Expert Picks: Sony Open

Adam Scott is among the top expert picks for the 2014 Sony Open in Hawaii, coming off his T-6 finish at the Tournament of Champions (shown here).

Adam Scott is among the top expert picks for the 2014 Sony Open in Hawaii, coming off his T-6 finish at the Tournament of Champions (shown here).

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RBC Heritage

Hilton Head, SC - Harbour Town Golf Links

1:38:35 AM ET. 04/20/2014




PosNameTodayThruScore
1Luke Donald-5F-8
2John Huh-3F-6
T3Charl Schwartzel-3F-5
T3Nicholas Thompson-3F-5
T3Jim FurykEF-5
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Editor's note: Hideki Matsuyama withdrew from the tournament due to injury on Thursday morning. Both Adam Schupak and Nick Masuda have adjusted their picks due to the withdrawal.

• • •

Russell Henley returns to the Sony Open as the defending champion, taking on a red-hot Zach Johnson and reigning Masters champ Adam Scott amid a long list of contenders in Hawaii.

Our crew of experts has taken a look at the first full field of 2014 and has narrowed it down to a handful of favorites, guys you should consider in your fantasy leagues and a few long shots that register on our radars.

(As a guide, the "Don't forget about" category is one that showcases other big-name, highly-ranked players we considered for "favorite" status; the "Keep an eye on" category is a player outside the top 20 for this week; and the "Sleeper" category is self-explanatory.)

Take a look:

• • •

Jim McCabe, Senior Writer

The favorite: Adam Scott

Don’t forget about: Charles Howell III

Keep an eye on: Tim Clark

Sleeper: Ken Duke

Comments: Scott was two sloppy holes away from a possible win at the Hyundai. Howell has seemingly been in the mix at Sony since he was about 7 years old. Clark is another who handles the twists and turns of Waialae CC with polish.

• • •

Alex Miceli, Senior Writer

The favorite: Jordan Spieth

Don’t forget about: Adam Scott & Zach Johnson

Keep an eye on: Harris English

Sleeper: Justin Leonard

Comments: After his runner-up finish last week on Maui, Spieth said that he plays better in the second of third consecutive week; let's see if he's right. At times Zach Johnson looked unbeatable in winning at Hyundai; with success at Sony in the past, Johnson is clearly in position to win back-to-back. Scott had a lot of rust to knock off last week, but with the tarnish off his swing Scott should be formidable this week. English showed a lot of promise last week in Maui, as his new equipment seemed to suit him and the familiarity of a second week could be a big positive.

• • •

Jeff Rude, Senior Writer

The favorite: Adam Scott

Don’t forget about: Jordan Spieth

Keep an eye on: Matt Kuchar

Sleeper: Chris Stroud

Comments: Scott contends every week and will want to enter his prolonged break with a victory. Spieth is coming off a second-place week at Kapalua. Kuchar has top-five finishes in his last two Sony starts.

• • •

Adam Schupak, Senior Writer

The favorite: Jason Dufner

Don’t forget about: Charles Howell III

Keep an eye on: Tim Clark, Rory Sabbatini

Sleeper: Tim Clark, Matt Every

Comments: Howell, with seven top-five finishes at the Sony Open since 2002, is your no-brainer pick this week. My pick to win is The Duf, who nearly won last week. Wailea is a ball-striker’s paradise so if his putter is sharp, watch out. Tim Clark (2011, 2013) and Rory Sabbatini (2006, 2008) own a pair of runner-up finishes on the big island and are due to end victory droughts. Every is long overdue in my opinion to get his first win and has been in contention here before, while it’s just a matter of time before Matsuyama wins and wins often.

• • •

Lance Ringler, Senior Writer

The favorite: Zach Johnson & Matt Kuchar

Don’t forget about: Jordan Spieth & Adam Scott

Keep an eye on: Charles Howell & Chris Kirk

Sleeper: Josh Teater

Comments: Only Ernie Els has won the T of C and then the Sony in the same year. Waialae Country Club should set up well for Zach Johnson and give him a chance to also pull off the rare Hawaiian combo. Kuchar finished T-6 last week and posted a pair of top fives in his last two starts at Sony Open. It appears Spieth is a player we are going to have to consider each time he tees it up. Howell has seven top 10s in 12 career starts at Waialae and should be picked no matter the game you are playing. Kirk, who placed T-5 last year, has never posted a score higher than 70 at Waialae in three starts. Teater is almost certain to play on the weekend; T-15 here last year.

• • •

Nick Masuda, Director of Digital

The favorite: Matt Kuchar

Don’t forget about: Harris English

Keep an eye on: Russell Henley

Sleeper: Roberto Castro

Comments: Kuchar finished fifth at the Sony in 2013 and 2011; he was a poor third round away from giving Zach Johnson a nice run in Kapalua last week, including a final-round 67. Henley is the obvious choice, considering he won the Sony last season, while Castro earned a "quiet" $2.1 million in 2013.

The Sony Open field according to the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings

  • 3. Adam Scott
  • 4. Matt Kuchar
  • 15. Zach Johnson
  • 17. Hideki Matsuyama
  • 19. Jordan Spieth
  • 20. Chris Kirk
  • 21. Jason Dufner
  • 23. Brendon Todd
  • 26. Jimmy Walker
  • 28. Harris English
  • 31. Charles Howell III
  • 33. Brendon de Jonge
  • 36. K.J. Choi
  • 43. Ryan Palmer
  • 45. Boo Weekley
  • 47. Ben Martin
  • 51. John Peterson
  • 58. Justin Leonard
  • 60. Jeff Overton
  • 63. Russell Knox
  • 64. Will Wilcox
  • 65. Josh Teater
  • 68. Bo Van Pelt
  • 71. Chris Stroud
  • 74. Marc Leishman
  • 77. Carl Pettersson
  • 78. Pat Perez
  • 84. Russell Henley
  • 85. Roberto Castro
  • 86. Jerry Kelly
  • 87. David Hearn
  • 88. Stuart Appleby
  • 91. John Senden
  • 92. Peter Malnati
  • 100. Tim Wilkinson
  • 101. Hyung-Sung Kim
  • 102. Will MacKenzie
  • 103. Jason Kokrak
  • 104. Tim Clark
  • 105. John Huh
  • 110. Stewart Cink
  • 112. Hideto Tanihara
  • 114. Daniel Summerhays
  • 118. Spencer Levin
  • 119. Justin Hicks
  • 121. Brian Gay
  • 123. Cameron Tringale
  • 125. Vijay Singh
  • 129. Scott Brown
  • 130. Matt Every
  • 137. Nicholas Thompson
  • 138. Rory Sabbatini
  • 141. Brian Stuard
  • 143. Scott Piercy
  • 144. Chesson Hadley
  • 150. Ryo Ishikawa
  • 152. John Rollins
  • 155. Retief Goosen
  • 157. Morgan Hoffmann
  • 161. Wes Roach
  • 166. William McGirt
  • 167. Danny Lee
  • 169. Charlie Wi
  • 172. Greg Chalmers
  • 174. Edward Loar
  • 175. Brad Fritsch
  • 176. Yusaku Miyazato
  • 180. Jim Herman
  • 181. Sang-Moon Bae
  • 182. Ted Potter Jr.
  • 183. Erik Compton
  • 184. D.A. Points
  • 186. Ken Duke
  • 192. Brian Harman
  • 194. D.H. Lee
  • 209. Shane Bertsch
  • 211. Joe Durant
  • 213. David Lingmerth
  • 217. Kevin Tway
  • 228. Matt Bettencourt
  • 229. Jeff Maggert
  • 231. Y.E. Yang
  • 233. Chad Collins
  • 238. Mark Wilson
  • 239. James Hahn
  • 245. Brice Garnett
  • 250. Billy Hurley III
  • 251. Kevin Na
  • 252. Michael Putnam
  • 256. Seung-Yul Noh
  • 263. Mark Anderson
  • 265. Heath Slocum
  • 272. Tim Herron
  • 275. Alex Prugh
  • 279. Michael Thompson
  • 292. Yuta Ikeda
  • 298. Scott Langley
  • 301. Kevin Kisner
  • 302. Troy Merritt
  • 303. Hudson Swafford
  • 307. Sean O'Hair
  • 311. Steven Bowditch
  • 313. Bud Cauley
  • 327. Daniel Chopra
  • 333. Jamie Lovemark
  • 338. Ricky Barnes
  • 339. Troy Matteson
  • 347. Miguel Angel Carballo
  • 355. Tyrone Van Aswegen
  • 366. Masahiro Kawamura
  • 368. Alex Aragon
  • 371. Tommy Gainey
  • 383. Will Claxton
  • 392. Charlie Beljan
  • 393. Jim Renner
  • 394. Lee Williams
  • 396. Andrew Svoboda
  • 401. Mike Weir
  • 414. Robert Allenby
  • 418. Johnson Wagner
  • 430. Bronson La'Cassie
  • 441. Scott Gardiner
  • 449. Toshinori Muto
  • 452. Woody Austin
  • 483. Andrew Loupe
  • 513. Jonathan Byrd
  • 526. Derek Ernst
  • 595. Bobby Gates
  • 646. Scott Verplank
  • 654. John Daly
  • 676. Ryuji Imada
  • 714. Kevin Foley
  • N/R. Briny Baird
  • N/R. Fred Funk
  • N/R. Frank Lickliter II
  • N/R. Eric Dugas
  • N/R. Paul Goydos
  • N/R. Derek Tolan
  • N/R. Yan-Wei Liu
  • N/R. Kirk Nelson
  • N/R. Kenny Perry
  • N/R. Jared Sawada
  • N/R. Tianlang Guan
  • N/R. Martin Trainer
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