The second PGA event of the New Year gets underway on Friday as the famous Waialae Country Club in Hawaii plays host to the 2019 Sony Open.
This time-honoured event holds a cool $1 million in prize-money for the champion, as well as a spot in golfing folklore among names like Jack Nicklaus and Jim Furyk as the 54th winner of the Sony Open.
With some blockbuster names highlighting this year’s 144 player field, there’s some enticing odds on offer ahead of the first tee. The Par 70 course holds plenty of windy fairways and difficult doglegs, challenging long-drive hitters to play shorter clubs off the tee.
So who should you back this weekend? Make sure you check out all of our top tips and best bets in our complete 2019 Sony Open Preview below.
Best Bet: Charles Howell III To Win @ $34.00
Long, almost impossible odds, right?
Justin Thomas heads the betting as the only single-digit favourite in this year’s tournament, but after struggling with the putter last week in the Sentry of Champions, the 2017 PGA Championship winner is far from a guaranteed certainty.
Aside from Thomas, it’s anyone’s Open. Charles Howell III is the most experienced player at this course, having played in 14 of the last 16 Sony Open’s. And as far as his recent performances go, well you be the judge:
- November 2018: won The RSM Classic (-19)
- December 2018: tied for third in the QBE Shootout (-28)
- January: tied for 14th in the Sentry Tournament of Champions (-10)
Playing last week in Maui is another positive, and so is Howell finishing Top 10 in his 17 starts on the Waialae course. Don’t let the long odds fool you.
Best Aussie Chance: Cameron Smith @ $26.00
Australians have enjoyed some success at the Sony Open winning the event twice before. The last to do it was Brett Ogle in 1994, but 25-year-old Cameron Smith is just as good a chance as any to break the drought this weekend after a pretty strong finish to 2018.
Smith tied for second at the World Cup of Golf in Melbourne last month shooting a beautiful opening round of 62. A disappointing second day let Smith down, but he continues to improve with experience, something he has a lot of. In his three visits to Waialae, Smith has finished (in order): tied for 81st, tied for 27th, tied for 18th.
Adam Scott vs. Brandt Snedeker: Snedeker To Win @ $1.91
It’s been a while since Adam Scott found himself in the spotlight, largely due to injury and a slight regression in form last year. The Aussie will find himself alongside fellow veteran Brandt Snedeker this weekend though, setting up what should be a pretty fun battle between two golfing greats.
While Snedeker doesn’t have the allure of a Masters win to his name, he does have some experience in the Sony Open. The American has played in two of the last three tournaments, finishing second in 2016 and failing to make the cut in 2017.
For Scott, this will mark his first appearance on the PGA Tour since October’s World Gold Championship, and since he’ll likely have a lot of rust to shake off, stick with Snedeker in this head-to-head battle if you’re looking to add some value to your multi.