2021 Sentry Tournament of Champions Props: First-Round Leaders and More
Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images. Pictured: Cameron Champ
- The 2021 portion of the PGA TOUR season begins this week at the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
- Even though there are only 42 players at the TOC, the field is loaded with stars, which makes for interesting betting opportunities, especially when it comes to props.
- Here are our favorite props at Kapalua:
The PGA TOUR’s long, cold offseason has finally concluded.
Normally, the TOC is the TOUR’s winners-only event, where players qualify for the field through a victory during the previous calendar year. But because of the hiatus, the TOUR expanded the field to also include players inside the top 30 players in the FedEx Cup standings who advanced to the 2020 TOUR Championship.
Needless to say, the 42-man field at Kapalua is loaded with talent and that should make for some interesting speculating, especially since the TOC has a reputation for being a happy hunting ground for favorites.
That doesn’t mean that some of the players down the board can’t contend at Kapalua. It just means that the more prudent move may be to back a couple longshots for a top-10 or top-20 finish rather than an outright.
With all that in mind, here are our favorite prop bets for the first PGA TOUR event of 2021:
Andrew Landry to be First-Round Leader (+8000)
With a small, select field, there won’t be many spots in which to find value this week, but this is clearly one of ‘em. In the last four years, when superstar initials JT (twice), DJ and X have won this event, the opening-round leaders have been Joaquin Niemann, Kevin Tway, Marc Leishman and Jimmy Walker. That tells us we shouldn’t be afraid to throw a dart at this prop.
If there’s a common bond between those four names, it’s that each one is considered an above-average wind player. The trade winds are common at Kapalua and while estimates as of the time I’m writing this show breezes gusting to “only” 16 mph on Thursday, there’s still something to be said for choosing a high-priced guy who knows how to flight his ball. Landry always sticks out to me in these types of conditions, but Viktor Hovland, Martin Laird and Billy Horschel could be options, as well.
Cameron Champ Top-20 Finish (-110)
Champ will be free to let the driver rip at Kapalua. It’s a long course with five par 5s and wide-open fairways, so it should play to his strengths. Champ has played this course twice, finishing 11th and 14th, and with a few extra players in the field he’ll need to play a little bit better to duplicate those results. I’m confident he can do that.
Champ ended 2020 on a high note with an 18th-place finish at The Masters and a top-10 result at the Zozo. If he can pick up where he left off, this should be another spot he can hang on the leaderboard.
Marc Leishman Top-10 Finish (+450)
There is understandably a lot of concern around Marc Leishman’s game heading into the new year, and we are certainly getting some good odds due to that uncertainty. He just simply wasn’t the same golfer we became accustomed to following the COVID break as he had no top-25 finishes in his 12 tournaments leading up to The Masters. Included in that, were some flat last-place finishes, by a lot, in short-field, no-cut events like this one.
I’m sure I’ve already lost you on this one after that introduction, but hear me out. Leishman managed to find something at Augusta where he finished 13th, and I think he may be the player that benefits the most from the break.
If it was an injury or just simply a lost game, he has had nearly two months to put it back together and I am willing to take a chance that he comes out resembling the good Marc Leishman on a course where he has two top-7 finishes in the last three years.
Hideki Matsuyama Top-5 Finish (+350)
Hideki is a great fit for Kapalua and his course history backs that up. In three trips to Maui to play the Sentry Tournament of Champions, Hideki has finished fourth, third and second.
While not typically a good putter, the Velcro slow greens of the Plantation course seem to ease Matsuyama’s struggles with the flat stick. The Japanese star is a world class ball-striker with eyes on getting back in the winner’s circle early and often in 2021.