Sentry Tournament of Champions tips

Sentry Tournament of Champions Golf Betting Tips

Sentry Tournament of Champions Golf Betting Tips

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Rob Cobley’s World Tour Championship Betting Tips

Tony Finau - 22/1 To Win Robert Strebb - 200/1 To Win

The Course

The Plantation Course - Kapalua Resort, Maui, Hawaii, USA - Par 73, 7,500 Yards

The opening event of 2021 is at a course that is equally as familiar as it is dramatic, as last year's winning PGA Tour players head to Maui for the Sentry Tournament of Champions. As the name suggests, only those that have won on the PGA Tour in 2020 get an invite, and few turn down the chance to kick off the new year in such beautiful surroundings. Kapalua is regularly the longest course on Tour, and is set to be so again this year, with the major venues not the longest - Kiawah comes closest at 7,250 yards. That length is more than offset by the generous terrain and five par 5s that make this regularly one of the lowest scoring venues on Tour (Jordan Spieth posted 30 under par five years ago). Most holes are downhill and there is generally little trouble. The biggest danger here is the ball rolling too far, as the fairways are abridged and don't run all the way to the green on most holes.

The average width of the fairways at Kapalua is over 50 yards, so it will be rare to see the players hitting from the rough (although what there is is incredibly sparse). This is definitely a second shot course, and most players will just hit the driver without much thought. The second shots become slightly more tricky, especially if the winds blow, as is possible atop the steep cliff faces of Maui. It isn't unusual to see gusts of over 60 mph and we have had days lost in two of the last four years for this reason. The greens themselves are large, undulating, slow surfaces that are receptive and offer up a number of birdie opportunities. The slowness is also a factor that reduces the advantage of the strongest putters, and any player can go low on any day if they have confidence in their stroke and are aggressive on the greens.

Taking away the threat from the wind, Kapalua plays exactly as it is; a generous, low scoring, resort course. All the par 5s are either birdie or eagle chances, and scores of 30 under par have been achieved here twice; the only course to have that honour aside from La Quinta where we will be for the American Express in a few weeks. The winner this week will need to gain their advantage on proximity of their approach shots, and to putt well on the slow Bermuda greens.

Last year's winning score of 14 under par was unusually high due to incredibly tough conditions throughout the week.

Last Five Winners

Year Winner Score
2020: Justin Thomas -14
2019: Xander Schauffele -23
2018: Dustin Johnson -24
2017: Justin Thomas -22
2016: Jordan Spieth -30

The Market Leaders

A slightly amended qualification criteria is in place this week. This includes any player that made the Tour Championship at East Lake receiving an invite, as well as last year's reduced number of winners; leaving a field of 45 to battle it out with no cut in Hawaii. Dustin Johnson (6/1) would likely have been the favourite here whatever the field, having won comfortably back in 2018 and 2013, in an event where he has never finished outside the top 10 in his career. That is no surprise the course is a monster that favours big hitting and Johnson has the added benefit of being an incredibly strong wind player which further strengthens his credentials on this exposed clifftop course. DJ won his last event, which was The Masters and, although the seven week break provides a level of uncertainty, no doubt holds strong claims this week. The price seems about right.

Justin Thomas (13/2) was the winner in last year's more attritional event. 14 under par is the highest score to have won here since the turn of the century, and it's likely not something we will see again. Conditions this week are forecast to be easier, although that certainly doesn't discount Thomas who also won here back in 2017. With a 3rd place finish sandwiched between those wins, and a 2nd on his last proper outing at Augusta, Thomas represents a similar dilemma to Johnson. The price is short, but justifiably so. Is he for me? No. However, it is hard to see Thomas not putting together some sort of challenge over the season's opening four days.

In the absence of Rory McIlroy, who would likely have claimed this spot, John Rahm (15/2) comes in as the third favourite. With finishes of 2nd, 8th and 10th over his three starts here, the output isn't that impressive given the reduced field. Rahm had a disappointing end to last season, with only one post lockdown win, and a couple of blow up holes prevented him from contending seriously at Augusta. He can turn up on any day and contend, but for me, he represents the least value of the three market leaders here at Kapalua.

Rob’s Golf Betting Tips

Headline Betting Tip

Tony Finau: 22/1 To Win

Tony Finau enjoyed - if that can be judged the right word - an incredibly frustrating 2020. He finished 2nd on four occasions and just couldn't quite get over the line despite his remarkable consistency over the twelve months. Finau certainly has the talent to be challenging the very best players on Tour, and if he can break through that mental stigma this season, it could be a really big one for him.

Tony is a native Hawaiian and is making only his second start at Kapalua, having finished 9th on his debut here in 2017. He is another huge hitter who will enjoy the large expansive fairways, and the fact that the approach shots are usually with far more than a wedge will certainly play to his advantage. With top 10 finishes in three of his last five events in 2020, and with the pressure off here (no cut, no crowds, limited field), the conditions are set up perfectly for a player of Finau's profile to come to the fore. He is worth backing with 3 points e/w at 22/1.

Other Betting Tip

Robert Streb: 200/1 To Win

Robert Streb is one of the prices I find most surprising this week. The big hitting American was in great form last year, and won just two months ago at the RSM Classic in Georgia to qualify for this event for just the second time in his career. On his only previous appearance back in 2015, Streb finished 8th here which, again, is unsurprising given the suitability of the course to his long game. He is a hugely confident and attacking player, and the venue will hold no concerns for him. If he brings his game from eight weeks ago, then the quotes of 200/1 are quite absurd. That makes him 40/1 the place in a reduced field of only 45 players, and that simply isn't right. He is a real standout in the three figure price bracket and I have had 2 points e/w at 200/1.

2021 P&L

Following a rolling profit of 300 points for the 2019 & 2020 seasons, I am looking for a great 2021, and have some fantastic bets lined up for events throughout the year on both the PGA and European Tours. Each week I will pick between 2 to 4 selections at each event, and suggest a suitable staking plan.

Tour Points
European Tour TBC points
PGA Tour TBC points
Total TBC points
2019-01-02