Sony Open in Hawaii Each-Way Tips: Ancer fits the bill at Sony Open

Mexican Abraham Ancer
Abraham Ancer can claim his first win

The PGA Tour stays in Hawaii and Dave Tindall is here with three selections for the Sony Open at Waialae CC...

"In terms of his approach play, he registered negative numbers in the first two rounds but really got his irons dialled in on Saturday and Sunday. The result was an 11-under total on the weekend, the same as eventual winner Harris English managed over his final 36 holes."

Abraham Ancer each-way @ 30/1

Main Bet: Abraham Ancer each-way @ 30/1

After plenty of US dominance down the years, the Sony Open threw up an overseas winner in 2020 with Aussie Cameron Smith taking the title.

And I'm going to pick another international player to get it done this week.

Smith basically got it done due to his flatstick 12 months ago, ranking 1st for Strokes Gained Putting. But that wasn't unusual.

Looking at the previous four winners - Matt Kuchar, Patton Kizzire, Justin Thomas and Fabian Gomez - and they were also in the top five for SGP when lifting the trophy.

Smith's SG: Approach numbers weren't up to match but it's usually an important stat too: Kuchar seventh, Kizzire third, Thomas fourth, Gomez second.

With 15 of the last 22 winners at Waialae having played in the previous week's Hawaii event, a decent start pointing then is this: look for a Sentry TOC participant who showed up well in the SG: Putting and SG: Approach stats.

Step forward Abraham Ancer. The Mexican was third for SGP and 13th in SG Approach but it gets better than that. In terms of his approach play, he registered negative numbers in the first two rounds but really got his irons dialled in on Saturday and Sunday.

The result was an 11-under total on the weekend, the same as eventual winner Harris English managed over his final 36 holes.

Ancer was particularly strong in a final-round 66, gaining 3.265 strokes on approach. That was the main reason for his closing 66 which lifted him to tied 17th.

The one possible neutral/negative element is course form of MC-29-38. But, hey, that's hardly too bad. Seven of his last eight rounds at Waialae were in the 60s.

In addition, several past winners in the last decade hadn't posted a top 30 previously and Ancer has at least done that.

While last week's course is very different, the slowish greens are a common denominator and given that he putted them well last week hopefully he'll do the same here.

Take Ancer to get a deserved first PGA Tour win at 30/1.

Main Bet: Kevin Kisner each-way @ 30/1

A short, bermuda track. Yep, we're very much in Kevin Kisner country this week.

Kisner is one of the more predictable animals on the PGA Tour and therefore he's an each-way punter's friend.

The last time he had this kind of test - at Sea Island in the RSM Classic - he fired three 66s and a 63 to make a play-off.

Frustratingly, he lost out to Robert Streb but it was yet more evidence that Kisner is one to follow on these type of tracks.

Kevin Kisner 1280.jpg

Also third in the Wyndham Championship at Sedgefield (short par 70), the best evidence, of course, is his actual form at this venue itself.

It's one of those where you go to check it in the belief that he'll have a number of top fives. And you'd be exactly right.

Last year, a third-round 64 helped him take fourth, he was also fourth in 2017 after a closing 65 and a first-round 63 set him on the way to fifth in 2016.

To complete the set of strong rounds on different days, he fired a Friday 64 in 2018 when making the top 25 yet again.

Kisner's mindset in this event was summed up in this exchange last year.

Q: "It's a course that seems to really fit your eye. Is this a course you like to come play?"

Kevin Kisner: "Yes. One of the few left on tour. I got to be able to make some hay when the sun tends to shine, so I feel like I got to go after it. It's a shorter, ball-strikers' paradise. Got to control your ball off the tee and distance into the greens. So I feel comfortable."

As with Ancer, he did his best work on the weekend at the Sentry TOC last week, shooting 69-68 (9-under).

He ranked seventh overall for SG: Putting and registered a pair of positive SG: Approach rounds on Saturday and Sunday after negatives the first two days.

Add in some tidy work around the greens and his game looks to be trending nicely for his annual bid at the Sony.

The 30/1 is about what you'd expect but it's definitely worth taking given his proven record.

Main Bet: Stewart Cink each-way @ 100/1

Stewart Cink got back in the winner's circle earlier this season when closing a pair of 65s to win the Safeway Open.

The veteran has added 20 yards off the tee, saying at the Sentry last week, "20 yards of carry at 47 years old is pretty impactful for me."

That win in California was certainly no one-off as he backed it up with T12 at the Sanderson Farms and T4 in the Bermuda Championship in two of his next three starts.

Last week's T31 at the Sentry Tournament of Champions doesn't look too great in a 42-man field but he fired 69-67 (-10) in the middle rounds.

With son Reagan caddieing for him, Cink has a spring in his step again and this is a course where dad's familiarity with the layout means they can have a relaxed build-up. That was somewhat different to last week when Cink Sr. was seeing the course for the first time in 11 years.

Cink was fifth here in 2005 and 10th the following year. Since 2009, he's made nine of 10 cuts.

On his last appearance he fired a blistering 62 in round two and explained later: "Rolled in a lot of putts from the range that really makes a difference in your score, which is like, say, 10 to 20 feet. Had a lot of putts like that and made a lot today.

"That's kind of a hallmark of my game over my whole career, is I do have a lot of putts in that range because usually I'm one of the better ball-strikers."

He also added: "I love coming back to Sony and Waialae every year. It's a fun place to start the year for me. It's got narrow fairways, smaller targets, and it feels like a good way to whip yourself into competitive shape really fast."

That's usually the case, of course, but not this year.

Hopefully last week "whipped him into shape" and he'll come out sharper rather than finish in the 20s and 30s as he's done in five of his last six starts at Waialae.

With eight each-way places on offer, I want a three-figure player on board and Cink looks a strong candidate. Take the 100/1.

Dave's 2020/2021 P/L

Staked: £420.00
Returned: £391.70
P/L: -£28.30

2019/2020 P/L: +£13.83
2018/2019 P/L: -£338.25
2017/2018 P/L: +£362.84
2016/2017 P/L: +£1179.89

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