Best Longshot Bets for the 2021 Sentry Tournament of Champions: Leishman, Scott and Munoz Provide Value at Kapalua
Rob Carr/Getty Images. Pictured: Marc Leishman
- The 2021 Sentry Tournament of Champions kicks off the new year for the PGA TOUR.
- The TOC has been a happy hunting ground for favorites in the past, but that doesn't mean that a longshot can't provide value.
- Here are our favorite sleepers at Kapalua:
The Sentry Tournament of Champions has not been a happy hunting ground for longshots.
You have to go back to Jonathan Byrd in 2011 to find a winner larger than +2500 at Kapalua and since then, only Patrick Reed (2015) and Schauffele (2019) were in the +2000 range as winners.
Does that mean you should completely ignore the bottom of the board? Of course not. Winning a longshot bet is one of the true joys in sports and you can’t experience that elation unless you throw your hat in the ring.
Here are our favorite sleepers for the Sentry Tournament of Champions:
MacKenzie Hughes (+15000)
I really don’t believe this week’s winner will come from outside the top tier, so let’s only talk sleepers in terms of props — and with only 42 players in this field, we can dig a little deeper for top-10 plays.
While I’m a little skeptical about taking a Canadian who might literally still be thawing out when he reaches Maui, Hughes is a tremendous fast-greens putter. With wide fairways and massive putting surfaces, this one can at times turn into a putting contest. (Remember: Among the bombers on the recent winners list are Zach Johnson and Steve Stricker.)
Hughes is a guy who can easily lead this field in putting. Don’t be surprised if his score gets a little bit better each day.
Marc Leishman (+8000)
I’m not going to be betting any big longshots to win, but Leishman is an intriguing play. Leishman has played this tournament twice in the last three years, finishing fourth and seventh, and looked to bounce back a little bit at the Masters.
Leishman really struggled after the hiatus and never really came close to contention in the second half of 2020, but perhaps he can build off the momentum from his 13th-place finish at Augusta.
Sebastian Munoz (+10000)
I will qualify this pick with saying that this event is historically won by the elite players at the top of the board, so I would really tread lightly on going for outright tickets on longshots this week. I do think you can sprinkle a bit on Sebastian Munoz at what seems to be a bit of a crazy number at +10000 for a player that came on and competed with the best on multiple occasions last season.
Munoz finished inside the top-10 at both the BMW and TOUR Championship, and had top-20 finishes in the fall at the CJ Cup, ZOZO and The Masters. He showed throughout the season that he could hang with the elite players, and he has the added benefit of having some exposure to this course having made his debut at the Tournament of Champions last year.
This is a course where having some course knowledge is definitely of benefit, and the added bonus of Munoz’ putting preference for the bermudagrass greens he will see this week make him a good longshot opportunity.
I’ll look to dabble a bit on Munoz to win, but the better value in my opinion is in some fairly juicy place odds where, for example, you can get plus money for him to finish inside the top-20 in just a 42-man field.
Adam Scott (+5500)
Scott comes into 2021 with a lot of question marks. After only playing in six events last season, his showing up to Maui this week is somewhat of a surprise. If this is a sneak peak of his motivations for the season, the Aussie could be primed for a big year.
While the lack of recent results is a bit worrisome, Scott did win Genesis last year after a few month layoff. At 55-1 in a small field, that’s all I need to roll the dice on a player of Scott’s caliber.