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24th April 2024 4:38 pm

“A difference of opinion is what makes horse racing and missionaries."

The PGA Tour – The Sony Open

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Sandy Lane – our man in Barbados – writes:

Aloha to One and All!

Our first foray into the 2024 PGA Tour at last week’s The Sentry proved to be bang on track until the 69th hole. Here, Jordan Spieth, one of the longer-priced of our ‘Big Five’ picks, who had just taken a share of the lead following 8 birdies in his first fifteen holes, overcut his tee shot. The ball landed in a bunker plugged in the sand, inches from a steep grass face. Game over. Never mind, he still finished in sole 3rd position. Two of our other picks finished joint-fifth. So, it is a highly respectable start to the season. Recovered alcoholic Chris Kirk emerged triumphant and paid tribute to his new putter, which AI partly designed. Yes, you read that correctly.

Onwards then to Honolulu and The Sony Open. Unlike Kapalua, this is much more of a ball-strikers course, where hitting greens is paramount, and strokes gained approach and strokes gained tee to green are also key stats. Just so you know, no Englishman has won in the 58 years of the tournament’s existence, especially if you fancy one of the short-priced-pair, Tyrell Hatton and Matthew Fitzpatrick. Also, 17 of the last twenty-five winners had played the previous week in The Sentry.

With all this in mind, Sandy Lane presents his Big Five selections for the Sony Open in Hawaii:

  • ADAM SVENSSON: Seventh here in 2022, the Canadian loves Bermuda Grass. His stats suit the needs of the course and he is very much a rising star.
  • ERIC COLE: The 2022-23 Rookie of the Year has been knocking loudly on the door. A future winner in waiting.
  • HARRIS ENGLISH: It’s okay, he’s not English by nationality (see above), and he likes this course
  • BYEONG-HAN AN: Tied 12th last year and ticks every stat box.
  • LUCAS GLOVER: I know, I know but the 44-year-old had a brilliant 2023 and loves shorter set-ups like Honolulu

Recommended stakes are 1 point each way and 1 point each way on Sahith Theegala, who played a blinder last week. This tournament is traditionally one of the most challenging to predict, but with the Big Five all priced up between 33-1 and 66-1, there will be room for manoeuvre.

Good Luck

Sandy Lane

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