2017 PGA Sony Open Preview and Picks
Ready to bet this week on the 2017 PGA Sony Open Odds? The first full-field PGA event of 2017 comes out way from the island of Oahu this weekend when the Sony Open will be contested. Typically windy conditions will greet the PGA pros this week on a par 7-, 7050 yards track that will test every aspect of the players’ game.
2017 Sony Open
When: JANUARY 9 – 15, 2017
Where: WAIALAE COUNTRY CLUB, Honolulu, Hawaii
Defending Champion: Fabian Gomez
Purse: $5.8 million
Accuracy off the tee and with the irons will be at a premium this week – Waialea is known for its tight and difficult to hit fairways and smallish greens that have also proven to be a challenge to hit in regulation – as mentioned wind will likely wreak havoc all week.
A hot putter will be an asset as well as will previous knowledge of the tricky layout and conditions.
12 of the last 17 winners here played the Plantation Course in Kapalua the previous week – interesting indeed.
So who should we be keeping an extra eye on this week? Let’s take a peek.
2017 Sony Open Favorites:
Jordan Spieth +650
Played OK last week in a T3 finish at the SBS Tournament of Champions – he was terrific on Sunday and hopes that carries over to this week.
Somehow he missed the cut in his only appearance on this track in 2014 but he is on a totally different level at the moment.
He is accurate with both his driver and irons and we all know about his putting prowess – he has finished inside the top 10 in four of his last five starts worldwide and is a good bet to make it five in six this week.
Hideki Matsuyama +750
Hideki has been an absolute beast – he has four wins and two runner-up finishes in his last six starts worldwide – incredible! Last week was one of those seconds – Justin Thomas was just too HOT to be denied.
His track record here isn’t great but his current form is absolutely ridiculous. I expect another terrific week during an historic run – a win wouldn’t shock anyone – ANYONE!
Justin Thomas +1400
The only person to beat Hideki the last few months is Justin Thomas – and he’s done it twice! He recorded the repeat win last week at Kapalua and was sensational in every aspect of the game.
He now sits seventh on the PGA Tour in total strokes gained and third in birdie average.
Thomas, like Matsuyama is scorching hot and could make some noise on a track he finished T6 on last year when he shot a sizzling 61 in the second round.
2017 Sony Open Contenders:
Jimmy Walker +2000
The second weekend in January has become Jimmy Walker time – he has won this event twice in the last three years and he has been outside the top 30 just once in six tries. Other good results on this track include a fourth in 2011 and a T13 last year.
Jimmy loves this course and off a decent week at Kapalua in which he led after the first round and finished T9 you have to think he’s in for a big week.
His average score here the last four years is 66.125 per round!
Paul Casey +2500
Casey arrives rested – the last time we saw him he was finishing T12 at WGC-HSBC Champions. He ended 2016 in very good form – four straight top 21 finishes including a T3 at the Safeway Open.
His tee-to-green game is always impressive – hopes are he can get past his relative inexperience on this track (he shot a 62 in the opening round in 2015).
Charles Howell III +4000
It’s January which means that we are talking about Charles Howell III.
He has played this event every year since 2002 and hasn’t missed a cut here yet – he has finished runner-up on two occasions and has 10 top 15s over that span – four top 15s, including a pair of podium finishes in the last five years.
He ended his 2016 campaign in pretty darn good form as well – three top 15s, including a tie for seventh at the OHL Classic and a tie for 13th at the RSM Classic.
Course history and current form have Howell on my radar this week.
Pat Perez +4000
Perez is simply on fire – he was T3 last week at the Tournament of Champions which followed a T7 at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open and a win at the OHL Classic at Mayakoba – that’s three straight top 10s ahead of this week.
His track record here is nothing to sneeze at either – he’s made 13 of 15 cuts with five top 10s – two of which have come in the last four years. Perez is another guy with terrific current form and a very good track history to keep an eye on.
2017 Sony Open Sleepers (+5000 or higher):
Russell Henley +5000
2013 champ here enters on the heels of three straight top 25 finishes including a top 10 at the RSM Classic at Sea Island.
His record here since 2013 hasn’t been all that great but his recent uptick in play should give him the confidence on a track that he chewed up four years ago.
Henley’s game is still well-suited for this track – I expect a good week.
Ryan Palmer +5000
2010 champion hasn’t exactly been busy the last few months but his form prior to the hiatus was impressive – he was top 25 in all three FexEx Cup Playoff starts.
Since his win on this track Palmer has finished T8-T17-T13 – consistently good.
Waialae is arguably Palmer’s favorite track making him an intriguing +5000.
William McGirt +6600
Won the Australian PGA a month ago and rides a serious wave of confidence into this week. He played here for the first time last year and finished T13 when his approach game was best in the field.
If McGirt can replicate that to go along with the other aspects of his game that are peaking, he could be a factor.
2017 Sony Open Picks:
It’s pretty hard to ignore Jimmy Walker at +2000 in this position – so I’m not! His track history is sensational and his T9 last week was his second straight top 15 worldwide. He loves this track and I love him this week.
My sleeper is Ryan Palmer at +5000. His course history here is very good as well – good enough for me to throw a little dough behind.
Golf handicapper DAVE B weighs in each week with his top selections. Including top picks and sleepers!
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