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Preview: PGA Tour’s Sony Open in Hawaii

Preview – PGA Tour – Sony Open – Waialae Country Club – Honolulu, Hawaii –

The Sony Open in Hawaii features the first full-field 144-player event of the 2014 calendar season for the PGA Tour.

The island of Oahu hosts the Aloha Swing visit to Waialae Country Club in Honolulu.

Fresh off his victory last week, Zach Johnson rides into Oahu on a high note looking for the Aloha Sweep. And, he’s one of the favorites as 10-to-1 odds to win it, according to Skybet.com.

This week’s layout is a complete 360-degree turn from the wide open layout at Kapalua. This course measures just over 7,000 yards and plays to a par-70. A flat layout, Waialae produces a mix of long hitters and accurate players atop the leader board thanks to tighter fairways.

Look for “Horses For Courses” to factor this week. Charles Howell III has a streak of 12 straight cuts made at this venue. He also has seven Top 5s in that run and is now second in career earnings at this tournament.

The field includes six Top 25 players from the Official World Golf Ranking featuring No.2 Adam Scott, who is planning to take six weeks off after this tournament to recharge for the 2014 Masters. Matt Kuchar, who played extensively during the winter months around the globe, is also competing.

2013 recap:

  • Rookie Russell Henley (24-under) won his first start on Tour to tee off the year in capturing the Sony Open. He set the course record at 256 over the four rounds. He managed to card three 63s to log a three-shot victory over Tim Clark. Clark closed with a 63 and failed to gain ground. CH3 and Scott Langley were T-3, while Chris Kirk, Kuchar and Brian Stuard logged Top 5s.

Golf Channel has television coverage all week.

FANTASY: Since experience on this course tends to pay off, take CH III. His game is ideal for this course and he played well in the early portion of the wrap-around season including three Top 7s. Harris English, who played last week in Maui finishing Top 10, carded a 62 here a year ago. Johnson is playing so well (two overall victories since November), so ride his hot streak. He captured this title here in 2009.

BETTING: According to Skybet.com, Scott is the top pick at 8-to-1 odds. The Aussie was second here in 2009. At 14-1, take Kuchar in this spot. He has T-5 in his last two starts at Sony. Consider Clark (22-1) at this target layout. He was runner-up in 2011 and 2013. For a longer shot, take Brian Gay, who has three Top 10s at the Sony. He is a 40-1 pick and finished strong in Maui last week.

Other Golf News:

  • Charl Schwartzel is a 3-1 betting favorite at this week’s Volvo Golf Champions on the European Tour. The former Masters champion recently won the Alfred Dunhill Championship in December. His competition at the Volvo includes Louis Oosthuizen, Jamie Donaldson and Thomas Bjorn.
  • Rickie Fowler is now working with World Golf Hall of Fame teaching instructor Butch Harmon.
  • The LPGA Tour announced its season-long points race with a bonus prize of $1 million for the winner. The season concludes in November at the CME Group Titleholders in Naples, Florida.
  • Johnson is trying to sweep the Aloha Swing on the PGA Tour, which has happened just one time by Hall of Famer Ernie Els.