Sony Open Hawaii – PREVIEW

The Sony Open in Hawaii will kick off the 2021 Waggle Duff season. Professional golf on the whole will continue to look strange on our TV (at least we won’t have the made-up crowd noises like we see on the Darts) as the players get to grips with playing behind closed(ish) doors.

These are the events where the cold reality of COVID take effect. The Sony OPEN is Hawaii’s biggest charity golf fundraiser, and by having a reduced attendance (No pro-am, spectators and reduced volunteers) the numbers they would like to raise will not be at the same levels.

What we need is the pros to put on a show like last year, where we saw some real drama down the stretch.

Cameron Smith got up and down from the bunker on 18, for a clutch birdie and ensure a play-off with his final day playing partner, Brandan Steele. A play-off Smith won despite a huge block of the tee. He had to keep his 2nd shot low but he managed to pitch and run a beautiful shot from under the tree to 8 feet.

This kind of drama is what Hawaii and Golf Fans will need, especially as the sport is riding the crest of a wave of popularity, some big names are travelling to the island, including Collin Morikawa, Sergio Garcia, Pat Reed, oh and Vijay Singh!

PLAYERS & ODDS

Webb Simpson11/1
Collin Morikawa14/1
Harris English14/1
Patrick Reed14/1
Daniel Berger16/1
Joaquin Niemann20/1
Sung-Jae Im20/1
Abraham Ancer22/1
Hideki Matsuyama25/1
Kevin Kisner25/1
Ryan Palmer25/1
Cameron Smith28/1
Russell Henley30/1
Billy Horschel33/1
Matt Kuchar33/1
Zach Johnson33/1
Adam Scott35/1
Sergio Garcia35/1
Brendon Todd40/1
Emiliano Grillo40/1
Charles Howell45/1
Lanto Griffin45/1
Brian Harman50/1
Erik Van Rooyen50/1
Sebastian Munoz50/1
Jason Kokrak60/1
Russell Knox60/1
Talor Gooch60/1
Marc Leishman66/1
Patton Kizzire66/1
Tom Hoge66/1
Carlos Ortiz70/1
Chez Reavie70/1
Scott Piercy70/1
J.T Poston80/1
Keegan Bradley80/1
Kevin Na80/1
Matthew NeSmith80/1
Rory Sabbatini80/1
Si Woo Kim80/1
Branden Grace100/1
Brandt Snedeker100/1
Cameron Davis100/1
James Hahn100/1
Kyle Stanley100/1
Sepp Straka100/1
Cheng-Tsung Pan110/1
Charley Hoffman125/1
Chris Kirk125/1
Henrik Norlander125/1
Jim Furyk125/1
Mackenzie Hughes125/1
Matt Jones125/1
Stewart Cink125/1
Takumi Kanaya125/1
Brendan Steele150/1
Brian Stuard150/1
Jhonattan Vegas150/1
Michael Thompson150/1
Peter Malnati150/1
Austin Cook175/1
Bo Hoag175/1
Doug Ghim175/1
Nick Taylor175/1
Pat Perez175/1
Richy Werenski175/1
Adam Schenk200/1
Andrew Landry200/1
Brian Gay200/1
Brice Garnett200/1
Danny Lee200/1
Harry Higgs200/1
Hudson Swafford200/1
Mark Hubbard200/1
Troy Merritt200/1
Vaughn Taylor200/1
XinJun Zhang200/1
Andrew Putnam250/1
Anirban Lahiri250/1
Keith Mitchell250/1
Kramer Hickok250/1
Luke List250/1
Nate Lashley250/1
Robert Streb250/1
Roger Sloan250/1
Ryo Ishikawa250/1
Sunghoon Kang250/1
William Gordon250/1
Aaron Baddeley300/1
Bronson Burgoon300/1
Chris Baker300/1
Hank Lebioda300/1
J.J Spaun300/1
Jamie Lovemark300/1
Jim Herman300/1
Jimmy Walker300/1
Kyoung-Hoon Lee300/1
Mark Anderson300/1
Rob Oppenheim300/1
Ryan Armour300/1
Ted Potter300/1
Tyler McCumber300/1
Chase Seiffert400/1
David Hearn400/1
Fabian Gomez400/1
Joseph Bramlett400/1
Nick Watney400/1
Robby Shelton400/1
Ryosuke Kinoshita400/1
Sam Ryder400/1
Satoshi Kodaira400/1
Scott Brown400/1
Tim Wilkinson400/1
Wesley Bryan400/1
Ben Taylor500/1
Brandon Hagy500/1
D.J. Trahan500/1
Davis Love500/1
Grayson Murray500/1
Jerry Kelly500/1
Jinichiro Kozuma500/1
Kevin Tway500/1
Michael Gligic500/1
Rhein Gibson500/1
William McGirt500/1
Y.E. Yang500/1
Hunter Mahan750/1
K.J Choi750/1
Matt Every750/1
Nelson Ledesma750/1
Rafael Campos750/1
Bo Van Pelt1000/1
Michael Kim1000/1
Mike Weir1000/1
Parker McLachlin1000/1
Shane Bertsch1000/1
Vijay Singh1000/1
Martin Trainer1500/1
Eric Dugas2000/1
Evan Kawai2000/1

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THE COURSE

Waialae Country Club is a historic 7044 yards which has been hosting the Professional Golf Open in Hawaii since 1965. As we have seen at the ToC last week, the ball is running, and I am expecting wedge play to be a key factor to success and consequently another -20 + winning score. This has been common over recent years, albeit from last year which was won at -11.

One defence is that Waialae only has 2 par 5’s which must be taken advantages of, including the Par 5 9th. Albeit this is a short par 5 it has out of bounds both sides, so if players try to step on it and go array, this can lead to drop shots.

The palm tree lined course is flat and by the seaside, so another traditional defence for the course is the winds that blow across the pacific. However, it does not look like this will be the case this week… Happy birdie hunting boys.

RECENT WINNERS

Only 5 players have won the Sony OPEN multiple times, this includes Hubert Green, Corey Pavin, Lanny Wadkins, Ernie Els & Jimmy Walker, who won in both 2014 & 2015.

2020 – Cameron Smith

2019 – Matt Kuchar

2018 – Patton Kizzire

2017 – Justin Thomas

2016 – Fabian Gomz

Good luck to everyone joining us for Waggle Duff this season and of course this week! Please submit your 5 picks to @waggleduff on twitter before the first t-shot is played. Full rules can be found here.

Have a good week

Matt Tizzard

@waggleduff

@MattTizzard

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