Sony Open in Hawaii: Course and current form stats for Waialae

Waialae, home of the Hawaiian Open since 1965
Action from 2020 when poorer weather conditions than normal led to the highest-winning total for 15 years

Another week in America's most westerly state, as the action heads to Waialae for the 56th Sony Open in Hawaii. Words and stats by Andy Swales...

"Compared to the long, wide-open and undulating fairways of the Plantation Course, Waialae is shorter, tighter and flatter. The putting surfaces are also smaller, placing a much greater emphasis on accuracy, particularly on approach shots into greens."

The PGA Tour remains in Hawaii, swapping the island of Maui for Oahu, as it travels 80 miles west to the state capital Honolulu.

The golfers have set up camp at Waialae Country Club, some five hours behind New York city on America's east coast.

Thirty-two of the 42 players who teed-up at Kapalua last Thursday, have remained in America's 50th state to contest this week's Sony Open in Hawaii.

Opened on February 1st 1927, Waialae provides a different type of coastal experience to the one that faced the golfers at the Sentry Tournament of Champions.

Compared to the long, wide-open and undulating fairways of the Plantation Course, Waialae is shorter, tighter and flatter. The putting surfaces are also smaller, placing a much greater emphasis on accuracy, particularly on approach shots into greens.

Rolling Kapalua has numerous changes in elevation ranging up to 500 feet, while the difference between the highest and lowest points at Waialae is approximately four yards.

And while Waialae covers 120 acres, the much-more spacious Kapalua stretches beyond 300. The differences could hardly be greater.

Horses for courses

Waialae is certainly one of those venues where some players return year-after-year to rack-up plenty of top-10s. One such pro is Charles Howell who has posted 10 T-10s since 2002.

Accuracy is usually key at Waialae, and one player who might catch your eye this week is Ryan Palmer who finished fourth at Kapalua on Sunday.

The 44-year-old from Texas is a former champion over Waialae, he tied-fourth here last year, and is up to No 25 in the world. He's also hitting plenty of Greens in Regulation in the 100-125 yard range.

Check out the latest betting ahead of this week's Sony Open in Hawaii

Two other players who fall into this grouping include another former Waialae winner, Russell Henley, and Emiliano Grillo, both of whom tee-up for the first time since the Mayakoba Classic in early December.

Five of the world's top 15 are in attendance: Collin Morikawa, Webb Simpson, Patrick Reed, Daniel Berger and Viktor Hovland.

And the stats show that two-time major winner Zach Johnson could also be a force this week.

The 'other Johnson', now 44, continues to play solid golf into the green and his putting appears to be holding up too.

Traditional birdie fest

Over the years, Waialae has been a particularly low-scoring venue. Between 2013 and 2019, five champions posted 72-hole totals of 260 or less.

However, 12 months ago, Cameron Smith (269) registered the highest winning score for 15 years, following some wet and windy weather during the early part of the tournament.

Last year's cut total of 141 (one-over-par), was the highest it had been since 2010.

And last year's conditions appeared to place much more emphasis on how players coped with heavy wind on the greens.

In 2020, the golfers who occupied the top three positions after 72 holes, were also ranked inside the top-three of the putting stats - although not in the same order:

Won: Cameron Smith (1.686 - T2)
2nd: Brendan Steele (1.686 - T2)
3rd: Webb Simpson (1.667 - 1st)

Course Comparisons (2016-20)


Driving Accuracy (%)
73.88: Sea Island (RSM Classic) (1/29)
59.02: Waialae (Hawaiian Open) (19/29)
52.24: Torrey Pines (Farmers Insurance) (29/29)

Greens in Regulation (%)
75.98: Sedgefield (Wyndham) (1/29)
70.70: Waialae (Hawaiian Open) (7/29)
58.99: Innisbrook (Valspar) (29/29)

Putting (GiR)
1.664: PGA West (host) (American Express) (1/29)
1.749: Waialae (Hawaiian Open) (13/29)
2.668: Augusta National (Masters) (29/29)

Key: Above stats are for all 29 courses which staged four or more PGA Tour events between January 1st, 2016 and December 31st, 2020. To qualify for a ranking (between 1 & 29), tournaments must have a minimum of 50 players competing over the final two rounds of an event. Averages do not include players who failed to complete at least 54 holes.

Waialae Data (2016-20)
DA: (T10 - 61.43%); (Cat10 - 71.63%)
GiR: (T10 - 74.41%); (Cat10 - 79.03%)
Putts: (T10 - 1.692); (Cat10 - 1.637)
Key: T10 (Average for Top-10 finishers); Cat10 (Average for Top-10 in Category)

Twitter: Andy Swales@GolfStatsAlive

MC* - Missed Additional 54-Hole Cut

Note: List Contains Leading Reserves

Last 10 Weeks / Waialae Form (2011-20)

Position

  • 1–5
  • 6–15
  • 16–25
Player W2 W1 W52 W51 W50 W49 W48 W47 W46 W45
Collin Morikawa 7 10 44
Webb Simpson 17 37 10
Patrick Reed 21 3 10
Daniel Berger 10 23
Viktor Hovland 31 3 1 15
Sung Jae Im 5 14 MC 2 50
Hideki Matsuyama 41 13 2
Adam Scott 21 34 32
Abraham Ancer 17 12 13
Jason Kokrak 35 MC MC
Kevin Kisner 24 2 MC
Cameron Smith 24 2
Marc Leishman 24 MC 13
Harris English 1 5 6
Ryan Palmer 4
Kevin Na 38 13
Matt Kuchar 37 MC
Billy Horschel 24 5 38
Joaquin Niemann 2 23 44
Sergio Garcia 11 MC
Brendon Todd 13 8 37 MC
Mackenzie Hughes 41 MC 7
Erik van Rooyen 14 Wd 20
Russell Henley MC 30 29
Chez Reavie MC MC 29
Carlos Ortiz 37 8 1
Sebastian Munoz 17 MC MC 19
Lanto Griffin 13 MC 58
JT Poston MC MC 20
Talor Gooch MC 4
Sung Kang 37 MC 29 MC
Ryo Ishikawa 6 8 14
Brian Harman 30 MC 24
Brandt Snedeker MC 59 44
Jim Herman 30
Si Woo Kim 34 MC
Zach Johnson 6 51 50
Andrew Landry 38 4 MC MC
Tom Hoge 3 MC MC
Michael Thompson 21 15
Robert Streb 38 1
Brendan Steele MC MC
Matt Jones 44 63
Charles Howell 23 30 46
Rory Sabbatini 40 12 Wd
Takumi Kanaya 5 1 5
Harry Higgs MC MC
Nate Lashley 38 37 MC 38
Branden Grace 8 40 30 MC
Keegan Bradley 32 15 MC
Nick Taylor 29 MC 29
Danny Lee MC
Scott Piercy 40 18 32
Stewart Cink 31 MC MC
Mark Hubbard 59 MC 50
Sepp Straka 52 44 5
Charley Hoffman 46 23 29
CT Pan MC 7 58
Richy Werenski 24 MC
Troy Merritt 40 MC 32
Emiliano Grillo 8 18 MC
Henrik Norlander MC MC
Peter Malnati MC 48
Robby Shelton MC MC MC
Luke List MC MC MC
Vaughn Taylor MC 30 MC
Xin Jun Zhang 63 MC MC
Austin Cook 63 MC 24
Keith Mitchell 70 44 MC
Brian Stuard MC 50 50
Matthew NeSmith 15 MC
Hudson Swafford 35 MC MC
Andrew Putnam MC 37 MC MC
Brian Gay 29
Pat Perez 52 MC MC
Jim Furyk
Jhonattan Vegas 20 MC 44
Russell Knox 23 MC 15
Will Gordon MC MC 38
Cameron Davis MC 68
Patton Kizzire 32 10 11
Ryosuke Kinoshita 10 5 2
Ryan Armour MC MC MC
Adam Schenk MC 48 MC
Kyle Stanley 46 6
Scott Brown MC 24
James Hahn MC 50
Chase Seiffert 59 MC
Chris Kirk 46 18 44
Jinichiro Kozuma 27 23 1
Kyoung-Hoon Lee 59 MC MC
Brice Garnett 32 MC 50
Tyler McCumber MC
Joseph Bramlett MC MC
Fabian Gomez MC MC 32
Bo Hoag 23 30 MC
Sam Ryder MC MC MC
Hank Lebioda 38 MC
Bronson Burgoon MC 15 MC
Roger Sloan MC 23
Nick Watney MC MC
Kevin Tway MC MC
Kramer Hickok 58
Chris Stroud
Doug Ghim 46 18
Satoshi Kodaira 40 MC 38
Brandon Hagy 40 MC
Aaron Baddeley MC 57
Jimmy Walker 60 MC
Chris Baker 30 MC
Anirban Lahiri
Seamus Power
Ted Potter MC MC
Michael Gligic MC MC
Rob Oppenheim MC 59
David Hearn MC MC
DJ Trahan MC MC
Tim Wilkinson MC MC
Mark Anderson MC MC
JJ Spaun 65 59
Matt Every MC MC
Ben Martin
Peter Uihlein
Nelson Ledesma
Rhein Gibson MC MC
KJ Choi 46 MC
Wesley Bryan MC
Grayson Murray MC
Yong-Eun Yang
Bill Haas
Michael Gellerman 69
Johnson Wagner MC
Martin Trainer MC MC
Rafael Campos 52
Ben Taylor 65
Jamie Lovemark MC 64
Jerry Kelly
Ryan Blaum
Mike Weir 51
Davis Love
Vijay Singh Wd
Hunter Mahan 67 MC MC
Michael Kim MC Wd MC
Eric Dugas
Bo Van Pelt MC MC MC
William McGirt
Shane Bertsch
Parker McLachlin
Evan Kawai
Player `20 `19 `18 `17 `16 `15 `14 `13 `12 `11
Collin Morikawa 21
Webb Simpson 3 4 13 13 13 20 38 46
Patrick Reed MC 13 MC
Daniel Berger 38 14 45 42 13
Viktor Hovland
Sung Jae Im 21 16
Hideki Matsuyama 12 51 27 MC* MC MC MC
Adam Scott MC 56 8 MC
Abraham Ancer 38 29 MC
Jason Kokrak 47 17 20 72 MC*
Kevin Kisner 4 69 25 4 5 MC* MC MC MC
Cameron Smith 1 22 18 27 MC*
Marc Leishman 28 3 47 20 28 37 5 9 27
Harris English 22 64 MC 56 3 4 9 67
Ryan Palmer 4 58 MC 13 17 8 66 MC 52
Kevin Na MC 36 28 64 8 MC MC 20
Matt Kuchar MC 1 13 3 8 5 5
Billy Horschel 68 54
Joaquin Niemann 57
Sergio Garcia
Brendon Todd 21 MC 44 20 13
Mackenzie Hughes MC MC* MC 27
Erik van Rooyen
Russell Henley MC 66 MC 13 MC 17 51 1
Chez Reavie MC 3 18 8 42 26 MC
Carlos Ortiz 53 29 MC MC
Sebastian Munoz MC 10
Lanto Griffin 7 58
JT Poston MC 20 64
Talor Gooch 63 MC 18
Sung Kang MC 10 MC MC MC MC
Ryo Ishikawa MC* MC MC
Brian Harman 32 MC 4 20 13 13 32 MC 59
Brandt Snedeker 12 16 MC 2
Jim Herman MC 43 MC 10 MC* MC* MC MC MC
Si Woo Kim MC 58 4
Zach Johnson 28 MC 14 6 9 64 8 MC 54 MC
Andrew Landry MC MC MC
Tom Hoge 12 MC 3 MC MC*
Michael Thompson 38 69 MC 20 56 MC MC 6 MC
Robert Streb MC MC MC 49 17 68 73
Brendan Steele 2 MC
Matt Jones 38 29 39 70 15 MC
Charles Howell 12 8 32 8 13 26 8 3 2 MC
Rory Sabbatini 21 33 32 45 MC 6 MC 59 29 13
Takumi Kanaya MC
Harry Higgs 57
Nate Lashley 53 39
Branden Grace 13
Keegan Bradley 12 29 39 MC MC 49 13 MC
Nick Taylor 32 MC MC 74 68
Danny Lee 71 MC 33 MC MC 13 MC
Scott Piercy 45 33 25 57 13 2 MC 15 23
Stewart Cink 20 32 36 42 37 20 MC 29
Mark Hubbard MC MC 56 60
Sepp Straka 53 MC
Charley Hoffman MC
CT Pan MC
Richy Werenski MC 49
Troy Merritt MC MC MC MC MC 30 MC MC
Emiliano Grillo 21 22 47 33
Henrik Norlander 9 20 MC 41
Peter Malnati 12 MC MC 27 MC* 38
Robby Shelton MC
Luke List MC MC 13 MC MC
Vaughn Taylor 12 MC 76 57
Xin Jun Zhang MC 25
Austin Cook 18
Keith Mitchell MC 16 25
Brian Stuard 53 8 4 45 MC 6 5
Matthew NeSmith 32
Hudson Swafford 57 3 54 13 9 MC 8
Andrew Putnam 57 2 69 MC
Brian Gay MC 22 58 13 MC 32 31 6 13
Pat Perez 45 MC 69 MC* 17 8 9 46 MC
Jim Furyk MC
Jhonattan Vegas 44 46 MC
Russell Knox 32 43 10 11 MC 13 MC MC MC
Will Gordon MC
Cameron Davis 9 MC
Patton Kizzire MC 13 1 MC
Ryosuke Kinoshita
Ryan Armour MC 22 39
Adam Schenk MC MC 39
Kyle Stanley MC 22 10 36 13 67 23 MC
Scott Brown MC 33 65 64 MC 68 MC
James Hahn MC MC 2 36 28 26 46 67
Chase Seiffert 38
Chris Kirk MC MC 10 MC MC 26 2 5 38 30
Jinichiro Kozuma
Kyoung-Hoon Lee MC MC
Brice Garnett MC 33 MC MC 38
Tyler McCumber MC
Joseph Bramlett 45 MC
Fabian Gomez MC 57 MC 72 1 MC* 67 MC
Bo Hoag 9
Sam Ryder 28 MC 58
Hank Lebioda MC 43
Bronson Burgoon MC MC*
Roger Sloan MC 33 67
Nick Watney
Kevin Tway MC MC 69 MC MC
Kramer Hickok 45 MC
Chris Stroud MC MC MC 20 MC 13
Doug Ghim MC
Satoshi Kodaira 66 MC MC 49 MC*
Brandon Hagy MC MC*
Aaron Baddeley MC 34
Jimmy Walker 45 51 MC MC 13 1 1 26 MC 4
Chris Baker MC
Anirban Lahiri MC 43 MC
Seamus Power MC 54 49
Ted Potter 7 13 MC MC MC 13
Michael Gligic MC
Rob Oppenheim 21 MC MC
David Hearn MC MC MC MC* 51 38 31 10 MC
DJ Trahan 28 MC
Tim Wilkinson 32 36 50 MC 46
Mark Anderson 21 MC 54 MC
JJ Spaun MC 47 MC
Matt Every Wd 75 MC Dq 8 MC 6
Ben Martin 45 MC 7 36 50 51 38 MC
Peter Uihlein MC
Nelson Ledesma MC
Rhein Gibson 57
KJ Choi MC MC 50 44 20 MC 38 MC
Wesley Bryan 32 MC
Grayson Murray
Yong-Eun Yang 33 27 51 20
Bill Haas MC 13
Michael Gellerman 38
Johnson Wagner 67 MC MC MC MC MC Won MC
Martin Trainer MC MC* MC
Rafael Campos MC
Ben Taylor MC
Jamie Lovemark MC MC MC 4 7 MC MC
Jerry Kelly 45 MC 14 MC 9 6 3 MC 29 9
Ryan Blaum 64 10 MC*
Mike Weir MC MC
Davis Love 7 MC* MC MC MC 9
Vijay Singh MC MC MC 57 50 MC MC 20 46 MC
Hunter Mahan
Michael Kim MC MC 20 MC
Eric Dugas MC MC* MC MC* MC
Bo Van Pelt MC MC MC
William McGirt 65 49 13 MC* 46 19 MC
Shane Bertsch 42 MC 13 MC MC
Parker McLachlin MC MC MC MC
Evan Kawai

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