2022 Sentry Tournament of Champions Betting Card, Storylines, Final Thoughts

Written By John Haslbauer on January 5, 2022
tournament of champions bets

After another week of research in the books, it’s nice to hit that lock button once again, kick back, and watch my 2022 Sentry Tournament of Champions bets play out in primetime.

New this year, I’ll be hopping in the golf channel of TheLines Discord for dedicated hours starting at 8 p.m. ET each Wednesday night to talk through my betting card, Sentry TOC DFS and general golf strategy before lock. I’ve been hopping in these Discord sessions for football these past few weeks and can honestly attest it’s great to crowd source a group discussion all in one place. Really looking forward to those this year!

Click on the odds below if you’d like to add my Tournament of Champions bets as well. Each week, TheLines will provide the best available odds at legal U.S. sportsbooks. 

Betting Card Strategy: How I Built My Tournament of Champions Bets

As someone who bets every single tournament, every week of the PGA TOUR season, I try to stick to the same structure each week when building out cards. I’m someone who bets for entertainment, which means a commitment to more outrights and First Round Leader bets than a safer card which would be more heavy in Finishing Position and Matchup props. That means some heavier swings of highs and lows throughout the year, but you gotta trust the process!

For Outrights, my goal each year is to hit six winners. With that in mind, each tournament, I’ll allocate three units to outright bets, each to payout 24 units. That means I need to hit one outright every 8 weeks (~2 months) to break even for the year. Last year I hit seven outrights, so I’m keeping the same philosophy and structure again in 2022. Some weeks my card will have 10 outrights on it, other weeks it will only have two or three. All depends on how short you want to start your card at.

For First Round Leader bets, these are small bets for Thursday entertainment purposes, in an extremely volatile marketplace. Favorites have rarely cashed as FRLs, so it makes for a fun prop to spread across longshots. I’ll put 0.5 units per week for a payout of 10-12 units per bet. Last year I hit five FRL bets and would expect to hit less in 2022, but we’ll see! You just never know with FRL. 

Prop bets will be a mix of finishing position and matchup bets. In full fields, I’ll usually bet three props for three units in, and varying units returned depending on the props chosen that week. In a short field like the Sentry TOC, I’ll refine down to two props for two units in, given the restricted value on the board.

Outrights (3.2u)

Justin Thomas

My Bet: +1100
Best Odds Still Available:

There are certain players on TOUR who you just know if you play them at a given event, you’re at least going to get a sweat. There’s Webb Simpson at the Wyndham Championship, Jordan Spieth at the Charles Schwab, Bubba Watson at the Travelers, Hideki Matsuyama any time he’s in Japan, and of course, Justin Thomas at Kapalua. Thomas has two wins along with another two T3 finishes over the last 5 years, the best course history here of any player on TOUR over that span.

Thomas has credited his mental preparation at this event to be as important as the course fit, citing the hurdles for some other newcomers to adjust to the Hawaii time zone change, amongst other distractions at a beautiful Hawaiian resort course. In addition to the stellar course history, Thomas has flown under the radar with four T5 finishes over his last six events. That’s not even including Team Thomas’ 3rd place finish at the PNC Championship where Justin essentially single-handedly shot back to back 60s without much help from his ailing father who was on the mend from back surgery.

Beyond the great course history, course fit, and recent form, JT also gets the added bonus of having Bones on the bag caddying for him this time around, which should only help improve his intermittent struggles on the greens. I have a lot of confidence in JT this week, and in a 38-man field, 11/1 odds felt like a bargain.

Patrick Reed

My Bet: +3000
Best Odds Still Available:

If Justin Thomas does not win, we have just enough room on the card to squeeze in another former Sentry TOC winner with multiple T5 finishes over his last four starts, Patrick Reed. Reed may not model well in any Strokes Gained research, but that’s because he’s found success at off-shore coastal courses without ShotLink data at the Bermuda Championship and Hero World Challenge. You never really know which Patrick Reed is going to show up, but as an outright, we’re betting on his ceiling, which we know is capable of winning any given week.

Garrick Higgo

My Bet: +15000
Best Odds Still Available:

Technically I hit my three-unit limit with JT and Reed, but I couldn’t resist one more sprinkle on Garrick Higgo at 150-1. At the 2021 Sentry TOC, Ryan Palmer opened at 150-1 and was in the final Sunday pairing. So it’s not impossible to get a sweat out of the bottom of the board. I think wet recent conditions should benefit bomber birdie makers like Higgo if the grounds remain soft.

First Round Leader (0.5u)

Seamus Power

My bet: +4000
Best Odds Still Available:

Sadly Sebastian Munoz did not win a PGA TOUR event last season, so we have to improvise on FRL for Tournament of Champions bets.  Seamus Power is a player who made a living in 2021 Monday Qualifying his way into PGA TOUR events, so you know he has the ability to string together birdies and go low one round at a time. I don’t think Power is getting the credit he deserves for his hot recent form, so this is another value FRL bet.

Matt Jones

My bet: +6600
Best Odds Still Available:

If there was a Sentry Tournament of First Round Leaders, Matt Jones would be in that field too, thanks to his wire-to-wire win at the Honda Classic. Despite that propensity to go low, Jones sits at the longest FRL odds on some sportsbooks, so he’s worth a gamble on the sheer value alone. Jones is at his best in windy conditions with open fairways, and historically has putted best on Bermuda greens, so while I don’t expect him to contend this week, there’s definitely a scenario where he gets out to a hot start.

Props (2u)

Full Tournament Matchup: Marc Leishman vs. Brooks Koepka

My bet: Marc Leishman -115
DraftKings Sportsbook: Marc Leishman -110

My new year’s resolution is a commitment to consistent prop bets at each tournament. Most weeks I’ll do three placement bets or matchups for three units, but in this limited field, I’m easing in with one matchup and one placement bet.

Leishman over Brooks is not a value bet. In fact I think it’s odd to see Leishman as a slight favorite over Brooks. However, I’m really high on Leishman’s fit at Kapalua given his historical results here and rediscovered iron play & putting. On the other hand, I hate the fit for Brooks here. His course history has been lackluster, there have been no positive results to speak of since The Open in July, he’s known to be distracted at these island resort destinations, and if he gets off to a slow start, we could see him fully eject like he did here in 2018, losing 20 strokes to the field and finishing dead last. There’s also the fact that Kapalua is known to be one of the more difficult walks on TOUR, which shouldn’t do Brooks any favors as he continues to recover from knee surgery.

Top-10 Finish: Sam Burns

My Bet: +110
Best Odds Still Available:  

Sam Burns Top 10 is not a sexy bet at +110, but in such a short field, it’s really tough to get excited about any big numbers in the finishing positions market, so I’ll take the plus-odds on an expected outcome from one of the hottest players on TOUR right now. In a 38-man field, you are asking Burns to finish in the top-25% of the field to cash this bet. He’s done that in eight of his last ten events dating back to the Travelers in June, so plus-odds on a course that perfectly suits his game screams value to me among Tournament of Champions bets.

Final Betting Card

tournament of champions bets

Closing Thoughts And Storylines

Usually my mind and process go in a thousand different directions between the time I preview a tournament on Sunday and lock in the card on Wednesday. Maybe it’s paralysis by over-analysis, or the 1.5 months of anticipation between PGA TOUR events, but I really haven’t wavered on my thought process for Tournament of Champions bets all week.

I think Justin Thomas is going to win this event, and because of that, I’ve concentrated my bankroll on him and kept a tight card with some other flyers here and there. Beyond Justin Thomas winning this week, these are a few last storylines I’m looking forward to seeing play out at the Sentry Tournament of Champions.

First tournament played without greens books. Will it make a difference?

I don’t think we’ll be able to draw any conclusions from one tournament as to whether the removal of greens books has any adverse impacts on any players in particular.

The popular opinion is that Bryson DeChambeau is affected most, given his scientific approach and poor history at The Masters, the only event that has not allowed greens books to date. It’ll be interesting to track how he putts in the first few events of the year compared to previous years. If there’s an edge to be had without greens books, it’s likely going to be for players with the most course history at a given event, as well as players with experienced caddies. Those just so happen to be two more factors on Justin Thomas’ side.

Collin Morikawa can eclipse Jon Rahm as World No. 1 with a win or possibly a top-three finish

Last time we saw Collin Morikawa play golf might’ve been the first time we’ve ever seen him look human. With a commanding lead going into Sunday at the Hero World Challenge, he inexplicably gave the lead away immediately and played himself out of contention before the back nine.

At an event so meaningless that Jordan Spieth forgot there were even OWGR points at stake, it’s especially shocking to see nerves get the better of Morikawa in that situation. With World No. 1 implications at stake once again this week, it’ll be interesting to track how Morikawa responds.

Bombers or Short Game Specialists?

On paper, this is a bonafide bomber’s paradise that should reward the longest hitters with plenty of birdie opportunities. Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas have both leaned on their driving distance for two wins apiece at this event historically by following that blueprint and pulling driver at every given opportunity.

At the same time, we’ve also seen short game specialists with moderate distance off the tee like Patrick Reed, Jordan Spieth, and Zach Johnson win here as well. Given the amount of rain Kapalua’s received leading into this week, I expect a softer course to favor the longer hitters, not unlike what we saw at the BMW Championship at Caves Valley earlier this year.

John Haslbauer Avatar
Written by
John Haslbauer

John Haslbauer writes about golf betting and advanced golf metrics for TheLines.com. He is a passionate golf fan, golf writer, and (casual) golfer. A graduate at Syracuse University, John works out of Jersey City as a Director of Media Strategy for HBO and HBO Max. He created the website thepgatout.com at the start of 2021 and is active on Twitter (@PGATout). No, he is not a tout. The Twitter handle is a joke. Touts are lame. We hate touts.

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