Sentry Tournament of Champions Picks (How to Bet Golfers at Kapalua)

Breaking down the best outright bets to place for the Sentry Tournament of Champions.

Scottie Scheffler plays from the fairway.
Scottie Scheffler plays from the fairway. / Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
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This week, the PGA Tour kicks off the new season with its own version of the All-Star Game. Last year’s 59 winners tee it up at the famed Plantation Course at Kapalua in Maui, Hawaii for what’s now called The Sentry (what old-timers used to call The Tournament of Champions). 

Now before I get to this week’s predictions, let me introduce myself and the methods to my madness.

I’ve been following the PGA Tour closely for years upon years.  No, I don’t know every golfer backwards and forwards, but I do watch and/or follow not only the PGA Tour, but also the Korn Ferry Tour, NCAA golf tournaments and USGA amateur events.  This allows me to follow their progression from amateur status to the pros and allows me to already have a good idea of their games, strengths and weaknesses, and mental approach long before they make it to the Tour. 

I’m also familiar with the courses the pros play although there have been some new venues recently that don’t necessarily have a track record.

So, what’s the methodology for making my weekly picks?  Here it is in a nutshell. 

It’s basically four factors:

1. Current Form

 I favor players who have shown good form not only in recent weeks, but it could also be a long-term progression of improvement like a Rickie Fowler, for example.

2. Horses for Courses

I believe that certain players play well on certain tracks, and I will tend to favor those players. 

3. Home Course or Home Location Advantage

I will favor players California guys for California tournaments, Texas guys for Texas tournaments, Florida guys for Florida tournaments, etc. 

4. The Latest Betting Odds

I admit, this is not the best factor, but it is one I take a look at outside of the above three factors.  I tend not to play the favorites simply because the odds are very low. 

Of course, there are times when the favorite simply makes the most sense, so it is not a hard and fast rule.  Lastly, I’ll look at the posted odds for a player that you’re getting really good pot odds on even if he does not fit within the normal three factors. 

This method isn’t for everyone.  It doesn’t involve tour stats and all that available data, but I have had success with it. 

Last year’s outright winners included Keegan Bradley 80:1, Nick Taylor 66:1 and Lucas Glover 65:1 just to name a few.  You can find those on my X page @MoMoDad25.  As we all know, past performance is not indicative of future success, but here are my selections for this week.

Sentry Tournament of Champions Picks

This week is a bit unusual as the field is limited, there isn’t a lot of recent form, and most of the studs are playing and the odds reflect that. 

After the fall season concluded and after Tiger’s Hero Challenge, I wrote down names who I thought fit the model for this week’s event long before the odds were posted.  Generally, I stick with my gut even after the odds are posted, so here is this week’s card.

Scottie Scheffler (+600)

I hate the odds.  I told you I don’t like playing favorites.  But Scottie’s record at Kapalua can’t be ignored. 

  • Last year: T7
  • 2022: DNP
  • 2021: T13
  • Recent Form: Won the Hero Challenge in December.

Collin Morikawa (+1200)

I was hoping for better odds.  Another horse for course. 

  • Last year: 2nd
  • 2022: 5th
  • 2021: T7
  • 2020: 7th
  • Recent Form: Won the Zozo Championship. Finished 7th in the Hero Challenge.

Ludvig Aberg (+1400)

I’ve been following Aberg since his Texas Tech days. 

He’s the next Viktor Hovland and has already proven himself winning on the PGA Tour and playing well in the Ryder Cup.  He won the RSM in November and finished T2 in the Sanderson Farms event in October. For me, this is a FOMO (fear of missing out) pick.  We all have those, don’t we?

Max Homa (+1400)

  • Last year: T3
  • 2022: 15th
  • Recent Form: T7 in Fortinet Championship in September.  T13th in the Hero Challenge.

Patrick Cantlay (+1200)

  • Last year: T16th
  • 2022: 4th
  • 2021: 13th
  • 2020: 4th

Xander Schauffele (+1400)

  • Last year: WD
  • 2022: 12th
  • 2021: 5th
  • 2020: 2nd
  • Recent Form: T38 in the Zozo Championship

Tony Finau (+3000)

  • Last year: T7
  • 2022: 19th
  • 2021: 31st
  • Recent Form: T4 in the Hero Challenge

Tony has a new putting grip which seems to be working. Let's hope our long shot hits the board.

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Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.