Harris English Wins the Sentry Tournament of Champions

After getting off to a slow start, Harris English posted a back nine score of four-under 33, including a clutch birdie on the 18th hole to force a playoff with Joaquin Niemann. He converted the 54-hole lead to earn his third career victory on the PGA Tour.

Before we get into the breakdown, how old do you think Harris English is? There is no way you’re going to guess correctly. Think about your number… Okay, he is 31 years old! He’s younger than me. If you told me he was in his late thirties or early forties I would have believed you.

Down the stretch, English nailed clutch putts and stiffed his approach shots. Check out this 3-iron into the 18th.

He missed the would-be winning eagle putt on the amateur side, but he carded a birdie on the first playoff hole (18) to earn his first win since 2013!

Niemann, the youngest player in the field, made a hell of charge with a Sunday 64. He made nine birdies to go along with 0 dropped shots on the day. He missed several opportunities to go lower, including parring the 18th in regulation and in the playoff.

In regulation, Niemann missed a five-footer that would have put him at 26-under-par. In the playoff, his approach was inches from being perfect. It trickled into the rough on the left-side of the green and he was unable to get up-and-down.

Also, for those keeping track we went 2-2 on our picks this week. Hit on Sergio top 20 after round one and Justin Thomas top five. Hideki finished dead last so that was a bad call on him beating Xander and Hovland had a rough Sunday. He was T10 to enter the day and finished up T31 after a three-over 76.

It has been a hell of ride for English since he turned pro 10 years ago. He’s had ups and downs and battled the yips and had to go to the Korn Ferry Tour to earn back his PGA Tour status. Check out his world ranking over the last decade.

Over the last seven starts, English has racked up five top-10 finishes. He won yesterday in Hawaii and he also added a fourth-place finish at the US Open in September at Winged Foot.

The Hawaii swing continues this week with the Sony Open.

Come back later today for our Monday Morning Superlatives for the Sentry Tournament of Champions.

FORE!

Takeaways From Round One of The Sentry Tournament of Champions

Round one of the Sentry Tournament of Champions is in the books and the boys on Tour went low! Eight players shot 67 or lower (on the par 73) as Harris English and Justin Thomas both birdied the 18th hole to share the first round lead at eight-under-par.

Lots to unpack from the first round and here are some of my takeaways.

1) This has nothing to do with the actual first round of the play, but more the tournament in general. In his post-round interview, Harris English mentioned that the players like the idea of being invited to the play in the event by qualifying for the Tour Championship. Bones had some strong comments that it is the Tournament of Champions and this will probably be a one-off. I agree with him. The debate has been happening since the field was announced and it gave us the early frontrunner for tweet of the year…

2) Content Kings stay Content Kings. Bryson was all over the coverage mashing his driver around the place. He hit the longest drive of the day at 18 (386 yards!). Bryson will tee it up with Viktor Hovland (4:20 pm ET) in round two in what could be a potential Ryder Cup showdown. Bryson, as always, also gave this incredible quote about nearly blacking out in his search for attaining swing speed.

3) I made everyone money! I hope you all took my plays from Wednesday because my Sergio Garcia Top 20 After Round 1 cashed. Sergio got off to a slow start with two bogeys in first three holes, but he came charging back thanks to an eagle and four birdies on the back.

4) Justin Thomas loves playing in Hawaii. Seriously, something in that ocean air makes everything click for him. Three of his 13 career victories have come on the islands. He is averaging the most birdies per round (5.68) of any player in Hawaii since 2017. He had eight birdies and no bogeys during the opening round on Thursday. STRIPE SHOW.

5) Xander Schauffele spent his break like every college student would have. He is a BIG video game guy.

6) My brain breaks a little every time I see a player shoot a three-under 70 on this course. Kapalua is the only par 73 on the PGA Tour.

7) Primetime golf is fun!

Looking forward to three more nights of golf.

FORE!

Gambling Picks for the Sentry Tournament of Champions

New Year. New Us. Here are some plays for the Sentry Tournament of Champions this week.

Couple things to know before diving into this. All of the odds are taken from DraftKings. There is not cut and only 42 players in the field this week.

Also, the tournament has been known as pretty lowkey way for players to ease into the new season and earn some carefree FedEx Cup points.

Here is Patrick Cantlay on the 17th tee box last year.

Not a Cantlay guy at all because he takes FOREVER over the ball. HOWEVER, this is incredible. Not sure what he was talking about in the beginning of the video, but him and his caddie absolutely crushed a Mai Tai or three after the round. When in Hawaii.

Top 20 After Round One
Sergio Garcia (+100):
Sergio Garcia returns to the Sentry Tournament of Champions after his first TOUR victory since the 2017 Masters. Garcia, an 11-time TOUR winner, won the Sanderson Farmers Championship back in October. He won this event WAY BACK in 2002 and it making his first trip back here since 2006. He missed the Masters due to a positive COVID test and is teeing it up for the first time since early November. Let’s hope for good and mild-mannered Sergio as opposed to…

Finishing Position
Justin Thomas Top 5 (+150):
As I mentioned in yesterday’s preview, Thomas won here last year and in 2017. He also finished third here in 2019. He’s racked up three top-three finishes at Kapalua in last four years. JT also won his last start (if you want to call it that) as he partnered with his dad to take home a trophy at the PNC Championship just before Christmas.

Finishing Position
Viktor Hovland Top 10 (+125):
Already in the 2020-21 season, Hovland has made five starts and picked up his second career PGA Tour victory. After finishing in the top-15 at the US Open, the CJ Cup at Shadow Creek and the Vivint Houston Open, he won in his last start at the Mayakoba Golf Classic in Mexico. Hovland has carded seven straight rounds in the 60s and he’s come in at even par or better in 15 straight rounds. Impressive stuff from the 23-year-old Norseman. It’s no secret that I’m a fan of the European Ryder Cup team and Hovland is making a strong case to be my new favorite player.

Tournament Matchups
Better Finishing Position (Tie no bet)
Hideki Matsuyama (+130) over Xander Schauffele:
I know I was waxing poetic about Xander in yesterday’s preview. What I forgot to mention was that he tested positive for COVID just before Christmas and got a negative just before the deadline to tee it up. Xander won here in 2019 and lost in playoff last year, but Matsuyama has best stroke average at Kapalua (with a minimum of eight rounds played) of every player in the field at 68.9. Matsuyama has also averaged the third-most birdies per round (5.67) of all the players in the field coming in just behind JT (5.75) and DJ (5.72). Back Hideki for all those reasons and he rocks the hell out of his shades.

If you live in a state that allows live betting through apps or online, I highly suggest checking out the golf features. Betting fairways hit will be EASY money all weekend. Your odds won’t be great, but definitely worth it. Live betting groups to birdie or bogey holes is also a rush and can make for exciting viewing. Also choosing hole and round winners between pairings is always fun as well.

Out of principal, I did not mention Pa*rick R**d. That doughy cheater is a monster on this course. He lost in a playoff last year and also added a T6 finish here in 2017. Could be worth a look at +110 to finish top 10. I won’t back him (until he gets on a heater then I’ll inevitably jinx him).

PRIMETIME GOLF! Get excited.

FORE!

Join Our PGA Tour 2K21 Online Society

Just in time for the continuation of the 2020-21 PGA Tour season we have an online society up and running on PGA Tour2K21.

Are we serious gamers? No.

BUT it’s fun to hunt down actual, real-life courses to play and we’ll do our best to get the ones the pros are playing on each week for the tournament. We’ll also throw in some midweek events are user created courses.

Hand up! I could not find Kapalua, but I do have Waiʻalae Country Club lined for next week’s Sony Open.

Let’s hit the sticks and have some fun. Tournament action on the society gets underway on Thursday.

FORE!

Sentry Tournament of Champions Preview

First tournament of the year. Star-studded field. Hawaii. Let’s do this.

We are going to try something a little different with the previews in 2021. Below are 10 things to know about 2021 Sentry Tournament of Champions.

1) The event is taking place at the Plantation Course at Kapalua Resort. It’s a par 73 and it opened in 1991. The course features unreal ocean views, VERY wide fairways, and big-time elevation changes. Take a look at some of these pics. This place is a DREAM.

2) The field of this event is always a mixture of star power and unexpected winners from some of the lesser touted Tour events. Twenty-eight golfers qualified for the 2021 event via their TOUR victories last season. Seventeen golfers earned a spot in Hawaii via their appearance at the TOUR Championship. Eight of the top-10 players in the world will be teeing it up, including Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas (the top-three players in the Official World Golf Rankings). Some other notables in the field are Collin Morikawa, Webb Simpson, BRYSON, Daniel Berger, and Viktor Hovland.

3) Dustin Johnson has won this event twice and is coming off a pretty decent stretch of golf… You may have heard he won the Tour Championship and the Masters. He ended 2020 by finishing no worse than T6 in his final seven events, including three wins and three runners-up.  Not bad.

4) Justin Thomas will look to defend his Tournament of Champions title after winning in a three-man playoff a year ago. He bested Patrick Reed and XANDER thanks to carding a birdie on the first and third playoff holes (the par-5 18th for all three).

5) Speaking of Xander he’s had some STRONG finishes here in Hawaii. He won in 2019, lost in a playoff last year and he’s also tied the 18-hole scoring record with a final round 62 in 2019 to best Gary Woodland by one stroke.

6) There are seven first-timers playing in the Sentry Tournament of Champions this year, highlighted by Viktor Hovland and 2020 Rookie of the Year Scottie Scheffler.

7) The last four winners of the Sentry Tournament of Champions went on to finish in the top-five of the FedExCup standings at season’s end. Good for their bank accounts.

8) Can JT go back-to-back? No golfer since Geoff Ogilvy (2009-10) has won the Sentry Tournament of Champions in back-to-back years.

9) Each of the last two years has seen a winner decided on the 18th hole or in a playoff! And what do the winners get… Take a look at the trophy below. What is that? Is that a whale coming out of whale shaped wave? Am I missing something?

10) Primetime golf is back! The event will air on Golf Channel Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 6:00 pm (ET) – 10:00 pm. On Sunday it’s on NBC from 4:00pm (ET) – 6:00pm then switches over to Golf Channel for the conclusion. Take a break from the NFL playoffs this weekend, tune in during halftime or channel surf.

It should be a fun weekend of golf. I know I’m pumped.

FORE!

The PGA Tour is Back And So Are We

As we enter our first full calendar week of 2021, the PGA Tour is back in Hawaii with the Sentry Tournament of Champions. The event typically is a showcase of all the players who won last season on Tour plus some exemptions.

This year, the 42-man field is STACKED.

Before we get into the event and the upcoming/remainder of what should be a WILD 2021 (6 MAJORS! Two of which are already in the books). Let’s address the elephant in the room.

**Alexa play Since You’ve Been Gone by Kelly Clarkson**

A LOT has happened since late July.

Since we last came across your screens, DJ donned a green jack, Morikawa ran away from the field to capture the PGA Championship, and our sweet content prince Bryson DeChambeau blitzed the field at the US Open.

Our New Year’s resolution is to get our act together and flood your social channels with the best golf content on the internet.

This week, we’ll have our Sentry TOC preview (Tuesday), picks for the event (Wednesday) and recaps and coverage throughout the weekend.

My personal favorite moment of the 2020-21 PGA Tour season…

Gambling Picks for the WGC Fed-Ex St. Jude

Hope you didn’t fade me last week because your boy was hot! At the 3M Open, we hit on Finau top-10, Wolff top-20 and Bubba Watson missing the cut. Nearly cashed on Finau outright to win and our darkhorse (Max Homa at +7000) finished T3.

Not bad.

This week, we have no cuts! It’s the WGC Fed-Ex St. Jude’s Classic. The field is absolutely loaded. In all, 45 of the top 50 players in the OWGR will tee it up at TPC Southwind – the most of any event during the 2019-20 TOUR season. WOW!

This week, the PGA Tour announced a new partnership with DraftKings. In the vein of that announcement, we are using their odds this week and moving forward.

Locked and loaded. Let’s go.

Finishing Position
Rory McIlroy Top-10 (+150):
Listen, Rory McIlroy has flat out stunk since the restart. As a fan of the Ulsterman, it’s been tough. Rory has finished outside the top-10 in four straight starts for the first time since 2018. His next start the last time that happened was a W at the 2018 Arnold Palmer Invitational. He was playing in the final group here last year and ended up finishing fourth. He also holds the course record (62 with Jon Rahm), which he shot in the third round last year. Cash it.

Daniel Berger Top-20 (+120): Daniel Berger. Haven’t heard from him in a couple weeks. Oh and in case you were wondering, Daniel Berger loves the course. Over the last 10 years with players that have played at least 10 rounds at TPC Southwind, Berger owns the best scoring average at 67.8. Too easy guys. He got a pair of top-three finishes in three starts after the break.

Max Homa Top-20 (+350): Max played great last week. Sure, his missed some putts down the stretch, but he put himself in position to make a move. After struggling with a string of missed cuts, he’s starting to figure it out again. Ball striking was great. Putting left a little to be desired, but I see another strong finish from him. Max shared an interesting tidbit on emotion on the golf course.

I will definitely say I’m going to implement this and then fail within three holes during my next round.

Viktor Hovland Top-20 (+120): Viktor! After a week off, the Norwegian is back. He’s been on a tear since the restart. He has racked up three top-12 finishes. He was primed for success before a tough 77-79 weekend at The Memorial. He’s playing in his first WGC. I don’t think he’ll have any jitters. Hey Viktor, what did the D.A.R.E. officers in Norway teach you…

Tommy Fleetwood Top-20 (+125): Tommy lad! Listen, hand up. I fudged up with my Fleetwood calls last week. That’s on me. I can admit that. The putter let us down last week. He put on a stripe show during the exhibition on Wednesday and I thought I was going to laugh all the way to the bank. I am a man of my word. I am doubling down (of sorts). No cut this weekend. Let’s get a backdoor T20, Tommy!

How I feel after every missed putt.

Those are my plays for this week. Who are your picks for the week?

I’ll write about some of the feature groups tomorrow. Come back!

FORE!

P.S. It was very difficult not to mention the B word during this. On principal, I’m not backing him this week. He’s going to go viral and force my hand. I know it. Are B**so* and I the golf blogging equivalent of Ross and Rachel (They weren’t on a break BTW)? Time will tell.

3M Open Monday Morning Superlatives

After a one-week hiatus we are back. If you didn’t catch any of the golf this weekend you weren’t missing much. A lot of the big names took the week off with a big week two-week stretch ahead with the WGC St. Jude in Memphis and the PGA Championship at Harding Park in San Francisco.

Playing in the final group on both Saturday and Sunday Michael Thompson held on to score his second career PGA Tour win. His first came seven years ago! There were a ton of guys chasing him and he did just enough to card a one-stroke win!

Michael Thompson wasn’t the only winner this week. Let’s take a look at our Monday Morning Superlatives and all the oddities you might have missed last week in the golfing world.

Most Likely to Not Get a Slow Play Warning
Renato Paratore.

Renato won the Betfred British Masters hosted by Lee Westwood this week in England. It was the first official event on the European Tour in five months. He scored a three-stroke-victory with his decisive play. I mean this dude plays quick. Love it. I LOVE IT. Reminds of Brooks Koepka in how quick he gets it going. By the time your turn comes up, you know your lie and what you want to do. The only iffy thing about our boy is he spent this past week putting with his glove on.

YUCK!

Most Likely to Make an Absurd Par…
Sangmoon Bae. During the first round of the 3M Open, Sangmoon made a mess of things (kind of) on the par-5 18th hole.

His 250-yard hole out (for par!) was the longest hole out for par in the shotlink era. The previous best was 176 yards by Steven Bowditch in 2013. I mean what a ride that hole was. Tee shot wet. Drop two. Third shot wet. Drop four. Par from 250 out into the bottom of the cup. 

Most Likely to Have Me Worried…
Dustin Johnson. After going 80-80 and missing the cut at The Memorial. DJ made a mess of things of early on during the first round of the 3M open. He carded a 78 in round one before withdrawing with a back injury. We are getting to a pivotal stretch in the PGA Tour season. I hope he’s healthy.

Most Likely to Come Up Clutch…
Michael Thompson. He played some great golf on Sunday. He wasn’t overpowering the golf course, but he made some huge putts and some very clutch shots. In a tie for the lead with Aaron Long (who was already in the clubhouse), Thompson came up to the driveable par-4 16. He tugged his tee shot into a greenside bunker leaving himself a tough up-and-down. Thompson had 37 yards to the pin. He hit the following shot to tee feet for an easy and eventual tournament-winning birdie. Clutch.

Most Casual Celebration…
Bo Van Pelt.

Listen, I know these guys are pros. But, you have to show more emotion than this. I know it was Thursday. But come on! It’s a hole-in-one. The odds of a professional golfer making a hole-in-one are 2,500-to-1. That’s pretty unlikely. I know they have the saying “Act live you’ve been there before” but you have to be better. BE BETTER!

Most likely to be a Weekend Warrior…
Adam Long.

Adam Long went from making the cut on the number to solo second thanks to a casual 63-64 weekend. He was T-51 starting the weekend and he cashed a solid 714K! Not a bad 48 hours!

Best Dressed…
Charl Schwartzel. The 2011 Master’s champ was an absolute mood on Sunday.

What a fit that is. Oh my goodness. I didn’t know that Michael Kors made golf clothes. Also, that hat is a 1100 out of 10. You bet your ass I was scouring Amazon looking for one just like it. Oh and he had a pretty solid Sunday. He carded a three-under 68 to finish T3 despite making a double bogey on his second hole of the day. I will say this though. WTF is going on with his putter.

Seriously. Is this thing legal? I feel like if your handicap is under 20 then you just can’t have a putter like that. Did he buy that thing while he was drunk off an infomercial on the Golf Channel at 3:30 in the morning? I need to know more about this.

Most likely to Make You Rich…
Me! If you listened to my gambling picks column on Tuesday, you had a pretty solid weekend. I called Bubba missing the cut, Finau top-10 and Wollf top-20. I nearly cashed big time on Max Homa winning outright (+7000). Notes to know for you heading into next week in Memphis!

What did I miss?

Are you ready for a big two-week stretch on the PGA Tour?

Should have some monster featured groups in at the WGC. Let’s go.

FORE!

Gambling Picks for the 3M Open

NEW FEATURE ALERT!

Alright, we are back. In the first iteration of our weekly gambling picks we had a lackluster performance at The Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide. We went 1-for-2 in making/missing the cut (Brooks made it on the number!). We went 0-for-2 on positional picks (freaking Kisner and Justin Rose). And our head-to-heads were 0-for-2. Tiger and DJ both missed the cut and Xander finished better than Rickie.

So in week 1 we went 1-for-6. Not great.

In the words of the immortal Jordan Belfort…

New week. New me. All these odds are from FanDuel.

Make/Miss The Cut
Mackenzie Hughes to MAKE the cut (-142)
: Mackenzie has been playing like an absolute stud in the restart. He’s quickly becoming my favorite Canadian Golfer (although there isn’t much competition). He’s made four straight cuts. He’s finished in the top-6 in two of his last three starts. Put it on the board.

Bubba Watson to miss the MISS the cut (+215): Listen, I can’t just pick guys to make the cut every time. He’s missed three of the last four cuts. He shot 76 on Sunday at Muirfield Village. I’m not happy to be routing against someone. It is what is. Lock it in.

Finishing Position
Matthew Wolf Top-20 (+125):
The defending champ absolutely tore this place up last year. He’s defending a title for the first time this week. I think he’ll have a strong week on a course that suits his game. Shoot, I almost took him for top-10. He has a little scar tissue from his meltdown at the Rocket Mortgage Classic a couple weeks ago. I think the open set up this week will help the bombers.

Tony Finau Top-10 (+150): Speaking of bombers, Tony put on a clinic off the tee last week. We don’t need to speak about his final 18 holes. Let’s keep the first 54 in our memory. He has four top-10s this season. He also ranks 11th this season on Tour in shots gained tee-to-green.

Tommy Fleetwood Top-10 (+165): I know he hasn’t played a competitive round since The Player’s Championship first round in early March, but here me out. He is one of the best ball strikers on the planet. He shot 64 at Shinnecock Hills last weekend to get himself ready. I know his putting has been an issue at times. He’s playing the nine-hole exhibition on Wednesday so we’ll see where his game is. If you don’t believe me listen to the lads below…

*Remember bars. Remember the Ryder Cup. Simpler times.

Outright Winner
Tony Finau (+1400):
Let’s get weird. I can’t believe he’s never won on the PGA Tour. He had three great rounds and a terrible Sunday last week. Let’s have some short term memory and hope Tony does too.

Dark Horse Pick
Max Homa (+7000):
Max Homa is coming off a MC at The Memorial. He’s playing in the featured groups, so you’ll get to see him plenty on Thursdayand Friday. Listen, he’s been struggling. He has missed the cut in four of his last five tournaments. He opened with a two-under 70 last week and he’s been under par in three of his missed cuts. He’s not playing bad. Just needs more birdies. There will be plenty of opportunities this week. Throw 10 bucks on Homa and when you’re 700 dollars richer just remember who to thank!

Who do you like this week?

FORE!

Phil Mickelson Had Himself A Day at The Memorial Tournament

I didn’t think I’d be writing about a guy that ended his round 21 shots off the pace after carding a six-over-par 78, but here we are.

Sunday was peak Phil Mickelson. Before we dive into his shenanigans on the links, let’s catch everyone up to speed. During the final round of the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide (how annoying is that), he did the following.

  • Positioned his coffee tumbler on the green with the sticker facing the camera
  • Putted from 80 yards out
  • Laid up on a par 3

What a character. So starting on the second hole, Mickelson started to place his coffee tumbler on the green directly in line with the camera. Ambush marketing. Nobody and I mean nobody is a better marketer than Phil.

Sitting at eight-over-par after a perfect 364-yard drive right down the middle on 13, Phil decided to pull his putter. Seriously. If I saw someone do this at a muni I’d laugh. This guy did it on Sunday of the biggest PGA Tour event this season. Phil DGAF.

After leaving the putt short of the green he told his brother and caddie “I saw that playing out differently in my mind.” What the hell did you think was going to happen, bud! It get’s better! His next shot was unreal flop. Full swing. Full send.

I love when Phil flops it. Best in the game. I would have bladed that thing three holes over with a swing like that. Ho hum par.

He saved his best for the difficult par-3 16. The hole has been the toughest all week and is playing nearly a whole stroke over par. He laid up. On a 173-yard hole over water. HE LAID UP!

He left himself 43 yards to get up and down for par. He ended up missing his 14-foot par attempt. So not sure the strategy paid off. Have I unintentionally laid up on par 3. Yes. Yes, I have. Should Mickelson have laid up. No. No, he shouldn’t.

All in all it was a wild ride for Mickelson. He had four bogeys. One double bogey and zero birdies. Tough sledding in some brutal conditions on a very firm course.

If Phil Mickelson shot 78 what would you have carded?

From the tips, I probably would card a 150. No joke.

Check back later to hear about the winner!

FORE!

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