BlogSony “Sure Bets” Results

Sony Open in Hawaii

January 13th – 16th, 2022

Waialae C.C.

Honolulu, HI

Par: 70 / Yardage: 7,044

Purse: $7.5 million

with $1,350,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Kevin Na

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:




Sony Open bets

4th round results

Another miserable day, as we lost all three bets. In the Luke Donald Vs Ryan Palmer match, Palmer shot 65 to beat Donald who shot 68. In our second bet Jason Kokrak shot 67 to beat Brandt Snedeker who shot 70. In our third bet Russell Knox shot 65 to handily beat Cam Davis who shot 70. Making things worst, Davis played his last two holes bogey-par and finished T-27th, a shot back of finishing in the top-20. If we could of gotten a Top-20 the return would of been $20 and would of made it a winning week. So instead in our 15 total bets we only won three, tied one and lost eight so we lost $40.55 for the week.

So we will have to lick our wounds for the poor week and look forward to a great week at the American Express.

3rd round results picks for the final round

So our third round bets won’t go down in the history books. Our first one Kevin Kisner vs Ryan Palmer worked out great as Kisner shot 65 to easily beat Palmer who shot 68. With the win our $5 bet returned $10.75.
After that it all went downhill starting with the Kevin Na/Maverick McNealy pairing. McNealy never got it together until his final hole eagle, but his four bogies and only two birdies meant a 70 as easily beat him with his 67.
But the heartbreak bet was Stewart Cink against Corey Conners. after opening his round with a bogey and a double bogey, Cink got off to an opposite start with a par-birdie-birdie beginning. But it went downhill after that as he made a double bogey at 5, then bogeys at 6 and 8. Still Cink was one up after the turn and was a shot up on Conners going into the final hole. But Conners made a 14 footer on the 18th hole for an eagle and when Cink missed his ten foot putt his 70 was beaten by Conners 69.
So it was a terrible day as we lost $4.25

So we have to make it up in the final round.

Our first bet is in the 4:20 pairing of Luke Donald Vs. Ryan Palmer. Donald is having one of his best weeks in years with rounds of 68-65-67. Now its not like Palmer is playing poorly with rounds of 64-68-68, just have that feeling that Donald is going to continue his great play. Also, like the fact that Donald is going off +155, so our $5 bet could return $12.75
Next up is the 5:05 Jason Kokrak Vs Brandt Snedeker. While Kokrak has shot 64-68-67 I like Snedeker on Sunday due to his consistent player shooting 66-65-68. Also like the fact that Snedeker is priced at +115, so a $5 bet returns $10.75.
Our last bet is in the 5:35 pairing, Russell Knox Vs. Cam Davis. I like Davis consistency of shooting 68-68-68 and he is priced at -125, so a $5 bet brings a return of $9.00.


2nd round results, picks for 3rd round

Again just a bit of a comeback, but very small. For our three bets won the Keven Kisner bet against Billy Horschel. Kisner shot 64 while Horschel shot 64, so on our $5 bet Kisner returned $10.75, so I got some revenge from playing the same bet in the first round and losing. In our Cam Davis vs Charles Howell III, we got lucky to get out with a tie as Kisner birdied his final two holes for a 66.
In our Seamus Power bet over Joel Dahmen, both players shot 68 so the bet was tied.
The big disappointment was our Cam Davis vs Charles Howell III bet. Yes, I know how good Howell’s record is, but after he seemed to struggle with a first-round 69, thought he was finished. But that wasn’t correct, Howell reeled off eight birdies and a bogey for a 63 to beat Davis handily even though Cam shot 66. So for all of our troubles, made a niffy 75 cents. Guess a profit is a profit.

So what does it look like for the third round?

The good news is players are going off in twosomes so we will get more head-to-head matchups.

The first match I like is the 4:45 pairing of Kevin Kisner vs. Ryan Palmer. Kisner has been steady in his first two rounds and we like how consistent he has played. On the other hand, Palmer was a disaster, he played his first nine holes in five under 30, but then on the back had a double bogey and two bogeys. He did birdie his final round but after a great start only shot 68. Kisner is priced at -120 so a $5 bet brings back $9.16 with a win. In the 5:10 group of Kevin Na Vs. Maverick McNealy, we have the same story on one player, McNealy playing very consistently with rounds of 67-65 while after shooting 61 in the first round stumbled to a 71 in the second round. Usually, a big drop-off like what Na did is not a good barometer for playing well. So we are able to get a decent price for McNealy at +105 so a $5 bet returned $10.25 with a win.
Our last pairing is the 6:10 match-up between Corey Conners against Stewart Cink Both are playing well, Conners shot 64-67 while Cink shot 68-63. Yes, Conner is a good player and should shoot below 68 on Saturday, but Cink should be a person to think about. In the past 16 months, he has won on two similar courses to Waialae, Napa, and Hilton Head which play on the short side but need precision driving, but I like that in the Stats department Cink is 2nd in both Strokes Gained Putting and Putts per GIR. Cink’s price is very generous at +150 so with a $5 bet the return is $12.50.
Again sorry for the lateness but remember the 3rd round doesn’t tee up until 1 pm east coast time.



1st round results picks for 2nd round

We didn’t get off to a great start with the 1st round of the Sony Open. Of our three bets, we only won once, as Marc Leishman shot 67 while Singjae Im shot 71. With our $5 bet, we got $9.54.
Yes, it was tough losses in the other two matches as we underestimated how the players would do. Billy Horschel shot 65 to beat Kevin Kisner, who shot 68 handily in our first bet. It seems that we need to put Horschel on our list of people to watch. Last year he finished T-7th with rounds of 65-66-66-65, so with his round of 65 on Thursday, he is 23 under in his last five rounds. Our second loss saw Matt Kuchar shoot 64 to beat Stewart Cink, who shot 68. For Kuchar, his 64 was his lowest round since the 2020 Genesis when he shot 64 in the first round. In the Sony Open, Kuchar has shot 64 or better six times now in 49 rounds. The big question in the future, is Kuchar’s round a sign of things to come or just a flop? I think it’s something in the middle, he has played well in his last four events in 2020.

The flunk has to be Jim Furyk shooting 62 in the first round. The last time Furyk shot 62 or better was in the final round of the 2016 Travelers when Furyk shot 58. For Furyk, a regular on the Champions Tour, he played seven times in 2021, and his best week scoring-wise was at the Sony Open when he shot 69-66-68-67 to finish T-47th. The big question will be, can we “short” Furyk in the second round because you have to think there could be a letdown. Now Furyk wasn’t the leader as defending champion Kevin Na shot 61 with seven birdies and an eagle. Over the course of his last five rounds at the Sony, he is 30 under par. So I would not bet against him.

So let’s make some bets for the second round.
First up is the 12:40 pairing of Charles Howell vs. Cam Davis. In the first round, Howell shot 69 while Davis shot 66. We know what an excellent record Howell has in this event over the 20 years he has played in it. Still, you have to wonder if he can keep it up. As for Davis, he was T-10th at Kapalua, and his first-round 66 showed that yes, he is still playing well. The good news, DraftKings has Davis priced at +105, so with a $5 bet, the return is $10.25 for a win. So that is a great bet.
Our next bet Is Joel Dahmen Vs. Seamus Power Both are playing at 12:40, Power is on the first tee while Dahmen is on the tenth tee. In the first round Power shot 63, while Dahmen shot 69. The question is, if Power can keep up the good play, I don’t think he will go low, but I feel a 68 or 67 will be a winner. The price for Power is -125, so with a $5 bet, the return will be $9.
Our last bet is a rematch from the first round. Despite Billy Horschel shooting 65 still think that Keven Kisner will beat him, and with a price of +115, the return is $10.75, so I will be giving Kisner a second chance.

This is being posted very late, but remember that Hawaii is five hours behind the east coast, so you have until around 12:30 to place a bet.




Welcome to our “Sure Bets” for the Sony Open

So welcome back to the Sony Open edition of “Sure Bets.”
What we are trying to accomplish is finding the best bets out there. We are realistic and realize there is never anything that is a “Sure Bet,” but if we can figure out a way to win each day, then we are doing “Sure Bets.” We are looking at being right from 66 to 80% of our bets. So if we place three bets, we want at minimum to win two of them.
To do that, we have to scrutinize the bets and the odds and pick the best ones with the best chances of winning and return. This week is a full field of 144 players. It will make it harder to choose the overall winner or get good odds for a top-ten finish. I will take it a bit further and pick two players for top-20 finishes for the week. My first choice is Cameron Davis, priced at +300, so with a $5 bet, the return is $20. Our second bet is Brendan Steele at +330, so with a $5 bet, our return will be $21.50. I found these two players in our Performance chart to see how well their record is for the Sony and then hit their name and look for their record in 2022. Both give us excellent results.

So let’s look at our first-round matchups in DraftKings. Since they are playing in threesomes, the Sportsbook of Draftkings has done place its own matchups. This is hard to judge because the players aren’t playing together in most of these matchups. You tend to have better matchups within a pairing because players never want to lose to their playing partner, so there is no head-to-head in picking round matchups.
Now many can go and bet the matchups. Yes, they give out better odds, but you now have to beat two other players, so this isn’t a “Sure Bet.” So we will avoid any three-way bets and stick with our MatchUps.
So in scrutinizing the possible 15 possibilities, we are looking for a combination of players who do well at the Sony Open, are playing well, and are also looking for players who have struggled. If you look at our preview, go down, and we lost 25 players from the field that have done the best in the last 12 events. On top of the list, we have Cameron Smith, Talor Gooch, Sungjae Im, Marc Leishman, and Matt Jones.
The first matchup that catches my eye is Billy Horschel vs. Kevin Kisner. Both played at Kapalua as Horschel finished T-23rd and Kisner finished T-8th. In looking deeper, Kisner broke 70 each round while Horschel was up and down, shooting 72-67-70-66. Horschel did finish T-7th last year at the Sony, but Kisner has played better overall. Now the odds are pretty good, Kisner is -105, so with a $5 bet, you get a return of $9.76, so that is our first bet.
The next bet that catches my eye is the Matt Kuchar vs. Stewart Cink matchup. Kuchar won the Sony in 2019 but has missed the cut in his last two starts. His best finish in his four 2022 starts is T-22nd, so he doesn’t give me any confidence to play well at the Sony. On the other hand, Cink has a good record of being consistent at the Sony, making cuts, and doing well. He played last week at Kapalua and was doing great through three rounds of 69-67-67 before a bit of a stumble with a final round 71. Still, I like the way he plays and feel that he should handle Kuchar. Cink’s price is +105, so with a $5 bet, the return is $10.25, so that is a “Sure Bet.”
Our third bet is in the SungJae Im vs. Marc Leishman matchup. Both played well at Kapalua, Im was T-8th with rounds of 67-67-65-69, while Leishman finished T-10th with rounds of 69-67-65-68. But Leishman has played a lot better than Im at the Sony. Leishman is 77 under in his last 28 rounds, while Im is 26 under in his last 12 rounds. Leishman’s price is -110, so on a $5 bet, his return is $9.54.

So what bets are you making this week, tell us of your “Sure Bets” for this week below

Check back with us tomorrow after the first round to see how we are doing and figure out some “Sure Bets” for Friday.


  1. Shawn Fiorentini says

    Sal, appreciate the tremendous amount of work! Signed up few days prior to Sentry, not regretting that decision at all. Unsure i have a best bet this week, but my biggest play is on Howell Top 40 at -125.
    Looking forward to grinding out PGA profits with you this year.

  2. Shawn, was afraid to pick Howell because he has been so great for all these years, you just wondered when something bad would happen. After a first-round 69 he needs to step it up a bit just to make the cut.

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