Amongst the best of the rest, Camilo Villegas also has a bright future, but again layers are taking no chances and, for me, Kim is ahead at this stage of their careers. Adam Scott has had form and injury worries for six months, though at his best Kapalua is ideal for his talents.
Trevor Immelman has claims on 3rd place two years ago, though has yet to consistently produce his best since winning the Masters. If he can maintain his superb finish to 2008, Hawaii specialist Davis Love will be a major factor. Its an age since he won in this sort of company, though. KJ Choi and Stewart Cink have both prospered before in Hawaii, but have form concerns to answer. Boo Weekley produced two good closing rounds on his debut last year, and plays well in the wind. He could have easily been a selection were it not for a failure in recent months to put four good rounds together. I wonder if this new popular hero of the PGA Tour is a little distracted by all the attention.
Instead of any of those, none of whom are at particularly appealing odds anyway, I’m going for a couple of massive hitters, as this type of player invariably fills the top slots here. ANDRES ROMERO has all the right credentials. He hits the ball a country mile, is at his best on courses he can attack and plays well in the wind. And unlike similarly priced huge hitter JB Holmes, who can’t be written off after an impressive 4th on his debut last year, Romero is not one-dimensional. We’ve seen already in an impressive Majors record that his approach play is of the highest quality, and marked improvement looks on the cards when his course management is brought up to scratch.
And lastly, at 100/1, huge-hitting DUSTIN JOHNSON could be interesting on his course debut. Admittedly this is a speculative bet, but he doesn’t really deserve to be three times the price of similar standard JB Holmes. This course is tailor made for him, and its also a matter of encouragement that Johnson performed well on his sole previous tournament in Hawaii, making the top-10 at the more restrictive and therefore less suitable Waialae, home of the Sony Open.
5pts ERNIE ELS @ 9/1 (GENERALLY AVAILABLE)
5pts ANTHONY KIM @ 9/1 (GENERAL)
1.5pts ew ANDRES ROMERO @ 33/1 (GENERAL, 35/1 SKYBET)
0.5pts ew DUSTIN JOHNSON @ 100/1 (BETFRED, BOYLESPORTS, VCBET)
LONG-TERM ALREADY ADVISED
RACE TO DUBAI
2.5pts ew ROSS FISHER @ 20/1
2.5pts ew PAUL CASEY @ 20/1
2009 OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP
5pts ew SERGIO GARCIA @ 16/1
2008/2009 STATS: -128pts
2007/2008 STATS: +618pts