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Friday, 16 November, 2018

Howell looks set to bolster his fantastic Sony record

Charles Howell should give an excellent account of himself this week
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Match betting
Sky Sports 4, 12am Friday (tournament starts 5pm Thursday)

Good pals Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Daniel Berger comprise the headline threeball of the day at the Sony Open in Hawaii, teeing off together at 6pm UK and Ireland time.

Dual Major champion Spieth, last week's SBS Tournament of Champions victor Thomas and 2015 US Tour Rookie of the Year Berger are sure to command a considerable gallery at Waialae Country Club. Spieth, who found top form with a Sunday 65 in the SBS, is worth considering to boss the contest.

A better bet, though, is Charles Howell to defeat Scott Piercy over the tournament distance. Howell has a superb record of consistency at Waialae and should give another excellent account of himself given the style in which he closed last season.

Howell boasts Sony form figures of 4-15-27-3-53-2-69-4-5-68-2-3-8-26-13. That is 15 appearances without missing the cut and seven top-fives, including two runner-up efforts.

Chucky loves Waialae and there is no reason why his name should not feature on the leaderboard again.

Howell finished 15th, seventh and 13th in his final three events of 2016, flowing nicely with the PXG clubs he switched to at the start of the year. If he carries that form to his favourite course, low scores seem inevitable.

The often erratic Piercy is not a natural fit for Waialae, a tight track which demands control, and his results there are unsurprisingly hit or miss (MC-12-MC-23-15-MC-2-13). Opt for Howell in a your-choice match with Ladbrokes.

Two triumphant members of the American Ryder Cup side have been paired by Betfred in another match, with Jimmy Walker made outsider against Brandt Snedeker. It is difficult to work out why.

Walker relishes Hawaii, where he won the 2015 Sony by nine shots. He was Waialae champ in 2014, too, and fourth in 2011. He was runner-up in the 2015 Tournament of Champions at Kapalua.

Walker was ninth in the ToC last week and the changes he has made to his driver this year are more likely to yield positive results at Waialae than Kapalua.

The USPGA champion has shortened his driver, losing length but gaining accuracy, the key to success at this week's venue.

Snedeker, who ditched Butch Harmon as coach at the end of last year, finished two shots behind Walker in the SBS and may be preoccupied with new swing thoughts. Snedeker did not help his cause this week by criticising Jason Day's pace of play – he has put himself under pressure to hit quickly at Waialae.

Recommendations
C Howell to beat S Piercy
3pts 10-11 Ladbrokes
J Walker to beat B Snedeker
2pts Evs Betfred

Chucky loves Waialae and there is no reason why his name should not feature on the leaderboard again
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