After a month-long hiatus that felt like decades, the PGA tour is officially back to kick off the 2021 season. The tour will head out to the beautiful island of Maui, Hawaii to the Plantation Course at Kapalua to play the Sentry Tournament of Champions. This beautiful par 73 course measures a lengthy 7,596 yards and though it is one of the longer courses on the tour, it is also one of the easiest. In the past, the Sentry Tournament of Champions featured all the tour winners from the previous season, but in COVID times the rules are a little different this time around. Since a lot of the tournaments were canceled in 2019-2020 due to the pandemic, the tour decided to invite the past tour winners including the top 30 finishers in the Fed Ex cup standings for the 2019-2020 season.
The Plantation course historically is one of the easiest courses on the tour due to its wide fairways, eagle happy par 5’s, and its historic 65% Greens in Regulation rate. For this tournament, we’re going focus on Approach and Off the Tee Shots gained stats.
Tier 1: The Best Bet’s
- 1) Patrick Reed 15/1 (2.25U to Win 33.75U)
This one is mostly off of course history for Captain America. In six tries at the Plantation course, Reed has won once, came in second twice, and came in sixth another time. Reed is one of the best putters on the tour and even though his off the tee stats are bad to start the year, his approach shots gained stats are the best of his career so far. Was between Reed and the X-Man (Xander Schauffele) for my big play and decided to take the extra juice with Reed.
- 2) Webb Simpson 28/1 (1.5U to Win 42U)
Another one with a good track history at the Plantation course. Simpson has faired very well in his four attempts at the Sentry Tournament of Champions with 2 third-place finishes, a solo eighth, and a tie for eleventh once. In my opinion, Simpson has been one of the most consistent player’s on tour the past couple of seasons and he has only gotten significantly better with age after a few off years prior to his 2012 US Open championship. Though Simpson’s approach to green stats are not good to start the year, he has historically been top 20 in the category for the past five years. What I am saying is, Simpson is in unreal form right now with two top 10’s at the US Open and the Masters and 2 more top 20’s and a cut made in the five tournaments he has played this season. The fact that his approach to green stats are really bad to start the year and he is still scoring this well shows you how good this guy is. Though I have more on Reed, this is truly my favorite bet of the weekend.
Tier 2: The Good Value’s I could not pass up on
- 1) Daniel Berger 39/1 (1.5U to Win 58.5U)
Berger has faired pretty well in his two attempts at the Sentry Tournament of Champions with a tie for 11th and a tie for 14th. 2019-2020 was the year Berger finally broke through with a win at the Charles Schwab Challenge and a final year ranking of 7 in the Fed Ex cup standings. The guy was top 30 in essentially every shot gained category on tour and 6th the total Shots Gained. Berger also has a massive chip on his shoulder after not getting invited to the Masters Tournament in November because of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Expect Berger to make a statement this season and do not be surprised if it starts this weekend in Hawaii.
- 2) Sungjae Im 61/1 (1.25U to Win 76.25U)
You want to talk about a Star in the making then look no further. The young Korean hit the ground running in his first year on the tour. The 2019-2020 Rookie of the year had a debut season for the ages with 7 top ten finishes along with a couple of 2nd place finishes and a victory at the Honda Classic’s PGA National course which is year in year out one of the hardest courses on the tour. This kid really showed who he was at Masters Tournament back in November going toe to toe with Dustin Johnson en route to a tie for 2nd place along with fellow youngster Cameron Smith. Listen, I am not really sold on him winning this weekend but at over 60/1 odds, I will gladly take my chances.
PROP BET TIME
Placing Finishes (Top 5/Top 10)
- 1) Collin Morikawa Top 10 +240 (2U to Win 4.8U)
If you have read my blogs or follow me on Twitter, you know my love for this kid. I wanted to take him to win here, but his form has not been that great to start the year. With that being said, I will take my chances in a 42-man field with a top 10 finish. Great Value for the 2020 PGA champion here.
- 2) Joaquin Niemann Top 10 +310 (2U to Win 6.2U)
Another star in the making here. The young Chilean has taken the golf world by storm finishing 26th in the Fed Ex cup standings last year as a 21-year-old and he is in excellent form right now. Niemann is 6 for 6 on cuts made to start the year and even though there is only 1 top 10 in there, he will always be in the hunt with his off the tee skills. Love the value here.
- 3) Cameron Smith Top 5 +710 (1U to win 7.1U)
This one is a longshot but a longshot I am willing to take a chance on right now. Smith had a career year last season with a win at the Sony Open and a 24th place finish in the Fed Ex cup standings. But that is not what I am going off right now. Smith is in impeccable form right now with 5 cuts made to start the year at two top 5 finishes at the ZoZo Championship and the previously stated Masters. Smith impressed the hell out of me at the Masters two months back and there is no doubt in my mind this guy is in for a career year. Hopefully, it starts this weekend at the Sentry Tournament of Champions!