It's the PGA Tour's traditional new year-opener and Barry Plummer is back with everything you need to know from Hawaii
After what feels like an eternity, we are finally about to see the return of PGA Tour golf to our television screens. The 2022 calendar kicks off with a bang in Hawaii, with a high quality field of winners ready to do battle for the Sentry Tournament of Champions. After reviewing the data from the 2021 season, and with a cursory glance at the performances of certain players in the wrap-around events, I have picked out three players who could kick off the new year with a win. You’ll get your free golf betting tips later, but first…
Sentry Tournament of Champions details
Venue: Plantation Course, Kapalua Resort, Hawaii
Date: January 6-9, 2022
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: $8 million
Defending champion: Harris English (-25)
Sentry Tournament of Champions TV coverage
Thursday: Sky Sports Golf from 8.15pm and Sky Sports Main Event from 11pm
Friday: Sky Sports Golf from 8.15pm and Sky Sports Main Event from 9.30pm
Saturday: Sky Sports Golf from 8.15pm and Sky Sports Main Event from 8.30pm
Sunday: Sky Sports Golf from 6.30pm
Sentry Tournament of Champions golf betting tips
Justin Thomas – 2.5pts e/w @ 10/1 with bet365
Justin Thomas is a two-time winner of this event, and boasts an incredible record around this track with four top-3 finishes in his last five visits to the Plantation course. His general consistency around this track is so impressive, as he has not shot an over-par round since the 2018 edition of this event.
Thomas has also been in fine form recently, with four top-5 finishes in his last six events. In the last 12 months, Thomas ranks 4th for SG: Tee-to-green which will allow him to attack these wide fairways and have no trouble finding the green. Whilst his putting has improved in his last few events, this is the area of his game that will need to be on point this week. Nevertheless, few know how to win top tier PGA Tour events like this guy and I cannot resist starting the year with Thomas as my banker selection.
Cameron Smith – 1.5pt e/w @ 28/1 with bet365
Cameron Smith is certainly the one to watch for me this season, as I genuinely believe he can make the leap to join the upper-echelons of the PGA Tour elite. The Australian’s performances last year where on the whole very impressive, with a win and a runner-up finish sandwiched between seven top-10s. His most recent outing at the RSM Classic saw him finish in 4th, so he certainly arrives in great form to challenge for his 4th PGA Tour victory.
A win at the 2019 Sony Open in Hawaii suggests he knows how to get the job done in this part of the world, and a solid performance in this event last year adds confidence to this selection. His short game prowess will also be an advantage here, ranking 6th for SG: Putting and 15th for SG: Around-the-green in the last 12 months. This may be the first time I tip Smith this year, but it certainly will not be the last.
Marc Leishman – 1pt e/w @ 40/1 with bet365
From one Aussie to another, and at a bigger price than Smith it may be worth having an each-way punt on Leishman. You only have to look at his form from the wrap-around season to see that Leishman is on fire at the moment, with two third place and one fourth place finish in his last five events. His course form is also impressive, with a T4 and T7 finish in this event previously.
However, as well as his strong form, Leishman also boasts some incredible stats for the last few months. His putter has finally warmed up again, ranking 5th for SG: Putting, and his overall consistency sees him rank inside the top-10 for SG: Total. Leishman has won a PGA Tour title in each of the last three seasons, so why not get his annual tradition out of the way early at a big price?
For more prices, visit bet365.