Sentry Tournament of Champions Betting Underdogs

Media by Associated Press: Tom Kim reacts after missing his birdie putt on the 10th green during the final round of the Tournament of Champions golf event, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023, at Kapalua Plantation Course in Kapalua, Hawaii.

After some time off for the Holiday break, the PGA Tour returns this week for the Sentry Tournament of Champions at  Plantation Course at Kapalua,  Kapalua, Maui. This course played record-breakingly easy last year, with Cameron Smith setting the all-time 72-hole-to-par record with a -34. 

 

Smith won at +2200 last season, but he’s obviously not back to defend after heading to the LIV. We’ve had some nice underdog winners on the Fall leg of the Tour, including Mackenzie Hughes winning the Sanderson Farms Championship at +13000 and Adam Svensson taking the RSM Classic at +10000, but the Sentry Tournament of Champions is not necessarily an event for underdogs. 

 

Aside from Harris English at +3000 in 2021, the other four winners of this tournament over the last five years are Smith, Justin Thomas, Xander Schauffele, and Dustin Johnson – not exactly long shots. 

 

While this event may be top-heavy, let’s see if we can find some players with slightly longer odds in this 39-player field to start the 2023 betting season right. 

 

Cameron Young +2000

 

At this point, Cameron Young is going to have to win a tournament just to get half of bettors’ money back because he’s been a popular winning play since the middle of last year yet is still looking for that maiden victory. Young had a remarkable seven finishes in the top three last year, but started off the Fal leg of the Tour, finishing 53rd at the Zozo Championship and 23rd at the CJ Cup. 

 

You can’t shy away from betting on Young now as FOMO is kicking in because he’s been so close to winning. He finished the Fall leg better too, coming in third at the Hero World Challenge and seventh at the QBE Shootout. 

 

Will Zalatoris +2200

 

People are likely going to shy away from Will Zalatoris this week because of the ‘rust or rest’ conundrum. Zalatoris did not play on the Fall leg of the Tour, but he was in desperate need of some downtime after a back injury forced him out of the BMW Championship and the TOUR Championship. That also makes Zalatoris’ last tournament a win at the FedEx-St. Jude Championship, so let’s see what he can do when healthy. 

 

Hideki Matsuyama +4000

 

Hideki Matsuyama trailed off towards the end of last year, where aside from an 11th place finish at the TOUR Championship, his best finish was 35th at the BMW Championship over his last five tournaments. Those struggles continued on the Fall leg, where his last three events were T40, T34, and W/D. 

 

Matsuyama still has value at +4000 though, because this is the time of the year he was hot last season, getting a top 15 in three of the first four tournaments of 2022, including a win at the Sony Open in Hawaii. 

 

Seamus Power +5000

 

Most people would just chalk up Seamus Power’s strong start to the 2022/23 campaign just a result of lesser talented fields on the Fall leg, but at +5000 it’s not a bad flier on the current #1 ranked player in FedEx Cup points. Power has some nice momentum going with a top-five in his last three events, so he’s worth a look here.

 

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