The first full-field open event of the year kicks off at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu HI. Even though there are 500 FEDEX points on the line, the Sony Open doesn’t necessarily have the same laundry list of superstars from last weekend in Maui. It does, however, carry one of the largest purses at $7.5 million with $1,350,000 going to the winner. Can mullet man Cameron Smith win back to back tourneys in the Aloha State?
Smith sure set the tone with a dominant performance last week. Cameron Smith not only bested World #1 John Rahm on the final day of the Sentry TOC, but he also broke a two-decade old PGA tour scoring mark set by Ernie Els in 2003 (-31). The man is dialed in leading into this weekend in Oahu. Vegas has him at +900 odds to pull off a victory but it won’t be as easy as it seems.
Webb Simpson, Hideki Matsuyama, and returning champion Kevin Na are among some of the world’s best who have a great opportunity to bring home the title. If I were a betting man (I try not to, but my degeneracy tends to get the best of me), I would be looking closely at the other Australian – Marc Leishman. This course is not necessarily a bombers paradise, but Aussies are very familiar with Hawaiian course conditions. Leishman hit some absolute dingers at this tourney back in 2019 that could decimate the field.
He cuts off corners and plays some angles other players just can’t create. This is where I was bummed to see our boy the scientist pull himself out. Wrist soreness? Really? Soft…
Regardless, this weekend is lining up to be another low scoring affair. Beautiful weather is expected, and soft course conditions should be consistent throughout. Balls will be crushed and birdies will be plentiful!