Sentry Tournament of Champions Golf Betting Tips 2022

The PGA Tour is back for 2022! Who will get their year off to a flying start in Hawaii?

Montage image of this week's betting tip selections
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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Justin Thomas

2.5pts each way at 17/2 with 888Sport

The reigning Players champion is an astonishing 88 under par for his six visits to Kapalua, which feature victories in 2017 and 2020 as well as a brace of third places in 2019 and 2021.

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Xander Schauffele

1pt each way at 14/1 with William Hill

The Olympic gold medal winner was fifth here last year to Harris English, pipped by Justin Thomas in the 2020 playoff and champion in 2019.

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Marc Leishman

1pt each way at 35/1 with Bet365

Leish did most of the hard work when partnering a struggling Jason Day into the 36-hole lead at last month’s Shootout (they ended up 3rd). His game looked in good nick. The Aussie was 4th to Schauffele in 2019, having run seventh the previous year.

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Jordan Spieth

1pt each way at 22/1 with William Hill

Five years ago his winning score of 30-under 262 was outrageously good. Ernie Els is the only winner who has gone lower. Spieth also tied for third the following year, made top ten in 2018 and was runner-up on his debut in 2014.

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Garrick Higgo

0.5pts each way at 125/1 with Bet365

This precocious 22-year-old left-hander is a huge hitter with a devastating touch on the greens. His birdie/eagle ratio in his two Canary Island victories marked him down as a man to have on your side when scoring is as low as it will be on Maui.

Sentry Tournament of Champions Golf Betting Tips 2022

All four winners of the 2021 Majors tee it up for the traditional Tournament of Champions get-together on beautiful Maui, the third-largest of, would you believe, the 137 islands which make up the USA’s fiftieth and final state.

In what is surely the strongest field assembled outside the Majors, WGC and Players Championship, 38 of the 39 who have qualified for this elite gathering that’s open only to those who won on the PGA Tour in the calendar year 2021. That includes the amazing Phil Mickelson who won the PGA Championship in his 51st year to set a record for longevity. This is a rare Kapalua appearance by Lefty, his last visit coming in 2001 when placing 28th. What a roar if he were to win!

The only party-pooper is Rory McIlroy who won twice on the PGA Tour last year but is staying home with his family and the other glaring absentee is Dustin Johnson, twice a Kapalua winner in 2013 and 2018 but winless in 2021 and therefore a non-qualifier. A worthy exception has been made to find a spot for Xander Schauffele who drew a blank in the States but won gold for the USA at the Tokyo Olympics.

Last Covid-wrecking year, to bump up the size of the field, members of the 2020 Tour Championship field were invited to join the party but that one-off concession has not been renewed. Ironically, last year’s Kapalua winner was one of those invitees, Harris English, who hadn’t won since 2013 and had finished only 18th at East Lake. He beat Joaquin Niemann in a playoff but it is the guy who finished third, just a stroke out of sudden-death, that explosive birdie machine Justin Thomas, who will be carrying my money.

When it comes to the 7596-yard Plantation course at Kapalua, the only par 73 on Tour which boasts the widest fairways, the largest greens and two finishing holes that set the pulses racing, particularly the 626-yard 18th, there’s no doubting Thomas. The reigning Players champion is an astonishing 88 under par for his six visits which feature victories in 2017/2020 and a brace of third places in 2019 and 2021. Several bookmakers have JT at 17/2 but, if you can, bet with those who offer six places where others go five. Don’t settle for second best in a thriving market place!

Justin Thomas holds the Tournament of Champions trophy after winning in 2020

JT is a two-time winner of this event

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The last few times we saw Thomas he was finishing top-five at East Lake, Hero World Challenge, Mayakoba and QBE Shootout. A disobedient putter has been costing him a W to add to his Sawgrass triumph in the Spring but we do know he’s a fast starter and a fan of the Plantation course.

The same goes for second choice Xander Schauffele, fifth last year to English, pipped by Thomas in the 2020 playoff and champion in 2019 when JT was third. He often looks bombproof which makes the 2021 blank hard to comprehend although I expect the thrill of having that Olympic gold medal round his neck meant more to him than any PGA glory.

Favourite Jon Rahm (2-8-10-7) and dual Major champion Collin Morikawa, seventh in both previous Kapalua encounters, have obvious claims. Either, IMHO, would have been a better Player of the Year choice than FedEx Cup hero Patrick Cantlay (4th in 2020). All three come into the conversation but Rahm’s second on debut four years ago sounds better than it was as the Spaniard finished eight behind runaway winner DJ. Someone with a hot putter on dauntingly broad greens where’s plenty of triple-putting scope could spring a surprise.

You have to go quite a way back to find a shock Kapalua winner but two real head-scratchers were Jonathan Byrd in 2011 and, three years earlier Daniel Chopra. Is another upset due? Marc Leishman did most of the hard work when partnering a struggling Jason Day into the 36-hole lead at last month’s Shootout (they ended up third). His game looked in good nick. The Aussie ace was 4th (on the same mark as DJ and Rory) to Schauffele in 2019, having run seventh the previous year. Sadly, the early 40/1 has been hoovered up but I’ll still have him at 35/1.

This is a generous course where Jordan Spieth can weave his short-game magic. Five years ago when he was carrying all before him, his winning score of 30-under 262 was outrageously good. Ernie Els is the only winner who has gone lower. Spieth also tied for third the following year, made top ten in 2018 and took the runners-up berth behind Zach Johnson on his debut in 2014. Off his game for ages until a sparkling revival in 2021 not only brought home-state victory in the Texas Open but also top-three placings in the Masters and The Open. He’s hard to leave out and for a final throwaway fiver the 125/1 about Kapalua debutant Garrick Higgo.

This precocious 22-year-old earned his place by dint of victory at Congaree on only his second PGA Tour start. He faded a bit after that but to win four times (three in Europe) by the age of 22 is exceptional and the only way for him up. The South African left-hander is a huge hitter with a devastating touch on the greens - and on the evidence of his two buccaneering victories in the Canaries early in the year, island golf brings the best out of him. His birdie/eagle ratio there marked him down as a man to have on your side when scoring is as low as it will be on Maui. With only 39 starters there is no cut.

Plenty of rain early in the week will have softened the fairways but there is more typical sunshine expected as time goes by. The course with its exposed greens needs it to blow but with only 10-12mph wind forecast, there should be no excuses on that score. If allowed an extra pick for good luck, it would be Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama, third in 2015, runner-up in 2017 and fourth in 2018. The Japanese ace is sure to be a factor.

Sentry Tournament of Champions Golf Betting Tips 2022

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Jeremy Chapman
Jeremy Chapman

Celebrating my 50th year tipping and writing about golf. Tipped more than 800 winners (and more than 8000 losers!). First big winner Lee Trevino at 8-1, 1972 Open at Muirfield. Biggest win £40 each-way Ernie Els at 80-1 and 50-1, 2012 Open. Most memorable: Giving the 1-2-3 at 33-1, 50-1, 33-1 out of 4 tips from a field of 180 in 2006 Pebble Beach Pro-Am.  According to one bookmaker “Undoubtedly one of the greatest tipping performances of all time”. Lowest handicap 9 Present handicap 35.6. Publications tipped for: Sporting Life, Racing Post, Racing&Football Outlook, Golf World, Golf Weekly, Golf Monthly, Fitzdares Times. Check our Jeremy's latest tips at our Golf Betting tips home page