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Sony Open 2018 betting tips: 3 from the tee at Waialae

Jon Wilde 9 Jan 2018
Ollie Schniederjans (credit: Getty Images)

Bettingpro.com's Jon Wilde provides outright betting tips for the Sony Open and a guide on how to bet on this first full-field PGA Tour event of 2018 taking place in Hawaii from January 11-14.

Background to the Sony Open


The Sony Open was inaugurated as the Hawaiian Open in 1965 and is well established as the opening full-field PGA Tour event of the calendar year, following straight on from the winners-only Tournament of Champions which takes place in the Pacific island state the previous week.

Sony took over as sponsors in 1999 and ever since its inception the tournament has been held at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu.

Only five players have won this tournament more than once and notably they are all Major champions – Hubert Green, Lanny Wadkins, Corey Pavin, Ernie Els and Jimmy Walker. Remarkably, Wadkins was the only one of the quintet not to achieve his triumphs back-to-back.

Three from the tee


Here are the trio we are backing at a range of prices for the 2017 Sony Open:

1) OLLIE SCHNIEDERJANS @ 66/1 with Paddy Power (paying 1/5 odds first 7 places for each-way bets)

Ollie Schniederjans  (Getty Images)



We have tipped Schniederjans once before, for the OHL Classic at Mayakoba in November, and he was a late withdrawal on that occasion, so hopefully this time he will tee off and give us a really good run for our money.

The youngster is not a big hitter, his game is all about finding fairways and greens, putting well and coping adeptly with windy conditions, each of which will stand him in good stead this week.

With two top-three finishes on the PGA Tour last year, he looks ready to win and showed enough on his Waialae debut in 2017 (inside the top 10 going into the final round) to suggest this could be the tournament in which he breaks his duck in among the big boys.

2) WESLEY BRYAN @ 125/1 with Unibet (paying 1/5 odds first 6 places for each-way bets)

Wesley Bryan (Getty Images)



We tipped Bryan last week for the Tournament of Champions and while he never really looked like providing us with a return, we will give him another chance to prove that the tournaments in Hawaii are right up his street.

Perhaps Kapalua was ultimately a shade long for him, but the strengths of the man from South Carolina should definitely come into their own here and Waialae is not a great deal different from Harbour Town where Bryan rewarded our 80/1 bet on him last April with a victory.

3) KEVIN KISNER @ 22/1 with Coral (paying 1/5 odds first 7 places for each-way bets)

Kevin Kisner (Getty Images)



We generally like to have one of the leading contenders running for us and Kisner fits the bill on account of his record at courses similar to Waialae, for he has won at Sea Island and the Colonial where the wind tends to blow and also finished runner-up at the Heritage.

He produced only an average performance at Kapalua last week, but that will have shaken off any cobwebs and this venue looks much better suited to Kisner’s accurate game.

Course Guide


Waialae Country Club is a private complex which was founded in 1927 and the par-70 championship course measures 7,044 yards.

It includes both left and right dogleg holes and is a mature, lushly-landscaped course featuring well-tended and manicured Bermuda grass fairways and greens.

The signature hole is the par-three eighth which is bordered along its full 186 yards by the Pacific Ocean, while the 10th is loosely based upon the famous 17th ‘Road Hole’ at St Andrews.



Previous winners

Sony Open results: Past winners of the Sony Open

YearWinnerScoreTo ParRunner-Up
2007Paul Goydos266-14Charles Howell III/Luke Donald
2008K J Choi266-14Rory Sabbatini
2009Zach Johnson265-15Adam Scott/David Toms
2010Ryan Palmer265-15Robert Allenby
2011Mark Wilson264-16Tim Clark/Steve Marino
2012Johnson Wagner267-13Harrison Frazar/Charles Howell III/Sean O'Hair/Carl Pettersson
2013Russell Henley256-24Tim Clark
2014Jimmy Walker263-17Chris Kirk
2015Jimmy Walker257-23Scott Piercy
2016Fabian Gomez260-20Brandt Snedeker
2017Justin Thomas253-27Justin Rose

Sony Open in-play betting tactics


Although Fabian Gomez’s victory in 2016 was an in-play trends-buster, inasmuch as he came from well off the pace to triumph, Justin Thomas restored the usual order last year.

In general, a player inside the top 10 at halfway and in the top four at the start of the last day will go on to win. Thomas certainly fulfilled that criteria because he opened up with a sensational 59 to lead by three and was never headed, cruising home seven shots clear with a record score.

After the opening round, you should focus upon those within four shots of the lead because only Gomez and Johnson Wagner in 2012 have come from further back after day one to capture the title this century.

Sony Open markets


Bookmakers are offering a good range of markets on this tournament including Winner, Top 5, Top 10 and Top 20 Finish, plus First Round Leader.

Those happy to bet on a single nationality or continent of player can choose from markets including Top Asian, Top Australian, Top Canadian, Top European and Top Korean. These can be a good way to bet if you fancy a certain player to go well, or at least better than his compatriots, but not necessarily feature right at the top of the leaderboard.

There are also a couple of special bets on offer including the margin of victory and a handicap at Stan James involving the top 12 players in the betting, with each quoted at 9/1 and outright favourite Jordan Spieth off ‘scratch’.

Bookmaker promotions on the Sony Open


For details of all the ongoing golf promotions available with the bookmakers, click here


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Sony Open 2018 betting tips: 3 from the tee at Waialae

Bettingpro.com's Jon Wilde provides outright betting tips for the Sony Open and a guide on how to bet on this first full-field PGA Tour event of 2018 taking place in Hawaii from January 11-14.

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