Golf Tips: Your 4 best bets for this weekend’s Sony Open Championship

Ben Coley from Sporting Life returns to help you move up the leaderboard.

Matsuyama

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* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

Hideki Matsuyama

The favourite is Cameron Smith after his record-breaking win last week and I wouldn’t want to undermine his chances but I think Hideki Matsuyama is the better player and you’re getting almost twice the price. That’s because Smith has won this event and Matsuyama has, on the face of it, not played particularly well but his ball-striking statistics here over the last two years have been better than anyone.

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If we can just get a couple of putts to drop, that is an issue with Hideki. If he was one of the best putters on Tour he’d probably be world No.1 so we’ll take that chance. I think it is a good course for him, it’s quite similar to some of the courses he’s won at. He’s really upped his game over the last 12 to 18 months.

Marc Leishman

The other one I like to Win is Marc Leishman. He’s good friends with Cameron Smith and when Smith won this event in 2020, Marc Leishman on his very next start won the Farmers’ Insurance Open. I can see history repeating itself.

Of all the courses he’s played on Tour I would say this is probably his favourite that he’s not won at. He’s played 12 times and he’s never missed the cut. He was placed last year and his game’s really rounded into form. He look to have an obvious chance.

Branden Grace DP World Tour Championship December 12, 2020

Branden Grace (E/W)

For two at a price I’ll start with Branden Grace. He strikes me as a really big price. We’ve got a two-time PGA Tour winner here, a class act who’s nearly won Major championships. One of the big advantages for players in this field like Grace is that they played last week.

There are about a dozen of those players and he’s one of the biggest prices. That’s because he didn’t play particularly well, but if you rewind to 2017 he played poorly to start of the season and then went to the Sony Open and finished 13th. That was his very first look at the course.

It was a suggestion that it does fit and it’s certainly very similar to ones that he’s won at in the past so he’s a class act. He’s feast or famine but I don’t mind that from someone who we know can win and is on offer at such a big price.

Kyoung-Hoon Lee (E/W)

The other is Kyoung-Hoon Lee who is really close to the world’s top 50 now. You’ve got players who are around the same ranking who are trading at 40/1 or 50/1 and Lee is a much bigger price.

He was a winner last year and, like Grace, didn’t do a lot last week. He played the final 27 holes without dropping a shot. He got better with every day, it was his first look at the course. This time, at the Sony Open, he’s played here a couple of times in the past.

The last round he played here was a 64 on Sunday last year and if he can pick up where he left off I certainly think he’s a player with the potential to add to last year’s breakthrough and he’s played really well at the start of this season.

Sony Open Golf Tips

Hideki Matsuyama
Marc Leishman
Branden Grace
Kyoung-Hoon Lee

* Read more of Ben Coley’s top tips at SportingLife.com

* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

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