Golf Weekly Preview - Sony Open of Hawaii | BMW South African Open - The Gambling Times
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Golf Weekly Preview – Sony Open of Hawaii | BMW South African Open

The 2018 golfing calendar is back underway and both tours are in action for the first time this year.

We run through both tournaments for you including facts, odds and picks from our own golfing expert Cliff Jackson and Betfair.

SONY OPEN OF HAWAII

  • Staged at the Waialae Country Club in Honolulu
  • First staged in 1965
  • Current champion is Justin Thomas


FIELD:
All the talk is about defending champion Justin Thomas – who dominated the event last year, as he opened up with a memorable 59. He and good friend Jordan Spieth are the favourites to take victory.

ODDS: Branden Grace 13/2 Charl Schwartzel 13/2 Dylan Frittelli 16/1 Dean Burmester 20/1 Jordan Smith 25/1 George Coetzee 28/1 Soren Kjeldsen 28/1 Erik Van Rooyen 30/1 James Morrison 30/1 Chris Wood 40/1 Haydn Porteous 40/1 Matt Wallace 40/1 Matthieu Pavon 40/1 Shaun Norris 40/1 Andy Sullivan 45/1 Richard Sterne 45/1 Brandon Stone 50/1 Jason Scrivener 50/1 Thomas Aiken 50/1 Thomas Detry 50/1

BMW SOUTH AFRICAN OPEN

  • Staged at the Glendower Golf Club in Ekurhuleni
  • First staged in 1907
  • Current champion is Graeme Storm


FIELD:
The home contingent looks very strong indeed, and home players dominate the field – although English raiders James Morrison, Chris Wood, Andy Sullivan and defending champion Graeme Storm are expected to feature heavily too.

ODDS: Branden Grace 13/2 Charl Schwartzel 13/2 Dylan Frittelli 16/1 Dean Burmester 20/1 Jordan Smith 25/1 George Coetzee 28/1 Soren Kjeldsen 28/1 Erik Van Rooyen 30/1 James Morrison 30/1 Chris Wood 40/1 Haydn Porteous 40/1 Matt Wallace 40/1 Matthieu Pavon 40/1 Shaun Norris 40/1 Andy Sullivan 45/1 Richard Sterne 45/1 Brandon Stone 50/1 Jason Scrivener 50/1 Thomas Aiken 50/1 Thomas Detry 50/1

The pro’s point of view…

Our resident golf expert is Cliff Jackson. Cliff is a leading youth coach and PGA professional at the famed Seaton Carew Links – one of the oldest courses in the world.

A really interesting start to the year, two good looking fields.

The European Tour is down in South Africa, and it is hard to look past a home favourite doing well here – I can see George Coetzee and I also like Haydn Porteous.

In Hawaii, we saw Justin Thomas sweep all before him in this event last year and he clearly loves the course – much will depend on how his games goes, but I can see him repeating his success for sure.

The Bookie says…

We caught up with Betfair’s Joe Dyer to get their views on this week’s action

There are short-priced favourites in both this week’s golf tournaments with Jordan Spieth the shortest of them all at no bigger than 9/2 to win the Sony Open following last year’s third place at Waialae.

Meanwhile, the European Tour stages its first tournament of 2018 in its usual turn of the year home of South Africa. A phalanx of home talent heads up the betting in the BMW SA Open with the Betfair Sportsbook traders unwilling to split 13/2 pair, Branden Grace and Charl Schwartzel at the head of the market. Dylan Frittelli, 17/1, and Dean Burmester, 20/1, follow the big name pair at the top of the betting.

Back on the PGA Tour, Betfair blogger Steve Rawlings sees a strong trend for players who featured at last week’s Tournament of Champions with his wagers, and the Sportsbook market agrees with him making defending champ Justin Thomas the 8/1 second favourite, followed by 16/1 Marc Leishman, 18/1 Kevin Kisner and 22/1 Brian Harman.

The BMW SA Open has thrown up some surprising winners in the last three years – the roll of honour reading Graeme Storm, Brandon Stone and Andy Sullivan – and it may pay to take a chance on a bigger price with Grace and Schwartzel making the market.

Could this finally be the week that Mikko Korhonen breaks his European Tour duck for instance? The Finn, slightly incongruously perhaps, adores South African golf – finishing in the top 20 in his last three appearances in the country – and was ideally placed at the cut in his last outing at Joburg Open before fading. As an outsider bet – 66/1 on the Betfair Sportsbook – he appeals.

And in Hawaii why not take a chance on the much-touted Si Woo Kim. The current Players champ opened up his season with 10th place last week, and finished fourth in this tournament last year. A two-time PGA Tour winner, he can be backed at 40/1 on the Betfair Sportsbook, with seven places paid.

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