Sony Open Preview : The Cream Can Rise To The Top In Hawaii And That Means Jordan Spieth
Event Venue: Waialae Country Club, Honolulu, Hawaii, Thursday, January 11th at 4pm. Live on Sky Sports.See Stats
Jordan Spieth is one of the class acts in the field and the Open champion has the game to handle the conditions and win the Sony Open on the PGA Tour. Dustin Johnson almost lapped the field and was a convincing winner of the Tournament of Champions last week and the highest world ranked player in Spieth can prevail this week in the second event of the Hawaii Swing. You can back Spieth or your selection using your bookmaker golf free bet.
The modern history of what was initially called the Hawaiian Open dates back to 1965 but in 1999 the tournament was given a new name and a fixed slot in the calendar in the second week of the year. John Huston’s runaway win in 1998 led to the host course being modified significantly. The par was cut to 70 which means there are just two pars and the usual quota of short and medium length holes.
Waialae requires accuracy off the tee but longer more wayward players have scored well. The greater advantage comes from finding the Bermuda greens in regulation. The greens are tricky but not as awkward as those at Kapalua last week. The biggest factor is the wind. If the wind really gets up players able to keep the ball low and shape shots are at a considerable advantage. Spieth won the Open at Birkdale in challenging weather but kept his composure in the tough conditions.
Justin Thomas (7/1 with Ladbrokes) won both legs of the Hawaii Swing last year and the last player to do the double was Ernie Els in 2003. Thomas was the 13th winner in 19 years who had contested the Tournament of Champions a week earlier. For many years experienced ball strikers prevailed in the Sony Open but recent winners have changed that trend and younger players have come to the fore. Spieth can win for the young brigade this time because his skills profile suits the course.
The three-time major winner was third in the Sony Open last year. He led the field in strokes gained putting and approaches to the green and was fifth for proximity to the hole. Spieth (5/1 with William Hill) opened with a 75 last week but then played three solid rounds for a ninth place finish. For a first outing of the year that was a decent effort and nobody looked like getting close to Johnson from early in the tournament. The current world number one is not playing this week so Spieth is the favourite.
The main challenge could come from his close friend Thomas. The USPGA champion played the 72 holes in 27 under last year for a 7 strokes win. He established several scoring records and he did finish tied sixth in 2015 before he took his game to a new level. Thomas won five times last season and closed in Kapalua last week with a 6-under 67. He has positive mental associations with the week and fits the profile of dual winners but Spieth is preferred.
JORDAN SPIETH has the skills to win in Hawaii.
- The Sony Open is the first full field event of the season.
- It has been played at Waialae CC since 1965.
- There have been five multiple winners with two victories.
- No player has won this tournament more than twice.
- Each of the multiple winners have won major championships.
- A player from Europe has never won the Sony Open.
- Since 2000 only 4 champions were not Americans.
- The average winning score over the last 10 years is 18 under.
- These scores have ranged from 14 to 27 under.
- There has only been one playoff in the last decade.
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