After another difficult 12 months it’s good to see the new golfing year get underway in a traditional manner with the Sentry Tournament of Champions 2022. Every winner on the PGA Tour from 2021 is invited to take part and that ensures a high-quality field every time.
Played in the spectacular surroundings of the Kapalua Resort of Hawaii, it is the perfect curtain raiser for 2022, so let’s see if this preview can start the new year in style with some winning picks among our predictions.
Two Major winners kick things off with Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas listed as joint favorites with some American-facing offshore sports betting firms. The pair can both be found at odds of 8/1 and both make credible cases for a tilt at the title. Thomas is the only multiple winner of the tournament taking part in this year’s field and has made a solid start to the new season.
Rahm remains the world’s number one ranked golfer at the start of 2022. The Spaniard was a runner up here on debut in 2018 and hasn’t finished outside of the top 10 in four appearances.
A brief gap opens behind the top two until we find Collin Morikawa at a general 10/1. He has tied for seventh twice in this event and enjoyed a dominant period in Europe where he claimed the Open Championship last July.
Bryson DeChambeau and Viktor Hovland follow at 12/1 while Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele can both be found at 14/1. Schauffele should be one to watch as he has a stunning record in the Tournament of Champions across the last three editions. Winner in 2019, Xander lost his title defense via a playoff a year later before finishing in a tie for fifth 12 months ago.
In terms of immediate form, Hovland is the standout player with back-to-back victories at the end of 2021. DeChambeau is another man to finish seventh in this event on two previous occasions and his power game is well suited to the monster course.
Moving through the chasers, there is Sam Burns at 18/1, Jordan Spieth, Cameron Smith and Daniel Berger at 22/1 and Hideki Matsuyama at 25/1. At the far edge of this section, Patrick Reed, Tony Finau, Abraham Ancer and Brooks Koepka can all be found at odds of 28/1 with some sportsbooks.
All of those names will attract interest and it includes two former champions in Reed and Spieth who won in 2015 and 2016 respectively.
The reigning champion is back to defend his crown: Harris English edged out Joaquin Niemann in a playoff 12 months ago and he followed that up with a win at the Travelers Championship in June.
In 2021, English also returned his best finishes at the Masters and the US Open but he is kicking off the list of outsiders here at odds of 35/1. Also at 35/1 is the Australian Marc Leishman who won the Zurich Classic alongside playing partner Cameron Smith back in April.
The nature of an event which includes recent Tour champions means that there is rarely any scope for outside value. The man with the longest price this week is Lucas Glover at 200/1 while other, shorter options include Kevin Na at 66/1, Billy Horschel at 70/1, Max Homa and Seamus Power at 80/1 and Phil Mickelson at 150/1.
Anyone can make a challenge but the likely Tournament of Champions winner will be carrying shorter odds going into Thursday.
Our Preview’s Tournament of Champions Predictions & Picks with Course & Betting Trends
The Plantation Course at the Kapalua Resort in Hawaii is something of a monster, coming in as a par 73 at just under 7600 yards. It has been the permanent home to this event since 1999 and it can produce varied scoring, depending on the weather conditions.
Strong winds caused havoc in 2019 but, while breezes are expected to be more benign this year, it’s worth keeping one eye on the forecasts.
The course has just three par 3s and is the only par 73 of the season but wide fairways and large greens keep the scores low. Power can be key although recent results suggest combining that with regular accuracy stats such as Fairways Hit and Greens in Regulation.
The standout name for us is that of Collin Morikawa who can make the best of this type of course. A solid all-round game is needed and, while he slumped at Albany after holding a sizeable lead, his overall form is solid.
Morikawa for the win is our first pick of 2022: In a field of just 39 golfers, there may not be too many additional markets but look out for Xander Schauffele and Billy Horschel for a top five finish. Both can make solid challenges this week. So these are our Tournament of Champions predictions and betting picks for this first golf preview of 2022:
- Collin Morikawa to win at best odds of +1100 (11/1) with BetOnline.
- Top 5 Finish Picks: Xander Schauffele (+275 BetOnline) and Billy Horschel (+800 BetOnline).
Matt Harris is a golf and soccer expert for USA Betting. His other area of specialist knowledge is cricket. He is well known in sports journalism and contributes articles to a plethora of big-name websites and media outlets. Titles that he writes or has written for include: Betfair, BetVictor, Unibet & Just Bookies.