The PGA Tour remains in Hawaii with a full field assembled at Waialae Country Club for the Sony Open. Dan Geraghty has looked through the form and made four picks for the opening day of action...
"It's taken a while to regain confidence in Goosen's ball-striking, but the last time we saw the South African he partnered Freddie Jacobson to second place at the end-of-season Franklin Shootout."
Retief Goosen returned to tour action at the end of 2013 after five months off with a stress fracture in his back; it's taken a while to regain confidence in his ball-striking, but the last time we saw the South African he partnered Freddie Jacobson to second place at the end-of-season Franklin Shootout. Playing partner Robert Allenby has started his year at the Sony Open each of the last three seasons and has missed the cut every time. The Australian is still struggling for form. Carl Petterson is the three-ball favourite and rates the dangerman, although Goosen's scoring average at Waialae Country Club is a point better than the Swedes.
Spencer Levin hasn't missed a cut at the Sony Open in five attempts and he hasn't missed a cut this season in four starts. The American was absent most of last year after taking his time to recover from a torn ligament in his thumb and starts 2014 with a clean slate. Playing partner Nicholas Thompson has missed four cuts from five starts here. Daniel Summerhays is the favourite and dangerman, but Levin has more course experience and I think 2014 could be a big year for the angry American.
Michael Thompson showed up well for a long way last week at the Hyundai Open on a course that probably didn't suit. This week's shorter test should be more to his liking and, indeed, our man was sixth here in 2012. Thompson has the jump on his two playing partners Stewart Cink and Marc Leishman, who weren't invited to last week's season opener, and he might get the faster start here.
The 18:00 three-ball looks a match between veteren Kenny Perry and Justin Leonard. Derek Ernst's confidence must be in tatters after finishing cut adrift in last place at the Tournament of Champions. The young American struggled badly for most of last year and the early signs for 2014 aren't good. I was keen to go with Perry, but his form at the Sony Open hasn't been good enough over the years so I will side with Leonard, who looked somewhat rejuvenated in 2013.
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Season P&L: -1.76pts (based on 1pt per selection)