The final stop on the Aloha Swing tees off this Friday as the Waialae Country Club in Honolulu plays host to the time-honoured Sony Open.
Aussie Cameron Smith famously won this event last year in a playoff against Brendan Steele, and the defending champ looks a strong chance at retaining his crown following last week’s strong finish at the Tournament of Champions.
Unlike other courses we’ll see later in the year, Waialae doesn’t call for a whole lot.
Players that can strike a hot putter tend to do well on this short course, while you’ll also want to look out for players that performed well last week at Kapalua.
With that in mind, be sure to find out who we’re tipping in our 2021 Sony Open Preview below!
Joaquin Niemann – $26.00
Nobody is in better form heading into the weekend than Niemann.
He was unlucky last week to be defeated by Berger in a playoff, but it’s a performance he’s sure to build on after shooting the lowest round of the weekend (64) on the final day.
Niemann hasn’t missed a cut since The Northern Trust back in August and has finished Top 30 in nine of the ten events he’s played in since.
He’s massively over the odds at this price and worth including.
2021 Sony Open Best Value
Abraham Ancer – $26.00
Impossible to fault the recent form of this man.
Ancer comes in having made the Top 25 in each of his last four events, and also has the added fitness bonus after playing the QBE Shootout in December and last week’s Tournament of Champions.
He finished 16th in Strokes Gained: Approach the Green at this event last year and tied for fourth in eagles made.
I’ve tipped him so many times in the past, but this again looks a very winnable tournament for him.
2021 Sony Open Best Roughie
Kevin Kisner – $31.00
Still in search of his fourth win on Tour and it wouldn’t be surprising if it came at Waialae.
The American owns three top finishes at this event, the most recent of which came last year after carding four straight rounds under 70.
Comes in off a T24 last week a Kapalua where he finished outright seventh in Strokes Gained: Putting.
Last year Kisner led the field in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green, an impressive stat after battling headstrong winds all weekend.
Roughies don’t typically win this tournament, so Kisner might be your best bet if you’re looking for one at longer odds.
2021 Sony Open Best of the Rest
Webb Simpson – $13.00
Simpson has been a machine at Waialae. In ten appearances at the Sony Open, he’s finished Top 10 three times and hasn’t missed the cut once.
He shouldn’t be short on motivation after finishing third last year and the fact he’s coming off a T17 at the Tournament of Champions also reads well.
The veteran finished outright fifth in Strokes Gained: Approach the Green last week, making him the complete package ahead of what could be his seventh Tour win.
Collin Morikawa – $15.00
Returned with a beautiful T7 last week at Kapalua in his first appearance since the Masters.
Last year’s PGA Championship winner should hold fond memories of this course after finishing 21st last year and his short game is certainly up to scratch. Just needs to strike a hot putter to be a real chance.
Harris English – $15.00
English is now looking to join Ernie Els and Justin Thomas as the third man to complete the Aloha Swing following last week’s brilliant playoff victory at Kapalua.
The 31-year-old was electric with the putter where he finished first in Strokes Gained and third in birdies made. He’s also finished top five on three occasions at this event.
Daniel Berger – $17.00
Berger had to settle for outright 10th last week at the Tournament of Champions following some struggles on day four with the putter.
That’s typically pretty uncharacteristic for the American though, and he should feel pretty comfortable getting back to a course that has treated him well. Berger has made the cut in all five appearances at the Sony Open and finished Top 20 twice.
Sungjae Im – $17.00
Is this the year Im finally dominates?
Last week’s result might be a sign of things to come after the Korean led the field in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green on the way to a T5 finish.
He finished T16 on debut at this event two years back before turning in a similar T21 performance last year. Putting has let him down at times, but this man is by far the biggest danger in the field.
Hideki Matsuyama – $21.00
Matsuyama made up some ground on the final day last week at Kapalua, but the damage had already been done in the early rounds on the way to a T41.
He should improve on that effort though and the fact he finished T22 at this event last year bodes well for his chances.
Cameron Smith – $29.00
The defending champ won this event on the back of a month off last year, but he’s taken a different approach heading to Waialae this time around.
After finishing T8 at the QBE Shootout last month, the Queenslander finished off strongly last week at Kapalua to the tune of a T24 finish.
It’s easy to forget Smith finished T2 at the Masters last year, and even easier to forget he’s made the cut in all five appearances at the Sony Open. Looks set for a big year.
Ryan Palmer – $31.00
Wasted no time finishing top five last week at Kapalua after finishing T4 three months earlier at the ZOZO Championship.
Owns a win at this event way back in 2010 and also owns four other top five finishes.
Adam Scott – $34.00
Scott has been around the mark of late after finishing T21 last week at the Tournament of Champions in his first event since the Masters.
He’s perhaps one of the most experienced players heading to Waialae this weekend as he prepares to make his ninth appearance. Best result came back in 2009 when second to Zach Johnson.