2017 Sony Open in Hawaii - Predictions

Who will win the 2017 Sony Open in Hawaii? This is the year's first full-field PGA Tour event. Our research staff provides predictions and analysis. The 2017 Sony Open is set for January 12-15 at the Waialae Country Club.

🏌JScore Analysis

Jordan Spieth
JScore: 6
Pros
• His game fits Waialae.
• Excellent short game and putting.
• Shot a 65 in last week's final round.
Cons
• Missed cut in his only start here.
• Iron game could still be a problem.

Hideki Matsuyama
JScore: 4
Pros
• Finished no worse than 2nd in his last six starts worldwide.
• Played the Sony Open four times.
• Ability to adapt to any type of course.
Cons
• Has never made it to the final round in Waialae.
• Putting may still be a question mark.
• Streak of good play will eventually come to an end.

Justin Thomas
JScore: 4
Pros
• Won in Kapalua last week, two wins this season.
• Long off the tee, good putter.
• Best finish is a T6.
Cons
• Course with narrow fairways is not a good fit.
• His wins have been at no-cut events with a small field.

Charles Howell III
JScore: 3
Pros
• Best player without a Sony Open title, eight top-10s here.
• Three top-15s this season.
Cons
• Last PGA Tour win was in 2007.

Predictions 

🏆Winner: Jordan Spieth. Waialae is an old-style golf course with narrow fairways and flat greens. If you missed the fairways, you will need your short-game magic to scramble for a par. Spieth's game is tailor-made for this course. He has great imagination and is among the best putters on the PGA Tour. The two-time major champion is coming off a strong final round in Kapalua where he shot a 65. He will be motivated by his buddy Justin Thomas' victory last week to add his name to this season's winner circle.

💳Top-10 Finish: Charles Howell III. The Sony Open is one of few tournaments on the PGA Tour where past success may not be a good indicator of future results. It is common for a past winner of the Sony Open to never again record another top-10 finish in Waialae. Conversely, it is also not uncommon for a player with terrible past results at this tournament to suddenly have an excellent week and win. Charles Howell III is a rare exception. The Augusta native has never won the Sony Open, but has finished in the top 10 eight times! His T13 finish last year was actually somewhat of an anomaly. People have been expecting him to finally win the title, but he has fallen short each time. He was my winner pick for many years, but I have decided against picking him this year. It is just too difficult for someone who has not won since 2007 to win again, but he is still a good pick for a top-10 finish.