: 2nd place; 21st place
C: 29th place
Dark Horse: 9th place