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2022 PGA Sentry Tournament Of Champions Odds: Thomas Favored

Justin Thomas tees off at the Sentry Tournament of Champions

The PGA Tour returns this week as 39 winners from last season are set to play in the year’s first event, the Sentry Tournament of Champions. The world’s best are ready to get their 2022 underway in style in this limited-field, no-cut event at the vast property that is the Plantation Course at Kapalua.

Historically, the story of the Sentry Tournament of Champions is that the best players in the world do typically win the event. Over the last decade or so, we have seen winners such as Harris English, Justin Thomas (twice), Xander Schauffele, Dustin Johnson (twice), Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed. All have either won or factored in major championships in their careers and if in the field this week, they are a threat to take home the Sentry Tournament of Champions crown.

One course in particular stands out when comparing the victors listed above and a potential correlation to a more publicly known venue. That would be Augusta National, which annually hosts the Masters, the year’s first major championship. Previous players to have won both include Johnson, Spieth and Reed – whom we mentioned above – as well as Zach Johnson and Tiger Woods.

2021 Sentry Tournament Of Champions Results

Last year’s leaderboard featured every type of player you could imagine, ranging from young studs to wily veterans and players looking to break out of a winless drought. English finished at 25 under alongside Joaquin Niemann and won on the first playoff hole via a birdie on No. 18.

Truth be told, it was not the former Georgia Bulldog’s best week from tee to green in last year’s Sentry Tournament of Champions. In fact, he ranked 13th in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green as he struggled from around the green. While his ball-striking was strong, his putting was even stronger, leading the field by the end of the week with his flat stick in hand.

The reason why the putter has held the keys to the kingdom in Kapalua is the rest of the test tends to be a bit easier. Last year, players hit these fairways at nearly an 85 percent clip and greens in regulation at an 82 percent clip, which are both well above tour average.

With so many players finding the short grass and subsequently the greens, the flat stick inherently becomes more important. While that’s the most difficult area of the game to predict as it is the most volatile, hopefully we can come close as we begin the new year at the Sentry Tournament of Champions.

2022 Sentry Tournament Of Champions Favorites

Justin Thomas is listed as the favorite at BetOnline Sportsbook at +800 odds to capture his third Sentry Tournament of Champions title. According to our odds calculator, the American has an 11.11 percent chance to capture his first victory since the Players Championship in March 2021.

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Who Is Favored To Win The 2022 Sentry Tournament of Champions?

2022 Sentry Tournament of Champions Odds
GolferOdds
Justin Thomas+800
Jon Rahm+900
Xander Schauffele+1000
Collin Morikawa+1100
Bryson DeChambeau+1100
Patrick Cantlay+1400
Viktor Hovland+1600
Jordan Spieth+2000
Sam Burns+2200
Daniel Berger+2200
Cam Smith+2200
Tony Finau+2500
Sungjae Im+2500
Patrick Reed+2800

Odds as of January 4 at BetOnline Sportsbook

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Course And Analysis:

The Plantation Course at Kapalua has been a staple on the PGA Tour for the last couple of decades. Playing nearly 7,500 yards last year, at first glance, one may consider it one of the longer golf courses these professionals play on an annual basis. However, the caveat is the fact it will play to a par 73 as it features only three par 3s on the property along with the standard four par 5s.

This will drive up the importance of par-5 scoring for the week and obviously diminish that of par-3 scoring. In addition, proximity from 200-plus yards tends to be an indicator for success in Hawaii. Players are faced with more than 25 percent of their approach shots from this distance, well above the standard PGA Tour stop.

Because of this, long iron play, par-5 scoring and your standard ball-striking metrics are the bones of the analysis for the Sentry Tournament of Champions. I am not overly concerned about off-the-tee play as the fairways are so wide and hit at such a high rate, where accuracy can take a back seat.

Last Year’s Leaderboard

When looking at last year’s leaderboard, only two players inside the top five finished the week inside the top 12 in driving accuracy. The remaining four all finished outside the top 29 in the statistical category, to give you some sort of baseline.

And while the first inclination would be to back bombers, it’s not like they have torn up this place, outside of Dustin Johnson. English finished 20th in driving distance last season, just about in the middle of the pack, while Cameron Champ finished the tournament in a tie for 31st, leading the field in driving distance.

Strong ball-strikers with the ability to run hot with the putter is the profile we are essentially looking for. It is a strong field, so this describes a large number of players, so the Sentry Tournament of Champions betting odds will be the eventual difference-maker when looking at our selections.

2022 Sentry Tournament Of Champions Expert Selections:

Patrick Reed (+2500)

It was a strange final four months of 2021 for Patrick Reed, getting severely ill and having to spend time in hospital, not qualifying for the Ryder Cup or garnering a captain’s selection, and then almost winning a couple of times as well. Lucky for us two of those three things are in the past and hopefully his winning ways won’t be as this has been a spot on the calendar where he has thrived.

The winner in 2015, Reed backed up his victory with a runner-up effort the very next year, a T-6 result in 2017 and a playoff loss to Justin Thomas in 2020. The reason for all of this success at the Plantation Course is rather simple: Reed loves these greens and putts the living daylights out of them.

He’s gained strokes with the flat stick in hand in six of seven appearances here, including a performance of +9.3 SG: Putting. Believe it or not, this was actually an area where he was lagging in the swing season, namely at the World Wide Technology Championship and a bit at the Hero World Challenge. Known to do some of his best work in the best of fields at longer golf courses, Reed should once again factor in the Sentry Tournament of Champions.

Sungjae Im (+2800)

It wasn’t English or Niemann who led the field in last year’s Sentry Tournament of Champions in SG: Tee-to-Green, but Im, who finished in a tie for fifth in his debut appearance at the Plantation Course. Seventh in SG: Off-the-Tee, sixth in SG: Approach and sixth in SG: Around-the-Green, it is likely the South Korean would have made his way into the two-man playoff had he just performed adequately on the greens.

After finishing 35th in SG: Putting by week’s end, I am willing to chance he figures out the Bermuda-laced greens in his second time around. The fall swing treated Im quite nicely, as he not only notched his second victory on the PGA Tour at the Shriners Children’s Open but also collected three additional quality results in the process.

Ranking second in SG: Around-the-Green, he finished in a tie for 31st in his first start of his 2021-22 PGA Tour season at the Sanderson Farms Championship. The 23-year-old collected a top-10 result at the CJ Cup @ Summit, once again impressing from tee to green, ranking third in said category. This continued into the HPE Houston Open where he finished in a tie for 19th despite ranking fifth in SG: Tee-to-Green, courtesy of his ball-striking numbers.

Having had a runner-up result in a wet, slow Masters in November 2020, Im should be well acclimated to this week’s conditions. He has the ability to go low given his results at TPC Summerlin as well as at Caves Valley – another undulating course, I might add – so I am comfortable with him on my Sentry Tournament of Champions card at this price.

Marc Leishman (+3500)

I am of the belief Marc Leishman is about to have a fantastic year coming off what was a much-needed swing season. Finishing in a tie for fourth at the Fortinet Championship and a tie for third at the Shriners Children’s Open, the Australian utilized blistering hot rounds on Sunday to propel himself into contention.

He would tack on a T-38 result at the CJ Cup @ Summit before finishing in a tie for 19th at the HPE Houston Open, where he actually faltered in the final round. Gaining strokes on approach, around the green and on the greens in each of these events, Leishman’s game appears primed for a massive breakout.

While he lost strokes off the tee in half his starts, the primary factor was accuracy, as the length was well apparent and should treat him accordingly this week. With the entirety of his bag in tune, a venue such as the Plantation Course at Kapalua should be right in his wheelhouse.

Possessing a couple of top-five finishes at the Masters, Leishman’s game has translated to success here in the past. With finishes of T-7 in 2018 and T-4 in 2019, it is clear he is comfortable with uneven lies, strong winds and wider than average fairways. He was great to end 2021 and I am willing to say he will once again be great to begin 2022 at the Sentry Tournament of Champions.