Let’s get the year started right with the Sentry Tournament of Champions located at the Plantation Course in Kapalua, Maui in Hawai’i. The course will play as the only Par 73 on the PGA TOUR, measuring 7,596 yards with bermuda greens. Past winners here are the cream of the crop. Of course, they’re all winners, but the champion of champions usually comes from a particular tier of betting favorites.
Since 2012, the average odds of winners here are a little over +1300, with the shortest being Jordan Spieth in 2016 at +500 and the longest being Justin Thomas in 2017 and Patrick Reed in 2015 at +2200. It’ll be tough to take a long shot or first-time golfers this week. Only seven golfers have finished inside the top five in their first start since 2014, and rarely do we see first-timers win.
Similar to what I wrote in the DraftKings article, Bryson’s ability off-the-tee should give him ample opportunities to score on all the par 5s, along with the six par 4s measuring under 400 yards. Bryson’s seventh-place finish in 2019 was heavily due to the 7.3 strokes he gained on the greens, which ranked first. This year, he’ll have a different and somewhat improved strategy if or when this becomes a birdie fest, with being able to use his driver most of the time.
Morikawa is already a three-time winner on the PGA TOUR with a major victory in his short career. Any number over +2000 is +EV for the seventh-ranked golfer in the world. What he lacks in distance off-the-tee, he more than makes up with his approach — ranking third over his previous 50 rounds. Looking closer at his iron-play, Morikawa has been elite with his wedges, ranking 12th over the last 50 rounds in proximity from 100 to 125 yards and fourth from 125 to 150 yards over the same timeframe. With family ties to Hawai’i, Morikawa should feel very comfortable in this environment, which was evident in his seventh-place finish in his first appearance last season.
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