The PGA Tour’s early 2024 Hawaii swing rolls along this week with the Sony Open, the first 144-player, full field event of the new season.
Our resident golf expert Jason Sobel has his tips and predictions for the event.
Just like last week’s The Sentry, Hawaii will play host to this tournament. Unlike last week’s season opener, this course differs greatly from where a chunk of the field played at Kapalua Resort.
Last week’s course was a monster 7,596-yard par-73 with four par-5s and three par-3s. This week’s – Waialae Country Club – measures just 7,044 yards and is a par-70 with two par-5s and four par-3s.
A total of 38 participants in last week’s tournament will tee it up at the Sony Open on Thursday. But despite the grand differences in the two courses, the numbers say those who played a week ago have a historical advantage over those who didn’t.
Let’s get into Jason’s picks for the event:
A player who did indeed play last week, and played pretty well, the ball striking numbers as usual were there tee-to-green for Corey Conners. The putter, as usual, wasn’t quite as proficient.
I do think the Canadian is due for a big year. He had an ok week last week, nothing special, but he’s been much better at Waialae the last handful of years. It’s been four-straight top-12 finishes for Conners at this one. I expect something a little bit better. I think there will be a title contention in his future.
It’s about time for Conners to start winning some bigger, better tournaments, and I think it’s coming very soon.
I couldn’t believe the number on Billy Horschel this week.
I get it, he didn’t have a great 2023. But splitting time late in the year, as he often does, between the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour, he finished in the top-20 in five of his last seven starts. So, trending in the right direction.
He’s a guy that works very hard in the offseason. I expect him to start out on the right foot this week.
Kuchar has finished in the top-10 at this event eight of his last 18 outings he’s played this tournament. And he comes in some semblance of form as well, granted, there isn’t quite form when you’ve been on holiday break and you haven’t played in a month-and-a-half.
Kuchar finished in the top-20 in two of his last three PGA Tour starts at the end of 2023. I expect him to keep that going. I think it’s going to be a nice year for Kuchar, I think he’s going to see some rejuvenation here in 2024, and I think it starts at one that makes a whole lot of sense for him this week.
Odds displayed within this article were correct at the time of writing and are subject to change.