Solid Scott the Sony selection – but anything can happen!
The Sony Open in Hawaii is one of those golf tournaments where form can just fly out of the window. Since Zach Johnson won in 2009, the four winners have been Ryan Palmer, Mark Wilson, Johnson Wagner and Russell Henley, the American rookie who knocked it round in 24 under last year.
Now these are all fine players, but few will have been on anybody’s shortlist then (apart from their own) and few would be now; Coral rate them at 66/1, 80/1, 150/1 and 50/1 respectively.
Johnson (10/1 second favourite) is a different matter, of course, the 2007 US Masters winner, back in top form with a victory last time out in the Hyundai Tournament of Champions last week.
Two behind Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth and Webb Simpson going into the final round, Johnson shot a bogey-free seven under par 66 and is clearly on top of his game at the start of the year, but world number two Adam Scott and number eight Matt Kuchar weren’t too far behind in joint sixth and it’s easy to see these two playing a big part in proceedings this weekend.
Scott, so impressive when almost winning the Australian Triple Crown at the back end of 2013, put in four solid rounds – 70. 70, 69. 69 – at Kapalua, while Kuchar would have gone very close had he not thrown in a 75 on the third day.
Scott is 8/1 favourite and Kuchar 14/1 with Coral and you wouldn’t want to rule out America’s huge new star Spieth (16/1) after another great showing.
But 144 will be pegging it up here, the first full field of the calendar year on the PGA Tour, and on a flat, short par 70, conducive to low scoring, you can be sure that some players you have hardly heard of will be up on the leaderboard, maybe even on the last day.
In 2012 Matt Every (50/1) led for three rounds, while last year Scott Langley (150/1) teed it up in the final group on the last day.
You can’t say that’s it’s a horses for courses event – Wilson has missed both cuts since winning in 2011, while Wagner didn’t make it to the weekend on four occasions either side of his victory in 2012.
But on the other hand, it does seem to suit the eye of Charles Howell III (five top-five finishes in the past seven years) and Tim Clark (runner-up twice) and that is reflected in Coral’s odds of 22/1 and 25/1 respectively.
This is the tournament that Michelle Wie was invited to play in for four years in a row from the age of 14 – she missed the cut each time – so it isn’t exactly your run-of-the-mill competition.
And, as punters have painfully found to their cost in recent years, it is not an event where you can bank on the cream rising to the top.