2022 Sony Open Odds, Longshot Bets: 4 Dark Horse Picks Headlined by Charles Howell
Meg Oliphant/Getty Images. Pictured: Charles Howell III.
Click for Sony Open odds, as of Monday afternoon via FanDuel.
|Si Woo Kim||+4600|
|Erik van Rooyen||+5500|
|Charles Howell III||+7500|
|Hao Tong Li||+35000|
|Dawie van der Walt||+55000|
The PGA TOUR is back in business after the wild week of low, low scores at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. The first full-field event of the 2022 calendar year will remain on the Hawaiian islands, shifting to Honolulu for the Sony Open at Waialae Country Club.
A full field, rather than the much smaller group of golfers invited to last weekend’s winners only event at Kapalua, should be a sight for the sore eyes of golf bettors. Not only are many of the world’s best golfers back this week to tee it up, but a host of long shots and underdogs are ready to make a run.
Diving deeper into this week’s field, there are some very attractive long shots with a real chance to contend this weekend, including some players with a rich history of success at Waialae.
Charles Howell III +7500 (FanDuel)
The analysts at Data Golf have run through every number under the sun. For something to truly stand out in their models, it means something.
No player on TOUR receives a higher adjustment in their models for a particular course than Charles Howell III receives at Waialae Country Club. Not even Tiger Woods at any of his favorite spots.
Our biggest course history adjustment for any player/course combination is Charles Howell III at Waialae: +0.5 strokes!
CH3 has played 68 rounds here since 2004, averaging 1.2 strokes per round better than expected (based on overall skill + course fit).
— data golf (@DataGolf) January 10, 2022
Howell has been playing like his old self lately, too. It’s a small sample size that is taken from his last three events — with many top players sitting out recent events — but Howell is in the top 15 in the world in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee and Around the Green over the last three months.
I don’t know if Howell’s game is currently built to win this week and cash at +7500, but he seems like a no-brainer to bet in top-10 or top-20 markets, or as a daily fantasy play.
Chris Kirk +9000 (bet365)
This has always been a strong event for Chris Kirk, with top-10 finishes in 2013, 2014, 2018 and a T2 finish just last year. He’s gained 1.2 true strokes per round on the field, according to Data Golf, 10th-best among players in this week’s field.
Kirk didn’t play his best golf to end the 2021 season, as he’s without a top 10 since April. Hopefully, the return to a comfortable course where he has succeeded in the past can kick start his game back to a winning level.
According to Strokes Gained data, Kirk has been a top-20 player around the green over the last 12 months. At a course where he feels comfortable, that is reason to like his chances.
Patton Kizzire +11000 (bet365)
Something about the Hawaiian breeze in his face must spark Patton Kizzire’s golf game. He’s played this event four times, with three finishes in the top 12, including a win back in 2018. His only slip up at this event, a missed cut in 2019, came thanks to Kizzire losing 1.83 strokes per round off the tee, which put him fourth-worst in that field.
Kizzire’s play around and on the green has always been strong at this venue, suggesting he’s comfortable at Waialae. He ranks fourth in this week’s field in True Strokes Gained at this course and in True Strokes Gained vs. expectations.
Kizzire has the kind of game that provides bettors with “trick or treat” results each week. In 28 starts in the 2021 calendar year, he missed nine cuts and registered five finishes of T11 or better.
Brian Stuard +13000 (DraftKings)
Any long shot of this magnitude is going to have some red flags attached. Stuard is currently ranked 262nd in the world, his lowest ranking since June 2019. He hasn’t won on the PGA Tour since ’16 and has just one finish in the top three of an event since that win.
But beyond those red flags, there’s reasons to like Stuard’s chances this week. In his last nine starts here at Waialae, he has eight made cuts and four top-10 finishes. Some of that is ancient history. A T5 at this course in 2013 feels like a lifetime ago, but for the pros on TOUR, that experience at a venue matters.
If there’s any course where Stuard can find some magic and compete, it’s here at the Sony. He’s worth a nibble as a long shot.
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