Waialae Key Fantasy Stats

Sony Open in Hawaii

January 10th – 13th, 2019

Waialae C.C.

Honolulu, HI

Par: 70 / Yardage: 7,044

Purse: $6.5 Million

with $1,152,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Patton Kizzire

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:

This is based on the most important stats for Waialae, based on data from last years Sony Open in Hawaii, and using data from all the players in the field averaging the rank from 2018 and 2019.
The scoring average of the field at Waialae in 2018 was 68.90, so with par being 70 that means the average score was just over a shot per round, making Waialae the 39th Hardest course to score on in 2018.. It’s also important to see how the weather will be during the tournament, it will play a factor; it was perfect each day in 2018 with winds at 5 to 10 mph, with Sunday blowing between 8 and 16 mph. In looking at the long-range forecast for this year it’s going to be unbelievable, with winds blowing no more than 7 mph each day and on Friday and Sunday no wind at all. Between that and perfect days of temperatures at 81 each day will produce very low scoring.

In looking at the stats for Waialae last year, driving accuracy hits you. Last year and in 2017, Waialae had the 14th hardest fairways to hit on the PGA Tour, with the lack of rain the usual high rough is again sparse so you can see how Patton Kizzire (and Justin Thomas in 2017) won even though Kizzire ranked T-56th (Thomas was T-66th) in driving accuracy. But in strokes gained tee-to-green he was 20th along with being 3rd in strokes gained approach-the-green. There hasn’t been more than a trace of rain in the last week so with the dryness of the fairways and the lack of wind, look for really low scoring. That is because hitting it into the fairways isn’t that important since the rough is not as severe as past years. Last, of the players that finished in the top-ten, only two finished in the top-ten in driving accuracy, so you can see that driving accuracy just isn’t cutting it anymore. Our first stat is Strokes gained Tee-to-Green since even though accuracy isn’t a key anymore, you do have to get it on the greens whether you hit it in the fairway or not.
In looking at the winners at Waialae, greens hit seem to be something that all the winners have in common. Since 2002, 15 of the 17 were in the top-12 while six of the 14 were in the top-three. Last year Patton Kizzire played against the grain by only hitting 53 of 72 greens and ranked T-23rd. So our second category is Greens in Regulation, last year the course was the 14th hardest on tour.
Next is Par Breakers since Waialae had the eight most birdies on the PGA Tour in 2018 with 1,711 and the 4th most eagles on tour with 59. So with the lack of wind and dry fairways you can see you better make a lot of birdies and eagles.
Last is par 5 scoring average. Typically a course with just two par-5s wouldn’t be on our list. But since the 9th hole is a par 5 and in 2018 was the easiest of the 918 holes last year with a 4.210 average and the par 5, 18th hole is the 16th easiest par 5 last year on the PGA Tour with a 4.390 average. Think of it this way; there were 68 par 4s on Tour in 2018 that had a higher average than Waialae’s 9th hole. Last year in the four rounds, Patton Kizzire was only 4 under par, the lowest par 5 total of all the winners since 1997.

So here are our four choices for the most critical stats from players to do well at Waialae:

*Strokes Gained tee-to-green: You need to hit it long and straight along with hitting lots of greens. So this is important to find a player that will do this

*Greens in Regulation: This is a stat that shows who it’s the most greens in regulation. Last year Waialae ranked 36th in greens hit

*ParBreakers: Combination of birdies and eagles made

*Par 5 scoring average: Shows which course has the easiest par 5s to score on.

125 of the 144 Players from this year’s field with stats from this year:

Click any column title in the table header to sort columns.

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