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Sony Open in Hawaii 2023 Betting Tips - £200

Location: Maui, Hawaii - Waialae Country Club. Par 70, accuracy required for the narrow fairways and small putting surfaces.

Field: Less than half of the Sentry Tournament of Champions field tee it up this week so it’s pretty much two months since over half the field has played tournament golf.

Purse: $7.9m - this is almost half that on offer last week’s elevated status event.

Horses for courses: Kuchar (66.75), Webb Simpson (66.90), Spieth (66.90), Hideki (66.95) and Brendon Steele (67.00) top the stroke averages stats at Wailae in the last 7 years.

Previous Winners: Hideki, Kevin Na, Matt Kuchar and Patton Kizzire are previous champions from the last 5 years teeing it up this week. A name that stands out to me in the winners and runners up list is Russell Henley who was second last year (via a playoff) and a winner in 2013. Jimmy Walker made it into the winners circle back to back in 2014 and 2015 so if you fancy a 1000/1 shot there are players with worse previous than him!

Betting summary:

Unfortunately the field lacks most of the game’s stars with only 7 of the world’s top 25 and 19 of the 39 who competed last week at the Tournament of Champions. Considering we’re 75 miles away from Kapalua and Maui isn’t a bad place to be in January it’s quite clear this event is low down the priority list and the big names are in LA preparing for the west coast events.

The top 5 in the betting are Tom Kim 12, Im 15.5, Spieth 19.5, Harman 21 and Hideki 24.

As a Tom Kim fanboy I’m pleased to see his star continue to rise but I can’t see how he’s favourite. Kim moves to 14 in the world and has two wins under his belt as well as being buoyed by a T5 last week - and whilst those that tee it up in Kapalua often benefit this week at the Sony 11/1 is too slim for me. Will I regret slamming the value of the favourite two weeks in a row? I hope not because I really want to back a Tom Kim win.

I’m ignoring Im and Harman, perhaps at my peril again, despite solid weeks at the Sentry (T13 and T16 respectively) but I just felt they were plodding along and finding form rather than teeing it up expecting a win. Some golfers find themselves in contention but some expect to be in contention and this distinction between the top players and the rest is who I’m backing this week.


I’m flogging a horse from the Sentry TOC, backing an inconsistent big name and, finally, someone I’m not 100% sure still has the game. So feeling really confident for a profitable week!!!!

The only solid gold rule this week is only back players who played last week. So much temptation to chase some of the value on offer with players like Denny McCarthy (85), Webb Simpson (90) and Will Gordon (130) but I’m holding on tight to the trend that Sony winners play the Sentry.

Firstly, Hideki, for the second week in a row. He played last week, won the event last year and has the fourth best stroke average around this course. What’s not to like!! We’re talking 20 rounds where he averages under 67 which is phenomenal and I think this will be important around a tighter course that rewards accuracy. I’m fully on the Hideki hype train for the Hawaiian fortnight and if he lets me down we may not see him again in this column. £65 at 24 to return £1,560.

Secondly, Mr Inconsistent: Jordan Spieth. He’s won an event in each of the last two seasons but it’s really hard not to write “only one.” His game is increasingly less erratic after a head scratching 19-20 season so the trend is moving in the right direction and in this company he’s the classiest player in the field IMO. After a T13 last week I was almost put off by this solid result (last season his win and a T2 at the AT&T came after missed cuts!) but I’m backing him to demolish a weak field at odds of 19.5 - too good to resist. £100 at 19.5 to return £1,950.

Finally Adam Scott is getting £35 at odds of 55 to return £1,925. Scott played last week but was 14 shots off the lead. Whilst you need to go back to 2009 to see his name in the top 2 at the Sony, much like Spieth he’s a class above most in this field and with accuracy a focus for the week I’ll take Scott at great value although I very very rarely back him even in majors where he pops up every year and has a go. I went with gut feel on this one but must admit I’m not confident!

Avoiding the steady, consistent performers like Im, Kim and Harman from my punts is making me slightly nervous but my money is firmly with 3 top class players who know how to win. Fingers crossed one of them gets it done!

The nearly boys.

Mentioned above there’s actually tons of value in a fairly weak field. Denny McCarthy (85), Webb Simpson (90) and Will Gordon (130) are all great players that will likely slot into a DraftKings lineup, as well as Patton Kizzire (220), Brendan Steele (95) and Matt Kuchar (60) who offer great value as either past winners or in the top 5 lowest average course scores.

Good luck!

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