The PGA Tour will island hop over to Oahu this week for the Sony Open. The course is Waialae Country Club, a short and rather tight par 70 layout. We get our first full-strength field of the year, with your typical Top 70 cut line. This course sets up great for accuracy players and players who putt well on Bermuda greens. We have a particularly strong field this year, so let’s get started.
TOP TIER PLAYERS
Jordan Spieth ($21,700) was a total birdie machine last week and could have easily defended his title, if it weren’t for his slow start on Thursday and those two doubles and a triple on Friday and Saturday. Jordan has to be motivated to keeping up with his buddy Justin Thomas who already has two wins this season. He’s the highest priced player this week for reason. His game is in great form, and his caddie thinks Waialae C.C. sets up perfect for his game. Who can argue with that?
Hideki Matsuyama ($20,700) had another top two last week, what else is new? He’s arguably the best golfer in the world right now, which makes it almost impossible to fade him. But, his course history is a little suspect, considering he’s missed the cut in his last 4 starts here.
Paul Casey ($18,100) is one of my favorite golfers, period. He had a very strong finish to the 20 16 season with a T21 or better in eight of his last nine starts. We can all remember his incredible FedExCup playoff run at the end of last year, where he finished 2nd, 2nd, 4th, and T3 respectively. Besides, he tweeted just yesterday that he loves this place and thinks it’s one of the best courses on tour. He’s a steal this week at $18,100 and my pick to win it all.
MID TIER PLAYERS
Scott Piercy ($16,900) has great course history here and 3 Top 10’s in his last 5 starts. He’s very accurate off the tee, has a phenomenal approach game, and scores really well on par 4s. He may have a little bit of rust right now, but I’m willing to take that chance on this seasoned veteran.
Daniel Berger ($16,800) I’m taking Daniel this week for a few reasons. I played him last week and he played well enough for me to stay on him this week. Secondly, he plays really well in Florida, which has Bermuda greens just like Waialae. Lastly, I’m hoping his lack luster performance in Maui will help keep his ownership percentage down this week.
Ryan Palmer ($15,700) is my horse for the course pick. He won at Waialae back in 2010, and has finished no worse than T17 in his last 3 starts here. His iron game is a thing of beauty and he’s an absolute master at shaping shots. If he can get the flat stick rolling this week, look out!
LOWER TIER PLAYERS
Harold Varner III ($14,900) is somewhat of a gut pick. He had a solid debut on the PGA Tour last year and seems poised to take it to another level this year. In his only Sony Open start Harold finished T13 last year with a strong 66 and 65 weekend finish.
Chad Campbell ($14,000) If you’re doing a stars and scrubs lineup, then you will need a player in this range. Chad’s 42 years old now, so a short and tight course may be a very welcome relief from the absurdly long courses he will face the rest of the year. He did have a T8 back in 2010 and a T10 in 2008. Definitely a boom or bust pick.
Cody Gribble ($13,000) has 4 Top 15 finishes in his last 6 starts with only 1 missed cut at the RSM Classic. He finished T14 last week and won the Sanderson Farms Championship back in October. He’s priced ridiculously low given all his recent success. He has no course history here, but then again rust will not be a factor either.
Russell Knox ($15,500), Fabian Gomez ($15,500), Pat Perez ($15,200)
Jamie Lovemark ($14,900), Morgan Hoffman ($13,300), Tim Wilkinson ($11,600)