2022 Sentry Tournament of Champions Betting Odds & Picks: 3 Players Who Fit Kapalua, Including Hideki Matsuyama
Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images. Pictured: Hideki Matsuyama
- The PGA TOUR kicks off the 2022 portion of its season at the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
- An elite field is in Maui for a 39-man, no-cut event.
- Matt Vincenzi breaks down which players fit the course best and delivers his three bets.
Sentry Tournament of Champions odds, as of Tuesday night via PointsBet.
|Si Woo Kim||+7000|
|Erik van Rooyen||+10000|
The PGA TOUR makes its return this week with the Sentry Tournament of Champions at the Kapalua Plantation Course in Maui. Kapalua is a unique par-73 measuring 7,515 yards, featuring four par 5s but only three par 3s.
The Tournament of Champions is a no-cut — and usually very low-scoring — affair, with the only exception being the 2020 edition which played more difficult due to wind. Wide fairways and soft greens typically make the event quite score-able, with coastal wind and elevation changes being the course’s only real defenses.
Per usual, every winner from the previous season is invited to participate in the Sentry Tournament of Champions. As a result, we have an excellent field this year with so many elite players in 2021 emerging victorious. As a result, the tournament boasts a relatively large field with 39 golfers scheduled to tee it up.
Predictably, the field is absolutely loaded with most of the top golfers in the world. The only player who qualified but will not play is Rory McIlroy.
Past Winners at Sentry Tournament of Champions
- 2021: Harris English (-25)
- 2020: Justin Thomas (-14)
- 2019: Xander Schauffele (-23)
- 2018: Dustin Johnson (-24)
- 2017: Justin Thomas (-22)
- 2016: Jordan Spieth (-30)
- 2015: Patrick Reed (-21)
Let’s take a look at several metrics for Kapalua’s Plantation Course to determine which golfers boast top marks in each category over their last 24 rounds:
Strokes Gained: Approach
With Greens in Regulation (GIR) percentages extremely high at Kapalua, just getting on the putting surface won’t be enough. In a low-scoring event, golfers will need to have their irons and wedges dialed in to provide scoring opportunities.
Total Strokes Gained: Approach in past 24 rounds:
- Daniel Berger (+30.1) (+1400)
- Cameron Smith (+18.3) (+1400)
- Xander Schauffele (+18.3) (+1400)
- Justin Thomas (+17.9) (+1100)
- Viktor Hovland (+17.2) (+1100)
Total Strokes Gained: Off the Tee in past 24 rounds:
- Bryson DeChambeau (+28.3) (+1200)
- Jon Rahm (+17.8) (+700)
- Viktor Hovland (+16.0) (+1100)
- Patrick Cantlay (+14.0) (+1100)
- Sam Burns (+13.4) (+1400)
With a good deal of short par 4’s on the course and easy-to-hit fairways, golfers will have wedges in their hands looking to attack pins. Historically, wedge play has been a major factor in determining a winner in Maui, and I expect that to continue in the 2022 edition.
Proximity 100-125 in past 24 rounds (per round):
- Joel Dahmen (+7.7) (+7000)
- Sam Burns (+7.4) (+1400)
- Cameron Smith (+6.9) (+1400)
- Talor Gooch (+6.8) (+2500)
- Xander Schauffele (+6.4) (+1400)
Strokes Gained: Par 5
The Plantation Course at Kapalua presents an uncommon five par 5’s, and with the Par 3’s being relatively tough at this track, taking advantage of all of the par 5’s will be crucial this week. The player who posts the lowest cumulative score on the Par 5’s holes will put themselves in a good position to win come Sunday.
Total Strokes Gained: Par 5 in past 24 rounds:
- Bryson DeChambeau (+18.9) (+1200)
- Jon Rahm (+16.6) (+700)
- Patrick Cantlay (+15.1) (+1100)
- Talor Gooch (+15.0) (+2500)
- Cameron Smith (+14.5) (+1400)
Strokes Gained: Putting (Bermudagrass) (Velcro)
The Bermudagrass greens at Kapalua are notoriously slow. In a low-scoring event, golfers will need to make a lot of putts to win, and those who prefer putting on slow Bermuda should have the advantage. Some elite putters (Reed, Spieth) have had great success here in the past.
Total strokes gained in category in past 24 rounds:
- Jordan Spieth (+16.6)+(2000)
- Patrick Reed (+12.3) (+3000)
- Kevin Kisner (+11.1) (+13000)
- Patrick Cantlay (+8.4) (+1100)
- Xander Schauffele (+8.0) (+1400)
Below, I’ve reported overall model rankings using a combination of the five key statistical categories previously discussed.
These rankings are comprised of SG: App (25%) SG: OTT (20%); SG: Par 5 (20%); Prox 100-125 (17.6%); and SG: Putting (Bermudagrass) (Velcro) (17.6%)
- Jon Rahm (+700)
- Sam Burns (+1400)
- Patrick Cantlay (+1100)
- Collin Morikawa (+1200)
- Talor Gooch (+2500)
- Cameron Smith (+1400)
- Xander Schauffele (+1200)
- Justin Thomas (+1000)
- Joel Dahmen(+7000)
- Bryson DeChambeau (+1200)
2022 Sentry Tournament of Champions Outright Betting Selections
While it may be likely that one of the golfers at the top of the odds board win this week, I don’t see much value on trying to identify which one with odds being so short.
Making outright selections for The Sentry Tournament of Champions is tricky. There are some golfers looking to finish up their vacation prior to the 2022 season, some who are there strictly to win, and others who fall somewhere in between.
Therefore, my strategy this week will be looking to start at the +2000 and beyond range and keep the exposure limited as we get our feet wet in 2022.
Hideki Matsuyama (+2200) (DraftKings):
Hideki Matsuyama feels like a great place to start in terms of value this week. There are 10 golfers ahead of him on the odds board, which doesn’t reflect his win equity. Having won twice last year including a major championship, ‘Deki has answered the question that is often asked, “he’s a great player, but can he actually win?” If 2021 was a sign of things to come, I could see a few more victories in 2022 for the Japanese star.
Known for his work ethic, Matsuyama is one of the golfers in the field who I would wager put his off time to good use. The appearance this week is likely an “all business” trip with the 28-year-old looking to continue his momentum from his best season to date.
With the exception of last year’s appearance (41st), Matsuyama has excellent course history at Kapalua. His previous three trips to the course resulted in three top five finishes: 3rd in 2015, 2nd in 2017 and 4th in 2018. It is undeniable that ‘Deki loves this place and last year’s anomaly should be attributed to his abysmal putting display, where he lost 9.7 strokes on the field.
Matsuyama rates out as an excellent value for Kapalua and has the confidence to begin his 2022 with a bang.
Billy Horschel (+7000) (DraftKings):
Another golfer who seems mispriced based off of his actual win equity is Billy Horschel. Coming off of a season where he won a World Golf Championship and the BMW PGA at Wentworth, Horschel is priced at longer odds than a large group of players who simply do not have a better chance to win than him.
Two of “Bermuda Billy’s” biggest strengths are putting on Bermuda, and the ability to flip a wedge or short iron from 125 yards and in. Horschel ranks 10th in the field in Strokes Gained: Putting on slow Bermuda and 10th in proximity from 100-125 yards.
Shorter hitters have fared well at this event, including last year’s champion Harris English. He’s played the event five times and has a 6th (2014) and an 11th (2018) scattered among three mediocre results.
Two of Horschel’s wins on TOUR have come at -20 or better, so there is no reason he can’t compete when the event inevitably turns into a birdie fest.
Phil Mickelson (+15000) (DraftKings):
Is Phil Mickelson likely to win the Sentry Tournament of Champions? No, probably not. However, his odds aren’t reflective of his actual chances of winning. In a field of 39, on a course that plays relatively easy for the best in the world, Mickelson can still compete.
We saw last season that when Mickelson has his best game, he can beat the best in the world. Of course, at 51-years-old those performances have grown fewer and farther between. Playing at a resort-style course in a no-cut event should give him a larger chance of usual to have one of his better weeks.
Kapalua is a course where Phil can get away with spraying it off of the tee here and there, as a handful of past champions have had the reputation for being inaccurate with the driver. Mickelson is still pretty good with a wedge and should be able to keep pace if he can keep the big numbers off of the scorecard.
At triple digit odds, it’s worth sprinkling a few bucks on Mickelson to capture some magic in Hawaii.
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