4 Sleeper Picks for the 2021 Sony Open
The first full-field event of the calendar year is upon us. That means lots of hungry golfers hoping to kick the year off right. In all, 144 hopefuls have convened in the capital of Hawaii to take on the esteemed Seth Raynor design.
Cameron Smith won here in 2020 after closing at +5000, but I wonder what his live odds were after starting bogey-triple on Thursday.
The point being, Waialae Country Club is the perfect venue to take a stab at one of the unheralded names. In that regard, I’ll unveil four Sony Open sleeper picks to keep an eye on this week. Two are value plays, and two are substantial dark horses.
Sebastian Munoz +5000
Some might look at last year’s Sony Open results and be discouraged that Sebastian Munoz missed the cut. Does the fact that Sebastian shot 68-65-68-65 en route to a top-10 finish at the 2019 Sony Open put your mind at ease?
How about assessing Munoz’s performance last week in Maui?
A T17 might not jump out at first glance, but if you dig deeper, here’s what you’ll find.
After opening with a 75 (+2), Sebastian Munoz played his final 54 holes at -18. pic.twitter.com/EihTyQSYpX— Rick Gehman (@RickRunGood) January 10, 2021
Setting aside his disappointing opening round, Sebastian was lights out at Kapalua. As in – 19 birdies and just one bogey over his final 54 holes.
Marc Leishman +6000
Zero missed cuts in 11 trips to Waialae clues you in on the fact that Marc Leishman likes this golf course. However, his steady play last week at the Plantation Course is what has me locked into the Aussie as one of my Sony Open sleepers.
Second in bogey avoidance after carding just three bogeys all week, Leishman paced the field in scrambling and ranked 8th in SG: Approach.
Those of you who take a flier on Leishman, root for the wind to blow. The more forceful the gales get – the better it bodes for this man.
Cameron Davis +12500
Not all of my sleeper picks for the Sony Open played at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. Of those who didn’t, that’s on my radar this week is another Australian golfer, Cameron Davis.
It’s a bit of an off-the-wall pick when you consider his strengths (hits it long, not the most consistent short game), but a T9 at last year’s edition gives potential backers hope.
Cameron’s +11000 price tag at MyBookie is juicy, but a couple of the other top golf betting sites have Davis lurking at +12500. Specifically, BetOnline.
Michael Thompson +16000
If you have a few extra bucks to spare, sprinkle a couple on Michael Thompson visiting winner’s circle in Honolulu. A victory at the 2020 3M Open proves that Michael can get it done on the big stage, and Waialae CC is the type of golf course I expect him to play well at.
Known for his prowess on and around the greens, my rule of thumb with the 2010 Hooters Tour Player of the Year is to target him when he has demonstrated consistently good form.
Six straight made cuts and top-25s in each of his last two starts alludes to Thompson being right on the cusp. Another breakthrough performance could come as early as this week.
More Sony Open Betting Picks
The value soaked into these Sony Open sleeper picks is apparent. On the other hand, don’t lose sight of the big guns teeing it up at Waialae Country Club. Webb Simpson and Collin Morikawa are both in a perfect position to pounce, as are Daniel Berger and a host of international hopefuls.
In fact, I tabbed a member of Ernie Els’ 2019 Presidents Cup team to hoist the trophy on Sunday.