Sobel’s Sony Open Round 2 Preview & Matchup Bet: Keep Riding Collin Morikawa?

Sobel’s Sony Open Round 2 Preview & Matchup Bet: Keep Riding Collin Morikawa? article feature image
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Sam Greenwood/Getty Images. Pictured: Collin Morikawa.

Earlier this week, I picked Collin Morikawa to win the Sony Open, but with the youngster staked to the overnight lead, this is no time for I-told-you-so’s.

The truth is, those of us bullish on Morikawa (+380 at FanDuel) probably wish he’d saved that 5-under 65 for one of the later rounds, retaining some value until then, but we’ll take a live leader anytime we can get it.

Friday’s second round calls for continued blustery weather at Waialae CC, though with some sprinkling rain in the forecast, the already-soft course conditions should become even softer.

That should provide a unique dichotomy working in sync, with wind likely keeping scores from being too low and rain likely keeping them from being too high.

In the opening round, there was a smattering of leaders from both the early and late waves, proving there wasn’t much of an advantage either way. That should remain consistent on Friday, as the strongest winds are predicted for midday — right when the early wave is finishing and the late wave is beginning.

All things considered, if you’re either looking to fade Morikawa or hedge with another potential contender or two for live outright bets, I’d stick with players teeing off in the morning.

Of those early-risers, Sungjae Im (18-1 at DraftKings) was a popular pre-tourney pick and should still hold some value in search of his first PGA Tour victory; Nick Taylor (190-1 at FanDuel) is a guy that I nearly mentioned in my preview column before deciding to hold for next week’s tourney in Palm Springs, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him stay in the mix.

And then there’s Webb Simpson (28-1 at Bet365), the second-favorite (or third, depending on the book) pre-tourney, who overcame two early double-bogeys to post a respectable 71. Speaking of Simpson…

Round 2 Matchup Bet

Webb Simpson (-125) over Hideki Matsuyama

Sure, his back-nine bounce-back should give us confidence here, but this one is less about backing Simpson than fading Matsuyama. As you might recall, Hideki was my favorite fade before the event started and nothing that happened during his opening 74 changed my mind.

In six previous starts here, he’s never finished inside the top-25. On a day when he’ll start below the cut line, I can’t imagine he’ll suddenly figure out Waialae in the wind and rain. These are two trains clearly going in opposite directions.

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