Par 70, 7,044 yards
This week the PGA Tour stays in Hawaii and travels to Waialae Country Club for the Sony Open, which is located east of Honolulu. Previous winners include Fabian Gomez (2016), Jimmy Walker (2015 and 2014), Russell Henley (2013), Johnson Wagner (2012), Mark Wilson (2011) and Ryan Palmer (2010).
Waialae is a par 70 measuring 7,044 yards and sits on Maunalua Bay, which can be prone to windy conditions. It has 12 par 4’s, four par 3’s and just two par 5’s which measure 499 and 521 yards and should be reachable in two by most of the field. This course is a different test compared to last week in Kapalua with Waialae being a lot tighter and flatter with smaller trickier greens. The fairways are narrow and tree lined which will favor the more accurate players. The greens here are much smaller compared to the generously sized greens last week at The Plantation Course.
Although these fairways are a tighter, there are also a lot of fairway bunkers to contend with so driving accuracy will be important this week. The tiny greens are Bermuda grass and are guarded by hazards so look out for good GIR stats, good scramblers and good Bermuda putters with an emphasis on strokes gained tee to green.
Snedeker played well in Kapalua last week finishing in a respectable T14 on 12 under par for the week. He has been playing well over the last few weeks with a win at the Fiji International at the start of October and then went on to finish T6 in The Bahamas at The Hero World Challenge. He had another good performance with partner Jason Dufner at The Franklin Templeton Shootout finishing solo eighth on 20 under par, eight strokes behind the winners Matt Kuchar and Harris English.
Snedeker played very well here last year and was a bit unlucky to lose the playoff to the eventual winner Fabian Gomez after the Argentinian shot a superb final round 62. Sneds shot rounds of 63,65,66,66 on his way to a 20 under par total and seems to tick a lot of boxes here statistically. He ranks 20th in GIR, 33rd in driving accuracy and 18th in scrambling. After a good start to the season and a solid performance last year, Snedeker looks a good shout here.
The American is playing great golf at present with a win and two top 10’s in his last four starts. He started the season with a respectable T33 at The CIMB Classic and followed that with an impressive T7 at The Shriners Open in Vegas where he shot rounds of 66,66,69,68 to finish 15 under par in total. Perez then went on to win the OHL Classic at Myakoba on 21 under in total which included an impressive third round 62. He had another good week in Kapalua finishing T3 last week in Maui after shooting a final round 67.
Perez has a great record here in Waialae with four top 10 finishes since 2007. He finished 10th here in 2007, fourth in 2008, ninth in 2013, eighth in 2014 and T17 in 2015. Statswise he ranks 30th in GIR, 20th in SGTTG, fourth in par 5 scoring and 25th in par 4 scoring. Perez is absoultly bang in form at the moment and looks great value to have another good week here.
With three top 10’s and a top 25 in his last five starts, Scott Piercy looks like another player coming here in great shape this week. He started the season in style opening with a first round 62 at The Safeway Classic and went on to finish T3 for the tournament. He followed that with a T10 at The CIMB Classic in Malaysia and a T24 at The Shriners Open in Vegas. He started well shooting rounds of 68,68,65 in the first three rounds but fell back a bit after a dissapointing final round 72.
Piercy has played well around this course in the past with five top 25’s in seven appearances. He finished T12 on 2009, T23 in 2012, T15 in 2013, solo second in 2015, where he didnt shoot worse than a 67 throughout the week, and a T13 last year. Piercy ranks eighth in SG off the tee, ninth in SGTTG and tenth in SG Approaches to the green. With a great record here and good current form Piercy could be another player to keep an eye on here.
I was quite surprised to see Harlod Varner at such a big price considering he’s in great form coming to Hawaii this week. He had a great start to the season opening with a respectable T15 at The Safeway Open. He then went on to win the Australian PGA Championship at the start of December on the Gold Coast shooting rounds of 65,72,65,67 on his way to a 19 under par total. He beat his nearest challenger Andrew Dodt by two strokes and in form Aussie Adam Scott by four strokes.
Varner has played here once before finishing T13 last year and didn’t shoot worse than a 69 throughout the tournament. He also ticks the boxes statswise ranking sixth in SG off the tee, 25th in SGTTG, 29th in GIR and 26th in par 5 scoring. Varner is playing well and looks a good shout here if he makes a few putts.
Final Selections –
Brandt Snedeker 25/1 1pt EW
Pat Perez 45/1 0.5pts EW
Scott Piercy 45/1 0.5pts EW
Harold Varner 80/1 0.5pts EW
Total staked = 5 pts
Paddypower paying 7 places.
Good luck and enjoy the golf,
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