The PGA Tour resumes this week as the Sentry Tournament of Champions celebrates its 25th anniversary at the picturesque Plantation Course in Kapalua, Hawaii. Scroll down to see who I think will win the 2023 Sentry Tournament of Champions, but first…
Sentry Tournament of Champions
Venue: Plantation Course, Kapalua Resort, Hawaii
Date: January 5–8, 2023
Course stats: Par 73, 7,596 yards
Course summary: A rare par 73, the Plantation course at Kapalua often plays on the easy side – indeed the PGA Tour’s low 72-hole record score of 31-under-par by Ernie Els came here in 2003. The relative simplicity of this venue is in no small part down to wide fairways, huge greens, and just three par-3 holes. The course’s main defence is wind, and this venue really should be no match for the PGA Tour elite.
Purse: $15 million
2022 champion: Cameron Smith (-34)
Thursday: Sky Sports Golf from 7:30pm and Main Event from 11:00pm
Friday: Sky Sports Golf from 7:30pm and Main Event from 11:00pm
Saturday: Sky Sports Golf from 8:30pm
Sunday: Sky Sports Golf from 6:30pm
2023 Sentry Tournament of Champions betting tips
The Banker: Patrick Cantlay @ 11/1 with Bet365
Patrick Cantlay is World No 4, according to the Official World Golf Rankings, placing him directly above Jon Rahm. That may say more about the world rankings than the golfers themselves, but ultimately it does show that Cantlay is a player that cannot be overlooked.
Despite a modest major record, Cantlay is more than capable of beating top-class opposition, doing so in almost all of his eight PGA Tour wins, and he can certainly add another here at the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
Cantlay has twice finished 4th in this event, and on the two occasions he’s finished further down the board, he’s been placed inside the top-8 at the 36 or 54-hole stage, so he clearly likes this golf course. He hasn’t been able to put four rounds together here yet, but given his form, and extra experience here now, I think he’s in great shape to go on and win this one.
A win and two 2nd place finishes in his last five starts pre-Christmas, Cantlay should be watched closely at the start of 2023.
The Each-Way Play: Sungjae Im @ 18/1 with Bet365
Sungjae Im closed out the 2022 PGA Tour season with two 2nd place finishes at the 3M Open and the Wyndham Championship. And, were it not for the brilliance of Tom Kim at the latter, Im may well have recorded a third PGA Tour victory that week.
Still, it wasn’t to be, and after also finishing 2nd on the 72-hole scoring leaderboard at the Tour Championship, the South Korean continued to prove he was in good form but wasn’t quite doing enough to be the lowest scorer on the week.
Sungjae started his new season placing 7th at the Shriners – another event Tom Kim won – and he closed out the year with an 8th place finish at the Hero World Challenge, bouncing back from a slow start.
His record here reads two starts, two top 8 finishes (5th and 8th) and he is now going to build on that and start off a big 2023 in the best fashion. This feels like a big year for Im, who has bags of potential and has already won twice but will now have his sites on winning more and climbing closer to the top-10 in the world rankings.
The Long Shot: Seamus Power @ 45/1 with Bet365
This will be a popular selection this week, as the only form we have to go by is those events before Christmas. Power finished his year with 1st, 3rd, and 5th place finishes on the PGA Tour, and he will look to carry that right over into 2023.
Power has essentially been a completely new player over the past couple of years, and he impressed in three of his four major debuts last year, finishing T27 at the Masters, T9 at the PGA Championship, and T12 at the US Open. Add to that, making the quarter finals in the WGC Matchplay, and it is clear the Irishman can at least hang with the best of them.
Now he is playing in all these big events for a second time, he will get the chance to revisit courses, namely here and Augusta, and build on his past efforts. Placing 15th here on his debut, Power played well enough, shooting a 65 on Friday, to bounce back from a poor opening round, and go into the weekend in 8th place. The scoring got away from him that weekend, and if the conditions are similar again, that may well happen this time as well, but we are unlikely to see a -30 winning score this time.
At the more modest -20 target, Power can certainly contend at a big enough price in this smaller field.
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