Sentry Tournament of Champions preview and betting tips
Venue: Plantation Course, Kapalua, Hawaii
Date: January 3-6, 2019
Course stats: Par 73, 7,518 yards (up from 7,452 last year)
Purse: $7 million
Defending champion: Dustin Johnson (-24)
Weather forecast: Sunny, but winds of 23mph on Thursday, 25mph on Friday and 20mph on Saturday. The gusts drop to 7mph on Sunday. The wind is ENE for the first three days which is the prevailing wind at Kapalua.
Thursday: Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Main Event – from 11pm
Friday: Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Main Event – from 11pm
Saturday: Sky Sports Golf – from 9pm
Sunday: Sky Sports Golf – from 11pm
Sentry Tournament of Champions preview
With its wide fairways and huge greens, the Plantation Course at Kapalua has become renowned for being a birdie fest, with only two scores below 20-under winning since 2009.
Dustin Johnson took the title for the second time 12 months ago – capping his display by almost acing the 433-yard par-4 12th in the final round.
Is this guy even human?! pic.twitter.com/EQj2EYUWWn
— Golf Channel (@GolfChannel) January 8, 2018
The wind can cause some trouble for the players on this exposed layout and, with only three par 3s (the 2nd, 8th and 11th), par 5 scoring will be important.
As it says on the tin, the tournament brings together the PGA Tour winners from the previous season but we don’t always have a full house.
Tiger Woods’ desire to limit his schedule this year sees him skip the event and Justin Rose, as well as Phil Mickelson, also gives it a miss.
But Rory McIlroy makes his earliest ever start to a golfing year with his first appearance.
He may go away empty handed as course form has generally proved to be very important here.
The undulations of the course, combined with those gusts, means only Sergio Garcia (2002) and Daniel Chopra (2008) have managed to walk off with the trophy on debut.
Sentry Tournament of Champions each-way betting tips
The scores might suggest this is target golf but the wind means it’s handy to have a player who can handle himself in a breeze.
Anyone who has had a casual look at Marc Leishman’s Open Championship record will know the Australian has no issues when the gusts are blowing everyone else sideways.
Leishman was in the frame last year before an inexplicable third-round 76.
He rallied well with 67 to finish in tied 7th and comes here on the back of a runners-up showing in the Australian PGA Championship last month.
He’s a big price at 25/1.
Patrick Reed (16/1) might be the man everyone loves to hate but we can forgive him his Ryder Cup antics if he continues his affection for the Plantation Course.
The winner in 2015, runner up in 2016, and tied 6th in 2017, Captain America’s record here really is first class.
Given his recent runners-up finish at the DP World Tour Championship in November, the only thing that might possibly worry you is early year ring rust.
I’m not concerned about it at all. This is a course he loves. “The golf course fits my eye really well,” he said prior to his second spot to Jordan Spieth three years ago.
He just has to be a must each-way poke here, doesn’t he?
So you’ve seen our tipster’s value selections for the Sentry Tournament of Champions, but who are his top tips for the event? Find out on the next page…