Happy New Year! Let’s make some money gambling on golf, shall we? As the regular season of the NFL is coming to an end, I am starting to switch gears and get ready for what should be an incredible 2022 golf season. I absolutely love golf and think it’s the best sport in the world. I am very excited to write/talk about golf this year. My plan is to post a blog every Wednesday before a tournament. I will give a brief preview of the event and send you on your way with some buttery locks. Also please be sure to tune into our podcast ‘Smokin’ Greens’ for more winners! Without further ado, lets get into the first event of the season.
Sentry Tournament of Champions
Location: Kapalua, Hawaii
Course: Plantation Course at Kapalua Resort
Par: 73 (3 par 3’s, 11 par 4’s, 4 par 5’s)
Length: 7596 yards
Field: 39 players – No Cut
Greens: Bermudagrass – 10 on Stimpmeter (Slow)
Avg Green Size: 8722 sq. ft. (Large)
Purse: $8,200,000 – Winner $1.476 Million
FedEx Cup Points: 500
The Sentry Tournament of Champions is an event where only the winners from the previous year are invited. The only golfer that qualified that is not attending is Rory McIlroy. There was also a special exception made for Xander Schauffele who didn’t win on the tour but won the gold medal at the Olympics. So, there is some serious star power in this event. Let’s start by getting into the golf course a little bit.
The Plantation Course at Kapalua is an interesting course. I’ll start by saying it’s absolutely beautiful. I’ve been down a google rabbit hole looking at photos. When you look at the length you would think it’s a very long difficult course but its actually not at all. The fairways here are absolutely enormous. The rough isn’t over penalizing. The greens are huge but slow. There are no water hazards anywhere on the course. Bermudagrass greens. The only thing that can really protect this golf course is some wind and the forecast isn’t really calling for much.
Last year this course played as the easiest out of 51 courses played on tour. So, the course is extremely getable. I expect to see a lot of guys hitting diver and then having wedge/short iron in. The key is you have to get hot with the putter. The winner score last year was -25 by Harris English. Based on everything I am hearing about conditions this year; I expect that score to be even lower. So were looking to back guys who make birdies!
Justin Thomas +850
Cameron Smith +2200
Sungjae Im +2200
Patrick Reed +2800
Jason Kokrak +3500
Generally, when betting outrights, I like to take a look at one guy at the top of the odds board, grab a few in the middle, then just a longshot or two. Since this is a limited, but stacked field with no cut it does make things a little different. My up top choice was a tight between Thomas and Morikawa. I ended up going with Thomas because of his past success here (2 wins). I love Cam Smith and his mullet. That dude loves making birdies. Sungjae is a robot with his slow back swing. He loves starting the season hot and is a good bermudagrass putter. Patty Reed is on a warpath this year. He wasn’t selected for the Ryder Cup and I think he’s out for blood in 2022. We end this off with the KOK. I like Kokrak at this price as a little bit of a long shot. Harris English won last year at 33/1 so it’s a similar price. Kokrak won a similar limited field, no cut event last year so he has shown he’s capable in this format.
Full Tournament Matchups:
Morikawa > Hovland -111
JT > Hovland -130
Ancer > Koepka -120
Matsuyama > Spieth -105
Burns > DeChambeau +140
I have the Hovland fade going and I am a little nervous about it. My reasoning is that Hovland got to Maui last Wednesday however his golf clubs didn’t show up till this morning. And to make matters worse, they snapped his driver when shipping it. So, I am hoping Viktor has been on the beach sipping Mai Tais while waiting for his clubs. I like Ancer over Koepka lot. Brooks often doesn’t get up for these limited field tourneys. Matsu is a ball striking machine and should be leaving himself nice short birdie putts. Then we round things off taking Burns over big bad Bryson. By all accounts the only thing Bryson has been working on has been his speed and long drive. While that driving distance is important this week, I think he’s going to be rusty with the wedges. So, give be Sammy Burns as a decent size dog.
This is the first tourney of the year, so I am keeping things a bit light. As we move through the season and see more of these guys, I am sure I will be betting A LOT more. It’s tough to play top 5s, 10s, 20s in such a limited field, so expect those wagers in the future as well. Then of course we have my favorite bet to sweat in golf, the first-round leader. I haven’t finalized my picks for that. Its such a fun bet to sweat out on a Thursday that I’ll definitely be playing some guys. Follow along on my twitter for those plays!
Thanks for reading! I am extremely pumped for the golf season and ill be here all year dropping my picks. As I mentioned earlier, listen to our golf podcast ‘Smokin’ Greens’ which will have more of our thoughts and opinions.
Twitter: @Bminus3 @Smokin_Greens