A new golfing year gets underway on Thursday with the 2024 edition of the Sentry Tournament of Champions. Traditionally, this is an event for any player who has won on the PGA Tour in the previous 12 months, while the competition has recently opened to those who qualified for last season’s Tour Championship.
A bigger field is in play as a result, although the two most recent champions are both absent. Cameron Smith and Jon Rahm have both defected to LIV Golf, reminding us of the split in the sport and its uncertain future.
For now, we’ll just focus on the golf in front of us and see if we can pick some winners in the first tournament of 2024.
Scottie Scheffler is clear at the top of this week’s outright market with the USA sports betting operators and the world number one is available at best industry odds of 11/2. Scheffler won twice at the start of last year before claiming the Hero World Challenge last month. He put in consistent performances in 2023, but does not have a great record in this event, where his best result is a tie for seventh.
Next is Viktor Hovland at a top price of 17/2. The Norwegian is another man to struggle in the Tournament of Champions, where he is yet to break into the Top 15 in three attempts. A stunning end to the season, which saw him claim the Tour Championship, suggests Hovland is a threat this time.
Behind the market leaders in the betting odds, come Collin Morikawa and Max Homa, with both men available at best odds of 14/1. Morikawa blew a six-shot lead going into the closing stages of last year’s tournament and that led to a frustrating year for the multiple major champion. Homa recently won in the Netherlands and tied for third here last year.
Next up are Ludvig Aberg, Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele, who can all be backed at 16/1 in places. Schauffele is the first former winner of this event, having claimed the title by one shot in 2019. That result was one of three top five finishes in Kapalua. Cantlay has rested since the Ryder Cup, while Aberg has been active on the PGA Tour, winning the RSM Classic in November.
Some other names to consider in this section of the betting lines are Jordan Spieth at 25/1, plus Tom Kim, Tyrrell Hatton, Tommy Fleetwood, Tony Finau and Matt Fitzpatrick who are all quoted at 28/1. Spieth won by a colossal eight-stroke margin of victory here in 2016, and he has appeared inside the top 15 on five occasions. Finau’s long game suits this course, and he has two top 10 finishes in this tournament.
In a smaller field, the outsiders start at shorter odds this week, so we have Sungjae Im leading the way at 33/1, followed by Sam Burns and Rickie Fowler at 35/1. Fowler made a welcome return to the winner’s enclosure with victory at the Rocket Mortgage Classic in July, and he was consistent over much of last season.
Eric Cole will attract interest at best industry odds of 66/1. He is a strong contender for the Arnold Palmer Award as Rookie of the Year and he landed four top four finishes in the Fed-Ex Fall.
Other golfers to consider before we look for some winners include Hideki Matsuyama at 50/1, Open Champion Brian Harman at 66/1, Sepp Straka at 66/1, 2021 Tournament of Champions winner Harris English at 80/1, Adam Hadwin at 100/1 and Vincent Norrman at 100/1.
Sentry Tournament of Champions 2024 Course & Betting Trends with Predictions & Picks for this Preview
The 2024 Sentry Tournament of Champions is played at the Plantation Course at Kapalua Resort in Hawaii. It is a monster location at just under 7,600 yards at one of the few par 73s on the circuit. There will be some advantages for the power hitters and the last two winners have ranked inside the top 5 for Driving Distance.
Greens in Regulation and Strokes Gained: Tee to Green have also been key stats in recent editions. Scoring is usually low unless strong winds prevail, but the weather conditions are expected to be calm across the four days.
Since last year, the primary rough has been extended to 2.5 inches while the greens are expected to reach 11 on the Stimpmeter.
One man who has the game for this course should be coming in on Thursday as the defending champion. Collin Morikawa lost that six-shot lead but Jon Rahm’s brilliance also played a part in the closing stages. Morikawa still finished as the solo runner-up and he rediscovered his form with victory at the Zozo Championship in October. Morikawa for the win is the main pick, along with some additional top five finish betting predictions and picks as we look to get 2024 off to a profitable start. So the tips for this golf preview are:
- Collin Morikawa to win at +1200 (12/1) with Bovada, EveryGame & BetOnline.
- Top 5 Finish Betting Picks: Collin Morikawa (+275 BetOnline, EveryGame), Tom Kim (+550 BetOnline), Tony Finau (+550 BetOnline) and Eric Cole (+1000 EveryGame).
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.