After a well-deserved break for professional players around the world, the PGA Tour returns this week as we head to Hawaii for the annual Sentry Tournament of Champions.
The Tournament of Champions pits winners from last year’s PGA Tour season against each other in a 34 strong field, all competing for a healthy $6,700,000 prize pool. We have a full preview and betting tips for the action below.
There are a few notable absentees from the playing list who were winners on the PGA Tour last season. The three highest profile players in the world, Brooks Koepka, Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods, who all won tournaments last season will miss the event, however, the field is still fairly stacked.
Eight players from the United States victorious Presidents Cup team will tee it up on Thursday in the Sentry Tournament of Champions and will make up the bulk of the headline players in the field. These include Justin Thomas, Xander Schauffele, Dustin Johnson, Patrick Cantlay, Patrick Reed, Rickie Fowler, Gary Woodland and Matt Kuchar.
The sole European player at the top of the betting markets is Jon Rahm, who is currently the No.3 ranked player in the world and will be making his debut as a married man at the Tournament of Champions.
Alongside the top line players are a bunch of first time competitors at the Tournament of Champions including the likes of Corey Conners, Colin Morikawa, Sebastian Munoz, Joaquin Niemann, J.T. Poston, Martin Trainer, Matthew Wolff, Tyler Duncan, Dylan Frittelli, Max Homa, Sung Kang, Lanto Griffin, Nate Lashley, Adam Long and Keith Mitchell.
The Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw designed Plantation Course at Kapalua in Hawaii will serve as the host for the Tournament of Champions this year, as it has done every year since the 1999 season. The course plays at 7,518 yards and is the only Par 73 on the entire PGA Tour circuit. The course is long and has some dramatic elevation changes, and will play a little differently to past events after undergoing a $10m revamp throughout the year.
Since relocating from the La Costa Resort & Spa in California in 1999, there has been just three multiple time winners at Kapalua. Stuart Appleby won three titles in a row from 2004-2006 while his countryman Geoff Ogilvy won back to back in 2009-10. Since then, only American Dustin Johnson has lifted the trophy multiple times at the Plantation Course after winning in 2013 and 2018. Xander Schauffele, Justin Thomas and Patrick Reed can all become multiple time winners this weekend.
With the sheer length of the course, there’s no doubt that big hitters Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm will be popular players amongst the punters this weekend. Johnson is a proven talent at Kapalua and should be right in the mix once again. However, we are looking at Justin Thomas this week as it looks as though the No.4 ranked player in the world has fully recovered from injury and looks ready to ascend to the top of the golf world once again.
Thomas has started the PGA Tour season in stellar form, finishing T4 at the Safeway Open in his first event and following it up with a dominant Asian swing. Thomas won the CJ Cup in South Korea, finished T17 at the ZOZO Championship in Japan before finishing T5 at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas.
He then travelled to Australia and was one of the standout players in the United States winning outfit, finishing the week with the most points of any American player and 3-1-1 record overall. Thomas is proven at Kapalua after winning the tournament back in 2017 by three strokes over a star studded field.
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