Sentry Tournament Of Champions odds and Preview – Golf Betting January 2-5

Woodland would be apt winner on Plantation Course

Brooks Koepka /USA ©imago images / Icon SMI 01.01.2020

Tiger Woods isn’t playing in this week’s Sentry Tournament of Champions, along with Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka, but plenty of big names on the US PGA Tour have chosen not to swerve the 2020 season-opener on the Plantation Course at Kapalua on the Hawaiian island of Maui.

The 34-player field includes Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson and defending champion Xavier Schauffele from the top 10 in the World Rankings, as well as U.S. Open champion Gary Woodland, runner-up 12 months ago, and Brendon Todd who was the hottest player on the PGA Tour at the end of 2019.

First played in 1953, the field for the Tournament of Champions is restricted to golfers who won a tournament on the tour during the previous calendar year. It’s a tournament that has been won five times by the great Jack Nicklaus and there are several previous winners in this year’s field including three of the last five winners – Patrick Reed, Thomas and Johnson.

Open champion Shane Lowry, Phil Mickelson and Justin Rose are the other eligible players, thanks to wins on the PGA Tour in the 2019 calendar year, who also are passing on playing at Kapalua but that has left a space open for first-timers Matthew Wolff, Collin Morikawa and Joaquin Niemann among others.

Tournament of Champions Winners Since 2007

Year Winner Score To Par Runner-Up
2007 Vijay Singh 278 -14 Adam Scott
2008 Daniel Chopra 274 -18 Steve Stricker
2009 Geoff Ogilvy 268 -24 Anthony Kim/Davis Love III
2010 Geoff Ogilvy 270 -22 Rory Sabbatini
2011 Jonathan Byrd 268 -24 Robert Garrigus
2012 Steve Stricker 269 -23 Martin Laird
2013 Dustin Johnson 203 (reduced to 3 rounds) -16 Steve Stricker
2014 Zach Johnson 273 -19 Jordan Spieth
2015 Patrick Reed 271 -21 Jimmy Walker
2016 Jordan Spieth 262 -30 Patrick Reed
2017 Justin Thomas 270 -22 Hideki Matusyama
2018 Dustin Johnson 268 -24 Jon Rahm
2018 Xander Schauffele 269 -23 Gary Woodland

Kapalua Resort near Lahaina on the island of Maui, Hawaii has been the venue for the Sentry Tournament of Champions since 1999.
Golf Betting at Coral
It is an unusual par-73 measuring 7,452 yards. There are four par-fives and a trio of par-threes on the Plantation Course located on the picturesque slopes of the West Maui Mountains. There are stunning ocean views from almost every hole and dramatic elevation changes mean plenty of downhill tee shots. With wide, rolling fairways and generously-sized greens, the course is generally considered a big hitter’s paradise.

Class normally prevails at Kapalua

Not since Jonathan Byrd’s victory in 2011 has there been a surprise winner of the Tournament of Champions. There have been a few minor changes to the Plantation Course since last year and they should do even more to emphasis the gap between the top-ranked players and those still yet to achieve big-tournament success.
It’s difficult to imagine why GARY WOODLAND isn’t shorter in the betting than the general 16/1.
The only 2019 Major winner in the line-up, he came very close to winning this tournament 12 months ago and recently formed part of the successful USA team in the President’s Cup.
Patrick Cantlay, Rickie Fowler, Dustin Johnson, Matt Kuchar, Xander Schauffele, Justin Thomas were also in that team and Kuchar is probably overpriced at 45/1 with Betfred among others in this week’s Tournament Of Champions. He won the Sony Open in Hawaii right at the start of the year but is playing Kapalua for the eighth time having never bettered his third in 2010.
Johnson and Fowler are playing their first PGA Tour event since the 2019 TOUR Championship in August but Justin Thomas is rightly among the market leaders at a general 5/1. Jon Rahm is the 4/1 favourite with most bookmakers to carry on last year’s exploits but has got married since last playing tournament golf and may need a few weeks to get back in the swing.
My outsider against the field is Kevin Kisner with the general 66/1 appealing as an each-way investment with several leading online bookmakers offering place betting down the fifth place.
Kisner is making his third trip to The Plantation Course at Kapalua where he looks to improve upon a career-best ninth place finish in 2016. He has won three times on the PGA Tour so his credentials are better than most and he is traditionally at his best in the early months of the year.

Sentry Tournament Of Champions Current Best Odds (Selected)

Jon Rahm 4/1
Justin Thomas 5/1
Xander Schauffele 8/1
Dustin Johnson 11/1
Patrick Cantlay 12/1
Patrick Reed 14/1
Rickie Fowler and Gary Woodland 16/1
Collin Morikawa and Paul Casey 25/1
Cameron Champ 40/1
Matt Kuchar 45/1
Joaquin Niemann and Brendan Todd 50/1
Matthew Wolff 60/1
Corey Conners and Kevin Kisner 66/1
Chez Reavie 70/1
Sebastian Munoz, Kevin Na, Dylan Frittelli and J T Poston 80/1
Ryan Palmer 90/1
(Odds correct at 3.00pm December 30)

Gary Woodland – Tournament Of Champions