After a lengty break over the month of December, the PGA Tour returns this weekend with the Sentry Tournament of Champions getting underway this Thursday from Kapalua in Hawaii. We take a look at the weekend’s action and give our betting tips below!
The Plantation Course at the Kapalua Resort will play host to the Sentry Tournament of Champions for the 21st consecutive year in 2019, after relocating from California. The course is a long, 7,518-yard par 73 and includes some of the most picturesque views of the entire PGA calendar. The course opened in 1991 and features a range of substantial elevation changes, resulting in several downhill tee shots.
With a range of downhill tee shots, the course has many reachable par fours and fives that big hitters can take advantage of. Dustin Johnson proved that last season by taking the title by a whopping eight shots over another big hitter in Spaniard Jon Rahm. We’ll be targeting the big hitters once again this year.
From the 37 winners on the PGA Tour last season, 34 of them will be lining up in the Sentry Tournament of Champions beginning this week. The only three players who qualified who will not be playing are Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods and the No.2 player in the world, Justin Rose.
Dustin Johnson will be back to defend his title and starts as one of the red hot favourites alongside top ranked PGA players in Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy and Jason Day.
As we mentioned above, we’ll be targeting long hitters for this week's tournament, as the Plantation Course features a range of reachable par fours and fives. Dustin Johnson was a clear winner in 2018, beating out some other big hitters in the likes of Jon Rahm, Rickie Fowler and Hideki Matsuyama.
Shots gained off the tee will be the key barometer for us this weekend and although there hasn’t been an official PGA event in over a month, there are still some early 2019 season stats to go by. Cameron Champ, who is in his rookie PGA season, is the early leader in shots gained off the tee in the 2019 season and has already racked up 15 measured rounds. He averages 1.483 shots gained off the tee per round this season and was fantastic in the Sanderson Farms Championship in just his second PGA start.
Another player who will be taking a good look at this weekend is Spaniard Jon Rahm. Rahm finished second in the Tournament of Champions last season and was ranked No.2 overall in shots gained off the tee in the 2018 season. Rahm has started the 2019 PGA season in hot form, tying for 22nd in the HSBC Champions before winning the Hero World Challenge just before the Christmas break.
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