Nate’s Best Longshot Bet for the Sony Open
NATE’S BEST LONGSHOT BET FOR THE SONY OPEN – The PGA Tour is staying in Hawaii for another week as the pros get geared up for the Sony Open.
As opposed to last week’s tournament which was played on a lengthy, undulating course. This week the pros will be tasked with navigating one of the shorter, flatter courses on Tour.
I tend to lean towards players who got some rounds in last week just to knock off the rust, but the skillset I’m looking for is different.
This course is all about approach and putting on bermudagrass. The fairways are typically sort of tough for guys to hit, despite being fairly wide. Most of this is due to windy conditions, and stats off the tee don’t tend to mean much here.
The best comp courses are Harbour Town and Colonial which put a lot of stress on players’ iron game and strategy. The Sony Open isn’t as tough to get around as either of those tournaments, however, and most of the scoring can be tied directly to how hard the wind blows.
Tom Hoge +8000
Tom Hoge is a guy I often refer to as the Iron God. The man can absolutely flush the ball with his irons. The problem is he doesn’t pick up many strokes in any other areas of his game.
He finished 9th in SG: Approach last season, and for a large chunk of the early portion was bouncing between first and second in that stat.
He also gained strokes with the putter, but not by a huge margin. His deficiencies are off the tee where he is neither long nor accurate, and around the greens. Luckily, neither of those problems hurt him much here.
The greens are bigger than average for a Tour event, so a player of his caliber from an iron-play perspective shouldn’t be putting much stress on his short game. Likewise, this course is short enough to be gettable for everyone in the field and driving stats are almost meaningless provided players can keep the ball on the planet off the tee. I do not think that is too big of an ask for our man, Hoge.
He led the field in SG: Approach here last season. We just need him to find a little more consistency with the short clubs this time around and he should be in the mix.
If you want to balance things out with some guys that may have more realistic chances of taking this down, I’d steer you towards either Sahith Theegala or Lucas Glover. Both of them tend to excel at courses where shotmaking and iron play reign supreme.