Waialae Country Club is the fourth-longest standing course to host a PGA TOUR tournament. This year will be no different, with a mixture of TOUR rookies and veterans looking to start their calendar year off with a win.
Looking back at the winners and their odds is quite impressive. The average number of the past winners dating back five years is just under +5400, with the longest odds coming from Kevin Na and Patton Kizzire winning at +8000 in 2021 and 2018, respectively. Justin Thomas was the shortest at +1700 in 2017.
Similar to last week, debutants struggle at Waialae CC. Even though it’s a straightforward course, trends point to course experience and earlier starts in the Hawaiian Islands as precursors to success. Russell Henley is the only golfer to win here in his first start since the first tournament in 1965.
We’ve seen a myriad of winners claim victory at this coastal course. Even though course history matters, prior success is not essential. Past winners like Johnson Wagner missed the cut three straight times before winning in 2012. Russell Henley won in his first start back in 2013, and Fabian Gomez claimed victory in 2016 after missing the cut twice and recording a 67th as his best finish before then.
For a full course preview, key statistics breakdown and additional players to consider on DraftKings Sportsbook, refer to the DraftKings Preview on DraftKings Playbook. Here are the bets we should be considering this week.
All betting odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
The reigning Masters champion was +2200 just a week ago in a much heavier strength of field at the Tournament of Champions (TOC). Last weekend, Matsuyama lost a little steam but still finished inside the top-13 at his fifth TOC. Matsuyama has gained a total of 12.6 strokes through approach in his last two starts at Waialae CC and ranks top 20 in SG: Par 4 over the previous 50 rounds. Corey Conners (+1800) is another golfer we like this week, but he and Matsuyama shouldn’t be the same number pre-tournament.
Like Matsuyama, Grace will make the short trip to Oahu and look to better his performance last week. Grace lost strokes in every significant statistical category, which is why we’re getting such a hefty price on a golfer who regularly plays well on coastal courses. A winner at the Puerto Rico Open last season and a first-place at the 2016 RBC Heritage proves he can successfully navigate a coastal track like Waialae CC. Grace MC’d last year but finished inside the top-13 in 2017, his only other start here. I also like most of his derivative market bets, choose the one you feel most comfortable with.
This week will be Thompson’s 11th appearance at the Sony Open, and he’s at a price worth looking at this week. Two top-25s and a top-6 back in 2012 here should shine some light on his potential at a course he knows well. A recent top-15 in Mayakoba, two top-10s at the RBC Heritage in the previous three years and a win at the 2013 Honda Classic are reasons Thompson sets up well this week, even though he’s been shaky with his ball-striking of late. Hopefully, Thompson spent the offseason working on his ball-striking that hopefully can match his level of putting on Bermuda, ranking 18th over the previous 50 rounds. Similar to Grace, his derivative market bets have +EV value this week.
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