2023 Sony Open OAD: Pick These 3 Players In Your Pool
Hector Vivas/Getty Images. Pictured: Russell Henley.
Russell Henley (+2500)
In every OAD that I’m in which requires all picks made before the start of the year, Russell Henley is my guy at this event, which he won 10 years ago, lost in a playoff last year and owns three other top-25 finishes. In last week’s Sentry TOC preview, I not-so-subtly hinted that I’d be all over him for this one, but coming off an average ball-striking week, the 25/1 number feels a little too short.
Even so, I do like him at a place where he’s shown success. I’d expect him to be a popular OAD pick this week, but if you’re in the camp which believes it’s too early to start thinking about leverage plays, he makes as much sense as anyone here.
Christiaan Bezuidenhout (+4500)
Anytime we’re dealing with an old-school course that features smaller green complexes, I’m taking a long look at C-Bez, who quietly owns one of the better short games at this level.
I recently wrote about players whom I believe will make “The Leap” in 2023, and while Bezuidenhout’s name was one of the last to hit the cutting room floor, I still think this could be a big stepping-stone campaign for a player who’s enjoyed success all over the world. He was T17 here last year, and there’s reason to believe that international experience can help at a place which doesn’t really feel like a U.S. venue anyway.
Chris Kirk (+8000)
Like Henley, another Georgia Bulldog, there appears to be some correlation for the Southeast guys out in the Aloha State. Chris Kirk owns a pair of runner-up finishes and four top 10s in 12 career starts here. If you’re looking for a guy with experience and don’t want to burn one of the bigger names yet, he offers a nice opportunity to cash a big check while hanging on to those other options.