Patrick Reed one to watch in Sentry Tournament of Champions

This week begins the 2021 calendar year on the PGA Tour with the Sentry Tournament of Champions as the customary opener at Kapalua in Maui, Hawaii. As the event’s title indicates, this is a tournament consisting of PGA Tour winners over the last calendar year. There will be additional players (those who reached the Tour Championship but did not win an event last season) participating due to 11 PGA Tour events being canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eight of the OWGR Top 10 are in the field including World No. 1 Dustin Johnson (6/1), who has two victories in this event (2013, 2018) and is fresh off his Masters Tournament victory in November. Justin Thomas (7/1), the World No. 3, is also a two-time winner (2017, 2020) at Kapalua. World No. 2 Jon Rahm (15/2) was runner-up here three years ago and is breaking in new equipment this week as part of his new endorsement deal with Callaway. Xander Schauffele won here in 2019 and was part of last year’s playoff, won by Thomas, but did test positive for COVID-19 the week before Christmas and has had less preparation time. Schauffele shares a 10/1 price with World No. 5 and reigning U.S. Open champion Bryson DeChambeau.

Here are some players a little lower on the odds board who are worth a wager this weekend:

Patrick Reed (16/1)

“Captain America” already has a victory at Kapalua back in 2015. In addition, Reed has two runner-up finishes here in 2016 and 2020, when he was part of last year’s three-way playoff with Xander Schauffele and eventual winner Justin Thomas.

Reed has had a little shorter layoff than most of this week’s field considering he went over to Dubai and finished third in the DP World Tour Championship just four weeks ago. He ranked first in SG: Around The Green that week and the larger greens this week allow for different angles to the pins and brings his creativity and superb short game into play.

Hideki Matsuyama
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Hideki Matsuyama (18/1)

Matsuyama is winless since 2017 so he has not been a participant in this event for a little while now, but he gets in this year as a top-30 qualifier for last September’s Tour Championship. In three starts at Kapalua, Matsuyama has never finished worse than fourth. Of his six career PGA Tour wins, three have come at no-cut events.

Collin Morikawa (28/1)

The reigning PGA Champion is priced a bit higher than I thought he would be. After nabbing his first major at Harding Park, he fell a bit out of form but that is understandable when you win your first major at just 23 years of age.

Morikawa was fourth heading into the final round on his debut here last year before settling for seventh. Like most players, the 2020 heavily back-ended schedule may have worn him down a little bit and the several-week respite could be good for Morikawa and have him ready to fire quickly out of the gate.

Cameron Smith (40/1)

Aside from playing in the QBE Shootout with fellow Aussie Marc Leishman, the last time we saw Smith he was posting his best major finish with a T-2 at the Masters.

Smith has strong incoming form (11-4-2) and usually plays his best golf of the season over the winter and into the spring. He is the reigning champion of the Sony Open in Hawaii, where he will be defending his title next week.


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