Finesse Players Make for Good Bets at the Sony Open
As the NFL moves to Wild Card Weekend, the golf world gets back into the swing of things and the world of fantasy golf and full tilt golf wagering is now underway!
Before moving on to this week’s event I had to come up with a fantasy golf name for this year’s team and after considering such monikers as Hatfields & McIlroys, Peanut Butter & Figjam, Hovland and Sea, Cam Smith on the Barbie, Daniel Bergermeister Meisterberger and Cantlay on My Wayward Son I went with a play on one of the best sayings from Seinfeld and landed on Stuff Ur Schauffeles in a Sack.
Pause for a Pop Culture Moment
One little known fact is that this line is a reference to an episode of The Odd Couple from 1974 called Strike Up the Band of Else, when Felix Unger and Oscar Madison each tell the other to “Stuff your sorries in a sack, mister!”
If you’ve never seen this classic TV series, I happened to grow up on it, do yourself a favor and check it out. If you have seen it, its worth a re-watch. The premise is delightful and the interplay between Tony Randall and Jack Klugman is tremendous. It’s not as good as the original film from 1968 with Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau which is absolutely top notch, but it’s darn good.
Back to Waialae
Now with that out of the way, let’s focus on this week’s tournament.
The PGA Tour moves to another beautiful venue this week as Waialae Country Club in Honolulu hosts the Sony Open. It’s the first full-field event of 2022 featuring 144 players – actually make that 143 players – as Bryson Aldrich DeChambeau withdrew on Monday citing a battle with wrist soreness. I wonder how his wrist got sore.
Anyway, 24 of the players from last week’s Sentry Tournament of Champions will tee it up at Waialae, including big names such as Hideki Matsuyama, Abraham Ancer, Sungjae Im and last week’s winner at a stunning 34 under par, Cam Smith.
I have to tip my cap to Cam, not only because he helped me cash a wager by winning the tournament, but what a pair of balls this guy has on him to have the world’s #1 player Jon Rahm tracking him round after round and Cam just continued to blast tee shots and hole putts to hang onto that one shot lead and win the tournament. Impressive to say the least.
If Cam keeps this up, he’ll be the most famous mullet headed star this side of Joe Dirt, Billy Ray Cyrus and Ellen DeGeneres.
Sony Open Stats
As mentioned above, 24 players from the Sentry Tournament of Champions are entered in this week’s Sony Open, but what you may not know is that seven of the last eight Sony winners played in the Sentry the week before their Sony victory. So, there’s something to be said for those 24 players this week.
But while the last seven winners played the week before at Kapalua, the course this week is a different animal, which means it’s quite possible that stat has more to do with those players having a week to shake off the winter rust than it does for their game being a match for this week’s track.
Waialae Country Club is a 7,044-yard, par 70 course. Kapalua’s Plantation Course is a 7,596-yard par 73.
The Plantation Course is a bombers paradise where players don’t have to be too concerned with missing the fairway. That’s not the case at Waialae, where the focus needs to be on hitting accurate shots and finding the fairway.
The key this week will be setting up for a good second shot versus distance off the tee. This means rather than the multitude of wedges used for approach shots this week we’ll see more long and mid irons. If that’s the weak part of your game, you don’t have much of a chance at winning this week.
The wind at Waialae usually provides a guard against low scores, but the forecast looks like there won’t be much this week so there should be a good number of birdies. I don’t think we’ll see a winning score of -34, but something in the -20 range should do the trick.
Best Daily Fantasy Props Bonus
Make Sure to Support Grumpy’s favorite Daily Fantasy Props bonus from PrizePicks. Click below to claim 100% Deposit Match up to $100 on your first deposit. Click below to claim with Promo Code: GRUMPY
Who Can Compete This Week?
Past winners of this event such as Kevin Na, Matt Kuchar, Patton Kizzire and Cam Smith fit the mold of what it takes to win at Waialae – accuracy off the tee, accuracy on approach shots and an above average short game. A firm grasp of putting on Bermuda grass is also a tremendous help.
If you’re considering backing a player who doesn’t have at least some of these characteristics you may be crying in your beer come Sunday night.
Who Will Compete This Week?
This week everyone is on the top odds guys, Cam Smith, Webb Simpson, Sungjae Im, Hideki Matsuyama, Marc Leishman, Corey Conners and Kevin Na. I’m not sure I can knock any of those picks except to say it’s seriously difficult to win back-to-back tourneys on the PGA Tour, Webb is coming off a really down year and Corey Conners can’t putt. So, I’ll just put it this way, I’m not backing any of those guys. No, I’ll drop down the odds list a little bit further and give you some names while not sleepers can certainly get it done this week.
Grumpy’s Golf Pick(s) of the Week
This week I’m all in on Talor Gooch. I’m not sure if the leader in the Fed Ex Cup Standings can be categorized as “under the radar”, but he’s twelfth in the betting at 35-1, which is good enough for me.
Gooch finished 15th in the Sentry last week which gets him into that 7 of the last 8 winners of the Sony thing, his iron play is super sharp, and he ranks 9th in total strokes gained on approach in the last 24 rounds played at 20.745.
Oh, did I mention he’s 35-1?
I’ll take Talor 3 ways from Sunday, to win at +3500, Top 5 at +600 and Top 10 at +320.
I’ll also back Christiaan Bezuidenhout to finish Top 10 at +550. Waialae isn’t known for being kind to first time players and this is Christiaan’s first tournament since November, but his short game and Bermuda putting are solid, and I think he’ll compete well this week.
Lastly, I’ll take a flyer on Webb Simpson at -142 over Abe Ancer in the Tournament Matchup. If Webb is right, he’s a great fit for this track and this is also a little bit of a fade of Ancer as I don’t think he’ll do much this week.
Enjoy the Sony Open. I hope you are fortunate.