The Oracle has spent the last few weeks polishing his crystal ball so let’s see what he has in store for us in 2019 as the first batch of tips come ahead of the Sony Open in Hawaii where Patton Kizzire is the defending champion.
Justin Thomas / Image from Getty Images
Justin Thomas starts at 6/1. Hit the ground running last week coming 3rd. Won by a mile here in 2017. Crazy low odds pre tournament.
Doc’s Top 5 Best Each Way Bets
Gary Woodland 14/1
After a close second at the Tournament Of Champions and excellent stats across driving, irons AND putting, Gary Woodland is going to be on everyone’s betslip this week. But there’s more depth to Woodland now, last weeks result is his third top-5 in his last three starts. Add in to mix three top-7 Waialae finishes since 2015 and I wont be leaving him off my betslip either!
Marc Leishman 20/1
No real Hawaii form since a solo 5th back in 2014 but I like Marc Leishman this week. Looked very much up to speed across all aspects of his game in coming T4 in Kapalua last week where he amassed an impressive 15 under on just the par-5’s. And why wouldn’t he after a solo 2nd in the Aussie PGA and win at the CIMB in late 2018. Has to be in the mix and worth an each way punt.
Cameron Champ 28/1
I just wince watching Cameron Champ pummel that driver. He averaged 334 yards in winning the Sanderson Farms. But I’ve had a look through his stats and there are not many weaknesses there. Still maybe a bit lacking in round to round consistency but five top-12 finishes in his last six starts is very impressive. Worth a squeak for the form dog with the big dog!
Charles Howell 33/1
At the start of the year there are always unknowns; it’s simply impossible to know how “ready” the players after the Christmas break. Having said that you just know Charles Howell is the consummate professional, and he wont have put on an ounce of weight eating chocolates! After six top-10’s in Hawaii over the last 10 years I’m just wondering does that win at the RSM Classic give Charlie the confidence to really contend again this week. T14 at Kapalua last week.
Scott Piercy 60/1
T19 at the Tournament Of Champions last week where he struggled on the par-3’s but I think Scott Piercy will have a lot more to offer this week. T5 at the CJ Cup, T10 at The Shriners and T6 at Mayakoba in late 2018 was quality golf; the question is can he pick up where he left off? Solo second here four years ago when Jimmy Walker left the field trailing in his wake.
Long Odds Glory Shots
Looking down through the odds this week I found a two guys at longer odds that you can make a case for.
Ian Poulter 66/1
I may stand corrected but I don’t think Poults has ever played the Sony Open before! Hit more greens than anyone last week at Kapalua just didn’t convert. If he does the same this week and putts better Poults could well contend.
Brian Stuard 175/1
Long odds due to having no real form but Brian Stuard is a horse for the course with three top-6 finishes since 2013. And these nuggets of stats nerdism have been very beneficial to us in the past!