Sentry Tournament of Champions Picks and Predictions: Knocking Off The Rust at Kapalua

2022 kicks off at Kapalua's Plantation Course with a strong 39-man field where Par 5 scoring, Bermuda putting, and sub-125 yard approach shots will be the keys to success. Find out where the best value lies in our Sentry Tournament of Champions picks.

Last Updated: Jan 5, 2022 7:54 AM ET Read Time: 4 min

The PGA Tour kicks off 2022 at the Sentry Tournament of Champions this week. The Kapalua Plantation Course in Maui will host this 39 player no-cut once again where Harrish English was the winner last year. With no real recent form stats to rely on for our betting picks this week, we’ll focus more on pedigree and course history at a place where experience is important.

Sentry Tournament of Champions picks

Picks made on 01/04/2022 at 3:00 p.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.

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Plantation Course at Kapalua betting stats that matter

The Plantation Course is the only Par 73 on Tour playing just over 7,500 yards. The wide fairways will be easy to hit and so will the greens.  In the past, we’ve seen the Bermuda surfaces run slow and spongy at Kapalua. The layout of the course includes four Par 5s, three of which are very reachable for eagle chances. There are also eight shorter Par 4s, so approach game and proximity to the hole from under 125 yards will be important.  Bring your wedge game and your putter.

  • Strokes gained approach.
  • Strokes gained off the tee.
  • Proximity inside 125 yards
  • Par 5 scoring.
  • Bermuda putting.

Sentry Tournament of Champions matchup predictions

This place is built for Jordan Spieth because it’s all about wedges, putting and scrambling. Spieth has 16 career rounds at Kapalua. Over those rounds, he ranks in the top 3 in the field for every strokes-gained stat except off the tee. Jordan is also first in DraftKings points over that span. We’ll take him to finish better than Smith. The Aussie has eight career rounds here and ranks near the button in all the key stats. 26th in approach and 14th in putting (out of 39) might indicate that the Plantation is a problem course for Cam.

Sungjae finished T5 in his debut at Kapalua and the oddsmakers are giving him a very good chance to win at +2200. The young Im is not a family man who will be caught up in whale watching and Luaus. He’ll be looking to win with his awesome Bermuda putting and approach game. He gained five shots on approach in his debut here and might have won it had his putter not gone atypically cold. It’s rare we’ll pick against Patrick Cantlay but this just doesn’t feel like the spot to turn down plus money. Cantlay only has one Top 5 at Sentry and we haven’t seen him since the Tour Championship. Let’s roll the dice that Cantlay has been busy enjoying all that FedEx Cup moss and won’t be bringing his A-game.

Vik is another guy we won’t fade much this year but this feels like a Burns week. Looking at his last 50 rounds played on Tour, you can see that Burns has a big advantage when it comes to proximity from the short-yardage ranges. Sam is third in the field from 100-125 and 75-100 yards. Hovland is 23rd and 28th in the field from those ranges. Burns also has the advantage in Par 5 scoring. Plus, while we’ve seen Vik play well on some Bermuda recently, he’s historically a terrible Bermuda putter vs. Burns who eats Bermuda for breakfast. 

Sentry Tournament of Champions top finisher predictions

We ran a data model with all career rounds played with easy-to-hit fairways, shorter rough and slow soft greens. No. 3 on the list behind Spieth and JT? That’s Kevin Na. Na does not have great course history here but he did win the 2021 Sony the following week, and we just saw him play some very inspired golf at the QBE Shootout. This pick was going to go to his QBE partner Jason Kokrak at +240, but +360 for Na feels like a deal.  He could win and it would not be surprising.

Gooch is best in the field over the last 50 rounds from 100-125 yards and ranks sixth in eagles gained too. That means he can score on both the Par 5s and short Par 4s at Kapalua. So +240 feels like ample juice in a 39 man field, which may speak to the debutant factor at Sentry and is why we’ll avoid Gooch as an outright win play.

JT is returning to the scene of his hot mic crime last year. After that, he didn’t have a good year by his standards despite winning the Players. Like we mentioned above, he rates very well for Kapalua according to the data, and his finishes here back that up. Wins at Sentry in 2017 and 2020. Third place in 2019 and 2021. This is a prime opportunity for Justin Thomas to put last year behind him and re-emerge as the guy to beat on the PGA Tour. +175 is actually a very good number for a player of his caliber in a 39-man field. 

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