Sentry Tournament of Champions: PGA Golf Betting Predictions and Tips

Craig Edwards

Monday, December 30, 2019 2:02 PM UTC

Monday, Dec. 30, 2019 2:02 PM UTC

Craig Edwards previews the Sentry Tournament of Champions for
<div><h2 style="text-align:center"><strong>Sentry Tournament of Champions</strong></h2><p style="text-align:center"><strong>January 2-5</strong></p><p style="text-align:center"><strong>Kapalua Resort, Plantation Course - Hawaii</strong></p><p style="text-align:center"><strong>Par 73, 7518 yards</strong></p><p style="text-align:center"> </p><p>The traditional curtain-raiser on the PGA Tour since 1953 has been played at the Kapalua Resort since 1999. Restricted to the previous year's tournament winners, a reward for them to start the season in a limited-field no cut event. The Plantation Course was designed by Ben Crenshaw and sets an exposed test if the wind blows with wide fairways but sharp elevation changes in an idyllic setting.</p><p> </p><h2><strong>Golf Predictions and Tips</strong></h2><p>Last year's champion Xander Schauffle returns to defend the crown, a feat that has been achieved a couple of times in recent years by Australians Geoff Ogilvy and Stuart Appleby. It looks, without doubt, the San Diego man is going to be competing for major championships in the coming years with an impressive five top 6 finishes in them already. Three runner up finishes since his win here means Schauffle will be motivated to emulate the two Australians as a back to back winner of the Tournament of Champions this week.</p><p>2018 saw Dustin Johnson beat Jon Rahm by eight strokes but the Spaniard Rahm strikes me as a future winner of the event. From the US Open at Pebble Beach, his consistency has been astounding winning the Irish Open, Open De Spanà and the DP World Tour Championship to land the number one spot and ‘Race to Dubai’ on the European Tour. That superb spell of form has encompassed twelve tournaments with seven top 5 finishes marking him out as a viable alternative to Brooks Koepka and Rory McIlroy as a future world number one. Interestingly Rahm has lots of his best form at venues close to the Sea or Ocean, in fact, he excels at links golf particularly when scoring is low which is often the case this week. He has developed an affinity for links in Ireland twice winning their Open and competing prominently for the Open Championship at Royal Portrush Golf Club last year.</p><p>With all the ingredients discussed above, Rahm looks a solid favourite. While 2017 champion Justin Thomas who finished 2019 in sublime form winning the BMW Championship and CJ Cup @Nine Bridges looks a strong second favourite. He led the United States team to a spirited comeback in the Presidents Cup under Tiger Woods leadership that made him a general.</p><p>Good to see Brendan Todd back at Kapalua for the first time since 2015 following his 2014 Byron Nelson Classic win. In 2015 he managed an impressive eighth-place finish in Hawaii at a track suited perfectly to his strengths. Yes, it's been a few weeks since he last played like all the players but his end to 2019 was special for so many reasons, firstly he was very close to the rare feat in the modern-day game of three successive PGA Tour wins. Secondly, it completed a remarkable career comeback form the abyss, at the start of 2016 no one could have predicted the slump in form he suffered that resulted in no top 10 finishes as the yips spread through all parts of his game. The yips are a debilitating mental condition that usually affects the dexterous part of the sport; putting and chipping. But in Todd's case, it also affected his game from the fairways particularly with woods and long irons. With the help of former PGA Tour player and now respected coach, Bradley Hughes he started to rebuild his game at the end of 2018. His price this week of 51.00 is attractive given he played well previous at Kapalua and his last three finishes of 2019.</p><p>Twelve months is a long time in sport, and this time last year Cameron Champ was being hyped up as the next good thing while making a promising debut at Kapalua with only a poor third round of 74 cost him the chance of winning the tournament. From the Sony Open onwards he suffered an horrific slump in form until the fall when he found his game back to qualify for this week by winning the Safeway Open. He will be sharper than many this week due to a trip Down Under where he performed respectably consolidating his recent progress.</p><p>Start of a new year brings more imponderables this week than normal it is prudent to look for a player who is used to turning up and doing a professional job. This made me look twice at Matt Kuchar in the place markets. He has a real affinity with Hawaii and defends next week's Sony Open but when he has qualified for Kapalua he has a 50% strike rate for top 10 finishes makes him an uncomplicated bet this week.</p><p>With the small field a week for less bets while keeping our powder dry for busy weeks ahead.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Recommended Golf Bets:</strong></p><ul> <li>Matt Kuchar – Top 10 @ 3.25 (9/4) <a href=";a=b4150791-892f-469b-9b6a-7dfc6df0fb07&amp;f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Ladbrokes</a></li> <li>Brendan Todd – each-way @ 46.00 (45/1) <a href=";a=a710bfac-73c1-4a57-b441-2caf1b9f397b&amp;f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">William Hill</a></li> <li>Cameron Champ – each-way @ 41.00 (40/1) <a href=";a=a710bfac-73c1-4a57-b441-2caf1b9f397b&amp;f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">William Hill</a></li></ul><div> </div><div style="text-align:center"><a href=";a=ec641d03-1e6d-4096-9f5f-d2a6939022d0&amp;f=3"><img alt src="" style="width:100%" /></a></div></div>
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