The Jordan Spieth Show continues on the PGA Tour with 2016 opening to the tune of an 8-stroke field obliteration by the young assassin. When is he going to realize that he’s a world akin to a certain Jim Carrey character from the late 1990s. And like Truman, Spieth is too, indestructible.
Spieth has started to leave us short for words.
So in order to give the other guys on Tour a chance right now, we need to play an event where Spieth is not in the field. We’re heading to Waialae Country Club, home of the Sony Open and the suspiciously positioned palm trees which create a “W.”
Full 2016 Field of the 2016 Sony
With 21 players from the Hyundai scheduled to play in the Sony Open this week, we are going to witness over 120 PGA Tour players make their season debuts at the Sony Open this week.
For a sneak peek at the entire field, head over here!
Last Year’s 2015 Sony Open Picks
Charles Howell III: T26
Zach Johnson: T64
Stewart Cink: T37
Jason Day: T17
Nothing amazing, but no missed cuts. Let’s hope for at least one top-10 pick this week…geez. Smh.
Last Week’s 2016 Hyundai TOC Picks
Patrick Reed: 2nd
Jason Day: 10th
Rickie Fowler: 5th
Graeme McDowell (sleeper): T29/31
Kevin Kisner (winner): 9th
Swing and a miss on the McDowell sleeper pick, yikes. Nailing the other 4 golfers inside the top 30% of the field, I’ll take it. Solid week of picks and the only reason I didn’t pick Spieth as a contender is because I’m sick of writing about the kid in my previews. What more is there to say about him other than he’s just good.
Past 5 Winners at Sony Open
- 2015: Jimmy Walker (Recap here)
- 2014: Jimmy Walker (Recap here)
- 2013: Russell Henley (Recap here)
- 2012: Johnson Wagner (Recap here)
- 2011: Mark Wilson
Course Overview: Waialae C.C
Potentially the most difficult course to spell on the PGA Tour, it sure isn’t the hardest for the Tour members to play. Year-after-year, the guys treat the islands as a sanctuary for birdies, on birdies, on eagles.
This week’s event (with temperatures in the mid-70s, winds under 10MPH and low-chances for precipitation) will yield a fair share of scores sub-65.
[bctt tweet=”5 different golfers inside the top-10 had rounds of 63 or lower at the 2015 Sony Open.”]
Waialae CC is the main course of the island’s capital city of Honolulu. A facility rich in history, as the course was built in 1927, it’s played host to many world-famous people through the years venturing to Hawaii.
As a course, Waialae ranks as one of the easiest on the PGA Tour, ranking in the top-2 for easiest par-70s on the PGA Tour for the past three seasons.
Picking this week’s winner means picking the player who will make it to 22-under par the fastest. Tour the course on the PGA Tour’s website here.
This Week’s Picks
Three from the Fairway (Contenders)
Impossible to exclude this week, as Walker secured the largest margin of victory of the entire 2015 PGA Tour season with his 9-stroke victory last year. Going for the 3-peat in 2016, Walker looks to continue is early season dominance on the PGA Tour.
His play coming in hasn’t been great, but to see him go 62-63 on the weekend last year bodes well toward another victory for the American. He’s averaged just over 65 in his last two appearances at the Sony.
Someone needs to do a study on this man if he plays well again this week and wins.
WHY DOES HE PLAY SO WELL JAN-MARCH THEN DISAPPEAR THE REST OF THE SEASON?
Hopefully this year’s good play continues for Walker through Hazeltine in the fall…
2. Justin Thomas
After Justin was forced to pick
who he loves more, his mom or his dad last week whether he’d rather win the Ryder Cup or an individual major championship, the golf world jumped him. I guess this is the burden that comes with being a winner in golf, answer the tough questions honestly and deal with the ridicule.
Thomas’ win last fall in Malaysia was first blood and validation for a career that’s already been really good this far into his young career. With his 2nd round 61 in last year’s Sony, I see this being a venue where Thomas can prey off past success and channel the momentum he picked up last fall.
I like Thomas for a solid finish this week in Hawaii, mark it.
— Troy Klongerbo (@troyklongerbo) January 12, 2016
3. Graham DeLaet
In the early spring of 2014, DeLaet was one of the unstoppable forces on the PGA Tour, except for he never notched a win. When you’re playing as good as DeLaet was with a run of top-10s like that, you have to capitalize. When your game decides it wants to slip, it’s hard to again get back to that elite level again–especially if you struggle with injuries like Graham.
Graham hasn’t played much at the Sony, but in 2010 he finished with a top-25 and in 2012, he opened with a first round 63. He’s now heading to Hawaii healthy and with some good mojo working for him:
Great chat with @GrahamDeLaet this morning on 2016, the Olympics, and his twins. Renewed focus, feeling healthy… could be a big year.
— Adam Stanley (@adam_stanley) January 12, 2016
One from the Rough (Sleeper)
He’s played some of the quietest good golf for a long stretch during 2015 and then he won the Greenbrier. There’s been something that bodes well for golfers who play in both Kapalua then travel to the Sony. They seem to win.
Lee was at Kapalua last week, and he played well for most of the week (before a poor finish dropped him into a T15).
Lee missed the cuts in Hawaii in both 2015 and 2014, making his stock drop a bit this week, but remember in 2013 he went 66-66-66 to open his week here and finished T13.
Can you imagine the jokes Pat Perez will have this week if Danny Lee wins and get’s draped with lies by the beautiful Hawaiian women on the 18th green?
A perfect pair, Danny Lee and Pat Perez pic.twitter.com/oqiWrOF3FR
— Steven Mata (@mata01) July 7, 2015
The Man with the Trophy (and the leis)
He’ll slither under the radar at this event all week and for anyone playing fantasy golf, that’s a good thing.
Last year here, Woodland was inside the top-5 with rounds of 65-65-67 to close out his week, great vibes for the week.
Woodland’s last official round of the 2015 calendar year was a 65 he posted at the HSBC. I like Woodland to progress forward with that type of play at a course this week where his length can bring the course to its knees.
His long game statistically matches up nicely with Jimmy Walker’s, the man who’s made this place his personal playground.
— Gary Woodland (@GaryWoodland) December 20, 2014
A well-nourished Gary Woodland is a dangerous Gary Woodland.