After the limited-field Tournament of Champions last weekend, the PGA Tour’s Hawaiian swing continues with the first full-field event of 2019, the Sony Open at Waialae Country Club.
Defending champion Patton Kizzire has the form to go well although Justin Thomas is favourite at 13/2 to win after a top-five finish last week.
The opening event of the year was played at Kapalua, with vast fairways and a clear pathway for big hitters to take advantage.
Waialae, by contrast, is tight and will demand accuracy over brawn, with much smaller targets to aim both from the tee and on approach. The winning and almost-winning likely gets separated by a hot putter.
So early in the year, it is easy for rustiness to count against players. Each of the last five Sony Open winners had been in action the previous week at the Tournament of Champions.
Runner-up Gary Woodland, alongside Thomas, Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Marc Leishman, padded out the leaderboard behind Xander Schauffele last Sunday, with the winner posting an 11-under-par final round to storm through the pack.
Woodland to win @ 13/1
Woodland did nothing wrong in failing to complete a win at Kapalua. He led by three entering the final round and shot five-under, only for Schauffele to come with a wet sail.
Having played well last week, Woodland ticks plenty of boxes coming here, his recent Sony Open record at Waialae not being the least of them. He’s gone T3-T13-T6-T7 since 2015 at this event.
On almost any other Sunday, Woodland would have won the Tournament of Champions and this three-time PGA Tour winner can build on his fast start to 2019 here.
Leishman to win @ 18/1
Australian Leishman is becoming a perennial figure on the leaderboard wherever he plays. He’ll be on many radars come the majors this season and began 2019 with a tied-4th at Kapalua.
The wind can get up in Hawaii and few are better equipped to play well when the gusts are a factor.
Leishman is a regular on this Tour stop and has posted a pair of top-10 finishes alongside three more top-20s. He should give punters value for money again this week.
Harman to win @ 61/1
The 31-year-old American Brian Harman fits the horses-for-course bill and is a little overlooked in the betting as he wasn’t in action last week.
Twice a PGA Tour winner, he goes well at this track, with top-20 finishes every year since 2015, including a tied-4th finish last time around.
Harman was in the mix on the Sunday for the win when Kizzire scored here in 2018 and, with a four-year scoring record of 66.88 at this track, he can be on the leaderboard once again this weekend.
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