The Back 9: 2021 Sony Open Picks

Daniel Berger of the United States reacts to his birdie on the 18th green during the final round of the Charles Schwab Challenge on June 14, 2020 at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Last week, Harris English (+3500) finally broke through for a much-deserved win. After contending time and time again in 2020, Harris shot a sizzling 25-under to beat Joaquin Niemann and claim victory at the Tournament of Champions. Hats off to Harris. This week, the PGA Tour continues its stay in Hawaii at the 2021 Sony Open in Honolulu.

The course: The Sony Open will be played at Wailele Country Club. Wailele has hosted the event since 1965 and will play host to the first full-field event of 2021. The course itself is a 7,044-yard par 70 and has Bermudagrass greens. The week ahead shows promising weather for the event, which typically tends to be a low-scoring affair as four of the past six winners have broken the 20-under par mark.


PARAMUS, NJ - AUGUST 26: Ryan Palmer reacts after he made a birdie putt on the fifth hole during the first round of The Barclays at the Ridgewood Country Club on August 26, 2010 in Paramus, New Jersey.
(Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Daniel Berger (+1600)

One stat to know about past winners at Wailele is that almost all of them tend to play the week before at the Tournament of Champions. Now, why I can’t pinpoint the exact reason as to why, I do know that everyone in this section of the blog, including Daniel Berger played in Hawaii last week. Berger’s performance last week was encouraging to say the least. He gained 2.8 strokes off tee and 3.3 strokes on approach per He struggled around the greens and with his putter, but I’ll look to him to correct those mishaps on a course that should suit his game.

Sungjae Im (+1800)

Much like Berger, Sungjae enjoyed a successful first week in Hawaii. Im finished T5 at Kapalua, gaining 5.2 strokes on approach and 9.5 strokes tee-to-green, ultimately leading the field according to Usually, when a guy hits the ball that pure, they find themselves hoisting the trophy on Sunday afternoon. Sungjae, however, was led astray by his putter, losing over 3 strokes putting. I don’t expect Sungjae to have this bad of a putting performance two weeks in a row, especially given his prowess on Bermudagrass greens. For these reasons, I’m on Im in back-to-back weeks.

Ryan Palmer (+3000)

I’ll be honest, Palmer is a pure number play for me this week. I know that typically after a guy contends for a week, a drop off usually occurs the following week. But at +3000, Palmer’s price is too good to pass up. A former winner at this event in 2010, Palmer should be comfortable here and carry over his terrific play from last week, where he gained a remarkable 6 shots on approach. People can continue to doubt the hot and cold veteran, but I’m going to stick it out with what looks like another promising season for Ryan.

All PGA odds taken from BetMGM Sportsbook