In case you missed it, I already listed the field and broke down the swing holes for this year’s Sony Open in my 2014 Sony Open Preview. This event is the open event of the 2014 calendar year and many players have taken their families to Hawaii this week to take in the sun and try and start their year out right. Waialae Country Club will serve as the backdrop for this year’s event. A full field will be present including the defending champion is Russell Henley who set the tournament record with a 256 at the2013 Sony Open. Only Adam Scott (No. 2) and Matt Kuchar (No. 7) will represent the top-25 in the World Golf Rankings this week. It is never easy to dig through a field this early in the season and deliver accurate predictions. That being said, there are some things about a few players in the field that could classify them as contenders, sleepers or the logical win pick.
Horse for the Course
Charles Howell III: Is it possible to be the horse for a course without actually winning an event? If that is possible then the honor belongs to Charles Howell III. He has arguably had the best career record of any at Waialae Country Club. In his career, regardless of previous season finishes he has always been solid here. Howell III has five career top-5’s and two runner-up finishes at the Sony Open. He has done everything but seal the deal here including just missing and finishing third here last year. He is clearly a contender to win the Sony Open this week.
Sony Open Super Sleeper
Johnson Wagner: How can I claim a player ranked 264 in the World Golf Ranking is a sleeper in a full field event like the Sony Open? Growing up in Texas Johnson learned how to play in the wind and many of his best tour finishes have come in windy conditions. Will the wind blow this week? Of course it will so that will benefit the three time tour winner. He missed the cut here in 2011 and came back to win the Sony Open in 2012. Well he missed the cut in 2013 so why not a repeat performance of 2012 this year? Call it a gut feeling or whatever you like but I cannot count out a former winner that can play the wind.
Jordan Spieth: Jordan has never played in the Sony Open but that has not stopped the youngster in any other event over the past 16 months. Since the beginning of last year there are very few events that Jordan played in where he did not contend. Just looking at his raw finished last year he finished in the top-25 13 times, top-10 nine times, runner-up in three events and captured his first title at the John Deere Classic.
Jordan is coming into the Sony Open after an 18 under par runner up finish at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions losing to Zach Johnson by one stroke. That finish shows me that the wind should not be a factor as regardless of conditions Jordan shot 66-70-69-69 to open the 2014 calendar year.
In 2013 Jordan was fifth in par-4 performance, third in all-around, eighth in total driving, eighth in par breakers and ninth in scoring average. Through two official starts this season it appears he is picking up right where he left off. Although a smaller sample size he is making more birdies than last year. Obviously that will change but this does show that the youngster came out of the gates ready to play. He has full time playing privileges in 2014 and is hungry so if Jordan wins the Sony Open this week I would not be surprised in the slightest.
Who will win the 2014 Sony Open?
- Jordan Spieth (46%, 37 Votes)
- Charles Howell III (43%, 35 Votes)
- Other (Please Leave Comment) (11%, 9 Votes)
- Johnson Wagner (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 81