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…
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.
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.
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.