2020 Sony Open Betting Odds, Picks and Sleepers: Should You Follow the Trend at Waialae?


Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images. Pictured: Kevin Kisner

Jan 07, 2020, 11:20 AM EST

Patrick Reed nearly stole one for us at the Tournament of Champions.

Unfortunately, Reed’s magic on the greens ran out in the playoff and, per usual, the better ball-striker found a way to come out on top.

Reed’s top-5 finish kept us ahead last weekend but now our attention shifts to the Sony Open.

This tournament sports one of the strongest trends on the PGA Tour. Seven of the last eight winners at the Sony have played the week before at the Tournament of Champions. The only outlier was Russell Henley, who won this event in his PGA Tour debut in 2013. Going back even further to 2008, nine of the past 12 champs were in the TOC field.

The logic behind this trend isn’t too hard to figure out. We’re coming off an extended layoff for most of the players, some of whom haven’t played a competitive round in almost two months. That gives the guys who played at the Tournament of Champions a chance to get back into form. We don’t know how the rest of the players have spent their time off. There’s a good chance they haven’t touched a club for a month or they’re testing out new equipment in competition for the first time.

It also helps that the players who play in the Tournament of Champions are usually among the best players in the field. And since every one of them is coming off a victory at some point in the previous year, they’ve got that confidence built up that they can close out a tournament if they do get in contention.

If you’re in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Indiana or West Virginia and bullish on Justin Thomas and Patrick Reed this week, be sure to check out FanDuel, which has boosted the odds that either Thomas OR Reed win the 2020 Sony Open from +250 to +300.

The Course

Waialae Country Club is one of the shorter courses on tour measuring a little over 7,000 yards for a par 70.

The tee ball doesn’t play too much of a factor here. We’ve had shorter, inaccurate drivers like Patton Kizzire and Fabian Gomez come out on top in recent years. It’s really a second-shot golf course where a player who can get hot on Bermuda greens will come out on top.

It’s a vastly different course than Kapalua, which is more of a bomber’s paradise. Because of that, you shouldn’t just look at players who finished strong last week. Guys like Matt Kuchar, who took the Sony Open down last year, isn’t really the best fit for Kapalua, but shaking off that competitive rust is important for this week.

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