2022 Sony Open in Hawaii Power Rankings

Hideki Matsuyama Sony Open 2017
Hideki Matsuyama hits his third shot on the 14th hole during the first round of the Sony Open In Hawaii at Waialae CC on Jan 12, 2017 in Honolulu, Hawaii. (Photo by Masterpress via Getty Images)

The PGA Tour being off (for official events anyway) for the month of December, did not have much of a negative effect on scores, as those who witnessed the carnage at last week’s Sentry Tournament of Champions at Kapalua can attest. Three players in that limited field posted scores of 30-under or better, with the winning score being a record 34-under.

Now, the Tour stays in Hawaii for the finale of the two-stop Aloha Swing, going from Maui to Oahu, for the 57th edition of the Sony Open in Hawaii, a tradition dating back to Gay Brewer’s inaugural event victory in 1965.

Similar to the Sentry, scores have been low at Waialae Country Club – the host course of the Sony Open – and with 14 players ranked inside the top 40 in the OWGR, more fireworks are likely.

The field this week in Honolulu is wide open, but we like a few players better than others. Our top 15 is as follows:

15. Russell Henley

Russell Henley
Russell Henley reacts after making birdie on the third hole during the final round of the 2021 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines Golf Course (South Course) on June 20, 2021 in San Diego, CA. (Photo by Harry How via Getty Images)

It did not take Henley long to get well-acquainted with Waialae, as he won his tournament debut in 2013 where he posted three rounds of 7-under 63.

The 32-year-old has been stuck on three career victories for nearly five years, but stands an excellent chance at this year’s Sony, when taking into consideration his course success, and the fact that he is coming off a season where he had two third-place finishes and contended at the U.S. Open, holding a share of the 54-hole lead.

At last year’s Sony, Henley was just three strokes off the lead going into the final round before shooting a 2-under 68 to finish T11. It does not hurt either that his iron game is one of the best on Tour and he currently boasts the 8th best scoring average.

Odds: 33-1
World Rank: 56
Last 6 Starts: 22, 7, 56, 25, 21, 60
Best Finish at the Sony: 1st (2013)

14. Brendan Steele

Brendan Steele Safeway
Brendan Steele tees off on the first hole during the final round of the Safeway Open at Silverado’s North Course on Oct. 8, 2017 in Napa, CA. Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images

Steele has been a standout at Waialae in the past two editions. He nearly won two years ago as the 54-hole leader before losing to Cameron Smith in a playoff, and then in 2019, he shot a third-round 61 on his way to a T4.

An October T2 at the ZOZO Championship shows that he may be in form enough to contend here for a third year in a row. Can he be consistent for four rounds, though? That has been his issue as of late.

Odds: 80-1
World Rank: 102
Last 6 Starts: 51, 69, 2, MC, 17, 42
Best Finish at the Sony: 2nd (2020)

13. Corey Conners

Corey Conners at the 2020 RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links
Corey Conners reacts on the 8th green during the second round of the RBC Heritage on June 19, 2020 at Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head Island, SC. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Honolulu does not likely remind Conners much of his Canadian upbringing, but he has not looked out of place in the utopia of Hawaii, finishing T12 at Waialae in 2020 and T3 the year prior, where he closed with a pair of 64s.

The 30-year-old is making his 2022 calendar year debut this week, and is coming off a 2021 season where he posted eight top-10s, rarely missed a cut, and contended in several majors.

Conners is currently inside the top 15 on Tour in both driving accuracy and greens in regulation.

Odds: 25-1
World Rank: 38
Last 6 Starts: 22, 40, 17, 17, 22, 8
Best Finish at the Sony: 3rd (2019)

12. Chris Kirk

Chris Kirk
Chris Kirk plays his shot from the 2nd tee during the third round of The PLAYERS Championship at TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course on Mar 13, 2021 in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The Knoxville native was a model of consistency here a year ago, finishing T2 by combining a Thursday 5-under 65 with a Friday 5-under 65, and then a Saturday 5-under 65, and a Sunday 5-under 65.

While he has been a little hit-or-miss in this event, Kirk has a number of top 10s and was also runner-up to Jimmy Walker in 2014. He didn’t go into the holiday break in the best form, but played mostly well in 2021, and obviously feels a tremendous level of comfort in Honolulu.

Odds: 66-1
World Rank: 99
Last 6 Starts: MC, 64, 48, 14, 35, 48
Best Finish at the Sony: 2nd (2014)

11. Matt Jones

Matt Jones Wins The Honda Classic
Matt Jones celebrates on the 18th green after winning The Honda Classic at PGA National Champion course on March 21, 2021 in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

He may have the most ordinary name on Tour, but there was nothing ordinary about what he did last weekend at Kapalua, chasing a Saturday 62 with a Sunday 61: a record 23-under-par between those two rounds. He finished solo-third and possibly could have been even better had he not simply run out of holes.

That excellent recent form mixes nicely with his Sony course history as well, with the 41-year-old Aussie using a 63-64 weekend to finish T12. The winner of last year’s Honda Classic, where he opened with a 61, has posted top 20s at Waialae on three occasions.

Odds: 33-1
World Rank: 66
Last 6 Starts: 3, MC, MC, 18, 38, 27
Best Finish at the Sony: 11th (2021)

10. Abraham Ancer

Abraham Ancer Wins WGC-Fedex-St Jude Invitational
Abraham Ancer plays his shot on the 3rd hole during the final round of the FedEx St. Jude Invitational at TPC Southwind on Aug 8, 2021 in Memphis, Tenn. (Photo by Sam Greenwood via Getty Images)

The 30-year-old Mexican is as solid as they come on Tour, and he finally got that monkey off his back when he won the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational in August, one of ten top-20 performances he notched over his final 13 starts of the 2021 season.

As a whole, he had an impressive 18 top-25s in 27 starts a year ago, with nine of those resulting in a single-digit result. The Sony has not been his best event however: in four starts, each coming in the last four editions, he has missed two cuts and posted nothing better than a T29.

Considering he finished last season inside the top 30 in five of the six strokes gained categories, and had the Tour’s 12th best scoring average, it feels unlikely that his underwhelming play at Waialae will continue.

Odds: 28-1
World Rank: 20
Last 6 Starts: 35, 14, 27, 7, 14, MC
Best Finish at the Sony: 29th (2019)

9. Talor Gooch

Talor Gooch Wins 2021 RSM Classic
Talor Gooch tosses his ball to his caddie on the first green during the final round of The RSM Classic on the Seaside Course at Sea Island Resort on Nov 21, 2021 in St Simons Island, GA. (Photo by Cliff Hawkins via Getty Images)

The FedExCup standings leader has been phenomenal in the new season, with six finishes of T15 or better in seven starts, including a victory at the RSM Classic, the last official event of the 2021 calendar year.

Back from break, the 30-year-old held his own at last week’s Sentry Tournament of Champions, closing with a weekend pair of 6-under 67s to finish T15.

Now Waialae becomes the next test for one of the Tour’s most unknown stars. He hasn’t been tremendous at the Sony, although he did open 64-66 in 2018 on his way to a T18, and he clearly isn’t the golfer he was when he missed the cut a year ago.

Odds: 33-1
World Rank: 32
Last 6 Starts: 15, 1, 60, 11, 5, 11
Best Finish at the Sony: 18th (2018)

8. Kevin Na

Kevin Na Wins Shriners Hospitals for Children Open at TPC Summerlin
Kevin Na hits off the 16th tee during the final round of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open at TPC Summerlin on Oct 6, 2019 in Las Vegas, NV. Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The defending champion took his fifth career PGA Tour title when he came back from three down with six holes to play, finishing one ahead of Chris Kirk and Joaquin Niemann.

For the 2021 season, the 38-year-old notched five top 10s, four of which came in his last six starts, including two runner-ups.

His 21-under score at last week’s Sentry Tournament of Champions equaled the T21 he had in winning at Waialae last year. He also finished eighth here in 2014, and notched top-fives in 2008 and 2009.

Four players have won this event in back-to-back years, most recently Jimmy Walker in 2014 and 2015. Na should be considered a threat to add to that list.

Odds: 28-1
World Rank: 29
Last 6 Starts: 13, 49, MC, 1, 17, 8
Best Finish at the Sony: 1st (2021)

7. Billy Horschel

Billy Horschel
Billy Horschel during day one of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Golf Club, Surrey. (Photo by Tess Derry/PA Images via Getty Images)

The Florida product had a stellar 2021 season, highlighted by a win at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, and a runner-up in another WGC event. For the year, he made 22 of 25 cuts and finished in the top 10 of the final FedExCup standings.

The Sony might not be a WGC, which is where the world No. 23 has been making his money as of late, but he did play well a year ago after having taken this event off since 2017, mixing two 66s with two 65s on his way to a T7.

Horschel is currently 5th on Tour in strokes gained: around-the-green, and 15th in strokes gained: putting.

Odds: 33-1
World Rank: 23
Last 6 Starts: 23, 32, 33, 36, 1, 7
Best Finish at the Sony: 7th (2021)

6. Bryson DeChambeau

Bryson DeChambeau
Bryson DeChambeau plays a tee shot on the 6th hole during the second round of THE PLAYERS Championship on Mar 12, 2021 at TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. (Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Update: Bryson DeChambeau has withdrawn from the tournament, citing a sore wrist.

The highest-ranked player at Waialae this week is the long-hitting eight-time Tour champion, who appropriately is at No. 8.

It was a very up-and-down 2021 season by DeChambeau’s standards. Since the new season started, he has gotten blasted by rival Brooks Koepka in the most recent incarnation of “The Match”, finished T14 out of 20 players in The Bahamas (Hero World Challenge), and placed T25 out of 38 players last week at Kapalua.

At the Sentry Tournament of Champions, DeChambeau’s final-round 1-under 72 was the second-worst round in the field, making the current state of his game a mystery. His most recent attempt at Waialae was a T10 two years ago, highlighted by a third-round 63, so he has shown that he can be successful here, even if it’s not a course where distance is king.

Odds: 8-1
World Rank: 8
Last 6 Starts: 25, 14, 11, 2, 31, 8
Best Finish at the Sony: 7th (2019)

5. Marc Leishman

Marc Leishman and Cameron Smith
Marc Leishman and Cameron Smith of Australia talk during day four of the 2018 World Cup of Golf at The Metropolitan on November 25, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Among Leishman’s four top 10s in this event (and three other top 20s), his T4 a year ago might be the most impressive as he chased an opening 66 with three consecutive 65s. And sure, the 38-year-old can be very inconsistent week-to-week, but things set up well for him between his course history and his recent results, where he has three top-10s in five 2022 season starts.

Perhaps a little more motivation for him too: his T10 at last week’s Sentry Tournament of Champions was overshadowed by two of his fellow Aussie countrymen, Cameron Smith and Matt Jones, who post record performances at Kapalua. It would not be surprising if Leishman got some inspiration from the great weeks those two had.

Odds: 25-1
World Rank: 33
Last 6 Starts: 10, 19, 38, 3, 4, 51
Best Finish at the Sony: 4th (2021)

4. Webb Simpson

Webb Simpson at the 2020 RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links
Webb Simpson lines up a putt on the 15th green during the first round of the RBC Heritage on June 18, 2020 at Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head Island, SC. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Webb might not be coming off one of his best seasons on Tour, but the world No. 29 has six top-20s since The Open Championship in late July, and he was T4 in this event a year ago, posting three rounds of 65 or better, his third straight Sony start of either third or fourth place. And before going into THAT stretch, Webb finished T13 in three consecutive editions.

Combined with a stellar all-around game, particularly with his short game, which is important at Waialae, the 7-time Tour champion stands a good shot at No. 8 and his first since June of 2020.

Odds: 16-1
World Rank: 29
Last 6 Starts: 17, 8, 14, MC, 30, 12
Best Finish at the Sony: 3rd (2020)

3. Sungjae Im

Sungjae Im Shriners Open
Sungjae Im walks on the 9th hole green during round 3 of the Shriners Children’s Open at TPC Summerlin on Oct 7, 2021 in Las Vegas, NV. (Photo by Alex Goodlett via Getty Images)

Just 23 years old, Im has taken another step forward in his impressive young career in the new season, winning the Shriners Children’s Open in October and notching two top 10s in three starts since, including a T8 at last week’s Sentry Tournament of Champions.

Two of his three starts at Waialae have been results inside the top 25, and his precision and short game make the Sony more than a potential course for his third career victory.

Odds: 18-1
World Rank: 24
Last 6 Starts: 8, 19, 9, 1, 31, 23
Best Finish at the Sony: 16th (2019)

2. Cameron Smith

Cameron Smith Leads The Northern Trust
Cameron Smith walks down the 17th tee with clouds looming during the third round of THE NORTHERN TRUST at Liber ty National GC on Aug 21, 2021 in Jersey City, NJ. (Photo by Tracy Wilcox / PGA TOUR via Getty Images)

The amiable Aussie was on a hot streak entering the 2022 New Year’s break. The break did nothing to cool him off. Smith only set the all-time PGA Tour scoring record (34-under) in winning last week’s Sentry Tournament of Champions at Kapalua, outdueling world No. 1 Jon Rahm in the process.

It was the first victory of Smith’s career that was not in a playoff, and his second-career victory in a non-team event.

That other win? Two years ago at Waialae, when he knocked off a hot Brendan Steele on the first playoff hole. It is difficult to go back-to-back on the PGA Tour, but if his putter stays hot, everything would appear to be in position for Smith to win again.

Odds: 10-1
World Rank: 10
Last 6 Starts: 1, 4, 15, 9, 17, 34
Best Finish at the Sony: 1st (2020)

1. Hideki Matsuyama

Hideki Matsuyama Sony Open 2017
Hideki Matsuyama hits his third shot on the 18th hole during the first round of the Sony Open In Hawaii at Waialae CC on Jan 12, 2017 in Honolulu, Hawaii. (Photo by Masterpress via Getty Images)

The Tour star from Japan had a career-low three top-10s last season, despite playing in a career-high 27 events. It would be an enormous understatement to say he made his best weeks count though: those three top-10s were a win at The Masters, and a pair of runner-ups, one coming in a WGC event.

Hideki also has a win in the young 2022 season, taking October’s ZOZO Championship by a whopping five strokes. His results at Waialae have not been especially impressive, but he does have experience with the course (8 starts), and his best two results were from the past two editions (T12 last year, T19 in 2020). He has shot 67 or better in eight of his last 12 Sony rounds.

Odds: 18-1
World Rank: 19
Last 6 Starts: 13, 1, 59, 67, 6, 26
Best Finish at the Sony: 12th (2021)

Next Five: Harris English, Jason Kokrak, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Joel Dahmen, Emiliano Grillo



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