Starts: 14th January 2021
Course: Waialae Country Club, Hawaii.
Length: 7,044 yards
Defending Champion: Cameron Smith
Overall Profit/Loss: +19pts
Pre-Event Bets: -8.5pts
1pt Win Only Joaquin Niemann - 25/1 @ William Hill
1pt EW Brendan Todd (1/5 1-8) - 40/1 @ Skybet
1pt EW Matt Kuchar (1/5 1-8) - 40/1 @ Betfair
0.5pts EW Michael Thompson (1/5 1-8) - 150/1 @ Skybet
0.5pts EW Hudson Swafford (1/5 1-8) - 150/1 @ William Hill
1.5pts Branden Grace Top 20 - 9/2 @ William Hill
In-Play Bets: +27.5pts
15 January 2021 (+13.5 Pts)
0.5pts EW Brendan Steele (1/4 1-5) - 80/1 @ Skybet
0.5ptsEW Chris Kirk (1/4 1-5) - 80/1 @ Skybet
0.5pts EW C.T. Pan (1/5 1-6) - 100/1 @ Vbet
1ptTom Hoge Top 5 Finish - 12/1 @ Betway
17 January 2021 (+14 Pts)
2pts Kevin Na Win Only 7/1 @ Skybet
Course Notes 2021
Fall Momentum: You often hear many players speaking of "carrying momentum from the fall" into the new year. Malnati and Kizzire who both started strongly in round 1 spoke of carrying their late 2020 form over.
Wind: In 2021, there was no wind whatsoever. 2020 was extremely windy and wet and 2019 was slightly windier than 2021. Bare this in mind with the forecast for 2022.
Off the Pace: You don't have to be right up with the pace here after 18 or 36 holes. 2021 once again proved this. Nick Taylor led after round 2 by 2 shots after starting 4 behind. Brendan Steele led after round 3 by two shots after starting the round 3 shots back.
Player Notes 2021
Brendan Steele - Q. Do you feel there's a little left from last year you're trying to finish off this year? BRENDAN STEELE: All it shows you is that you can do it around this course; you feel comfortable here with the shots and everything. Totally different conditions this year. It's been so nice all week versus last year; it was like you just had to really battle on every shot. You're hitting 5-irons from 160 yards and things like that last year.
Been a totally different kind of week. But I love the course and I love the shots and what it demands of you. It's always nice for me coming off a break because I'm excited to break and sometimes I lose that through the middle of the year.
Charley Hoffman - Q. With that being said, how do you compartmentalize that, knowing that you have to go pretty low?CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Yeah, you never know how much rain -- if it's soft, you can be more aggressive out here. So if the wind stays up -- obviously the wind is the protector on this golf course. If the wind is blowing, par is a pretty good score. If it's just raining and soft, I expect a lot of birdies.
Nick Taylor - Q. How big of an adjustment from Kapalua to Waialae? NICK TAYLOR: Yeah, it's a brutal walk, first off, but there's so many uneven lies, uphill shots, downhill slots, green are undulated and lots of breaking putts. There's really no comparison. I've always liked this golf course. It kind of suits my eye off the tee. I've driven the ball well the last couple days and really putted well.
Patton Kizzire - Q. Speaking of the golf course, when you won here, you were 17-under par; leader is 16-under now. What's the biggest difference if the golf course or conditions from when you won to this year? PATTON KIZZIRE: I think the wind was up a little bit more in 2018 when I won. Some of the greens were a little different. They have changed a few greens. I think guys are continuing to get better at golf.
Patton Kizzire - Q. Why do you feel so comfortable on this golf course? PATTON KIZZIRE: The bermudagrass, the style of golf course, I've just enjoyed a position-style Country Club, risk/reward style golf course with bermuda greens, and this is what we have here. The golf course is fantastic. It's in about as good of shape as I've ever seen it. I certainly do have good vibes here. When I get here, it just feels good, and today was a good start.
Chris Kirk - Q. Talk about the golf course and how firm it is right now. A lot of players have commented that it's fast and firm this year. CHRIS KIRK: Yeah, this is back to what I remember from my first number of years on TOUR. The last few years it's been a little bit soft but this is kind of how I remember it really playing and how I really enjoy playing this track for sure. I just love the 18th hole here, hitting that big, high draw around the corner.
Brendan Steele - Q. Going back to last year, do you feel like you have unfinished business at this golf course? BRENDAN STEELE: I mean, yeah, a little bit. Obviously when you come that close, you hope that maybe you can come back and play well and give yourself another chance. That actually happened for me at Safeway. I was, in 2015 I led for the first 56 holes and kind of exploded on the way in, and then I won in 2016 and 2017. I do have a little history of that, so hopefully that can repeat itself here.
Peter Malnati - Q. How did you find the golf course leading into today and what did you do to take advantage of it? PETER MALNATI: You know, I just really, really enjoy it. You have to control the ball a little bit more off the tee, which hitting fairways hasn't necessarily been my strong suit lately, but control off the tee has always been, so I think it really does suit me well like you said.
Webb Simpson - Q. You play really well on courses like this, old-school, around 7,000 yards. Why is that? WEBB SIMPSON: I love the opportunity to hit wedges and short irons into greens. I feel like that's always been a strength of mine. Even when I don't seem to play well, those still seem to be pretty sharp and I have a lot of those opportunities here. I love when fairways matter. This week, the rough isn't as long as normal but fairways still matter a lot.
Billy Horschel - Q. Course seemed to play firm and fast today. Is that your assessment? BILLY HORSCHEL: Yeah, I haven't played here very much. It's only my fourth time in my career playing. Haven't played it in about four years. I think early in my career, it was always soft and slow, and you just never know with the weather leading up to it. And so it's the first time I've seen it this fast and this firm and I've always wanted to play it this way, and it's exciting to see it because I think this is a really good golf course. Makes you think off the tees and where you try to land it on the greens. The greens are still very receptive but the greens are fast and running out.
Stewart Cink - "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."