The first full-field event on the 2013 PGA Tour gets underway with the Sony Open in Hawaii, starting on Thursday, this week. There is a quick turnaround between tournaments after the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, which featured only winners from last year's tour, was repeatedly delayed before reaching its conclusion on Tuesday.
The delays caused a tough few days for players on the tour and things are unlikely to get any easier at the Waialae Country Club in Honolulu next up. The course is notorious for its testing, windy conditions and it ranks among the most difficult on the tour for stats relating to greens in regulation. There are a few players who have shown how to cope with the layout though and Carl Pettersson provides some appeal at 20/1 with PaddyPower.
Pettersson has a fine record here having finished tied-10th in 2006, tied-fifth in 2010 and tied-second last year. He is a tempting price to go one better this time as he looks to build on an excellent 2012 season that saw him win the RBC Heritage and finish in the top-three of the USPGA Championship. The Swede rounded off last season with four consecutive top-20s and he opened with rounds of 70 and 72 to put himself in contention at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions last time out.
Pettersson has the game to cope with conditions in Honolulu and he looks a perfect fit for the course, as does Charles Howell III. The American loves this event as he has racked up five top-fives here since 2005, including runner-up finishes in 2007 and 2012. He enjoyed a fine run of form at the end of 2012 as he secured three consecutive top-15 finishes and he could offer each-way value at 25/1 for this testing PGA Tour event.
Brian Gay has also performed well in Honolulu and he is someone who could sneak under the radar at a juicy 45/1 in the latest betting with paddypower. Gay finished fifth here in 2009, 13th in 2011 and tied for sixth here last year, while his worst performance in his last four appearances in the tournament was 25th. He is a lovely striker of the ball and he should take great confidence from his fourth place in the Children's Miracle Network Classic at the end of 2012.
This is a tournament that has tended to produce surprise winners in the past and repeat winners are not uncommon as Ernie Els is one of a few multiple winners. Mark Wilson will bid to add his name to that list as the 2011 champion looks to continue his fine tradition of starting seasons well. All five of Wilson's PGA Tour wins have come between January and March, with his last win coming here two years ago, and he is 66/1 to land the title this week.
Johnson Wagner is the defending champion after he won by a shot last year. The ability of this tournament to cause a surprise is highlighted by the fact Wagner had failed to make the cut in three previous appearances at Honolulu, while he is 66/1 to retain his title this year.
Sony Open in Hawaii Tips
Tip #1: Carl Pettersson each-way @ 20/1 with PaddyPower.
Tip #2: Charles Howell III @ 25/1 with PaddyPower.
Tip #3: Brian Gay @ 45/1 with PaddyPower.
10/1 Dustin Johnson
16/1 Webb Simpson
18/1 Matt Kuchar
18/1 Keegan Bradley
20/1 Carl Pettersson
22/1 Zach Johnson
25/1 Ryan Moore
25/1 Charles Howell III
30/1 KJ Choi
33/1 Vijay Singh
33/1 Scott Piercy
33/1 Tim Clark
33/1 Brendon De Jonge
35/1 Jonas Blixt
35/1 Bud Cauley
Odds supplied by PaddyPower.com, who offer live betting in-running throughout the four days of the Sony Open in Hawaii, which starts on Thursday.
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