Sony Open: Top Underdogs To Bet On

Sergio Garcia, of Spain, follows through on his tee sot on the 14th hole during the first round of the Sony Open golf tournament Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021, at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Jamm Aquino)

The Sony Open in Hawaii, which tees off on Thursday, has been played at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu since 1965 and is the 14th event of the wraparound 2021 PGA TOUR season. It’s the second of two Tour events played in the state, following last week’s Sentry Tournament of Champions on the island of Maui.

Harris English shot 25-under-par and defeated Joaquin Niemann on the first hole of sudden death to capture his third PGA TOUR event. Both playoff participants are in the 144-player field at the Sony Open, along with defending champion Cameron Smith, among others.

The betting favorites are 2012 U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson at odds of +1100 and 2018 Masters winner Patrick Reed at +1200, with English and 2020 PGA Championship champion Collin Morikawa at +1400.

Underdog Picks

Three players who finished just outside the top 10 in the Sentry Tournament of Champions are compelling underdog choices at the Sony Open. Sergio Garcia, Lanto Griffin and Brendon Todd are poised to make some noise at Waialae.

Garcia, who is still just 41 years old, had a disappointing 2020 season where he managed just one top 10 finish. He also failed to qualify for the FedEx Cup playoffs, finishing 135th in the standings. 

The new season brought better fortunes as he won for the first time since the 2017 Masters at the Sanderson Farms Championship.

Garcia has odds of +3300 at the Sony Open and is coming off a solid tie for 11th place at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. As usual, his short putts were a problem, but there are weeks when he can put it all together. A $10 wager on the Spaniard could net a cool $330 if he comes through with his second victory of the season.

At odds of +4000, Griffin is worthy of a strong look. He already has one top 10 in the 2021 season and finished tied for 13th last week after a mediocre opening 71. 

The 32-year-old late bloomer struggled a bit in 2020 after the restart but still managed an 18th-place finish in the FedEx Cup.

Griffin finished in a seventh-place tie in last year’s Sony Open, so he can certainly put up some good scores on the golf course. His lone win on the PGA TOUR came in the 2019 Houston Open that gave him the FedEx Cup point lead for two weeks following the victory.

Todd won consecutive tournaments early in the 2020 season to take the FedEx Cup lead away from Griffin. He never really got going after the restart, but his last two starts have been promising, with an eighth-place finish at the Mayakoba Golf Classic and a tie for 13th last week in the Sentry.

For a three-time Tour winner, odds of +5000 could appear to be very attractive. If Todd gets in the mix on Sunday afternoon, there’s a good chance he’ll be able to close the deal. His performance last week at Kapalua would indicate that his game is rounding into form.

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