Who to back at the Sony OpenJanuary 9, 2018 Golf News
Our betting expert could be sitting out in the Hawaiian sun. But instead he's been grafting to find out who will be in the frame at the Sony Open
Sony Open betting: Steve’s top tips
Kevin Kisner (25/1) had a quiet week at the Tournament of Champions – finishing in the middle of the pack as Dustin Johnson dominated.
But the American hasn’t failed to finish in the top 20 in five PGA Tour events this season and he’s a dab hand at the Waialae Country Club.
His two most recent appearances at the Sony Open have brought fifth and fourth place finishes, following two previous missed cuts.
I’m hoping Maui proved a perfect tune-up for a player who has shot 60 round this track and was a consistent threat at the top of a leaderboard last season.
Justin Thomas (8/1) took three rounds to get going last week but finished with a 67 in Maui and that might spur him into action ahead of the defence of his title.
He set all kinds of records here last year – including opening with a 59 – on his way to a runaway victory.
That was by no means a flash in the Hawaiian pan. Thomas finished sixth in the Sony on his first appearance and I was encouraged by his pre-season assertions of both his game and his ambitions.
It’s always hard to retain but you’re getting three points of value for Tomas on Jordan Spieth, who was third last year. It might prove better to take the bigger price.
Sony Open betting: Steve’s each-way bets
Gary Woodland (50/1) flatters to deceive too much for my liking but the big-hitter still posted five top 10s and a runners-up spot last year on the PGA Tour.
He should definitely win more but he always seems to be in and around contention at various points of the season. The Sony is no exception to that rule.
Finishes of third, 13th and sixth in the last three years, coupled with a decent display in the QBE Shootout with Daniel Berger on his last outing, means I’ll pop a pound his way.
Dustin Johnson may have given this event a swerve but I’m looking positively at course form for his namesake Zach (35/1).
The 2015 Open champion hasn’t won since prevailing at St Andrews but shot three rounds in the 60s at the RSM Classic. He might be showing inklings of the form that made him a multiple major winner.
Johnson has certainly performed well enough at the Sony in the past – posting three consecutive top tens from 2015 (eighth, ninth, sixth).