Sentry Tournament Of Champions Golf Betting Tips
Luke Tredget brings you his first round of tips in the New Year, as he previews the 2019 Sentry Tournament of Champions.
The Plantation Course in Kapalua Hawaii hosts this yearly opener for the 21st time in a row. Kapalua is a long, wide open par 73 with fairways full of slopes. The greens are huge and tend to be on the slower side. The tournament is always a low scoring one with the courses only real protection coming if the wind blows, and the forecast is for strong winds in the first three rounds. Punters should be looking towards long powerful drivers with a good putting touch. This is a limited field event, consisting of just 34 players and there is no cut.
There can only be one place to start when looking for the winner of this event, and that’s two time champion Dustin Johnson. Nobody in the field plays Kapalua better than DJ, his effortless power means he regularly makes mincemeat of not just the par 5’s but virtually the entire course. When winning this tournament last year Johnson averaged an astonishing 324.7 yards per drive, and Kapalua is such a bombers paradise that remarkably 35 of the 50 longest drives of last season took place here. We can safely assume that DJ will be gripping and ripping again this week, and he looks one to back despite being the betting favourite as his credentials are rock solid. Along with his two wins here, Johnson has four other top 10’s at the track and we’ll take the 5/1* Bet UK are offering that he books a third triumph on Sunday.
Other Big Names In Hawaii
Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, Rory Mcilroy, Brooks Koepka and Jason Day follow DJ in the betting and of those it is Rahm that is most feared. The Spaniard was last seen winning in the Bahamas on a long, open and windy track not entirely dissimilar to this week’s test, and given that he was second here last year on his first look round, a strong challenge is fully expected. Debutants rarely go well at Kapalua, there are some tricky slopes and angles that can take a lot of getting used to, so Rahm’s effort last year was a sterling one. Justin Thomas has won this event before, although his other two attempts have been pretty dismal and it’s also worth noting his victory came when there was virtually no wind and that certainly won’t be the case this week. Rory Mcilroy tees it up at Kapalua for the first time in his career and whilst he’s too talented to ever fully write off, there is no incentive to back him at a single figure price when the course can often take a fair bit of learning. Brooks Koepka will tee it up as the world number one and like Rahm he is very much a possible winner. There are few courses on the planet you’d think were unsuitable for Koepka these days, so well rounded is his game and his power packed driving will once again be an asset this week. Koepka has a third place finish here from 2016 which confirms he can contend around Kapalua. Jason Day has a decent enough record here, but he’s becoming pretty expensive to follow as his consistency means he remains a short price every time he tees it up, yet he’s rarely coming close to actually winning. Another good week is expected for the Aussie, but he can’t be considered for the staking plan.
Our second and final bet for this tournament will be Patrick Reed at Bet UK’s 13/1*. Reed has a tremendous record at Kapalua, winning the event in 2015 and following that up with 2nd and 6th place finishes. A swashbuckling driver of the ball when on song, Reed also has a wonderful touch around the greens so it’s no surprise the Hawaii track is right up his street. His only real weakness is a lack of accuracy with his irons and the huge Kapulua greens mean that part of the game is the least required this week. Reed played averagely in the Bahamas when last seen, and laboured in Hong Kong prior to that, but that fiddly little track is the complete opposite of this week’s test, and it’s far more relevant that Reed posted an impressive second place when allowed room to operate in Dubai. A nice rest and a return to a venue he clearly adores should see Reed in full flow this week and along with Rahm and Koepka he rates the greatest danger to Dustin Johnson.
Kapalua can be a bit of a puzzle and nobody enjoys solving golfing challenges more than Bryson Dechambeau. He couldn’t figure Kapalua out last year though, and whilst he’s quite clearly an even better player now he makes little appeal at the 12/1* mark. When the wind blows you simply have to have Marc Leishman on your mind, the Aussie is tremendous in a breeze and finished last season with an excellent run of form that included a win in Malaysia. He was 7th here last year and given the weather forecast will understandably be on many punters short list. Cameron Champ will probably register a victory here at some point in the next decade, the wide open spaces of Kapalua will play right into his power packed hands. However as previously mentioned the quirks of the track mean debutants have a poor record overall and for that reason alone Champ is omitted from the staking plan. Limited field events tend to see the cream rise to the top and searching for a big priced outsider likely to go well this week is a difficult task. For those who like to have one on side at a huge price, maybe look towards Patton Kizzire at Bet UK’s 70/1*. His confidence should be up after playing well and winning the QBE shootout in tandem with Brian Harman and he’s a more than competent wind player too.
Bet UK’s Betting Tips
|3pts EW||Dustin Johnson||5/1*|
|1.5pts EW||Patrick Reed||13/1*|
*All odds from Bet UK’s online sportsbook correct at the time of writing
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