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Michael Taylor 13th Jan 2010 - 19:42

Fab Sab can land Sony Open title

Rory Sabbatini shot from nowhere to push Geoff Ogilvy oh so close in last week's SBS Championship and the South African will now feel confident of going one better in Hawaii's other PGA Tour event, the Sony Open.

Sabbatini headed into the final day at Kapalua a distant also-ran trailing the defending champion by five shots and looking destined for nothing more than a respectable top ten finish.

However, Sabbatini was in no mood for throwing in the towel and when he signing off his final round card with a remarkable ten under par 63, he'd seen his price shorten from 66/1 right down to 7/2 - if only he'd found his form just a day earlier.

This week, at one of his favourite courses, he has the opportunity to make amends though and finally put a lid on all the talent he has shown over the past few years in Hawaii.

Last week wasn't the first time the accurate Texas resident has found the narrow fairways and small greens of Hawaii to his liking, in fact he seems to thrive at the start of every season when the Tour heads to America's most distant state.

Most worryingly for his rivals this week is that Sabbatini is even better over Waialae than he is at Kapalua.

Twice in the past four years he's managed to finish runner-up and that's without the luxury of entering the week in such a rich vein of form and with bags of confidence.

If he can maintain his accuracy and greens in regulation numbers then there's no doubting he'll be amongst the front runners once again, and has to be worth a healthy each-way bet at a massive looking 20/1.

There are a few obstacles he'll need to work his way around though and they could come in the form of defending champion Zach Johnson and 2009 FedEx Cup runner-up Steve Stricker.

Johnson has to be seen as a great shot to be the second repeat winner in as many weeks when he returns to defend the title he won with such panache last time around.

It sounds easy but last year he came with the intention of finding the fairways, giving himself a chance on every hole and that, in the end, was all it needed as consistency and a hot putter won him the first of two PGA titles last year.

Last year he also showed, by landing the Valero Texas Open, that he has the composure to defend titles and it's that sort of thing that makes him a great bet here at 16/1.

As for Stricker, his 2009 meant that ruling him out of any tournament is simply a no-no.

It always comes down to one thing for the world number three and that's just how well he's swinging the putter - the 26 putts he needed in the final round of the SBS would have been exactly what the field here didn't want to see.

The simple fact is that when Strick's on there are only several players in the world who can match him and none of them are playing this week.

Given he hasn't won a tournament since September does make his 12/1 price look a tad short for my liking but, saying that, I certainly wouldn't be overly shocked if he changed that stat here.

Starting this week William Hill is offering golf fans the chance to win £1000's worth of free bets in our latest competition. Pick your top three for this week's Sony Open plus several more tournaments over the coming months and the winner will receive free bets totalling £500. The best thing is it's totally free to enter for all William Hill customers. Find out all the details here - William Hill Swingers.



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