A quality field of the world’s best golfers head to the Sony Open in Hawaii this week, where all eyes will be on Cameron Smith at Wai’alae Country Club.
The Australian won the Tournament of Champions at juicy odds last week, so there is no reason to jump off his back. However, there are some serious dangers to him in golf betting markets.
The Sony Open is always a thrilling competition and the players will shoot low numbers again.
Back-to-back for Smith
We had Cameron Smith in our selections last week and he didn’t let us down.
The unassuming Australian always goes under the radar, but after shooting -34 and setting a PGA Tour record for lowest overall score, he hasn’t been missed by the sportsbook this time.
Bettors got +2500 on Smith last week, but he has been heavily backed into +1100 for the Sony Open, which isn’t surprising.
It’s not easy to back up a record-breaking week with another winning performance, but Smith is hitting the ball sweetly. The 28-year-old is now a four-time winner on the PGA Tour and moves into the top 10 in the world.
“It’s nice that that’s done and dusted,” Smith told The Golf Channel. “Hopefully, I can keep cruising up those world rankings.”
Making the Tour Championship is the ultimate goal for Smith, who has made the best start possible.
“I think one of the big goals for most of the guys out here is just to make it to Atlanta to the Tour Championship. If you make it to Atlanta, you’ve done something really good for a long period of time,” Smith said. “So, yeah, that one’s still a goal. Like I said before, being in the top 10 was another one. It’s good to tick that off so early in the year, but I guess I’ll have to re-assess a few other ones.”
We can’t leave Smith off our tickets given what he did at Kapalua. The +1100 is a touch short, but he has already defeated a harder field.
Pick: Cameron Smith +1100
Include Another Aussie
Cameron Smith wasn’t the only Australian setting records at the Tournament of Champions.
Matt Jones closed with a final-round 60 (-12), which set a course record. It was a fantastic round of golf and it shot him up the leaderboard to finish third.
Jones is another guy who flies under the radar, but the two-time PGA Tour winner shouldn’t be overlooked.
His first win came in the 2014 Shell Houston Open, beating Matt Kuchar in a playoff. He waited seven years to notch his second victory in the 2021 Honda Classic, which came more easily by five strokes.
Jones is also a two-time Australian Open winner, including the 2015 edition when he held off Adam Scott and Jordan Spieth by one stroke.
Betting online markets also offer value odds for the 41-year-old. He’s paying a healthy +4000, so include him in Sony Open selections for tournament winner and top 10 markets.
Pick: Matt Jones +4000
Charles Howell III at Value Odds
Charles Howell III is the golfer who never ages and he could enter calculations at the Sony Open.
The 42-year-old typically plays his best golf early in the season, which is why he’s in our selections.
Howell III is a three-time PGA Tour winner. He has also lost in a playoff on four occasions, so he could have easily racked up a handful of victories.
He made 14 of 21 cuts last year and failed to make the FedEx Cup Playoffs for the first time in its 15-year existence. That should give him plenty of motivation to play well at the Sony Open and secure the early points.
Bookmakers have the American at +6000, so his odds are worth a small wager.