Stricker should be favored at SBS


The PGA Tour’s season-opening SBS Championship is 16 days away.

If you’re weary of the gloomy news cycle ending this year, you probably can’t wait for the start of a new season.

Most of the golf betting houses don’t have their odds up yet, but here’s one man’s early look ahead at the favorites based on the 28-player field expected to tee it up in Kapalua Jan. 7-10:

Steve Stricker 5/1

Lost in a playoff the last time he teed it up at Kapalua two seasons ago. Three-time winner in ’09 looked ready to go winning the Shark Shootout two weeks ago with pal Jerry Kelly. Stricker’s full of confidence after his FedEx Cup finish and Presidents Cup showing.

Geoff Ogilvy 7/1

After winning twice in his first four starts last year, including at Kapalua, Ogilvy tapered off, recording just three top-10 finishes the rest of the PGA Tour season. After struggling to a tie for 31st at the Australian Open three weeks ago, where he finished 18 shots by winner Adam Scott, Ogilvy tied for seventh at the Australian PGA two weeks ago, seven shots behind Robert Allenby. Ogilvy will be fine when his putter comes around this week.

Nick Watney 8/1

Showed good form finishing fifth at the HSBC Champions at the start of November. Finished tied for fifth when he teed it up in Kapalua two years ago. He started ’09 strong with a win (Buick), second (CA Championship) and tie for fourth (Arnold Palmer Invitational) in his first eight starts.

Kenny Perry 10/1

Though he’ll be turning 50 in August, Perry showed no signs of slowing down this past season. He opened ’09 tying for sixth at Kapalua. Nearly won the Shark Shootout with J.B. Holmes.

Sean O’Hair 10/1

Finished fourth at Kapalua last year. Enjoyed a strong ’09 finish in the FedEx Cup, tying for eighth at the Deutsche Bank, finishing fourth at the BMW and third at the Tour Championship.

Stewart Cink 10/1

British Open champion proved a lot in his major breakthrough that should help him in '10.