Waialae Country Club
The first full-field event of the year kicks off tomorrow in Honolulu. Only a handful of last week’s combatants in the Sentry TOC – aka the Morikawa meltdown – have stuck around for the Sony. Among those who decided to extend their Hawaiian holiday – many with their families – are the defending champion, Hideki Matsuyama, young tour sensation, Tom Kim, and former young tour sensation, Jordan Spieth.
Who should win? – Tom Kim 10/1
Kim finished T5 last week and the highest finish in his previous four starts was a T11. He’s very good, very confident, and a little cocky. He’s also the odds-on favourite this week.
Who could win? – Tom Hoge 22/1, Brian Harman 18/1, Corey Conners 22/1
Matsuyama is probably the class of the field and could easily find his game this week and defend his title but there is nothing in his recent play to suggest a return to form. Hoge had his strongest and most consistent season in 2022 despite two MCs to finish the year. He was right in the mix last week with a T3 and had a top-3 finish in this event back in ’18. Harman has had difficulty finishing throughout his career. He did have two runner-ups to complete his ’22 season and is long due for a win. He posted a reasonable T16 in the Sentry last week and posted a top finish here in ’18. Conners is another top-20ish golfer who is due for a W. He could well join his Canadian compatriots, Svensson and Hughes as early-season winners. Conners also had a top-3 result back in ’19.
Who will win? – Brian Harman
The course has only two par-fives and is a shade over 7,000 yards, so this is a course that can’t really be overpowered. Harman’s game is a good fit for this track. He’s only had two career wins with the last coming back in ’16/’17, so this is totally a gut call and whether it’s Harman or not – he will likely have to go through Tom Kim to secure the win.
*odds courtesy of Bet365.com