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Sony Open – 2023

by | Jan 12, 2023 | NEWS

Looking at this week’s Sony Open, played at the beautiful Waialae Country Club, I think a handful of players are worth watching.

In my opinion, you would have to say that the before-mentioned Tom Kim is a hands-down favorite. Since bursting on the scene last year, he continues to impress and has quickly become a fan favorite. Look for Kim to potentially get into the winner’s circle in his debut at Sony.

Another player to watch is world number 15, Jordan Spieth. Last week Jordan had a T-13 and looked pretty good in his first event since early December at the Hero…that is unless you count The Match, where he and close friend Justin Thomas took down world number one Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods.

Others to watch include defending champion Hideki Matsuyama, Tom Hoge, who finished last weekend with a round of nine under 64 and Keegan Bradley, who had a great stretch in October with a win at the ZOZO, a T-5 at the Sanderson Farms, and a T-21 at the CJ Cup.

My dark horse and a player I always root for is Sam Ryder. A Central Florida native, Ryder was a player at Bishop Moore High School in Orlando when I coached the Hornets in the early 2000s. Ryder is due to have that breakout win very soon.

Final Wrap on the 2023 Sentry Tournament of Champions

Jon Rahm continued his hot play as the calendar flipped to the new year. Rahm fired a final round -10 under 63 to claim victory at the 2023 Sentry Tournament of Champions. Not only did Rahm trail by seven shots going into Sunday, but he started off the day with a bogey. In a post-round interview with Todd Lewis, Rahm said…

“If you told me at the beginning of the round after that bogey that I was going to do what I did and have a [two-shot] win, I wouldn’t believe you.”

With his 265 four-day total, or -27 under par on the par 73 Plantation Course at Kapalua, Rahm has gone a total of sixty under par the last two years. It doesn’t take a die-hard golf fan to know that Rahm has played some amazing golf at Kapalua during this stretch.

Rahm has won three out of his last six starts with the win. He currently stands in the 5th spot in the Official World Golf Rankings.

One final note on the week at Kapalua…how about Max Homa? With a 63-66 (-17) on the weekend, Homa managed to finish T-3 with the two Tom’s, Hoge and Kim. Homa is bound to make some noise in 2023, and with that said, you must put Hoge and Kim in that same conversation of players to watch in the new year.

About the Author

<a href="https://esoutherngolf.com/author/belliott/" target="_self">Brendon Elliott</a>

Brendon Elliott

PGA Professional Brendon Elliott is a multiple award-winning Golf Professional based in Central Florida. He is the 2017 PGA of America's National Youth Player Development Award Winner and is the recipient of more than 25 other industry awards with a focus on Coaching & Education. He is considered by his peers as an industry expert on topics ranging from Jr. Golf Development to Operations to Industry Sustainability. He is the founder of the Little Linksters Golf Academies and the Little Linksters Association for Junior Golf Development, a 501c3 nonprofit also based out of Central Florida. Brendon is also a freelance golf writer for PGA.com and Golf Range Magazine. He is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America. You can learn more about Brendon at BrendonElliott.com and Little Linksters at littlelinksters.com.
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