Sony Open Golf Betting Tips 2022

Who is the GM Tipster backing to win at Waialae?

This week's betting tip selections pictured in a montage image
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Kevin Kisner

2pts each way at 35/1 with William Hill

For the main pick I’m going for gritty American Kevin Kisner who was fourth two years ago and top five in 2017 and 2018. He had his putting boots on at Kapalua when eighth on a track, unlike Waialae, not particularly suited to his talents.


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Marc Leishman

1.5pts each way at 20/1 with Betfair

Leishman, who was put up last week but didn’t putt quite as well as some, gets another spin at 20/1 as his course form (fourth to Kevin Na last year, third to Thomas in 2019, plus three other top-tens) is eye-catching.

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Chris Kirk

1pt each way Chris Kirk at 90/1 with Bet365

At 90/1, Chris Kirk is very appealing as he was only a shot out of a playoff last year and has posted three other top fives at Waialae.

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Kevin Na

1pt each way at 30/1 with William Hill

Also definitely worth considering is defending champion Na who is juicily priced at 30/1 considering his forward showing (13th) last week and Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama.

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Cam Davis

0.5pts each way at 60/1 with Bet365

The Aussie broke his duck at the Rocket Mortgage in Detroit last July and at 26 is improving. A brace of 66s to finish at Kapalua sent him from Maui to Oahu in a positive mindset as he was a fair ninth to Smith at Waialae on only his second visit in 2020 and is a better golfer now.

What a humdinger of a curtain-raiser we had at Kapalua with so many birdies and eagles that we lost count and a gripping final day. Aussie Cameron Smith’s 34-under winning score was the lowest to par in PGA Tour history though as it was clean-and-place the first two days it may not appear in the record books.

It must have been galling to shoot 62-61 on the weekend in the Tournament of Champions and still not win but Matt Jones was pretty cheerful about finishing third to 22/1 winner Cameron Smith who edged out world No. 1 Jon Rahm (9/1) in an edge-of-your-seat head-to head that went right down to the wire.

I don’t think punters learned much to help them as the Plantation course is a one-off with fairways as wide as the M4 which even a hacker like me could hit blindfolded, but fair play to Smith, whose only previous solo victory on the PGA Tour had also been in Hawaii, two years ago in the Sony Open. He didn’t blink as Rahm did his utmost to put him under pressure - they played together for the final 36 holes - and showed more bottle than when spurning a couple of previous winning opportunities.

The big question now is: can he complete the Hawaiian double on the Waialae course in Honolulu, the scene of his lone past individual title in the USA when he took down Brendan Steele in a playoff in a blowy, high-scoring week?

Kapalua, a long, wide-open, fast-rolling par 73, and Waialae, a tight, tree-lined, flat 7014-yard 70, could scarcely be more different but not so different as to prevent Ernie Els and Justin Thomas bagging both with swashbuckling displays, Els 47-under for the pair in 2003 and JT two better after a record-breaking 27-under at Waialae in 2019.

Smith’s 2020 victory was achieved in windier conditions than are expected this week when the forecast thundery rain the first two days will soften fairways and guarantee a lower-scoring week to the one where he prevailed. As his other Waialae efforts have been far less impressive, he looks an 11/1 favourite well worth taking on in a field of 144, 22 of whom played at Kapalua. Besides, the prolonged gruelling battle with Rahm must have taken a lot out of him.

But these Aussies hunt in packs and Smithy’s victory will spur on his mates. Jones was 11th last year, again finishing like a train (63-64), but the best of his previous six visits was only 29th and preference is for Marc Leishman and Cam Davis. They shared tenth place on Sunday in a fabulous Australian show and seven of the last eight winners played at Kapalua the week before, a tip in itself.

Leishman, who was put up last week but didn’t putt quite as well as some, gets another spin at 20/1 as his course form (fourth to Kevin Na last year, third to Thomas in 2019, plus three other top-tens) is eye-catching.

The secret to winning is not in the tee shots where many will be leaving the big stick in the bag more than usual on narrow fairways (when JT and Smith won, they hit fewer than 50%) but on the approaches and the Bermuda greens.

Davis isn’t the straightest driver hence his inconsistency but he broke his duck at the Rocket Mortgage in Detroit last July and at 26 is improving. He got better as the T of C wore on and a brace of 66s to finish sent him from Maui to Oahu in a positive mindset as he was a fair ninth to Smith at Waialae on only his second visit in 2020 and is a better golfer now.

For the main pick I’m going for gritty American Kevin Kisner who was fourth two years ago and top five in 2017 and 2018. He had his putting boots on at Kapalua when eighth on a track, unlike Waialae, not particularly suited to his talents. Sungjae Im had the same score as Kisner but his 56-21-16 record is less compelling and punters are steered towards two making their 2022 bow, Chris Kirk and Webb Simpson, both with powerful course credentials.

Simpson is 4-3-4 the last three years but for 16/1 I’d prefer to see a recent win or a course victory. At 90/1, Kirk is more appealing as he was only a shot out of a playoff last year and has posted three other top fives at Waialae. Also definitely worth considering is defending champion Na who is juicily priced at 30/1 with Bet365 considering his forward showing (13th) last week and Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama.

The second tournament on Sky this week is the Australian PGA Championship but it’s for insomniacs only at 3am. Scottish Open champion Min Woo Lee is 5/1 favourite and really should win as his closest market rival, recent winner Jack Thompson, is ranked 513 spots behind the world No. 49.

A weekly aid to winner-finding has just been launched - Golf Betting Club’s Sunday podcast, free on YouTube, which previews final rounds when many serious punters get involved, particularly when pre-tournament investments have gone down. I wish the Campbell brothers well with their new venture.

SONY OPEN GOLF BETTING TIPS 2022

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Jeremy Chapman
Jeremy Chapman

Celebrating my 50th year tipping and writing about golf. Tipped more than 800 winners (and more than 8000 losers!). First big winner Lee Trevino at 8-1, 1972 Open at Muirfield. Biggest win £40 each-way Ernie Els at 80-1 and 50-1, 2012 Open. Most memorable: Giving the 1-2-3 at 33-1, 50-1, 33-1 out of 4 tips from a field of 180 in 2006 Pebble Beach Pro-Am.  According to one bookmaker “Undoubtedly one of the greatest tipping performances of all time”. Lowest handicap 9 Present handicap 35.6. Publications tipped for: Sporting Life, Racing Post, Racing&Football Outlook, Golf World, Golf Weekly, Golf Monthly, Fitzdares Times. Check our Jeremy's latest tips at our Golf Betting tips home page