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Sentry Tournament of Champions Tips: DJ the one to back in Hawaii

Dustin Johnson features in our Sentry Tournament of Champions tips
Dustin Johnson features in our Sentry Tournament of Champions tips

After a short break the PGA Tour resumes this week and I've picked out two bets for the Sentry Tournament of Champions taking place at the Plantation Course at Kapalua in Hawaii.

In a small field of 42, just three players are missing from 2020's roll call of PGA Tour winners which means we're left with a hugely talented and competitive market at shorter prices than you'd expect for a normal 72 hole tournament.

It's a credit to the PGA Tour that this event can attract such a field, the money is a little better than a standard event but they play on the prestige of it being an invitational based on last year's Champions and we're in for a treat as a result.

Dustin Johnson heads the betting at 6/1 and behind him this week are the usual suspects, Justin Thomas a 7/1 chance with Jon Rahm a click bigger at 15/2.

I've picked out a couple at slightly bigger prices this week though, although I am wary of Bryson DeChambeau lurking at 11/1 on a course that should suit.

This week's golf tips:

Masters betting
Sentry Tournament of Champions at a glance
Sentry Tournament of Champions at a glance
Sentry Tournament of Champions
Thu
Dustin Johnson to win
  • World number one and recent Masters winner raring to go in 2021
  • Eight top tens here in his last eight appearances including two wins
  • Looks a value bet given tournament record and Masters price only a point bigger
Odds correct as of 2021-01-06 07:00 Odds subject to change.

Top of the tree is world number one and reigning Masters Champion Dustin Johnson who has recorded eight straight top ten finishes here including two wins.

Johnson posted a film of him getting in the zone on social media last week (below) ahead of this week's tournament and I get the feeling that he'll be chomping at the bit to win more majors this year following his Masters success in November.

I'm not really one for putting up favourites but in a smaller field at 6/1 he surely represents some value given he's only a point bigger in some books to win the Masters in April?

Last year's winner Justin Thomas was sent off a 4/1 favourite for example and his course form is on a par with Johnson's.

It feels as though we're in a golden period of golfers at the moment in terms of similar ability at the top of the tree with all of those mentioned above plus the likes of a Rory and Brooks who could play themselves back into form this year. 

However, I do feel as though Johnson can elevate himself even further this year, a 15/2 chance to retain the Green Jacket in April, I'm going to start my ante post portfolio now with an eye on him getting at least one more win in the book before he rocks up at Augusta.

He's a 10/1 chance to win the US Open later in the year and 14/1 to win his first Open Championship which is another I'm going to be building an ante post book for.

Back to this week though and his form figures at the course read 7-4-1-6-10-6-1-9, which, even despite the smaller field is really good going and just emphasises his quality that he's played eight times in ten years, given qualification to this tournament is based on winning on the PGA Tour the year before.

At 6/1 Johnson's a two point win bet for me this week as we look to get the year off to a positive start.

Golf odds
Xander Schauffele each-way
  • Course form and past winner here
  • Putts well on Bermuda greens
  • 2021 can be his breakout year in the Majors
Odds correct as of 2021-01-06 07:00 Odds subject to change.

At slightly bigger odds I like Xander Schauffele at 10/1.

The American is a favourite of mine and regular readers will know. The Californian recorded five top tens on the PGA Tour last season and has already posted two top fives in four events this season, including a 5th place in the US Open.

He was the 72 hole lowest scorer at the Tour Championship at the end of last season in September, losing out to Dustin to actually win the event due to the staggered starts based on Fedex Cup start.

I always feel as though you're going to get a run for your money with Xander who is another I like the look of in the majors this year, in what could be a breakout year for the 27-year-old.

Xander Schauffele's 2021 Major Prices

  • Masters - 20/1
  • US Open - 28/1
  • Open Championship - 28/1
  • USPGA Championship - 20/1

(best prices taken on 6th Jan 2021).

In terms of Xander this week, the course suits his game and in the three times he's played this tournament he's gone 22nd, won and tied second last year where he lost out to Thomas in a play-off.

His tee to green stats are good where he ranked 7th last season and currently sits 11th from his 16 rounds in the 2021 season.

This week's course is played on Bermuda greens which plays different from your more common bent or poa surfaces but Xander's got winning form on Bermuda, here obviously but also at East Lake where the Tour Championship is played.

At 10/1 he's worth a small each-way bet.

Hideki Matsuyama
  • Three top four finishes in last three visits
  • Good ball striker just needs putting to click
  • Winning form on Bermuda greens
Odds correct as of 2021-01-06 07:05 Odds subject to change.

My last bet for this week's tournament comes in the shape of Hideki Matsuyama at 18/1.

The Japanese player didn't win on the PGA Tour last season but due to COVID and missing a chunk of the season, he qualifies this week having finished in the FedEx Cup top 30 last season.

Another player who features a lot in my write ups due to his ball striking prowess and can often be seen as a bit of value in the betting.

He did go quiet for a couple of seasons but since the players came back after their enforced break last summer he's been very consistent with five top tens. He's a second place already this season at the Houston Open and two top 20 finishes in the two majors that have been played under the banner of the 2021 season on the PGA Tour.

Like Schauffele he ranks well on the shots gained tee to green stats, 2nd in 2020 and currently 12th this season from 22 rounds played.

He finished runner up here in 2017 so the course and has a third place and fourth in his other two visits to the course.

At 18/1 each-way he's another one worth a small nibble.

Best of the rest

Patrick Reed was the biggest priced winner (20/1) in recent editions of this event which has been pretty stacked with the best players, Thomas and DJ winning twice, Schauffele in 2019 and Spieth when he was good.

At bigger prices, Daniel Berger makes some appeal although he hasn't managed a top ten in his two visits to the course. He came back after the COVID break in blistering form, winning the first event back and scoring four top five finishes in his first six events back. Unfortunate to miss out on the Masters as he wouldn't have originally qualified if played last April, he'll have the bit between his teeth and some renewed confidence this year and is another to look at in the ante post major markets.

As ever, good luck with your bets if you're following and please gamble responsibly. I'm going to keep showing my record post lockdown for a few weeks until we have some 2021 results to show.

Follow me at Twitter @rustyboy75.

Post-lockdown form:

Winners

  • Tyrrell Hatton - BMW PGA Championship - advised at 16/1
  • John Catlin - Irish Open - advised at 40/1
  • Jon Rahm - BMW Championship - advised at 14/1
  • Dustin Johnson - Northern Trust - advised at 20/1
  • Justin Thomas - WGC FedEx St Jude - advised at 12/1
  • Webb Simpson - RBC Heritage - advised at 30/1

Placed

  • Laurie Canter - 2nd Italian Open - advised at 45/1
  • Kristoffer Ventura - T6 Sanderson Farms Championship - advised at 80/1
  • Xander Schauffele - 5th US Open - advised at 16/1
  • Kristoffer Ventura - T7 Safeway Open - advised at 80/1
  • Laurie Canter - 2nd Portugal Masters - advised at 66/1
  • Si Woo Kim - T3 Wyndham Championship - advised at 40/1
  • Jason Day - T4 USPGA Championship - advised at 40/1
  • Phil Mickelson - 2nd WGC FedEx St Jude - advised at 110/1
  • Viktor Hovland - 3rd Workday Charity Open - advised at 25/1
  • Kevin Streelman - T7 Workday Charity Open - advised at 60/1
  • Tyrrell Hatton - T4 Rocket Mortgage Classic - advised at 16/1
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