Following the Sentry Tournament of Champions event that kicked off the PGA Tour year in Maui, 32 of the 42 golfers who teed it up there will make the short 115 mile puddle-jump flight between the Hawaiian Islands to compete in the Sony Open in Honolulu. The first full-field event of the calendar year features 15 of the top 30 players in the Official World Golf Rankings ready to go at Waialae Country Club. Here is a look at Sony Open odds for the 2021 tournament.
Sony Open odds 2021
A look at the field
Cameron Smith won last year at odds around +4000 at most books with an 11-under par score of 269.
Smith was down two shots with two holes to play on Sunday, and made an 8-foot birdie putt to force sudden death. The 26-year-old Australian then won on the first playoff hole over bigger longshot Brendan Steele, who was playing in the event for the first time since 2011.
Winning on the PGA Tour is huge, as it earned Smith his first individual title and a two-plus season exemption with berths into the Masters, the Sentry Tournament of Champions, The Players Championship and the PGA Championship. Smith took full advantage, finishing runner-up in the rescheduled 2020 Masters Tournament behind PGA Tour Player of the Year, Dustin Johnson.
Five of the top 10 golfers in the FedExCup standings will be teeing it up at the Sony Open, including Viktor Hovland, who makes his debut and will also be one of the favorites to win. Bettors beware, as there has only been one first-time winner in the Sony Open since 1965.
Other top-30 players in the World Golf Rankings in the field include:
- Abraham Ancer
- Daniel Berger
- Harris English
- Sungjae Im
- Kevin Kisner
- Jason Kokrak
- Marc Leishman
- Hideki Matsuyama
- Collin Morikawa
- Ryan Palmer
- Patrick Reed
- Webb Simpson
- Adam Scott
- Cameron Smith
Simpson finished third in last year’s Sony Open.
Recent Sony Open winners and runner-ups:
- 2020 – Cameron Smith (-11), Brendan Steele
2019 – Matt Kuchar (-22), Andrew Putnam
- 2018 – Patton Kizzire (-17), James Hahn
- 2017 – Justin Thomas (-27), Justin Rose – 72 hole scoring record
The site GolfStats provides course analysis, breakdowns of players and past performance charts with golfers’ past success in the Sony Open provided below:
- Webb Simpson: two top 5s and four other top 20s in six events since 2013
- Matt Kuchar: four top 5s in seven events since 2011 including a Win in 2019
- Kevin Kisner: three top 5s in five events since 2016
- Marc Leishman: three top 10s in eight events since 2014 including T3 in 2019.
- Charles Howell: five top 10s and two other top 20s in nine events since 2012
- Brian Stuard: four top 10s in seven events since 2013
- Hudson Swafford: three top 10s in seven events since 2014
- Harris English: two top 5s and a top 10 from 2013-2015
- Ryan Palmer: two top 10s and two top 20s in seven events since 2014 including T4 last year
Golfers to watch
While the golfers at the top of the odds board and power rankings take most the bets to win the Sony Open, there are plenty of other mid-range players and golfers with longshot odds that are capable of winning or contending for a top 10 or 20 finish. Cameron Smith won last year’s Sony Open at odds of 40/1 or greater while runner-up Brendan Steele was around 125/1.
Favorites by the odds at FanDuel Sportsbook:
- Webb Simpson: +1300
- Collin Morikawa: +1400
- Harris English: +1600
- Daniel Berger: +1600
- Sungjae Im: +1800
Here are some other golfers at longer odds to consider in your ‘Fairway Foursome’ for outright win bets and/or top finishing position.
Russell Henley (+3500 DraftKings): Current form is a stronger indicator of success more than course form, and Henley shows strong play with five straight top 30 finishes since October – including a pair of top 5s prior to missing the cut in his last tournament. Now fresh and ready to play well to start 2021, Henley is also a 2013 Sony Open winner and followed with a pair of top 20 finishes in his next four starts at Waialae. Henley’s driving accuracy is top-tier, as is his ability to hit greens and score. He’s as capable of contending this week as the players at the top of the odds board. Henley shot 63 and 64 here in opening rounds when he won and finished top 20.
Kevin Kisner (+3000 DraftKings): On a short course at Waialae with similar skill sets to Harbour Town, Kisner is also a good bet to be a contender for a top 10 or 20 finish. His accuracy off the tee is among the best, and Kisner’s putting is top notch. Kisner ranks No. 2 in this field in SG: Putting on bermuda greens over his last 24 rounds.
Talor Gooch (+9000 DraftKings): On an easier course, there are more players that can contend. That opens the door to some sleepers down the board that can outperform their odds and challenge for a top finishing position. Talor Gooch is a solid fit for the course and top 30th percentile in this field in a number of key stats. He’s an improving player shooting for his first PGA Tour win. Long term putting and approach numbers suggest he’ll make plenty of birdies with a top 5 ranking in this field over his last 50 rounds in SG: Approach. Gooch is +650 for top 10 and +300 for top 20 along with a plus price of +164 for top 30 finish. Note hiss form to close out 2020 showed a pair of top 5 finishes.
Matthew NeSmith (+10000 DraftKings): Any longshot is going to have some flaws in a number of stat categories, and NeSmith’s around the green game shows some significant improvement is needed. However, there are some solid positive profiles in bermuda putting and iron play. Also winless on Tour, NeSmith’s trajectory is going in the right direction and he’s a player that can go low and make a number of birdies with his strong greens hit stats, and his SG: Approach numbers put him in the top 15% of this field. He also ranks top 5 in SG: Tee-to-Green over his last 24 rounds. NeSmith tied for 32nd on debut here last year and should move forward with better play to close 2020 that included three top 20 finishes. A top 10 finish by NeSmith earns you a +750 return and top 20 is good for +350.
Course and tournament info
- Course: Waialae Country Club
- Location: Honolulu, HI
- Date: Jan. 14-17, 2021
- Par: 70 / Yardage 7,044
- Purse: $6.6 Million / Winner $1.18 Million
- Fairways/Rough: Bermudagrass
- Greens: Bermudagrass
- TV: Golf Channel
- Twitter: @SonyOpenHawaii
- Defending Champion: Cameron Smith
The average winning score to par at this event the previous eight years is – 20.1 under par. The front and back nine are reversed from normal play for the Sony Open. The course is a narrower and flatter layout that has hosted the Sony Open since 1965.
The average green size at Waialae is 6,500 square feet, and there are nearly 80 bunkers and 3-4 holes with potential water hazards for the pros.
Holes 1, 2, 4 and 6 rank among the five toughest with the Par 4 at hole 13 the toughest scoring hole. A variety of tee-to-green routing and potential winds make course management and fairway placement keys to success as golfers gain better angles on pin placements to approach.
Accuracy on approach shots to the green will determine players scoring, along with premier putting on the pure bermuda greens. Greens hit has always been a key to scoring and top finishing success at Waialae. Scores will be low again with only potential wind creating some issues for the best golfers.
The Par 3 at No. 17 is the most exposed to the wind, and offers the most picturesque view of the Pacific Ocean.
Strokes gained putting has been a more significant statistic when it comes to winning the Sony Open compared to other events on the PGA Tour. Since 2005, winners have had an average field rank in that stat better than fifth.
Patton Kizzire and Kevin Kisner lead all players in the field in SG: Putting over their last 24 rounds on all courses. According to Fantasy National, the top putters over their last 24 rounds at Waialae CC are Matt Kuchar, Brian Harman and Kizzire.
The top players at Waialae CC over their last 24 rounds in SG: Approach are: Chez Reavie, Zach Johnson, Webb Simpson and Chris Kirk. However, the top ranked players in SG: Approach over their last 24 rounds on all courses are Webb Simpson, Hideki Matsuyama and Collin Morikawa.