Recap of Last Weeks Bets
|Tournament Match Bet||Viktor Hovland||Lost|
|Top 5 Finish||Talor Gooch||Lost|
Profit/Loss (This week) – Loss of $30 to a $10 Stake
Profit/Loss (Overall) – Loss of $319.30 to a $10 Stake
On to this week’s event.
The Sony Open is the year’s first full-field tournament. Waialae Country Club in Honolulu, Hawaii, hosts the tournament. Since 1965, when the Hawaiian Open was renamed, the course has hosted the tournament. In 1999, Sony took over as title sponsor. An intriguing number to contemplate this week is that 15 Sony Open winners have emerged triumphant after playing the Plantation Course in Kapalua the prior week since the Tournament of Champions came to Hawaii in 1999. However, neither of the last two winners played in Kapalua before winning the Sony Open.
Whatever your feelings about how easy the course was at Kapalua, the PGA Tour kicked off 2022 with a bang at the Tournament of Champions. With Bryson out of the picture, all attention will be on Cameron Smith, attempting to make it two in a row in Hawaii. Smith put on a display at Kapalua, winning by a single stroke against World Number One Jon Rahm.
Seth Raynor designed Waialae Country Club, which first opened in 1927. The Par 70 course is 7,044 yards long and includes tiny Bermuda greens. Accuracy takes precedence over a length off the tee. As you might anticipate in Hawaii, scoring is determined by the intensity of the wind. Since 2000, the average winning score has been slightly about -17, so getting off to a good start is critical. To attack the tiny greens and set up scoring possibilities, you must start from the short stuff.
As with most low-scoring contests, what you do into and on the greens is usually the key to success. Ten of the last 12 winners were in the top six in putting for the week, while the other two comfortably gained strokes on the greens. The numbers are just as impressive when it comes to approach play, with 9 of the 12 champions ranked in the top 7 when they won.
On to our picks for this year…
Beau Hossler +20000
Beau Hossler could be the man to lift the trophy if this turns into a putting contest, which it has in years gone past. He showed exactly what he could do earlier in the season at the Fortinet Championship when he placed 16th and shot an excellent second-round 64. While he has only played this tournament once and missed the cut on that occasion, history proves that you don’t necessarily have to have done well here; just having the experience of playing here can be enough. His approach play will undoubtedly need to improve, but he has the short game to make a dent in this course.
Top 10 Finish
Adam Long +900
Adam Long has been ultra-consistent lately, and you have to feel that a top ten finish is around the corner. In his previous four tournaments, he has placed 25th, 22nd, 11th, and 16th. Looking at his stats off the tee and his approach play, they hardly inspire you. However, he is good around the green and can sink a putt from anywhere on the green as he ranks third for putting strokes gained this season. This has led to him having the tenth-best scoring average on Tour this season.
Top 20 Finish
Joshua Creel +800
Joshua Creel is probably a player that many outside of the golf world have never heard of, and why would they? He has missed the cut at one tournament this season and placed 40th at another. However, he finished the season on the Korn Ferry Tour last season with tremendous momentum. He had a win in his last nine events, a runners-up place, and finished eighth and tenth. He has struggled most this season off the tee, but that won’t matter too much here. His iron play needs some improvement, but what caught my attention is that he ranks third on Tour for his approach play from 75-100 yards despite his poor start to the season. On this short course, he could find himself in this position regularly. He is also very useful with the putter, making him an exciting prospect this week.