We had a great start to the 2024 PGA Tour season, cashing both the top 10 (Collin Morikawa +115) and top 20 (Eric Cole +140) bets at The Sentry. Jordan Spieth (25/1) gave us a sweat on Sunday as he was tied for the lead with three holes to play but had an untimely bogey on the 16th hole. Let’s continue that momentum as we jump Hawaiian islands over to Waialae Country Club for the Sony Open.

What is needed for success at Waialae CC:

  • Accuracy off the tee (one of the rare events that it is more important than distance)
  • Elite approach play with short to mid irons
  • Putting

Now let’s look at three bets to make, or at least consider!

Top 20: Corey Conners +160

Conners has finished 12th or better in each of his last four appearances at the Sony. This doesn’t come as a surprise given how elite he is off the tee and on approach. Yes, Conners has a less than stellar putter ranking in the bottom third of the field. Historically, however, he has actually putted the greens here very well. In those four top 12 finishes, he gained strokes putting in three of them. How rare is that for Conners? He only gained strokes putting in seven events in 2023. So it would appear he feels comfortable on these greens.  Last week at The Sentry, he finished middle of the pack and had above-average ballstriking while losing over seven strokes putting. Look for a bounceback week and a top 20 finish yet again for Conners.

Top 20: Denny McCarthy +190

McCarthy’s game is predicated on an elite putter as he leads the field in that category. Over the last year, we have seen great strides in his ballstriking, which has led to repeated contention in many events. He isn’t overly long but does keep the ball in play so this course should suit him well. He hasn’t performed spectacularly with a 32nd and 48th place finish in his two past Sony appearances but that was before the improvements made to his long game over the last year. He got the rust off his game last week finishing near the bottom of the field, which is why we are getting a depressed price here for a top 20 finish.

Top 20: Andrew Putnam +250

Putnam has finished fourth or better in two of his last five appearances at the Sony. He is one of the shortest drivers on Tour but also is one the most accurate. Pair that with a top 25 rank in putting and that can be a deadly combination if his iron game shows up this week. Historically, Putnam is a slightly above average approach player. He appears to have gotten the rust off last week and figured something out with that part of his bag. He struggled in rounds one and two at Kapalua, losing three strokes on approach, but rallied back with almost four strokes gained on approach over the weekend. If any semblance of that iron game transfers over to this week, then the +250 price for a top 20 is an absolute steal.

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