The PGA Tour made the short trip to Honolulu this week for the Sony Open, the first full-field event of 2014. Here are a few of the featured groups to watch. Also, check out Fantasy Central for Sony Open power rankings, expert picks and "Stat attack!".
12:40 p.m. ET (10th tee): Harris English, Jimmy Walker, Charles Howell III
English’s move from Ping to Callaway equipment didn’t seem to affect him too much at Kapalua, where he put together four solid rounds and finished T-11. Howell is a good bet to record his first Tour victory since 2007. He has seven career top-5 finishes at Waialae, including four in the past five years.
Scott came on late at Kapalua to post a T-6 finish. Now, he is playing the Sony – where he finished T-2 in 2009 – in what will be his last start until the first week of March. Kuchar has been very hit-or-miss at Waialae in the past: In 10 career starts, he has made just four cuts, but he has finished joint fifth each of the last two years. Dufner was solo fifth in the 2014 opener, but he’s never finished inside the top 10 at the Sony.
No player over the age of 24 in this group, including defending champion Henley, who torched Waialae a year ago en route to setting tournament scoring records. Spieth is clearly in good form, coming off another runner-up finish on Tour – his fourth in just 25 starts – while Matsuyama is hoping his fourth try at the Sony will turn out better than his previous starts (three MCs).
Johnson is arguably the hottest player in the game, with three victories in his last six starts, including last week at Kapalua. Though the claustrophobic oceanside course would seem to fit his eye, the 2009 champ has only one other top-30 finish in eight trips around Waialae. Choi is a former winner here as well (2008), and Clark seemingly is always in contention. He has finished second here each of the last two years.