The winner’s only field of 38 kicks off 2022 in paradise.
Thoughts on some, if not most, and everything to watch this weekend.
2022 Sentry Tournament of Champions
Plantation Course at Kapalua
Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii
|Yards (per official scorecard):||7,596|
|Greens:||TifEagle Bermuda; 8,722 square feet on average.|
|Rough:||Celebration Bermuda at 2.5″.|
|Architects:||Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw (1991); Renovation post 2019 event.|
|Purse:||$8.2 million ($1.476 winner) plus 500 FedExCup points.|
|Defending Champion:||Harris English (-25; 267).|
|Multiple Champion(s) Entered:||Justin Thomas (2020, 2017).|
|Fact of the Week:||8 of the top 10 OWGR entered; 19 of 25.|
|Fact of the Week II:||Easiest fairways and greens to hit on TOUR.|
|Fact of the Week III:||Easiest course on TOUR last season.|
- Field of 38 (Cameron Champ WD Tuesday).
- Rory McIlroy qualified but is not entered.
- NO CUT.
- Xander Schauffele added to the field after winning 2021 Gold Medal Tokyo Olympics.
2021-2022 Season Winners
|Fortinet Championship||Max Homa|
|Sanderson Farms Championship||Sam Burns|
|Shriners Children’s Open||Sungjae Im|
|CJ CUP @ SUMMIT||Rory McIlroy|
|ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP||Hideki Matsuyama|
|Bermuda Championship||Lucas Herbert (first TOUR win)|
|Mayakoba Championship||Viktor Hovland|
|Hewlett Packard Houston Open||Jason Kokrak|
|The RSM Classic||Talor Gooch (first TOUR win)|
Check out HORSES FOR COURSES for more details on those who play well here.
|2021 Harris English (-25)*||Defeated Joaquin Niemann (not entered) in a playoff; Second best winning total in 15 years.|
|2020 Justin Thomas (-14)*||Knocked out Xander Schauffele and Patrick Reed in a playoff to win for the second time (2017).|
|2019 Xander Schauffele (-23)||Tied the course record (62) while making 11 birdies on Sunday to come from five shots off the pace to win.|
|2018 Dustin Johnson (-24)||Played the weekend 15-under to win by EIGHT; not entered this year.|
|2017 Justin Thomas (-22)||Won by three shots over Hideki Matsuyama.|
|2016 Jordan Spieth (-30)||Missed tying the tournament record by a shot; won by EIGHT over Patrick Reed.|
|2015 Patrick Reed (-21)*||Defeated Jimmy Walker in a playoff.|
Last Time – The RSM Classic
Chalk – 30-1 or better
Scottie Scheffler (+1400): I mean he was my 3-way play last week, held the 54 hole lead, shot 69 on Sunday and cashed T2. Not sure I’m going to abandon him this week. T5 on debut in 2019. He was 18-1 last week in a similar field. Paying more of a premium this week in a birdie fest is interesting… Opened with 63 and never factored after Thursday was disappointing. T57
Webb Simpson (+1800): He’s 27-under in 3 events this fall and that includes MC. Best finish is T14. Last time we saw him he was closing 66-65 at The Summit and posting 19-under. Safest bet on the board for me: Top 10. Safest bet on the board, aye, T8.
Cameron Smith (+2000): First-timer shouldn’t have any problems figuring out how to make a ton of birdies. Cook and Hughes won on first appearance so yeah. 3 way action for the Aussie, Win-Top10-Top20. T4 cashes two of three.
Louis Oosthuizen (+2200): Quick, name the last time he won on TOUR! Right. Like Simpson, coming out of mothballs to play this event; MC last year. WD this time around. Sigh.
Russell Henley (+2500): 8th consecutive time; best two rounds last year best two in three years; T7 last week. 3 way action. T40 = 3 tickets torn up.
Corey Conners (+2500): Cashed T10 here last year after T10 the week before at Augusta National. Five weeks off before this week. Opened with 62, T22.
Harris English (+3000): Closed with 62 last year and rolled thru 2021. Rusty return from a shoulder deal is the only concern this week. Home game. Shot 3-under and that wasn’t enough, MC.
33-1 or Worse
Kevin Kisner (+3500): Course history v recent form. Mind over golf swing. Lost a playoff to Streb last year. MC the year before that. All time $$ leader. Hasn’t broken 68 in six rounds this fall. Conflicted. Only beat 5 players in MC.
Alex Noren (+3500): Ripping off weekends no problem. T10 and T18 his only two visits here. Top 20 and put your feet up. Had the entire weekend to shine those shoes. MC.
Adam Scott (+4500): Should have won at Wyndham in a shootout. Top 10. T37. Might be the last time he shows up in this column for a while…
Joel Dahmen (+5500): 65 or better in his last three events suggests I’m not digging here. Top 10. Top 20. Of 16 rounds this fall, 15 are par or better so he’s dialed. 73 second round killed any momentum. T29 busted.
Henrik Norlander (+8000): Overpaying here but his pair of top fives here suggests not by much. Top 10. Top 20. Overpaying for MC is right haha.
Denny McCarthy (+9000): 3 way action. Favorite deep play. T10 and two cashed tickets.
Adam Long (+10000) T16
Aaron Rai (+10000) T16
Scott Piercy (+15000) T70
Matthew NeSmith (+15000) T29
Greyson Sigg (+20000) MC
Seth Reeves (+35000) MC
Jonathan Byrd (+40000) Top 20 – T37 after opening 64
This Week – Sentry Tournament of Champions
Winner’s only to get it started in 2022!
The Plantation Course provides the perfect backdrop to knock off the holiday rust and get the new calendar year up and running in the proper direction.
Nobody will miss the cut this week as a field of 38 will get four rounds to figure out the elevation conversions, steep walks, massive drives and long putts that are required to pick up the trophy here.
The post 2019 renovation has three years of roots established so that should be to the benefit of the players. Bermuda from pro shop to parking lot will be the challenge this week but the massive greens won’t run hotter than 11 thanks to Mother Nature. The rough is a bit penal as stopping the ball won’t be easy from 2.5″ with longer clubs.
Missing the biggest fairways and greens on TOUR SHOULD BE PENALIZED but it won’t be with water hazards. Loose iron approaches and scuffed chip shots will result in feet of Bermuda to putt.
It’s not time to worry about what will go wrong when 20-under or better is the winning score (minus 40 mph winds) annually.
Laser approaches and hot Bermuda putting is the key to racking up birdies and avoiding bogeys this week. All of the recent winners here feast on GIR, SG: Approach and Birdie or Better Putting Percentage while grinding out pars on the “other” holes.
The field is loaded this week with 8 of the top 10 and 19 of 25 OWGR so that kills any deep values this week. Think of it as Spring Training before the first full field event kicks off next week at Waialae.
Thoughts on Chalk (My plays will be obvious)
Justin Thomas (+800): Only two-time winner in the field and with four podiums in six appearances, no wonder why he’s first choice. Half of his wins are in the Pacific Rim and he circles birdies here for fun.
Jon Rahm (+900): Four visits = four top 10s. Don’t fall in love with his solo second too much as DJ walloped him (and the rest) by a million shots. Rahm is live every time he tees it up and no cut will help. New baby should be sleeping better now haha.
Collin Morikawa (+1100): Hasn’t been bothered too much on his first two visits (T7, T7) and has played in both perfect and windy conditions. That experience is valuable and it helps he doesn’t have any memories on the BEFORE RENOVATION. The only issue I have is whether or not his putter can keep up in a shootout for four days. His tee-to-green isn’t the issue.
Bryson DeChambeau (+1200): Seems to be worried about everything except playing golf tournaments. A pair of top 10s in his last two visits suggest he can figure it out here but that’s too much math for me.
Xander Schauffele (+1200): Wait, I can get the same price for a guy who’s won, led after 36 and 54 holes in his defense and was T5 last year? WIN TICKET. TOP 10.
Patrick Cantlay (+1400): Hasn’t played since the Ryder Cup so I’ll patiently wait and see.
Viktor Hovland (+1400): Hard to play without clubs! He’s been in Hawaii for almost a week and his clubs arrived last night. BEWARE THE INJURED/LOST CLUBS GOLFER as he’s won the last two times he’s teed it up. Three in a row is surely out of the question!
15-1 or Worse
Sam Burns (+1800): Write him off at your own peril. Write him off on Bermuda at your own peril. Last first time winner is Daniel Chopra 100 years ago but Burns is hotter than the luau fire.
Jordan Spieth (+2000): All in both feet mask tank snorkel fins. WIN TICKET. Top 10.
Daniel Berger (+2200): Should have everything figured out by now as this will be his fourth visit. Top 10.
Cameron Smith (+2200): Classic form vs. course form play. Top 15 or better in his last three on TOUR but just two rounds of eight in the 60s here. Love him next week at Waialae.
Hideki Matsuyama (+2500): Last year he was T-DFL. The previous three trips his worst finish was T4. Won his last time out on his home course in Japan. Top 10.
Tony Finau (+2500): Now that he’s won, I’m no longer gonna chase. Especially in a putting contest!
Sungjae Im (+2500): Take all of my money. All of it. Showed up last year and lit the place on fire tee-to-green but didn’t make anything. That should change this time around. Top 5. Top 10.
Patrick Reed (+2800): Classic risk-reward place. He’s all-or-nothing here so don’t get in too deep but I’m playing him WIN and top 10.
Brooks Koepka (+3000): Is this a major? This is not a major.
Abraham Ancer (+3000): Figured it out in his last two rounds last year in his first appearance. Circled 23 birdies and led the field in Putts per GIR. Too bad he didn’t hit more GIR after ranking No. 2 in fairways.
Harris English (+3500): Defending champ had a shoulder deal in late November that I’m hoping has cleared up. Win and T11 in two trips suggests he enjoys it here.
Marc Leishman (+3500): He’s won big events and played well in Hawaii over the years. Doesn’t have defending champion duties to bog down his prep time either. Yes, please, WIN TICKET, TOP 10.
Jason Kokrak (+4500): SHOULD fit him perfectly. I think I wrote this last year as well. Might be too wide open for him after winning at Colonial and Memorial Park.
Talor Gooch (+4500): Broke his maiden at The RSM Classic and is a first-timer.
Si Woo Kim (+8000): Has never been scared of going low on Bermuda! Lite sprinkle Top 10.
Cameron Davis (+11000): Won’t make enough but won’t have too many stressers for par either. Top 10.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out through Twitter or email me firstname.lastname@example.org.