Sony Open in Hawaii – Fantasy Golfanac

Course Details

Waialae Country Club in Honolulu, Hawaii
7,044 yards – Par 70 – Bermudagrass Greens

Tournament Stimpmeter: ~11.2 feet. … Slower than Average Green Speeds
Green Sizes: 6,500 sq. feet … Average Green Sizes
Strength of Field Rating: ~250 OWGR … Weaker Field Strength

Driving Distance (Field Average): ~286 … Driver-Heavy Course
Fairways Hit (Field Average): ~51% … Difficulty Fairways to Hit
Greens in Regulation (Field Average): ~66% … Average Greens to Hit

Tournament Angles

#1 Short Courses
#2 Par 70 Courses
#3 Slow Greens
#4 Driver-Heavy Courses
#5 Hard-to-Hit Fairways
#6 Bermudagrass Greens
#7 Windy Rounds

Previous Winners

2016: Fabian Gomez -20 over Brandt Snedeker in a playoff
2015: Jimmmy Walker -23 over Scott Piercy -14
2014: Jimmy Walker -17 over Chris Kirk -16
2013: Russell Henley -24 over Tim Clark -21
2012: Johnson Wagner -13 over four others at -11
2011: Mark Wilson -16 playoff over Tim Clark & Steve Marino -14
2010: Ryan Palmer -15 over Robert Allenby -14

54-Hole Leaders

2016: Zac Blair, Brandt Snedeker (-16)
2015: Jimmy Walker (-16)
2014: Chris Kirk (-12)
2013: Russell Henley, Scott Langley (-17)
2012: Matt Every, Jeff Maggert (-12)
2011: Mark Wilson (-13)
2010: Ryan Palmer, Robert Allenby (-11)

36-Hole Leaders

2016: Brandt Snedeker (-12)
2015: Matt Kuchar, Justin Thomas, Webb Simpson (-12)
2014: Brian Stuard (-10)
2013: Russell Henley (-14)
2012: Matt Every (-10)
2011: Shigeki Maruyama, Stuart Appleby (-10)
2010: Ryan Palmer (-9)

Course Horses (since 2007)

Charles Howell III… 75 strokes gained in 36 rounds
Jerry Kelly… 58 strokes gained in 35 rounds
Jimmy Walker… 56 strokes gained in 32 rounds
Tim Clark… 47 strokes gained in 25 rounds
Steve Stricker… 47 strokes gained in 28 rounds
Marc Leishman… 45 strokes gained in 28 rounds
K.J. Choi… 40 strokes gained in 36 rounds

Important Interview Quotes

Q. What was the thought to next week?
JORDAN SPIETH: Michael has told me for the last couple years, I think, what is it, Waialae? I think he goes, Waialae is one of the best courses on TOUR for you. It’s almost like your Hilton Head, your Colonial, you have to kind of strike it around both ways and play in the wind, and we feel like that kind of plays to our strength, kind of trickier reads on the greens. You can make putts from mid-range and off a bunch of ridges.

Last year I didn’t play it because I was going overseas, and that was just going to be a really tough four-week stretch to go from there to Abu Dhabi to Singapore. But I think this could be a stop that we’ll continue to make as long as we can get into this event. -2017 Tournament of Champions

Q. Is there something about the golf course that you like in particular? Obviously you’re playing well.
You’ve got to hit it straight, so that’s what I’m doing, and the putter, I’m doing really well with the putter, so that’s what I like about the golf course. -2016

Q. 7-under par opening round on a course that you told Steve Sands doesn’t fit your eye. How do you explain today’s success?
I must have gotten better since the last few times I played here. I’ve always struggled at this course, coming over, being a little rusty from the East Coast and cold weather and trying to adjust. But this year I got to go to Maui and get kind of the rust off and the game feels good. -2016

Q. The greens, obviously, most guys talk about the greens here. How were they for you?
I love these greens. They were a little less grainy than last week and more like what I grew up on, so I feel very comfortable with them. -2016

Q. What kind of golf courses do you prefer, if any, if that makes sense?
I guess generally the ones that have a little more space off the tee. This one all the holes kind of go right to left, which is good for me. Courses that have a lot of left to right I don’t generally prefer. Usually if I can get a little space off the tee, I can see them a little better. -2015

Q. It’s a really good golf course to go into next week, because you know you gotta go low going at Humana.
Yeah, it is. It’s two totally different golf courses. Playing at Waialae is one of my favorite golf courses. It kind of reminds me of growing up in South Georgia, playing on Bermuda grass, firm and fast greens. It’s a lot of fun, but you gotta kind of regroup for the next week and start hitting the ball a little higher and start taking dead aim. -2015

Q. You always seem to play well here. Any particular reason?
There’s not a lot of hit it high and land it. It’s scoot-it golf, and I’m pretty good at scooting it golf. My miss is usually a good clean miss, and I keep the golf ball in front of me and keep it bouncing towards the pin. I don’t play the sky-ball, land-it-soft shots. It plays to my game. It’s nice when it’s firm. It’s been pretty wet the last bunch of years. Hopefully we don’t get too much from that tonight. -2014

Q. Are there a lot of Bermuda greens in Madison, Wisconsin?
Luckily my parents spent some winters down in Florida that I could come down when I first started, when I turned pro, and really learn the grass down there. It was key. Through college I was putting a lot of Bermuda, which helped me a lot when I turned pro. -2014

Q. Talk a little bit about you’ve won at Hilton Head, you’ve won at Colonial. Does this course remind you a little bit of those just in terms of the tightness of the fairways?
It does. I mean, I’m glad I ain’t near one of them right now the way I’m hitting it, but it’s very similar. The greens are good, I mean, it’s just, like I said, I’m missing in the right spots right now, thank goodness. I’m missing it where I can get it up-and-down or I’m missing it in the bunkers where I’m drawing the good lies out of the rough, and I’m in the bunker but I’m not against the lips. -2014

Q. Looking at some of your results, do you think this is the most comfortable course you have played out here on TOUR?
Yeah, it kind of seems that way. I enjoy the layout. It’s nice to have to hit some shots off the tee, and I enjoy doing that. And like I said, something about the greens that I feel good about. -2014

Q. For people who haven’t seen you play a ton, what kind of shot shape do you play? What kind of style is your play? Are you a draw player?
Yeah, usually when I’m playing well and feel comfortable, I usually hit a draw. It sets up nice. There’s a lot of tee shots where a draw seems to be the shot. -2014

Q. I took one for you there on the par-3 4th. I lost it in the sky, but it dropped and hit my hand but you got it up-and-down there. You made a couple putts to save par there and kept it going?
Well, you have to around here. I just don’t think anyone can get it around this course consistently without scrambling. It is really tough to keep it in play all day and under holes and not be in this gnarly rough. -2014

Q. You tied for 9th last year at Waialae. Anything about the course that suits you?
I like how firm it is. You’ve got to judge how far the ball is going to run. It’s always windy, as well. I grew up in the wind and enjoy playing in the wind. Those things along with the course, as well, it’s not a course that you can really overpower. You have to think your way around. I think if you play well you can score well, and if you’re not playing good, there’s not big numbers out there. I like that about it. -2014

Q. You played well in the middle of the round there, but a solid finish on the back nine, heading into the weekend at 5-under par.
Yeah, I made a couple birdies there at 15 and 16 to kind of get a decent number, but I struggled to get the ball in the fairway, which is key out here. It’s really hard to control your ball out of the rough and give yourself birdie looks. Next two days I’ve got to find some fairways. -2014

Q. At what stage did you kind of figure out those greens and start rolling it in the hole?
Like I say, not to say focus was more or anything today, but you’re seeing lines and they looked good and they felt good and reading the grain is the hard part out here. You’ve got a lot of putts that look like they’re going to break left but they end up going right because of the grain. It was really a lot like that last week, too, over in Maui. It was good prep for this week, too. -2014

Q. It doesn’t play to any of your strengths, does it?
No, no, it’s there for the guy who gets it around the best sometime and probably makes a lot of putts. I had a bit of a rough week on the greens this week. -2014

Q. Do you wish you’d see more of these kind of venues on TOUR? You’re a long hitter but it seems like it creates a situation that’s more interesting in some ways.
Potentially, yes, and no. I think I like seeing firm and fast, and this is maybe slightly shorter than what we’re used to on TOUR. But any firm and fast course is a good golf course, much better than the other way where the ball just doesn’t run out at all. You really need to control your golf ball around here. I’m happy not to see this rough for another year, though. It is crazy. -2014

Q. I brought up the thing about Georgia earlier. Is there anything, any common denominator that this place has that helps at all?
Bermudagrass is probably about it. And there’s a lot of good players from Georgia. -2014

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