Golf tips: 55/1 value play among Sentry Tournament of Champions best bets

Paddy Power Golf Trader Iain McLaughlin has got you covered this week

Marc Leishman The Masters Augusta November 12, 2020


*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widget, while in-copy odds are accurate at time of publication but subject to change

The Sentry Tournament of Champions gets underway at Kapalua in Hawaii this week as the golf season swings into action after the winter break.

Paddy Power Golf Trader Iain McLaughlin has picked out four superb selections who could come good – check out his chat with PPTV’s Graham Temple in the video below.

Kapalua is always the first event of any golf season and it’s been here for the last 15 years or so. It’s got big wide fairways and it’s a long-enough golf course at 7500 yards. That normally would indicate there is an extra par 5 but there’s not – there’s just a lot more par 4s, three par 5s and three par 3s.

It’s always usually a birdie-fest and while it was -14 last year, that was because the wind was up for the first two days. You would expect -20 or better to win the tournament this week. Look out for birdies, for sure.

Patrick Reed

I am always looking for value at these tournaments, so tend to go for bigger prices, but in an immediate counteract to that it is usually a top heavy field here and the favourites usually do perform well. Five out of the top six in the betting have won the tournament at least once.

There are players coming back here like Dustin Johnson, and if you follow him on social media you will see he has been enjoying his time off quite a bit. Justin Thomas obviously won the Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone – that’s not a real piece of form – but he’s playing well and he is a past champion here so he’ll be motivated to have a big year.

Patrick Reed DP World Tour Championship Dubai December 13, 2020

Jon Rahm recently signed a deal with Callaway so usually it takes a bit of time to ingrain yourself in new clubs, especially in competitions. Bryson DeChambeau has been in the lab on Christmas Day and throughout the break, while Xander Schauffele has just got over Covid and then we come to a player that I would like at the top end of the market – Patrick Reed.

You never really question his motivation, as anytime he plays he’s always looking to win. His is the most recent piece of form, as a lot of the players at the top of the market took the season off after The Masters in November. Reed finished third at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai about three weeks ago so he’s in good form. He’s a past winner here too so I’m looking at Reed at the front end.

Cameron Champ

There are two players here that have big prices and are just starting to really find form again after a quiet spell. They’re looking to trend up so hopefully we can get in there before the rest of the market does and get a bit of value this week.

First up is Cameron Champ. In July to October he’s been quite quiet in the main – bar a top 10 at the PGA Championship – but he looks to be rounding into form nicely. To finish 2020, he was eighth at the Zozo Championship and then finished 19th on his debut at The Masters.

He birdied his first three holes on Sunday to get into the top 10 and looked to be really making a charge then he made a mess of the par 3 fourth hole, ended up making a triple bogey and that dropped him down and saw him lose a lot of momentum.

Cameron Champ The Masters Augusta November 15, 2020

Kapalua has big wide fairways so power is going to be a key attribute that’ll help a player excel. The wide fairways mean Champ can be really, really aggressive off the tee. His approach play isn’t the strongest part of his game and, looking at previous champions, your approach play needs to be really, really good because everyone’s kind of playing from the fairway.

Looking a bit deeper into a stats, he’s gained 6.4 strokes and 2.3 strokes at two of his last three tournaments. There were no strokes gained for The Masters but he ranked pretty high in Greens In Regulation that week too. He’s also coming to his favourite green surface – Bermuda greens – and he has a positive career stroke putting figure there. Looking into it a little bit deeper, three of his best putting performances of his whole career have come on Bermuda greens.

Looking at course history, he’s had two starts here. He was 11th in 2019 and 14th last year. I think he’s going to have a really big 2021 and that starts this week in Kapalua.

Marc Leishman

Second up is Marc Leishman. Like Champ, quiet enough in the last four to six months but showing signs of life. He was 13th at Augusta with his iron play being the most impressive aspect of his game that week.

Leishman’s problem, which has been his problem for the last six months, is driving accuracy. He can’t he can’t keep the ball in-play off the tee and that’s obviously limiting his ability to really attack greens and take advantage of his approach play as much as he can.

Marc Leishman Mayakoba Golf Classic December 4, 2020

Obviously coming to Kapalua some fairways here are 100 yards wide so driving accuracy shouldn’t really be a problem and he can really attack with his irons.

Again like Champ, Bermuda greens are the green type that he performs best in his career on. He’s had three appearances at Kapalua – he was 23rd in 2013, seventh in 2018 and fourth in 2019 so he’s on the upward trend and I thought it was a big price so he can go well this week too.

Dustin Johnson First Round Leader

I wouldn’t put you off this bet, but I’ll just say obviously the First Round Leader market is an 18-hole shootout so and making whole shoot it so there’s a massive range of variants there. That’s why you’re probably going to get 12/1 or 14/1 on a better player who may only be 6/1 outright. His class should really tell over a 72-hole tournament.

But he’s led after the first round in three or four majors that he hasn’t won, and also led at the 2016 US Open when he actually won the tournament too. For a player who has that strike rate of First Round Leader, 12/1 could be a sharp enough play for sure.

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widget, while in-copy odds are accurate at time of publication but subject to change

Sentry Tournament of Champions bet summary

Patrick Reed
Cameron Champ
Marc Leishman
Dustin Johnson First Round Leader

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