Who will win the Sony Open?

Originally Published: January 9, 2008
ESPN.com/GolfDigest.com

Last year, Paul Goydos rallied to defeat Charles Howell III and Luke Donald to win his first career PGA Tour title by one stroke at the Sony Open. And no, none of our experts saw it coming.

Will they redeem themselves by picking a winner this time around? Only time will tell …

Sony Open predictions
  Bob Harig
ESPN.com contributor
Jason Sobel
ESPN.com golf editor
Ron Sirak
Golf World executive editor
John Antonini
Golf World senior editor
Horse for the Course Vijay Singh is 40-under-par in his last 20 rounds at Waialae and has three top-10s in the past four years, including a victory in 2005. Not sure how he does it, but Jerry Kelly steps out of the snowy climes in Wisconsin and plays well at Waialae every year. Charles Howell III posted a tasty 63 in the second round last year on his way to a T-2 finish. The man needs a breakthrough year and this would be a good place to get it started. Who else but Steve Stricker? He was T-4 a year ago in his first visit to Waialae since 2002 and started this year out strong by getting to a playoff at Kapalua last week.
Birdie Buster David Toms has been over par just twice in his career at Waialae, won the tournament in 2006 and has four top-20 finishes. Tough not to mention pre-tourney favorite Jim Furyk, who owns a T-4 and T-7 in this event the past two years. He really got things going during the weekend at Kapalua. Jim Furyk was T-4 and T-7 the past two years here. He knows how to putt the greens, and how to read the wind. Charles Howell III has made the cut here six years in a row and was T-2 a year ago. And don't worry about the equipment change. He did OK (eighth) at Kapalua last week.
Super Sleeper The youngest player on the PGA Tour at age 19, Jason Day has already been talking big about challenging Tiger Woods. Why not a victory in his first tournament? A rookie in name only, expect longtime Asian Tour player Yong-Eun Yang to make an early impact in the U.S. Michelle Wie. Oops, that's right, she's skipping the men's events for now -- until those big overseas appearance fees pop up in the fall. Take George McNeill. He played well here last year. It's not often that the defending champ can be considered a sleeper, but no one is giving Paul Goydos any love. You should. He does have three other top-10 finishes at Waialae and should do well again this week.
Winner Jim Furyk. The third-ranked player in the world follows up a top-five finish at the Mercedes-Benz Championship with a victory that gets him back to Maui next year. After coming so close last year, Charles Howell III told me, "This one hurts." I believe him -- and I think he'll come back with renewed desire this time around. K.J. Choi was T-8 and T-13 here the past two years. The muscular Korean has quietly emerged as one of the best players in the world. Jim Furyk almost always plays well at the Sony. He won the Hawaiian Open in 1996, has finished in the top 10 the past two years and has nine straight rounds of par or better at Waialae, a par-70 course.