Our first “Full-Field” event of 2021 tees off Thursday at Waialae Country Club. This will be a lot different from last week, not only because of the opposite layout from Kapalua but also because we’ll be sweating our plays come late Friday. Let’s dive right in and see if we can’t make it another winning week after cashing HARRY ENGLISH at 30/1 at the TOC.
Waialae isn’t a bomber’s paradise but tends to favor those who like to hit fairways and attack pins from the fairway’s proper side. Missing fairways here isn’t overly penal like it is at the US Open but certainly leads to far fewer short birdie looks. Waialae rewards players for accuracy off the tee as approaching these smallish greens from the short grass will help with proximity to the hole. In turn, that leads to shorter birdie looks, which helps with putting stats…..A ball-strikers paradise, maybe, a putting contest NO DOUBT.
It appears many books truly feel the winner will be a big name….WEBB, Berger, Morikawa, Im, and English are all below 20/1. While I’d like to invest in these guys, I see more value in other players who also played last week. The guys above will all be littered in my DK lineups, as I feel many will favor a balanced approach this week with the 36-hole cut back in play.
Kevin Kisner ($25 to win $625): Talk about a guy who fits the mold around Waialae. Kis has 3 Top 5’s here since 2016. We’ve seen his putter get hot at times, see the Match Play nearly every year. I feel this is a good number to jump on.
Ryan Palmer ($25 to win $825): This is a toughie for me….Much like I said about Finau last week, Palmer struggles to close. I hate investing in guys who can’t close the door….BUT, his course history here is excellent, hell he’s won here! Just have to hope he doesn’t shit the bed as we’ve seen quite often come Sunday.
Brendon Todd ($25 to win $$1,125): Finding fairways and making putts…..This SCREAMS BT. T-21 here last year and #1 putting in my model. BIG number for one of the best putters in the field…
Marc Leishman ($25 to win $1,250): Only Hideki putted worse than Leishman last week. Leish can find fairways with the best of them. His ball-striking is so PURE. If his putter heats up at all, he’ll have a chance to be here late Sunday. Can he go back to back for the Aussies as Cam Smith took home the title in 2020? Let’s hope so….
Charles Howell III ($25 to win $113): CHIII has tremendous CH here. He dominates early in the season with making BANK…We know he doesn’t win as much as a player of his ilk should, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t collect TOP 10’s like it’s going out of style. I’ll gladly play CHIII Top 10 here.
Emiliano Grillo ($25 to win $125): Another guy who ranks high in my model but I don’t see winning. I’ll take a stab at a Top 10 this week.
Si Woo Kim ($25 to win $163): Si Woo pops in my model this week and typically plays shorter courses well. Look for Si Woo to contend for a Top 10 this week.
Chez Reavie ($25 to win $188): Really loved Chez here last year before he promptly MC’d. Look for a little retribution this week as Chez loves this place. See my note in the H2H section below.
Head 2 Head:
Chez Reavie -1.5 Strokes ($40 to win $42) vs. Brandt Snedeker: Reavie MC here last year but before 2020 had 14 straight rounds in the 60’s at Waialae. Par 70, I know, but this longevity should pan out well over time. You can play this straight up at -130, but I prefer to take the +$. Sneds can get hot with the flat stick, as we all know, so if I’m going to lose, I might as well lose without the juice….
Ryan Palmer ($42 to win $40) vs. Adam Scott: I love me some Adam Scott but truly feel like every time he misses a green it’s an automatic bogey or worse. I’ll not waste time worrying about what putter Scottie is using….Gimmie the guy who has great CH and finished top 5 last week. Palmer win’s this match easily.
Si Woo Kim ($42 to win $40) vs. Keegan Bradley: Keegan ranks 144 in my model this week in putting stats….That is all!
First Round Leader (FRL):
Always a fun way to start an event…Toss some money on guys who like to go low and see if we can’t hit a BIG # before the cut Friday. Let’s hope one of these guys can shoot 62-63 today and bag a nice payday.
Lanto Griffin ($25 to win $1,125): A guy who really looks good on paper here but I didn’t pull the trigger on any plays….So I added him to the FRL list. Don’t be shocked in Lanto is in the mix come late Sunday, in part because he shoots sub 65 Thursday.
Jason Kokrak ($25 to win $1,250): Another guy who can go low and didn’t quite make the card outright or Top 10. See if we can’t get a FRL out of Kokrak.
J.T. Poston ($25 to win $1,250): When his putter gets hot, it gets HOT. Let’s hope it catches fire Thursday.
Rory Sabbatini ($25 to win $1,250): I mentioned Sabbs last week as a guy I like to play on Thursday as he likes to get off to fast starts. Best player in the world named Rory….On Thursdays!
Really looking forward to the Sony and more primetime golf. As always feel free to fire any questions at me on Twitter @kevinsdelight
We’re positive +$650 after the TOC and hope to have another nice week. We have $224 in play to start the event…