Golf Betting Tips and Picks
The PGA Tour will stay in Hawaii for one more week for the Sony Open in Hawaii – a tournament that has been played since 1965 excluding the year 1970. We have 144 players in action this week, and the top 65 plus ties after round 2 will get to play the weekend rounds 3 and 4.
There’s $7.9M to be won this week, the winner nets himself $1.422M and also earns 500 FedEx Cup points. Waialae Country Club is only 7,044 yards in length, is a par 70, and the greens are Bermudagrass. The average winning score here over the last decade is -20.5, so scoring is usually pretty good unless the winds are blowing strongly. Case in point, the winning score in 2020 was only -11 with Cameron Smith defeating Brendan Steele in a playoff. Place bets on golfers who are solid putters on Bermudagrass, who are accurate off the tee blocks, who are strong around the green, who gain lots of strokes total, and who are sound on approach.
Three questions that are relevant to the Sony Open in Hawaii this week:
- Putting has proved to be fairly important here over the years, so which 10 players have been the best putters over their last 24 rounds? Maverick McNealy, Harry Hall, Mackenzie Hughes, Greyson Sigg, Richy Werenski, Taylor Montgomery, Seonghyeon Kim, Andrew Putnam, Kelly Kraft, and Tom Hoge.
- Which 10 players have the most top 10’s here over the last five years? Webb Simpson has 3, and several players have 2 including Matt Kuchar, Chris Kirk, Brendan Steele, Patton Kizzire, Russell Knox, and Brian Stuard.
- What’s my top bet for the week? It’s not a super lucrative bet by any means, but I do like Corey Conners to finish in the top 20 with +115 odds. He has accomplished this goal in three straight appearances at this event, and I think he extends it to four this week.
Below you will find players that I will bet, might bet, and five random bets that interest me. The odds come from DraftKings Sportsbook and are outright numbers. My betting strategy is to hedge quite a bit so my upside isn’t huge but neither is my downside, and I’m profitable or break even in roughly 70% of the weeks I’m active.
5 Players That I’m Absolutely Betting
Tom Kim (+1100) – He has two wins in his last eight starts and five other top 25’s during that stretch, and he’s so statistically strong – especially on approach. The young buck is the odds-on favorite this week and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him win come Sunday evening. I’m betting him to win, finish top 5, and finish top 10, and will look at other bets that involve him, as well.
Corey Conners (+2200) – If he figures out his short game then he will be more of a threat to win given he gains on ball striking almost every week he competes. He has three straight top 12’s at this venue and has nine top 28’s over his last ten starts including a T5 at the BMW Championship in leg two of the playoffs last season. As I indicated above, I’m all over the top 20 bet for Conners this week, and will consider a top 10 wager also given he’s a strong putter on these greens.
Taylor Montgomery (+3500) – He just finds ways to place high in the standings with seven top 15’s over his last nine starts and three of those were top 10’s including a 3rd at the Fortinet Championship last September. If everything comes together for Montgomery this week he’s capable of winning, but will need to ride a hot putter to get it done and we know he can really putt the lights out. I’m betting him to finish top 10 and top 20, and will look at his top 5 also along with him winning outright.
Alex Smalley (+5500) – We haven’t seen him compete in almost two months now, but if he finishes where he left off last November, then he could add his fourth consecutive top 11. I’m on top of his top 20 this week, and I’ll consider the top 10 also but likely won’t pull the trigger as we could see some rust from Smalley this week.
Keith Mitchell (+4000) – Big Keith Mitchell had a top 10 two starts ago at the Houston Open and has four top 25’s here over the last five years and three top 16’s over the last four years including his T7 a year ago. I’m going to bet him to finish top 20 almost for sure, and might pull the trigger on the top 10 as well but I’m a tad gun shy of doing that.
5 Players That I Might Bet
Maverick McNealy (+4000) – Some interesting data to consider when it comes to McNealy this week as he finished T27 here in 2022 thanks to gaining 6.91 strokes ball striking and he lost 3.22 strokes with his short game. His DNA is strong putting and he’s fine with around-the-green play, it’s his ball striking that’s usually mediocre. So if he can put it all together this week, he could really make some noise. I’m very tempted to bet him to finish top 20 and I’m going to consider a top 10 finish wager also given these insights, and he has two top 10’s over his last five starts and two other top 18’s, so Maverick looks to be an intriguing play this week.
Russell Henley (+2200) – Henley won three starts ago at the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba, was runner-up here last year, won in 2013, was T11 in 2021, and has five top 17’s here over the last ten years. I feel pretty confident in a top 20 finish for Russell this week so I’ll likely make that commitment on DK, and I’m open to the top 10 wager but will likely ultimately pass.
Sungjae Im (+1200) – Every year his results get worse here but I do believe he can reverse that trend this year. He has gone T16-T21-T56-Cut between 2019 to 2022. He has really been piling up T2’s, top 5’s, and top 10’s since last July, and should at least be in the mix for a top 20 finish this week.
Hideki Matsuyama (+1800) – He just can’t seem to find his groove but his short game has been pretty good, and his track record at this venue is solid as he won here last year, and has three straight top 19’s. I’m not sure what to do with Matsuyama this week, I’m leaning towards fading him but won’t make that decision until Wednesday night or early Thursday morning.
Hayden Buckley (+8000) – His stat profile isn’t too shabby, he has three top 20’s over his last five starts including a T5 at the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP, and he had a T12 here last year thanks to gaining strokes across the board. I’m going to take a serious look at a top 20 bet on Buckley this week, but probably won’t do much more than that. So many players in the field haven’t played since last October or November, so who knows which players will be ready to compete this week and which ones are just in Hawaii for the sunshine and tropical drinks.
5 Other Interesting Bets
Tournament Matchups – Patton Kizzire over Ryan Palmer (+100) – Palmer has a good record here but more recently has missed back-to-back cut lines, three out of his past four, and four out of his past six. He could turn it around here this week but Kizzire has two straight top 35’s including a top 10, won here in 2018, and has three top 13’s over the last five years.
To Miss the Cut – Tom Hoge (+250) – Hoge has been boom or bust here and has missed the cut two straight years and three out of his past four years. He’s coming off a strong T3 last week, but could experience some difficulty this week on a course that seems to elude him more often than not.
Nationality Props – Australian – Cameron Davis (+110) – He’s a consistent performer in the top 10’s, top 20’s, and top 30’s, and has finished anywhere from T9 to T31 here over the last three years. Adam Scott could give him some trouble, but I think that Davis comes out on top and more than doubles our money this week.
Tournament Props – Hole in One in Tournament – No (+100) – Jim Furyk had a hole-in-one here last year, but they don’t seem to be overly common on this course or on any course for that matter. I feel pretty good about nobody having an ace this week and doubling my money.
Nationality Props – Japanese – Hideki Matsuyama (-135) – Looking at Matsuyama’s competition against his fellow country mates, I feel pretty good about his odds to beat the other six competitors in the mix. He’s the defending champ here and has finished no worse than T19 over the last three years.
Be sure to do lots of research and due diligence on each player before parting with your hard-earned money, and all the best in having a profitable week!
Jeremy has been playing fantasy sports for over 20 successful years, and actively plays golf, hockey, baseball, and table tennis. He has over three years of fantasy sports writing experience – including writing a daily fantasy sports strategies and tools eBook in 2016. He is an active member of DraftKings – specializing in NHL and PGA contests over the past 5 years. He enjoys spending time with his family, traveling to hot places in the frigid Canadian Winters, binge-watching on Netflix, and starting and managing digital businesses.