2023 Sentry Tournament of Champions First-Round Leader Picks & Predictions
Sentry Tournament of Champions First-Round Leader Predictions
Nothing quite says the return of golf like a January trip to the Islands, as Hawaii once again hosts the 2023 Sentry Tournament of Champions to kick off another PGA Tour season. As we’ll see throughout the Tour this year, this is an “elevated” event with a higher purse than we’ve seen in years past (thanks LIV).
In addition to the always-strong field, this event is known for being no-cut and featuring a smaller field than most weeks. As for the course itself, the wind is always a factor and that combined with the elevation changes makes yardage less important than on typical weeks.
With 39 of the world’s best and 17 of the top 20 in the Official World Golf Rankings teeing it up, let’s take a closer look at who might get out to a hot start here in Kapalua.
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Sentry Tournament of Champions Picks
Justin Thomas (+1600) Bet $100 to collect $1700. DraftKings has the best odds, click here
Thomas frequently plays well on this course, so I'm hard-pressed to not bet on him to get out to another hot start here. He has participated in this competition every year for the past seven years, and during that time, he has won the event twice and only twice finished outside the top 10. He has finished T-5, 3rd, 1st, and 3rd over the past four years, and at this price, I think has a ton of value to get things going early.
Xander Schauffele (+1600) Bet $100 to collect $1700. BetMGM has the best odds, click here
With three outright wins in 2022, Schauffele is a guy who will deserve a look nearly every week this year on the PGA Tour. He also has a history here at Kapalua. Shooting a career-low 62 here in 2019, Schauffele has finished 2nd, T5, and 12th in three tries here. Expect a fast start for a guy who has a great chance of finishing near the top come Sunday.
Tony Finau (+1800) Bet $100 to collect $1900. DraftKings has the best odds, click here
One of the only guys in the field with a win already in the 2022-23 season, Finau is coming off a Houston Open win just over a month ago. The win was his third in his last seven official starts on Tour, and it’s hard to find a hotter golfer on the planet than “Big Tone”. I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest with another hot start here.
Hideki Matsuyama (+3000) Bet $100 to collect $3100. BetMGM has the best odds, click here
Matsuyama has competed in the Tournament of Champions five times, and despite never winning outright, he has come very close. He has three top-5 finishes, including second place in 2017. Matsuyama is a precise ball striker who finished last season sixth on the tour in strokes gained: approach, a crucial statistic on this course. Though his play has fallen off the last 18 months, this is still a guy capable of being the best in the field any given week.
Sentry Tournament of Champions Predictions
Summary of my first-round leader picks for the Sentry Tournament of Champions:
- Justin Thomas (+1600) Bet $100 to collect $1700. DraftKings has the best odds, click here
- Xander Schauffele (+1600) Bet $100 to collect $1700. BetMGM has the best odds, click here
- Tony Finau (+1800) Bet $100 to collect $1900. DraftKings has the best odds, click here
- Hideki Matsuyama (+3000) Bet $100 to collect $3100. BetMGM has the best odds, click here
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Johnny has been covering the sports betting markets and handicapping games for the better part of the past decade. Along the way, he has written for publications such as All-In Magazine, Blitz Predict, FantasyPros, Betting Pros, Sportsbook Review, and most recently, OddsChecker. In addition to giving out picks on Twitter, Johnny is the host of the podcast The Daily Sports Bet -- a 10 minute or less listen with actionable insights and no fluff or BS. Starting the podcast in June, he closed out 2021 up 26 units with a winning percentage of 55%.