Sony Open expert picks, predictions, best bets for Waialae Country Club

January 17, 2021; Honolulu, Hawaii, USA; Webb Simpson lines up his putt on the first hole during the final round of the Sony Open golf tournament at Waialae Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
January 17, 2021; Honolulu, Hawaii, USA; Webb Simpson lines up his putt on the first hole during the final round of the Sony Open golf tournament at Waialae Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /

The 2022 Sony Open heads back to historic Waialae Country Club this weekend and we have picks, predictions and best bets to help you out. 

Fresh off his win at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, Cameron Smith enters the 2022 Sony Open looking to pull a Justin Thomas with a sweep of the Hawaii swing. And considering that the Aussie also has a PGA Tour win notched at Waialae Country Club, it’s hard not to think that he’s set to make a good run at back-to-back victories and easy to see why he’s installed as the favorite.

With that said, there is some competition around him. While Bryson DeChambeau and several others may have dropped out of this field, the Sony Open almost always delivers an entertaining tournament and a unique golf course challenge that opens up the field for everyone. That is to say, there isn’t just one way to win at Waialae.

As almost always, ball-striking will be crucial to win, but so too will putting on this Bermuda grass and, to some degree, driving accuracy as well. This course couldn’t be more different from Kapalua last week and its wide-open fairways; there will be plenty of tighter fits that golfers will have the navigate.

So who do we have this week? We’re breaking down our picks and predictions for the tournament in addition to offering our best bets.

Note: All odds are courtesy of WynnBet. For more betting picks and advice, check out BetSided.

Sony Open picks, predictions for Winner, Top 10, One-and-Done

One-and-Done Pick for Sony Open: Corey Conners

Put simply, there’s not necessarily a great place that you’re circling as “Oh yes, I’m going to play Conners for a One-and-Done there” on the schedule. This is a course he’s played three times and has been T3 and T12 in his last two trips to Honolulu. Given that and potentially holding onto Cam Smith for a bigger tournament, I love Conners in this spot for OAD leagues.

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Top 10 Pick for Sony Open: Webb Simpson (+175)

We all know that there are courses that Webb Simpson is just a horse for and this is one of them. He’s finished in the top five his last three times playing this tournament and hasn’t finished worse than T13 in his last six times playing at Waialae over the last seven years. To get nearly 2/1 odds on someone to top-10 with that type of history and veteran experience is too tasty to pass up.

Pick to Win the Sony Open: Corey Conners (+2500)

Going back to the One-and-Done pick here, I love Conners at this course and to come out and get the win (something BetSided’s Iain MacMillan is also sprinkling on).

The big key for Conners is always if he can putt just decently. If he does that, he can contend. In three trips to Waialae, he’s gained more than 5.0 strokes putting twice and gained 2.25 in the other outing. That’s what you want to see from the Canadian because you know the ball-striking is going to be there.

Sony Open best bets

Corey Conners over Talor Gooch (-120)

Obviously, I love Conner this week so it makes sense that I’d have him in the best bets here. Gooch has been on a heater over the past four months or so but his four trips to Waialae have resulted in two missed cuts and a T63 finish. With Conners’ form at this course and more consistency, I prefer him with only a little juice working against you in this matchup.

Russell Henley to finish Top 20 (+150)

Henley has a bit of an erratic history at the Sony Open, missing three cuts and finishing outside the top 50 twice in his nine trips to Honolulu. With that said, he’s been inside the top 20 in the other four tries, including winning in 2013 and finishing T11 last year. His ball-striking was sneaky great coming into 2022, so I love for him at +150 to replicate that form and add to his strong finishes at this event.

Longshot Bet to Win: Denny McCarthy (+6600)

We’re going to throw out a longshot every week this season and McCarthy is my guy for the Sony Open. This is a course where his relative lack of distance off the tee won’t crush him and his putter can put him in contention at any point. He’s a sneaky fit for Waialae and what it requires of players to succeed, so he’s definitely worth a look as someone to sprinkle a little bit on to win.

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