Review & Betting Guide to the Sony Open

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The 2nd hole at Waialae Country Club © Peter Corden

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Carl Pettersson 20/1 © Keith Allison

This week sees the tour move to the mainland island of Hawaii, Oahu and tees up at the Waialae Country Club. The course nestles between the Koolau mountain range on the north and Pacific Ocean on the south.

Opened in 1927 and designed by Seth Raynor, the Waialae Country Club has hosted major golfing events since 1965 and has been the venue for the annual Hawaiian PGA tournament. Tailored greens, lush fairways, beautiful mountain ranges, the blue ocean, these are some of the fantastic views the course has to offer the visiting golfer.

The pros on the other hand will be playing the course in a different way as the front and back nines are reversed for Tournament play in order to capitalise on the sun setting in the west.  

As I am writing this guide the final rounds of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions is still being played due to the wind delays and rescheduling. Whether that will be of help or hinderance to those players who are teeing it up this week, will shall see.


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Webb Simpson 16/1 © Keith Allison

My picks to win:

Last year was a great year for Carl Pettersson 20/1 a win, two runners up finishes, third place at the PGA Championship and a Top 10 finish at the Players Championship, emphasises that fact. Carl seems to have started this year where he left off last year and currently sits in the Top 10 at the Tournament of Champions.

Webb Simpson 16/1 is another player that seems to be in good form, during all the stoppages at the Tournament of Champions, Webb was always around the top of the leaderboard and was actually -3 and leading when the wind was gusting at its strongest. After picking up his first major last year at the US Open he finished the year with three Top 10 finishes in his last three events.

Another player who won last year was Jonas Blixt 35/1. In his 11th PGA start, he made the Top 10 at the Wells Fargo Championship, a second top-10, finish with a career-best tied third at the HP Byron Nelson Championship, finishing two strokes behind winner Jason Dufner. The following week tied tenth at the Crowne Plaza Invitational, his fourth consecutive top-15 finish where he was then sidelined with a rib injury. When he returned he had two further Top-20 finishes before picking up his maiden win at the Open.


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Steve Marino 125/1

My each-way picks:

Jeff Overton 66/1 finished last year in great form finishing in the Top 20 four times in his last six events, two of those finishes were in the Top 10. Jeff is still awaiting his maiden PGA Tour win but at the backend of 2012 he looked like he was getting back to playing some of his best golf.

Mark Wilson 66/1 was a winner here in 2011 and as I said in last weeks betting guide, Mark seems to enjoy the early season events and was leading after the first round in the wind delayed Tournament of Champions, which seems to indicate his game is in good shape.

Outside bet:
Steve Marino 125/1 suffered last year with a knee injury following this tournament, he took a four-month break then came back but suffered more problems and took the rest of the year off. Steve will obviously feel a bit ring rusty this week but he did make the runner up spot in 2011 to Mark Wilson. He also had another runners up place that year and six other Top 25 finishes.

For updated betting odds during the tournament go to

TOPICS: Golf, Golf on the Web, Off course, Tournament reviews and betting guides

ABOUT: James Mason

James Mason is a contributing writer for Golf Monthly magazine, producing destination reviews, technical and equipment reviews and blogs. He was also part of the judging panel for the 2010 Top 100 courses in Great Britain and Ireland. James has written equipment reviews and technical features for Greenside magazine, destination features for Golf World and Going for Golf magazines and interviews for Middle East Golfer.

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