PGA Tour Betting Picks: Sony Open

You can’t just come to Hawaii for one week. It is such a trip to get out there and so many islands to visit and pineapple cocktails to consume. The hikes, the coffee, the 10 dollar gallons of milk. I guess when you’re well off as the vast majority of the PGA Tour, you can afford the 50th state.

Last week, the Tour kicked off the new year with the Tournament of Champions in Maui, and this week they hop over to Honolulu for the Sony Open. Goodbye 60-yard fairways, guys. The TOC is always a fun tournament with such low scoring because it’s only winners in the field and they can tee it up without fear of faltering left or right.

The Sony Open isn’t the most difficult set of links on Tour but it is surely a step up, particularly for driving accuracy. Like Jimmy Buffet once said: You have to keep it between the navigational beacons.

We were on a couple of winners last week and we could have gone 3-0 if Dustin Johnson had found his way into the top 5 by Sunday’s end but that wasn’t in the cards as DJ finished 11th.

Collin Morikawa and Bryson D-Bol DeChambeau were our other two picks to finish inside of the top ten and they both tied for 7th at an impressive 20 under par. I thought Collin might get the win as he was just a shot back going into the final round but Harris English wasn’t going to be stopped as he ended up winning in a playoff but finishing 72 holes 25 strokes under par.

Morikawa was plus money and Bryson a slight favorite at (-120). I think Collin could threaten once again this week and you never know with Bryson. He is a little more up and down with his level of consistency so targeting him for top 5s and 10s will probably pay better over time than the top 20 bets.

The online sportsbook BetOnline has this week’s betting odds for us. Let’s take a look at those and make our predictions for the Sony Open from Honolulu, Hawaii.

Kevin Kisner Top 20: +130

The Aiken, South Carolina native and Georgia Dawg for life, Kevin Kisner is playing some pretty solid golf right now. He didn’t exactly dominate finishing just 14th last week at the Tournament of Champions but he did shoot 9 under par over the final two rounds and appears to be on top of his game heading into Honolulu this week.

Kev has three top 5 finishes here in his previous 5 starts. So, maybe we should go with a top 5 bet? I don’t want to get greedy. There are still the Webb Simpson’s, Collin Morikawa’s, and Daniel Berger’s out there along with a guy who shot 25 under last week in Harris English.

The field, at least at the top and particularly from a stylistic perspective, is as thick as the Bermuda rough that closely lines the fairways at Waialae Country Club. Kis is as natural of a putter on Bermudagrass greens as anyone in the field not named Webb Simpson.

Please Note:

Kevin has shown us from his match play dominance in the past that he thrives under the pressure and when he is on, can play with anybody in the world. I feel relatively safe here with the top 20 bet.

If you want to hammer him for a top ten, you can get it for better than 3 to 1 but let’s get that W for the plus money and move on.

Pick: Kisner Top 20

Webb Simpson Top 10: +125

The perennial pick here and many times including this week Webb Simpson is the favorite to win the Sony Open from Honolulu. His parents probably conceived him on Bermudagrass. He putts on the surface better than any other golfer on the PGA Tour and I expect some solid play out of him this week.

Webb isn’t the most powerful driver of the golf ball so we wisely didn’t back him at the Tournament of Champions. He still managed a top twenty finish at 17th and that is in a tournament playing against his strengths.

He was born to play at Waialae, though, and his previous couple of starts have been outstanding with 4th and 3rd place finishes in 2018 and 2020, respectively.

This came after three consecutive unlucky finishes in 13th place. It appears now that the southern boy has this course dialed in and I think we are getting good value for a top ten with a plus money payout on Webb Simpson.

Pick: Simpson Top 10

Daniel Berger Top 10: +165

This guy is something else. It pained me not to pick him last week and to be quite honest with you, it is hard to leave Daniel alone any week. I really have to talk myself out of it sometimes because he has such a well-rounded game and appears to have the ice needed to deal with the kitchen heat down the stretch.

He still would have paid for a top ten bet last week as he did finish right there in 10th but I like him much better this week on a course that suits his style of play and strengths more so than last week’s Plantation Course at Kapalua.

Waialae is a golf course that has several opportunities for eagles on the par 5s so if Daniel Berger can pick up a few of those, I really like his chances. Off the tee and tee to green, Berger has been lights out but only done moderately well with the flat stick in his hands.

The greens are small so I like him here because he should leave himself in a position to succeed. Execution with the putter in his hands is all we need him to do. I think he is surely consistent enough to get there.

Just sink the putt and let’s get paid, Daniel.

Pick: Berger Top 10

Collin Morikawa Top 10: +150

Sticking with the kid this week! He got us paid with a plus money (+175) top ten play when he finished 7th at the Tournament of Champions from Maui. Collin is on that same level as Daniel Berger but is still only 23 years old!

The Los Angeles native turns 24 early next month but it’s not only the flashes of greatness we have seen from Morikawa that have the golfing world entirely impressed with him. It is the consistency we have seen from him at such a young age that is downright scary.

Collin played Waialae for the first time in 2020 and finished up a modest 21st but considering his experience level on Tour, that is pretty good. He showed a flash of greatness in that tournament as well in the second round when he shot an 8 under 64 for Friday.

To put that into perspective, Aussie Cam Smith won the tournament at 11 under for 72 holes of play and Collin got to 8 under in 18. Watch out for the kid again this year.

I would go harder with our bet but the sportsbooks aren’t learning yet this year because after getting burned for (+!75) last week, he is (+150) this week on a course that suits his style even better.

I love his accuracy off the tee and he is kind of in the same boat as Daniel Berger. They aren’t the strongest with the putter in their hands but they put themselves in the position to succeed consistently.

Collin goes 2 for 2 with top tens and we get paid again!

Pick: Morikawa Top 10

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In Conclusion

The golfers we picked today are all pretty popular picks. I can’t sit here and pretend I found you guys some obscure information and that led to us taking a guy to finish top 20 for more than 4 or 5 to 1.

I’m pretty sure there are at least a couple of golfers in the field like that but I am not in the mood to swing at a pinata right now. I would rather sit up in the tree with an exploding Rambo arrow and Legolas this thing locked in from a distance.

  • Collin Morikawa and Daniel Berger were cash cows in 2020 and we were a little late to the party but not too tardy to miss all of the fun. This year, the sportsbooks are much more aware of their presence but I feel like they are both getting disrespected this week.
  • Kevin Kisner finished inside the top 5 last year and twice before that at this course and his skills and strengths line up perfectly with those needed to win at this course.
  • And Webb Simpson should always be on your card at Waianae. The Bermudagrass-born Demon Deacon and North Carolina native is the best on this surface and I expect him to place very high again in 2021.

Get your bets in directly from this article and let’s get some more winning plays for the new year.

Mike Pruitt / Author

Mike has been covering sports professionally since 2017 but on the amateur scene for 25 years since when he was 12. Before the internet changed the world, he would keep detailed statistical box scores of NFL and NBA contests, write recaps, and voluntarily commentate games and fights alone in his room. Mike's military experience, Bachelors Degree, and employment thereafter were always rooted in engineering, science, and teaching. Now he enjoys being able to express himself through writing about football, golf, and car racing among other sports but most of all fighting as his life has been rooted in mixed martial arts including competing and teaching for the past 15 years.