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Golf betting tips: Preview and tips for the 2023 Sentry Tournament of Champions

Sentry Tournament of Champions betting tips

The Sentry Tournament of Champions (formerly known as the Hyundai Tournament of Champions and SBS Tournament of Champions) is the most difficult event on the PGA Tour for which to qualify.

This is the 25th staging of what is traditionally winners-only tournament. However, this year, in addition to tournament winners from last year, the field will also feature the top 30 from last season’s final FedEx Cup points list. The Top 30 in the FedEx Cup were also invited to the tournament in 2021 as a direct response to the Covid-interrupted 2020 season.

Like last year,the only player who qualified for the event not teeing it up is World No. 1, Rory McIlroy.

The Plantation Course at Kapalua Resort on Maui again serves as the tournament host. 

Course Overview

The Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw designed Plantation Course at Kapalua serves as the tournament host. The layout opened for play in 1991 and is located on the Hawaiian island of Maui. The only Par 73 on the PGA Tour rota, it has a Par 36-37 split. It can stretch to 7,596 yards from the back sticks.

The Plantation Course is a relatively easy, wind exposed course with big elevation changes, wide fairways and large Bermuda greens. The layout usually yields very low scoring (weather permitting).

Following the 2018 tournament, a nine month comprehensive tee-to-green renovation was undertaken at a cost in excess of $10 million to enhance and improve the ‘play-ability‘ of the course. All fairways, tees and rough were grassed with Celebration Bermuda, while all greens now feature TifEagle Bermuda.

With dramatic elevation changes, the course has plenty of downhill tee shots and with many reachable Par 4s and Par 5s the big-hitters have an advantage. This undulating and often breezy track can take some getting to know and history would suggest that experience matters.

What happens green-side is what really counts this week. It is all about getting the ball close to target and converting. At a resort level scoring event, excellent scrambling to keep bogeys off the card can’t be overlooked.

2021 Sentry Tournament of Champions | Harris English

Last year’s winner, Harris English, finished with a tap in Birdie on his 72nd hole to finish on -25 (267). It was enough to force a playoff with Joaquin Niemann and the Georgia native emerged victorious on the first playoff hole with a 6-foot Birdie on the 18th.

Harris made the field for the Tournament of Champions off the back of a one-off change to the eligibility criteria for last year’s event. Because the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the Tour for three months, those players who qualified for the Tour Championship the previous season were eligible to play.

It was on the green where all the magic happened for English. Two-thirds of his overall strokes gained for the tournament came in the Strokes Gained Putting category. This equated to a gain of just under 7 strokes on the field average for the week. Other stats included T14 for Driving Accuracy, 25th for Driving Distance, T3 for GIR and T1 in Putts per GIR.

2020 Sentry Tournament of Champions | Justin Thomas

The 2020 edition of the tournament saw Justin Thomas win the Sentry Tournament of Champions for the second time having previously captured the title in 2017. JT, who looked to be coasting to victory on the back-9 Sunday, lost a two-stroke lead with only three holes to play. He finished with a -4 (69) for a total -14 (278) which was enough to secure a place in a three way playoff with Patrick Reed and the defending champion Xander Schauffele. Thomas clinched victory with a three-foot birdie on the third extra hole.

For some reason I was supposed to win this week. Through 15 holes it was one of the best rounds I’ve ever played. I was in such control, tee to green, putting beautiful, my irons were awesome and then 18 was a disaster. It worked out so I can’t complain”

Justin Thomas

JT’s victory was all about his game tee to green. He finished second in both the SG:Approach-The-Green and SG:Tee-To-Green categories. Over 90% of his strokes gained came tee to green. Other stats for the tournament include T19 for Driving Accuracy, 11th for GIR and 13th in Strokes Gained Putting.

2019 Sentry Tournament of Champions | Xander Schauffele

In 2019, Xander Schauffele shot a course-record equalling -11 (62) in the final round to beat Gary Woodland by one stroke. Schauffele finished birdie-birdie to match the course record. It was his fourth PGA Tour victory and second that season having captured the WGC HSBC Champions on his previous outing.

All aspects of Schauffele’s game was on point for the tournament, finishing in the Top 5 in each of the Strokes Gained Categories. In particular, his approach play and putting were superb, finishing the week 4th and 3rd for SG:Approach-The-Green and SG:Putting respectively. Other stats for the week include T15 for Driving Accuracy, 14th for Driving Distance, T5 for GIR and 2nd in Putts per GIR.

2018 Sentry Tournament of Champions | Dustin Johnson

The 2018 champion, Dustin Johnson, closed with a final round -8 (65) to win by an emphatic 8 strokes from his nearest rival, Jon Rahm. One of the highlights of his final round was his drive on the 433 yard Par 4 12th which finished 6 inches from the hole for a ‘gimme‘ eagle.

“If I can play like that every week, I’m going to win a lot of times”

Dustin Johnson

Dustin finished the week first in Strokes Gained Off-The-Tee, gaining a mouth watering 8.902 strokes on the field average for the week. He also finished T18 for Driving Accuracy, 2nd for Driving Distance, T8 for GIR and 1st in Putts per GIR.

2017 Sentry Tournament of Champions | Justin Thomas

In 2017, Justin Thomas, emerged victorious shooting -22 (270) for the week, three strokes clear of his nearest rival Hideki Matsuyama. It was one of five victories that season for the Kentuckian. Thomas finished the week first in Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green gaining 8.265 strokes on the field average. His strong play from the tee and on approach was duly complimented by his putting, finishing the week 4th in Strokes Gained Putting. Thomas ranked 3rd for Driving Distance, T17 for Driving Accuracy and 2nd in GIR.

2016 Sentry Tournament of Champions | Jordan Spieth

In 2016 Jordan Spieth, captured his seventh PGA Tour title at the Tournament of Champions with a golfing master class. He won by an impressive eight strokes finishing on a score of -30(262). His excellent approach play and short game laid the foundation for his victory. He gained an impressive 1.9 strokes per round from putting which accounted for 45 percent of his total gain. The Texan ranked T17 for Driving Distance, T12 for Driving Accuracy, T11 in GIR and 1st for Strokes Gained Putting. He also finished the week 3rd for both Proximity to the Hole and Scrambling.

Sentry Tournament of Champions Tips & Predictions

Sungjae Im golf betting tips

Sungjae Im 22/1 (E/W) – this will be his third time teeing it up at the Sentry TOC. His previous two visits to Kapalua yielded a T5 in 2021 and a T8 last year. Prior to his wedding in December, he finished T8 in the Hero World Challenge and T34 in The CJ Cup in South Carolina. As you would come to expect, his solid play year-on-year is reflected in his stats, placing just outside the Top 10 in this week’s Stats Analysis. No doubting he has the game to challenge the best in the field. With his talent, he is hard to ignore, especially at these odds.

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