Sony Open betting guide: 3 picks we love on Oahu this week

Brian Harman putting at the Sentry Tournament of Champions

Brian Harman's strengths should serve him well this week on Oahu.

Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Welcome to our weekly PGA Tour gambling-tips column, where we share our favorite bets for the upcoming action. This time around, it’s the Sony Openwhich gets underway Thursday at Waialae Country Club on Oahu. Along with our recommended plays, you’ll also see data from Chirp, a free-to-play mobile platform that features a range of games with enticing prizes, giving fans all kinds of ways to engage in the action without risking any money.

Did you like Kevin Kisner in the tower last week? This week, you get to see him on the tee.

Fresh off a low-stress, no-cut gathering in Maui, where Kisner tried out for the the role of lead analyst for NBC Sports, more island vibes await. It’s on to Oahu for the Sony Open at Waialae Country Club.

As the first full-field event of 2024, the Sony serves up a healthy cross section of established veterans (not only Kisner but also major winners Brian Harman, Hideki Mastsuyama, Justin Rose and Matt Fitzpatrick) and rising stars, including Ludvig Aberg and Akshay Bhatia. Among the familiar faces will be two who have been largely out of sight of late. Gary Woodland, sidelined since September, when he underwent brain surgery, will be back in action. Ditto Will Zalatoris who has played just four competitive rounds (at the 20-man Hero World Challenge in November) since having back surgery in April.

Waialae, a Golden Age Seth Raynor design that has been touched up by Tom Doak, is a par-70 that stretches a shade over 7,000 yards and tends to yield birdies in large batches. Count on scores — as they did in Maui last week — to go deep into double digits under par. 

Who will go the lowest? Per usual, we’re making three picks: a winner, a contender and a long shot.

Favorite: Brian Harman, +2,000

The same traits (accurate drives; deft putting) that earned Harman the Claret Jug last year were in evidence last week at the Sentry, where Harman finished T5. Now he comes to a shortish seaside course with rumpled greens where power takes a backseat to precision. Let’s just say that the man is in good form, and Waialae should play to his strengths.

Contender: Matt Kuchar, +4,500

In eight appearance over the past decade, the human ATM also known as Matt Kuchar has notched five top-10 finishes, including a win. If past is prologue, Kuchar should make another push this week. Anyway, it’s worth a wager at this price.

Camilo Villegas: +8,000

Villegas’ inspiring return to the winner’s circle late last year appeared to have come out of nowhere. In fact, it grew out of long, painstaking grind back into form that included a switch in swing instructors and a change in state of mind. At these dark-horse odds, we’ll back Villegas to start the new year much as he ended 2023.

Who Chirp users like this week

To make your own Chirp picks and win amazing prizes, download the app here.

2024 sony open chirp user picks

Josh Sens Editor

A golf, food and travel writer, Josh Sens has been a GOLF Magazine contributor since 2004 and now contributes across all of GOLF’s platforms. His work has been anthologized in The Best American Sportswriting. He is also the co-author, with Sammy Hagar, of Are We Having Any Fun Yet: the Cooking and Partying Handbook.