Skip to content
en-gb GO TO bet365 Sports
  1. Golf

PGA: Cantlay in contention for Hawaii glory

We've got action from Hawaii this week and golf guru Steve Palmer delivers his verdict on the tournament.

Sentry Tournament of Champions

The first golf event of 2022 starts in Hawaii on Thursday night - the Sentry Tournament of Champions at the Plantation Course - and the PGA Tour is starting with a bang.

Seven of the world's top eight players are in attendance for the Sentry, which has been staged at this venue since 1999, and the 38-runner affair is a spectacular way to start a busy year of golf.

The world-number-one spot is on the line this week. Jon Rahm has been atop the rankings from the Open Championship last July onwards, but Collin Morikawa is breathing down the neck of the Spaniard.

Morikawa had a golden chance of overtaking Rahm in the Hero World Challenge just before Christmas - the Californian took a five-shot lead into the final round of that Bahamas gathering and would have become the planet's premier player had he won - but a Sunday 76 saw him drop to fifth place and remain second in the rankings.

Rahm is a 9/1 to win the Sentry Tournament of Champions and cement his position as world number one, while Morikawa can be backed at 11/1 for the Hawaii shootout. Justin Thomas, who has won two of the last five editions of this event, is a popular 8/1 chance.

The winners of PGA Tour events last year are invited to compete in the Sentry, although a special exemption has been made for Xander Schauffele, who won the Olympic gold medal for the USA in Japan in the summer.

Rory McIlroy turned down his spot in the field. It is a no-cut event, so punters will get 72 holes from their selections unless they suffer any injury or illness.

Sentry Tournament of Champions previous winners taking part

Patrick Reed, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas (twice), Xander Schauffele, Harris English

Sentry Tournament of Champions course details

Kapalua is the traditional home of the PGA Tour's yearly curtain-raiser. A power-hitter's paradise, the fairways are like runways.

There are only three par-threes and seven holes are longer than 500 yards. The 680-yard closing hole is a test of strength on a track which has the largest greens on the circuit.

Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore renovated the track after the 2019 edition. Fairways, tees and rough were grassed with Celebration bermuda, while the greens became TifEagle bermuda, with the designers hoping to create firmer, faster conditions.

The huge dancefloors demand sharp scrambling. The roll-call of past winners shows how powerhouses can flourish (Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els, Vijay Singh, Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas), but other recent champions (Steve Stricker, Zach Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed) underline the importance of a superb short game.

The weather forecast is for clear and sunny conditions, with light breezes and temperatures reaching 27C, so scoring should be extremely low.

Three to follow

Patrick Cantlay

The FedEx Cup champion has had three months off - perhaps spending much of it counting his money after banking $15m at East Lake in September - and Patrick Cantlay should return to action this week feeling full of energy and determination.

Cantlay was superb in the FedEx Cup playoffs, setting up his chance of FedEx glory by winning the BMW Championship. That event turned into a thrilling duel with Bryson DeChambeau, during which Cantlay's putting was incredible.

Related Golf News

PGA Tour: Horschel and Burns the Florida pair to beat

DP World Tour: Pieters can prove himself again in 2022

Golf: American pair square off in Vegas

European Tour: McIlroy shaping up well for Dubai finale

Cantlay earned the nickname Patty Ice with his courageous putting in the BMW, where he reached 27 under par through 72 holes, and he could go close to carding something similar in the Sentry Tournament of Champions.

The Sentry seems sure to be a low-scoring shootout and Cantlay's razor-sharp short-game stands him in great stead. He has finished in the top 15 in all three of his previous starts at Kapalua - and that streak can continue this week.

Patrick Reed

Another short-game master who can be followed in Hawaii is Patrick Reed, who won the Sentry in 2015. The former Masters champion has also twice been second in the Sentry, revelling in the test of creativity and touch.

Last year, some new shoes and the resulting foot blisters and shin splints, meant he faded out of contention over the weekend. This time, Reed should stay fit for four rounds and the Texan can build on the third-place finish he managed in the Hero World Challenge last time out.

Reed, like Cantlay, is a fearsome competitor who will probably make sure he is fully prepared for PGA Tour combat, even in the first week of January.

Sungjae Im

Pick of the overseas raiders this week could be Sungjae Im, who finished fifth on this Tournament of Champions debut last year.

The cool Korean won the Shriners Open in fine style in October and could be set for a hugely successful 2022.

World RankingName
1      Jon Rahm
2 Collin Morikawa
3   Dustin Johnson

Discover more from the world's favourite online betting brand

More golf betting news

Latest betting and odds

Live golf tracker

Latest golf results

Sign up - bet365 Open Account Offer

bet365 uses cookies

We use cookies to deliver a better and more personalised service. For more information, see our Cookie Policy

New to bet365? Bet £10 & Get £30 in Free Bets

Join Now

Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of qualifying bets. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.