2023 Sony Open in Hawaii: Top 10 Power Rankings at Waialae

Sony Open in Hawaii, Waialae Country Club,Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Sony Open in Hawaii, Waialae Country Club,Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /
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The PGA Tour wraps up its two-week Hawaiian journey this week, jumping from Maui to Oahu for the Sony Open in Hawaii.

We’re at Waialae Country Club in the capital city of Honolulu. Waialae’s hosted this historic event since 1965.

The course was founded in 1927 and designed by classic golf architect, Seth Raynor. It’s a 7,044-yard par-70 layout that contrasts greatly with last week’s Sentry Tournament of Champions venue, Kapalua. Kapalua is a longer par-73 with wide fairways, big slopes, and fairly large greens.

Waialae is much flatter, tighter off the tee, and boasts smaller greens.

Length is not a huge asset this week at the Sony Open in Hawaii.

Hitting fairways is key, as well as sharp iron play and a good short game. It then turns into a putting contest. While you can’t bomb it off the tee,  players still need to be aggressive on approach to score low.

Bermuda grass is in play tee to green this week, so look for southeastern Americans, for example, to have a slight advantage putting.

Aside from Cameron Smith’s victory at 11-under in 2020, the winning score has been 17-under or better every year since 2013. The Sony Open is the first full-field event of 2022, featuring 144 players vying for the 36-hole cut of top 65 and ties.

This is an event a lot of big names tend to eschew. Many do not want to hang around in Hawaii for two full weeks, choosing rest with a loaded West Coast swing on the mainland forthcoming.

The field this week features 144 players vying to make the 36-hole cut of top 65 and ties. There are 14 top-50 players in the Official World Golf Ranking.

Weather for the week looks gorgeous. Temperatures expect to be in the upper 60s to low 80s Fahrenheit with no rain and light wind in the forecast.

Let’s get down to business with this week’s power rankings:

Sony Open, Waialae, Sony Open in Hawaii, PGA Tour, Jordan Spieth
Adam Svensson, Sony Open in Hawaii, Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /

The last time Adam Svensson played in a full-field event, it resulted in his first PGA Tour win.

The Canadian overcame an opening 73 to close in 64-62-64 to win by two in November at the RSM Classic.

It was a redeeming moment for the 29-year-old who’s yo-yoed between the Korn Ferry Tour and PGA Tour in recent years. Now, he’s locked up to be in the big leagues through the next two seasons.

"“I relied mostly on talent when I was younger,” Svensson was transcribed by Tee Scripts after the RSM win. “I didn’t put enough work in, I wasn’t that disciplined. Like I said, two years ago I decided to give it 100 percent and I’ve been super disciplined on, you know, I don’t drink anymore, I go to the golf course every day, I’m up at 6:00, I give it 100 percent now.”"

Svensson won a KFT Finals event in 2021. He parlayed that good form into a solid 2021-22 PGA Tour season where he posted three top-10s and nine top-26 finishes en route to making his FedEx Cup Playoffs debut.

The Barry University alum has made five of six cuts in the 2022-23 campaign, highlighted by the win and T-12th at the Fortinet Championship.

Svensson made his Sentry Tournament of Champions debut last week and took 37th.

This will not be his Sony Open in Hawaii debut this week. Svensson took T-43rd (61-74-70-68) in 2019 and was the first-round leader.

He improved in 2022 to T-7th (64-67-65-67) and was in third place going into Sunday.

Svensson was sixth in the field in strokes gained approach (6.129) but wasn’t accurate enough off the tee to contend late on Sunday.

He was 26th on the PGA Tour last season in birdie average (4.04). Svensson was also seventh in proximity from 150-175 yards (24’10”).