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Sony Open in Hawaii: Expert Picks

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A lot of regulars at Waialae

Sony Open In Hawaii - Round Two Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Tournament Information:

Sony Open in Hawaii
Date: January 10th – 13th
Course: Waialae Country Club
Purse - $6.5MM ($1.3MM to winner)
FedEx points – 500 to winner
2017 Winner: Patton Kizzire (-17)

Course

Waialae Country Club. At 7,045 yards, this par 70 was opened in 1927 and designed by Seth Raynor and Charles Banks. Much like last week, wind can definitely be a factor that golfers have to be cognizant of during shots. On holes 9, 11, 12 and 17 (the signature hole) the wind can come up off the Pacific Ocean and play havoc to high altitude or softer shots. Lakes and bunkers are layered aside many of the fairways requiring accuracy off the tee. Despite all of this it always comes down to the putts that seal the successful golfers here.

PGA TOUR - 2007 Sony Open - Final Round Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

My Starting 4

Gary Woodland — I picked him here last year, he is as consistent as it gets. His last four years here – 2015 (3rd), 2016 (13th), 2017 (6th), 2018 (7th). He’s currently 2nd in FedEx ranking and he’s 2nd in total Strokes Gained.

Zach Johnson — I picked Zach last year as well! His track record here includes 2014 (8th), 2016 (9th), 2017 (6th) and 2018 (14th). He’s off to a mixed start with a missed cut at Mayakoba Golf Classic followed by a 7th place finish at the RSM classic, he’s 21st on the tour in strokes gained and 1st in eagles.

Kevin Kisner — Another golfer with a good record here he finished 2016 (4th), 2017 (5th) and 2018 (25th). Look up at what I just said about Zach Johnson, tell me when this sounds familiar: Kevin missed the cut at the Mayakoba Golf Classic followed by a 7th place finish at the RSM Classic BUT…but, he ALSO has an 11th place finish at the QBE Shootout. He’s 7th in total strokes gained and 12th in driving accuracy.

Brian Harman — He went through an unbelievable stretch last year where he finished 5th, 8th, 4th, 3rd and 4th, This year he has one finish in the top 25 and it was a win at the QBE shootout, I think he can really emerge at Waialae where he’s comfortable. His track record here: 2016 (13th), 2017 (20th) and 2018 (4th).

My Bench 2

Kyle Stanley — He’s been in five tournaments this year and he has four finishes in the top 25. He finished 2016 (13th), 2017 (36th) and 2018 (10th).

Ollie Schniederjans — I can’t pick him without murmuring ‘Back to you Ollie’. This one is a bit of a stretch, his five tournaments have yielded two missed cuts and three finishes between 50 and 70. Why would I pick him? His track record here where he finished 2017 (27th) and 2018 (7th) coupled with


2019 Stats (one tournament in)

Starting 4: Avg 17th place (53%)

Bench 2: Avg 15th place (47%)

Poll

Who will finish the best at the Sony Open?

This poll is closed

  • 35%
    Justin Thomas
    (32 votes)
  • 47%
    Gary Woodland
    (42 votes)
  • 6%
    Jordan Spieth
    (6 votes)
  • 10%
    Zach Johnson
    (9 votes)
89 votes total Vote Now