Odds & Viewing Guide for PGA Sentry Tournament of Champions
by Kent Whitaker Scores & Statson
The Sentry Tournament of Champions kicks off the PGA schedule following the Christmas and holiday break. The field will host 34 of 37 eligible players in the “no-cut” event taking place at the Plantation Course at Kapalua, Hawaii. Three big-name players are taking a pass from the tournament while Dustin Johnson is favored heading in.
Johnson currently holds the No. 3 spot in the Official World Golf Rankings while Brooks Koepka, also playing in the Tournament of Champions, currently tops the Golf Rankings with the No. 1 spot. Justin Rose, currently ranked No. 2 in the world is one of the players not taking part in the event.
Rose, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson all announced before the Friday deadline that they would be skipping the tournament. While Rose was a surprise announcement, Woods and Mickelson were expected to skip the Sentry since this is not the first time they’ve done so.
Woods won the Tournament of Champions twice but has skipped it every time since 2005. Mickelson has not played since 2001. That leaves Johnson, Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka and Rory McIlroy holding the top-five favored spots according to oddsmakers. Here’s a look at the top-five according to Intertops with the remaining player odds listed below.
Johnson comes in at +500 with Rahm holding the second spot at +700. Thomas and Koepka both sport a +750 with McIlroy coming in at +900. Rahm comes into the tournament ranked No. 6 with Thomas ranked No. 4 in the world. McIlroy started to return to form in 2018 and climbed to the No. 8 spot.
Why Johnson is the Favored Player
Dustin Johnson enters the Sentry Tournament of Champions as the defending champion with a chance to win the event for the third time in his professional career. While he did drop down the leaderboard of the OWGR, it was mostly due to him skipping a few tournaments towards the end of the schedule heading into the Christmas/Holiday break. During this time, golfers such as Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau played amazing golf while jumping up the rankings.
Oddsmakers may feel that Johnson’s calm and cool playing attitude may be perfect for the first event coming off the break. Plus, the Plantation Course is one that Johnson’s playing style seems to favor as he’s won there twice. He’s also been in the running several times over the last few years.
There are other past winners in the field. Two in fact! Justin Thomas nailed down the win in 2017 while Patrick Reed won in 2015.
The Remaining Odds for Tournament of Champions
Charles Howell III
The Plantation Course at Kapalua
Known as being one of the most scenic courses in Hawaii, The Plantation Course at Kapalua is the only course on the PGA tour with par 73. Other courses on the tour vary between par 70 and par 72. Elevation between holes vary as the course winds through the natural terrain and historic buildings. Hole 17 starts with a tee box on a mountain slope with the green dropping in elevation dramatically.
The course sits along the slope of a mountain. The drop of elevation continues to hole 18. The start of the course, hole 1, starts at the bottom of the slope. Almost every hole offers dramatic ocean views. The design is deceptive as it looks like the elevation drops would force the use of long par-three holes. However, the Plantation Course is the only course on the PGA Tours with seven holes of more than 500 yards. This is the first PGA event at the course since undergoing a renovation in 2018.