PGA Tour Picks: Sony Open in Hawaii Odds and Betting Predictions
by Alan Matthews - 1/14/2015
The first tournament of the New Year, the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, went extra innings on Monday in Maui as American Patrick Reed beat Jimmy Walker on the first playoff hole for Reed's fourth career PGA Tour win. Reed is only the fourth player in the past 20 years with four wins before age 25, and the other three guys are pretty good: Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia.
It sure didn't look like Reed would win late in his round Monday as he trailed Walker by four shots while teeing off on No. 16. On No. 16, Reed would hole out a chip for eagle. Reed also birdied No. 18 while Walker left his 18-foot birdie putt just short that would have won it. The two finished at 21 under. Reed then birdied the extra hole, while Walker never got a birdie putt chance after chipping over the green. It was Walker's second top-five finish in four starts this season and Reed's first win while coming from behind. He was at worst a co-leader after 54 holes in his first three victories.
I didn't kick off 2015 with a win myself, alas. I went chalk with favored Bubba Watson, the highest-ranked player in the field, and he finished 10th at 15 under. So I did hit that prop at -275. I also hit on Reed head-to-head at -115 over Billy Horschel and Hideki Matsuyama at -115 over Zach Johnson.
So while the Hyundai was open to only winners from last season and featured just 34 golfers (33 after Kevin Stadler withdrew following two rounds), it's a full-field event this week to conclude the Hawaii Swing for the Sony Open at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu. The course is celebrating its 50th anniversary as a Tour host, exceeded by just four other venues. A total of 24 players are scheduled to play who teed it up last week, led by Jason Day, Matt Kuchar and Walker. Since the Hyundai moved to Hawaii 15 years ago, 10 Sony winners played that tournament the previous week. Ernie Els was the only guy to sweep both in 2003. Reed isn't playing this week.
Last year Walker won here by closing with a 7-under 63 to edge Chris Kirk by one shot. Walker pulled away with birdies at Nos. 15-17. He had been a shot behind leader Harris English when teeing off on No. 15, but Harris bogeyed No. 14 playing in the group behind Walker. Kirk missed an eagle chip on No. 18 to force a playoff.
PGA Tour Golf Odds: Sony Open in Hawaii Favorites
The Aussie Day is the 12/1 Bovada favorite . I didn't like him last week because I wanted to make sure he was healthy after some injury problems much of last season. Apparently Day is as he finished T3 following a final-round 62 . He also played well at Tiger Woods' Hero World Challenge in early December with a fifth-place finish. Day hasn't played this event since 2011, when he finished T-20.
Walker is next at 14/1 . Obviously he played well last week until fading at the end of Monday's round. He has nine straight rounds in the 60s at this course. Kirk, Kuchar (both 18/1) and Matsuyama (20/1) round out the favorites. Tough not to like Kirk as he also shot a 62 on Monday in Maui, was runner-up here last year and T5 in 2013. Kuchar played well last week other than a third-round 74. He hasn't finished worse than T8 in his past three trips here. He rarely finishes outside the Top 10 in consecutive tournaments. Matsuyama had his third straight Top-10 finish last week and held a share of the 54-hole lead.
PGA Tour Picks: Sony Open in Hawaii Betting Predictions
On the Top-10 props, go with Day (+105), Kirk (+145), Kuchar (+165) and Charles Howell III (+275). Howell has seven top-five finishes at this event yet hasn't won despite never shooting worse than a 70 in 22 weekend rounds. Head-to-head, go with Matsuyama (-125) over Johnson (-105), Harris English (-115) over Luke Donald (-115), Howell III (-115) over Marc Leishman (-115), and Graham DeLaet (-115) over Webb Simpson (-115).
Bovada offers a Big 3 vs. the Field prop with the Big 3 consisting of Day, Walker and Kuchar at +350 with the Field at -550. I lean the Field there. Take Day at even money as the top Aussie, DeLaet at +125 as the top Canadian and Paul Casey at +150 as the top Englishman.
Russell Henley is good value to win at 22/1 as he did win this event in 2013 and then missed the playoff by just a shot last week. Henley was only T51 at last year's Sony but that was largely due to an opening 73 as he was in the 60s the final three rounds. But Kirk is my pick to win. Thus take him at -125 head-to-head against Matsuyama (-105) as well.
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