The first full-blown tourney of the calendar year begins tomorrow with the Sony Open in Hawaii, just across the channel from last week’s Sentry, held on beautiful Maui. The Sony ventures to the Waialae Country Club, in Honolulu, Oahu, but the reality is both courses are in the middle of paradise.
Waialae measures at 7,022 yards for the pros hitting the course this coming weekend, a challenging par 72 with four each of threes and fives and just a pair of the remaining par fours being less than 400 yards. One of the threes — hole eight — hugs the Pacific Ocean for the length of the hole, adding breathtaking vistas to the fairways and greens that naturally tilt towards the water.
In looking today, again GIR was one thing I considered, but in the past players who scored well at Kapalua fared well at Waialae. In fact, last year Justin Thomas became the second player to win both in the same year.
Brian Harman ($10,600): Harman crushed it at the Sentry last weekend, finishing third and making his fourth cut in four tries, with four Top 10 finishes while averaging 90.9 points a week.
Cameron Smith ($9000): Smith finished 17th at the Sentry but still has nearly as impressive a resume as Harman this season with four cuts in four tries, but just three Top 10s, averaging a whopping 103.8 points per week. Smith is also tied atop the leaders at GIR from 125-150 yards out, and that makes for a great combo.
Tony Finau ($8900): Another four-for-four guy, while averaging 82.1 points per week Finau has completed 17 straight weekends, finishing in the Top 20 nine times.
Wesley Bryan ($7400): Bryan finished two under at the Sentry, and, again, has made four cuts over four tries. At Sentry he was eighth in SG: Around the Green. I am hoping that carries over.
Danny Lee ($7300): Lee has finished the weekend three of four times ranks third in SG: Tee to Green, so I am going there.
Stuart Cink ($6800): Cink also has three cuts made out of four tries, but he ranks a pretty good 35th in GIR and is averaging 68.8 points per tourney.
Tune into the Tout Wars Hour on the FNTSY network, hosted by me, with Justin Mason and featuring Lord Z every Thursday night at 9 PM ET, and you can follow me @lawrmichaels.