Golf: Sentry Tournament of Champions
Venue: Kapalua Resort, Hawaii
Dates: Thursday 2nd – Sunday 5th January 2020
The Sentry Tournament of Champions is the calendar-year opening event and it is upon us once more to begin the 2020 season. The field is comprised of competitors that won events on the PGA Tour during the previous year and is often seen as a yardstick for the upcoming season on the tour. Despite the fact it is no longer the opening event of the season due to the ‘wrap around’ nature of the PGA Tour calendar, the prestige of the tournament continues to grow, season in, season out. With Ernie Els, Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth amongst the winning alumni, the field at the Tournament of Champions is often a very strong one and that looks to be the case once more in 2020.
Some of the biggest names in the world of golf are in the field in the Hawaii this week:-
Spaniard Jon Rahm is in the form of his life following his impressive win at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai at the end of last season, clinching him the European Tour Order of Merit title and he is the justified favourite here.
The stock of Justin Thomas has continued to rise dramatically in 2019 and he will be hoping to start 2020 in style on what should be a very compatible course for his game.
American Xander Schauffele didn’t have his best season on tour last year and as a result only managed to pick up one tournament win last term. However, he looks to be returning to form as 2020 beckons and he could get off to a flyer here.
American Patrick Cantlay enjoyed his best year on the PGA Tour in 2019 and is operating at a career-high world ranking of 7 – following a season that has seen him announce himself amongst the big boys in the world of golf.
A man who can’t seem to avoid the controversy currently, Patrick Reed will be hoping a return to competitive golf here in Hawaii could be just the tonic he needs.
1st Round Leader
With 32 of the best players in the world in the field, getting a fast start will be essential for all of the big hitters in the Hawaii:-
Very few players possess the skill set that Dustin Johnson does and he will be hoping to get back to his best form in 2020, starting here at the Tournament of Champions.
Rickie Fowler endured a relatively quiet year in 2019 but he still sits inside the world’s top 25 and he will be looking to build on his strong President’s Cup showing at the back end of the year.
US Open champion Gary Woodland came of age last season; epitomised by his first major win in June and he notoriously gets off to a good start in the big events.
Top Five Finish
With so many quality players assembled here in Hawaii, getting into the winning enclosure could be tough but there are plenty of candidates to finish in the top 5 come Sunday:-
Englishman Paul Casey has enjoyed a decade at the top of the game and he tends to always be there or thereabouts in the big events on the calendar.
Matt Kuchar is another man that has seemingly been around for years and he will be hoping to get off to a good start in a Ryder Cup year in 2020.
Brendon Todd’s emergence at the back end of 2019 was one of the standout moments on the PGA Tour and he will be hoping to carry his momentum through to the start of the 2020 season.
BetXChange Best Bets:
Outright Winner: Justin Thomas – 4.90
1st Round Leader: Dustin Johnson – 20.00
Top Ten Finish: Paul Casey – 2.75