Brian Spurlock, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Bubba Watson.
- Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth top the odds at the 2019 Sony Open in Waialae, Hawaii.
- Six of the past seven winners at the Sony Open played in the Tournament of Champions the previous week.
- Joshua Perry thinks there's value with a few golfers in between 45-1 and 90-1.
The Tournament of Champions provided a nice golf-appetizer last weekend as Xander Schauffele claimed his fourth title in just over 60 events on tour. It was a good payday for those with Schauffele on their card as he went off as high as 25-1 at some sportsbooks.
But now it’s time to move on to the Sony Open, the first full-field event of 2019. About two-third of the Tournament of Champions field remained in Hawaii to take place in the event.
Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth headline a relatively weak field, where the biggest advantage in recent years has been participating in the Tournament of Champions.
Six of the previous seven winners of the Sony played in the TOC the week before. It makes sense since most tour players have had an extended layoff during the holidays. Getting a chance to play a week before the vast majority of the field and shake off that competitive rust is clearly an advantage.
Waialae Country Club is one of the shorter courses on tour, checking in at 7,020 yards for a par 70. It rarely plays that difficult with the winner usually getting in the high teens or low 20s under par. If the wind is down, the course is pretty defenseless.
Two years ago, we saw Thomas shoot 59 on the way to a seven-shot victory at 27-under par. It can be hard to hit the fairways here, but the rough is so light that is doesn’t really matter too much in most circumstances.
As mentioned, Thomas and Spieth are the headliners this week with Thomas a clear favorite at +650. Bryson Dechambeau is next in line at the top at +1000 with Spieth and last week’s runner up Gary Woodland opening at +1400. Marc Leishman is the only other player in the teens at +1800.
I’m steering clear of the top of the board unless I see Leishman in the low 20s. I’ll hold enough of the bankroll back to add him if the number pops up, but my focus for this event will be in the mid-tier.
There are quite a few guys in this range I like. And as we mentioned earlier, six of the last seven winners at Waialae played in the TOC, so I’m going to be betting guys who were in the field last week and showed some good form.