Cameron Smith said he spent most of his Christmas holidays fishing in Florida, but the mulleted Aussie returned to the PGA Tour last week looking as sharp as a tack, carding a remarkable total of 34-under-par to win the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
Smith repelled world number one Jon Rahm in a thrilling duel at the Plantation Course, Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii, and carefree Cam has made the short journey to Honolulu looking to complete a Hawaii double.
He is 8/1 favourite for the Sony Open and will probably tempt plenty of punters who watched his destruction of the Plantation Course.
The 28-year-old also has course form at this week’s venue, having won the Sony Open in 2020, and he can draw on inspiration from two men who have already got the Kapalua-Waialae double in the record books.
Ernie Els and Justin Thomas have both shown that it is possible to pick up two trophies in a fortnight on the Hawaii Swing of the PGA Tour. If Smith has enough energy and desire left in his tank, he will probably contend again.
Leishman Might Follow His Friend’s Lead
Smith’s friend and compatriot, Marc Leishman, is double the odds at 16/1 – and arguably a better value option. Smith and Leishman won the Zurich Classic pairs event alongside each other last April and they have also paired up for Australia in the World Cup.
The success of one player often has the effect of inspiring the other – and both can be fancied to appear on the Sony Open leaderboard at the weekend.
Leishman has been in superb nick, finishing fourth in the Fortinet Championship in September, third in the Shriners Open in October, then third alongside Jason Day in the QBE Shootout pairs event just before Christmas.
The 38-year-old has made 12 previous appearances at Waialae Country Club and has never missed a cut, posting seven top-20s and three top-fives. Last week he warmed up for the Sony by carding four rounds in the 60s in the Sentry, ending up in tenth place.
Talented Wu Could Bounce Back to Form
Brandon Wu has been priced up at a dismissive 300/1 this week, but the former amateur star is bursting with potential and could easily make a mockery of his Sony Open odds.
Wu, a 24-year-old Californian who is good friends with Collin Morikawa, was expected to make a similar impact on the PGA Tour.
Morikawa has obviously made a spectacular start to life on the main circuit, winning two Majors, but Wu will probably become a champion once he has settled in the higher grade.
Covid was a setback for Wu – because it meant he had to wait for his graduation from the Korn Ferry Tour – and he lost his form in that period. The 2020 Korn Ferry Tour Championship victor seems likely to make waves at some stage, though, and Waialae is exactly the sort of course he likes. A small each-way investment seems sensible at the monstrous odds.
*All odds correct at time of writing