2022 Sony Open Round 2 Odds, Buys & Fades: Target Maverick McNealy, But Sell Leader Jim Furyk
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images. Pictured: Maverick McNealy
- Kevin Na leads after Round 1 at the Sony Open, but Jim Furyk's 8-under was the story.
- Both veterans are familiar names for longtime bettors, but there's value elsewhere near the top of the leaderboard.
- Chris Murphy breaks down his best picks entering Round 2 in Honolulu.
Updated 2022 Sony Open Odds
|Hao Tong Li||+6600|
|Erik van Rooyen||+7000|
*Odds as of Friday at 9 a.m. ET. Visit PointsBet for complete odds board.
The second tournament of the Hawaii Swing kicked off on Thursday at Waialae Country Club for the Sony Open. Once again, low scores were available as the first full field of 2022 played the course to an average of more than two strokes under par.
It was 51-year-old Jim Furyk who led the morning wave as his hole-in-one at the Par 3 17th jumped him out to 8-under par. He would later be caught by two players in the afternoon tee times as defending champion Kevin Na hit every fairway and was walking in putts throughout the round. Na would best Furyk by one shot with bogey-free 61, which would prove to be the best round of the day.
Na will take the lead into his morning tee time on Friday, as the players jockey for position before the weekend in Hawaii. Let’s take a look at the strokes gained data from the opening round to see who stands out as value heading into the second round.
Strokes Gained Explanation
Strokes Gained can give golf bettors, DFS players and fans way more detail on how a golfer is truly played by measuring each shot in relation to the rest of the field.
Using the millions of data points it collects, the TOUR calculates how many shots on average it takes a player to get the ball in the hole from every distance and situation. If a player beats those averages, he’s gaining strokes on the field.
Every situation in golf is different. Strokes Gained measures how players perform relative to the situation.
In this piece, we’ll touch on a variety of Strokes Gained metrics:
- Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee
- Strokes Gained: Approach
- Strokes Gained: Around-the-Green
- Strokes Gained: Putting
- Strokes Gained: Ball-Striking (which is Off-the-Tee + Approach)
- Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green (which is Ball-Striking + Around-the-Green)
In general, ball-striking and tee-to-green are the most stable long term, while putting is more prone to volatility.
You can often find live-betting advantages by identifying golfers who are hitting the ball well, but just not getting putts to drop. Likewise, players with high SG: Putting numbers may regress moving forward.
3 Golfers to Buy in Round 2
We know there are low scores available around this course, but it seems the rough is up a bit more than in prior years too. I think this creates even a little more value for us to buy down the leaderboard going into Friday.
There is no doubt in my mind that the best value on the betting board going into the second round is with J.T. Poston. He shot a 6-under 64 on Thursday but is still sitting at +9000 on FanDuel. Those odds are well outside of everyone around him and he’s a prior winner on TOUR.
Poston didn’t have a great season last year and comes into this event technically off of eight straight missed cuts. The difference now is those missed cuts were months ago, and he seems to have brought some form with him to Hawaii, at least for the opening round.
Poston gained nearly three shots on the field tee to green in the first round with better than two and a half of those coming on approach. His putter matched those hot irons, leading to the solid opening round, which is fairly standard for a guy who ranked second on TOUR in strokes gained putting last season.
These odds are simply too good to pass up for a player who’s first TOUR win came on a very similar Par 70, bermudagrass course at Sedgefield for the Wyndham Championship. He went bogey-free that week and showed that he has the game to win at this level, which makes this number even more baffling regardless of this fall struggles. I’m in on Poston with a sprinkle to win, but will be looking to buy him for placing odds as well.
There are a couple more names in the lower price range who I think present value and have similar games. The first is Maverick McNealy, who I really started to like as the week went on, and he came out playing well in the opening round.
McNealy gained more than three strokes with his ball striking on Thursday, gaining more than a shot on the field in both metrics. His irons were the best clubs in the bag as he gained nearly two strokes on approach, but he didn’t quite convert as many of those opportunities as I would’ve hoped.
I typically think of Mav as an elite putter, but he was merely field average in the first round. It was his first tournament round at this course, so I expect to see his putter continue to get better throughout the week and if he can maintain the ball striking, +3500 on DraftKings is a nice value before Round 2.
Similarly, Christiaan Bezuidenhout is also at 5-under after the first round and four shots back of Na. He too is a player who we expect to putt well and just hope he has his ball striking. The results on Thursday however, showed him to have some really sharp play tee to green, but he was lacking with the flat stick.
The South African gained better than three shots on the field with his ball striking, but was just above average on the greens. He’s a player who gained more than 0.76 shots putting per round during his tournaments on TOUR last season, but just 0.20 on Thursday. We get a little better value on Bez as he’s available at +4000 on Caesars, and is a nice add to the portfolio before his morning tee time on Friday.
3 Golfers to Fade in Round 2
Death, taxes, and Russell Henley in the first round. The Georgia Bulldog has been simply incredible in opening rounds dating back to last season, but he struggled to carry that momentum into the next rounds. Those numbers were even more drastic this fall as there was nearly a five-shot difference in scoring average between the first and second round for Henley.
My fade for him going into Friday is simply based on wanting to see him show me he can put a full tournament together before I’m willing to buy him in any winning odds markets. He certainly has the ability, but it is fair to wonder if it may becoming a bit of a mental block at this point.
The easiest looking fade for the second round is certainly with Jim Furyk. His strokes gained numbers from Thursday are pretty remarkable as he had a hole-in-one that heavily skews some of his ball striking, but he also gained close to five shots on the greens.
Furyk certainly seems to have the game to compete at this type of event where his lack of distance off the tee doesn’t hinder him and he is rewarded for finding fairways and greens. My issue is that his play in the first round isn’t sustainable, and even if he can stay sharp, it’s hard to see him keeping up in what is likely to become a low scoring birdie-fest this weekend.
The final fade for me going into the second round is with Webb Simpson. This one isn’t for the faint of heart and frankly isn’t one I’m excited about with my exposure to him in DFS, but I watched him much of the day on Thursday and he was clearly fighting his swing. His strokes gained numbers confirmed my eye test as he lost strokes in both ball striking metrics, including more than a shot to the field lost on approach.
Simpson was able to find his way into the clubhouse with a 3-under 67, but that was pretty much the ceiling of what he could have accomplished on Thursday. It took a chip-in birdie at the Par 4 3rd, and a long eagle putt on his final hole, the 9th, to get to that number. He simply didn’t look right, and even with his impeccable record around Waialae, I am fading him going into Friday where I wouldn’t be surprised to see him struggle to make it through the cut.