This Week’s PGA Tour Predictions!
The second PGA event of 2016 – the Sony Open comes our way this week from Waialae Country Club on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. Waialae is a 7,044-yard, par 70 track – short by PGA standards but challenging because of the narrow fairways and inevitably windy conditions that will meet the players. Par 3 and par 4 scoring average are key stats this week but a hot putter may be the difference between winning and losing.
2016 PGA Sony Open
When: Jan 14 – 17, 2016
Where: Waialae Country Club
Purse: $5,500,000 / Winner Share: $990,000
Defending Champion: Jimmy Walker
Updated Sportsbook Bonuses For Today
A full field of 140 will tee it up this week – thankfully for the rest of the field Jordan Spieth is not entered! Waialae was the easiest par 70 on TOUR in 2013 and was the second easiest par 70 the pros saw the last two years – the winner here will have to go low.
With that in mind who should we keep our eye on this week? Let’s take a look.
2016 Sony Open Favorites:
Jimmy Walker 14/1
Two-time defending champion here won by an astounding nine shots last year. His average in his last two appearances? 65 per round! Although he is not in the best form right now, his insane track history has him the obvious favorite this week. The fact that he finished T10 last week in Maui is another good sign.
Adam Scott 20/1
Finished T8 in his last trip to this event and has four top 20s here including a second place finish in 2009. He looked OK at the end of 2015 with a non-anchored putter but my though is that it takes a few starts to get rolling with his new piece of equipment.
Kevin Kisner 22/1
Is a sexy pick to do some good things here. He finished T9 last week – his third straight top-10 of the wraparound season which included a solo second at the WGC-HSBC Champions and a win at the RSM Classic. He is 32nd in the PGA Tour in driving accuracy percentage and is currently leading TOUR in the all-around – great stats for this track. Don’t worry about his lack of success here – Kisner is a different guy right now.
2016 Sony Open Contenders:
Matt Kuchar 22/1
He’ doesn’t quite have the track record of Walker but Kuch has done very well here – four straight finishes of T8 or better including a tie for third last year and for fifth in 2013 and 2011. He won in Fiji in October but hasn’t been sensational otherwise- but this is a good spot for him to break out. Kuchar is due for a statement win – it could come on arguably his favorite track.
Brandt Snedeker 25/1
Will make his first appearance here since 2008 but arrives off an impressive T3 at the Hyundai where his putter showed up and his par 3s and 4s scoring was top 2 in the field. That should come in handy this week for sure. If Sneds can replicate his form from last week he could be the last man standing on Sunday.
Charles Howell 40/1
Has yet to record a win at this event but is a regular contender – eight top-10 finishes since 2002 – 14-for-14 here at the Sony Open, with half of those 14 made cuts resulting in a top-five finish. He enters in good form – top 17 finishes in four if his last five events played. Howell hasn’t won on TOUR in nine years (amazing) but will be hungry on his favorite track on the planet.
Harris English 40/1
Trending upward in his last three appearances here – T-9 in 2013, a fourth in 2014 and a T-3 last year.
All he needs is a win to complete the progression! He has finished inside the top 25 in five of his last seven starts overall and returns to a track he’s recorded 12 straight sub-par rounds. English hasn’t been great but something tells me he’s in for a good week on a course that obviously fits his eye.
2016 Sony Open Sleepers (50/1 or higher):
Ryan Palmer 50/1
Former champion in this event in 2010 also had a T8 on 2014 and a T17 last year. He hasn’t been seen since a T16 at the Shriners and is an intriguing 50/1 on a course he’s had his share of success.
Will Wilcox 50/1
One of my favorite up-and-comers from last year has a T8 in his only appearance at Waialae – an event that saw him T2 after three rounds.
His game is very well suited for this track – expect his name to pop up in his first start since a T7 in Japan in November.
2016 Sony Open Picks:
The pick this week is Brandt Snedeker at 25/1 – good value and a smart pick. Off a T3 last week Sneds is due for a breakout. His putter will be the difference this week.
The sleeper is Will Wilcox at 50/1. His game is perfectly suited for this course and he has had some success here in his only appearance.
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