Author: Paul Atkin
Published: 08:36 08/01/2014
Another week in Hawaii for the US Tour stars, must be a living hell for these guys! The Sony Open is played at the short 7,068 yard Par 70 Waialae Golf Club. It's a tight, compact course and accuracy of the tee and players who can hit quality shots into the green will prosper. There are only two Par 5s on the course, but almost the whole field will be able to reach the greens in a couple of shots. Whilst it's a course that players can attack, the Par 3s have to be given respect, as they are well bunkered and can readily damage the score card. The weather as expected will be fine for all four days, with the usual left to right wind in evidence, which usually favours players that draw the ball.
Last year, rookie Russell Henley won this event with a putting master class, but it is usually experienced players who come back year after year and produce the results on this course.
My first two picks are players that really have to concentrate on the few events in the season that don't disadvantage their length of the tee and also accentuates there accuracy with the second shots into the green. Brian Gay has had three top 15 places in his last five starts here, and showed last week at the Plantation course (a course that is too long for him), that his game is in good shape and his putting in particular looked as if it was getting back in the groove. At the odds, he should give E/W backers good value for money.
Another player with a fine record here is South African Tim Clark. He's never finished outside the top 25, and has two recent second place finishes here. He's razor sharp when he gets within a 100 yards of the green, and if the putter behaves he has every chance to go well here.
A player that can't be left out of any staking plan is Zach Johnson. He won last week at a course which didn't really suit, but such is his form he swept all competition aside and he is probably with Adam Scott and Henrik Stenson playing the best golf of anyone in the last five months. He won this event in 2009, and if not overtired from last week's exertions is worth a saver bet.
Brian Gay - 40/1 E/W (6 places) Paddy Power
Tim Clark - 25/1 E/W Stan James
Zach Johnson 11/1 Win bet 365