2024 The Sentry Odds: PGA TOUR Preview For The Plantation Course at Kapalua

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Written By John Haslbauer | Last Updated
the sentry odds

The new 2024 PGA TOUR season begins at long last in Maui, Hawaii. The new season begins at The Sentry on the Plantation Course at Kapalua. Find The Sentry odds at the best betting sites to increase your potential PGA TOUR golf betting payouts. Scottie Scheffler, Viktor Hovland, and Max Homa project as the top favorites for this upcoming tournament.

The PGA TOUR is BACK and better than ever. Well, maybe not, considering it’s lost one of the biggest names in golf to LIV over the six weeks since the last proper tournament transpired in Sea Island. Alas, with or without defending champion Jon Rahm in the mix, I’m excited to see most of the best golfers in the world tee it up at The Sentry to introduce the new 2024 PGA TOUR season.

Formerly known as The Sentry Tournament of Champions, The Sentry will feature its largest field in tournament history, now open to all winners in the extended 2023 season and the top-50 finishers from the 2023 FedEx Cup Standings.

The Plantation Course at Kapalua rewards longer hitters, crafty short game around tabletop greens, and – assuming the calm conditions the weather forecast currently calls for – an ability to go low in easy scoring conditions. We’ll review the key facts and info about Kapalua ahead of The Sentry. We also have a new partnership in 2024 with Underdog for golf drafts & picks, with a $100 bonus below.

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The SENTRY ODDS: THE FAVORITES

Scroll to the bottom for full outright odds and to compare prices across legal sportsbooks in your state. 

THE SENTRY FIELD AT A GLANCE

With 59 players confirmed in the field and on The Sentry odds board, 2024 is the largest field in tournament history. Once an exclusive invitation reserved only for winners of the previous season, The Sentry has evolved into a reward for the best players throughout the previous season. All players finishing in the top 50 of the previous season’s FedEx Cup Standings are qualified for the first time. That opens the invitation for non-winners like Eric Cole, Tommy Fleetwood, and Xander Schauffele, amongst others, who would not have otherwise qualified under the old criteria. Rory McIlroy is the only qualified PGA TOUR player who has opted to skip the event, as he often has elected to begin his season deeper into January.

Given the nuanced history of this event, it is a privilege to begin the year in Maui and a notable schedule adjustment for those who are not regular PGA TOUR winners. While the course may not require many practice reps to acclimate with, first-timers have notably struggled acclimating to the time zone difference and anecdotally adjusting to playing competitive golf over the holiday season. Because of that, it’s typically a spot I look to fade debutants. The full list of players making their Sentry debuts this week includes Akshay Bhatia, Davis Riley, Nick Hardy, Kurt Kitayama, Lee Hodges, Ludvig Aberg, Matt Wallace, Nico Echavarria, Taylor Moore, Vincent Norrman, Wyndham Clark, Byeong Hun An, Eric Cole, Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton, Denny McCarthy, Patrick Rodgers, and Adam Schenk.

The previous two winners of this event – Jon Rahm and Cam Smith – will not return for their defense since defecting to the LIV tour. Harris English, Xander Schauffele, and Jordan Spieth are the only past winners in the field this week. Justin Thomas has notably failed to qualify for the first time in his career, having played in this event each year since 2016.

INTRODUCTION TO THE PLANTATION COURSE AT KAPALUA

The Plantation Course at Kapalua, which sits on the shores of Maui, Hawaii, is arguably the most luxurious resort golfers and their families get the chance to stay at the entire year – an appropriate reward to offer all TOUR winners and BMW Championship finalists.

The massive coastal property is one of the longest courses on the PGA TOUR at 7,596 yards, featuring wide, undulating fairways and oversized tabletop greens. Heavily exposed to Maui’s coastline, wind and rain have played a significant factor in determining how the course will play.

Monitor The Weather

Over the past two years, soft and calm conditions led to a one-dimensional birdie fest, with Jon Rahm and Cam Smith winning at -27 and -34, respectively. In soft and calm conditions, this event drew the easiest scoring average on the PGA TOUR in both 2023 and 2022.

Before 2022, however, stronger sustained winds led to more moderate scoring. In four of the last 11 years, the field median score has been kept to single digits under par due to firmer conditions and stronger winds. Like an Open Championship week, it’s best to monitor weather conditions in Maui throughout the week before placing any Sentry Tournament of Champions bets.

As of Monday, the forecast for Thursday through Sunday calls for rain and gusts beyond 20 MPH on Friday and Saturday. If that forecast holds, we should expect much more of a test than recent years have shown, which will place even greater emphasis on short game.

How It Breaks Down

Though listed at 7,596 yards, the total yardage of the Plantation Course at Kapalua is a bit deceptive for a few reasons. For one, it’s the only Par-73 we see on TOUR, with just three Par-3s to go along with 11 Par-4s and four Par-5s. The course also features several dramatic elevation changes, causing the ball to carry farther and roll out more here than the TOUR average. For example, the signature 18th hole is listed at 677 yards but is still easily reachable in two for players with plus distance, given the downhill tee shot and downhill approach from the fairway to the green.

At a glance, the Plantation Course at Kapalua sets up to be one of the easiest tracks on TOUR. A 20-under-par winning score is the de facto barometer to classify a given tournament as a “Birdie Fest,” and the winner of the Tournament of Champions has exceeded that mark in seven of the last eight years. A quarter of the field shot -20 or better in each of the last two years.

The course itself is long, with dramatic elevation changes and severe undulations in both the fairways and greens complexes. These are some of the easiest combinations of fairways and greens to hit on TOUR, making this another bona fide birdie best, favoring the best iron players, birdie-makers, and hot putters on slow Bermuda greens. Distance, as always, will only help players this week, as they can swing freely at these open fairways with little resistance from the sparse hazards on the property.

For Plantation Course at Kapalua course specs, hole-by-hole breakdown with yardages, and past The Sentry winners with their pre-tournament odds, visit our Sentry odds page.

Course History & Course Comps

From a Course History standpoint, this event has proven to be one of the most predictive based on previous results, given the unique intricacies of the course and the nuances that come with this being the first event after a long layoff in a very different time zone.

With the latest news of the defending champion, no players in the field have continuously played this full event over the last five years. Over the last three years, there is a clear tier of four players who have consistently played this course well. Xander Schauffele, Patrick Cantlay, Collin Morikawa, and Sungjae Im each have posted multiple top-10 finishes, with none finishing worse than T16 over that span.

The top 10 in the field in terms of Course History at this event are Rickie Fowler, Xander Schauffele, Jordan Spieth, Collin Morikawa, Patrick Cantlay, Tom Hoge, Sungjae Im, Jason Day, Matt Fitzpatrick, and Tom Kim. Notables who have failed to crack the top 10 over multiple Sentry Tournament of Champions appearances include Hideki Matsuyama, Viktor Hovland, and Keegan Bradley.

Course Comps

In terms of course comps, it’s Augusta National that surprisingly draws the strongest trends. Of course, the stakes and course difficulty of Kapalua pale in comparison to Augusta, but the cross-over is clear. With the exception of Harris English, each of the last 11 winners of this event were either Masters champions (Jon Rahm, Patrick Reed, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Zach Johnson) or had registered a top-5 at The Masters (Cam Smith, Xander Schauffele, Justin Thomas). Rahm only furthered this trend by winning both events in 2023. They are both comparable in the sense that each favors longer hitters who can take advantage of Par-5s, have wider fairways that forgive slight misses off the tee, and feature a massive property with distinct undulations and many sloping or uneven fairway lies that reward clever shot shaping.

Beyond Augusta, The Los Angeles Country Club is a recent example of a large property with generous landing areas and easier scoring when conditions are not firm. Congaree, host of the 2021 Palmetto Championship and 2022 CJ Cup, also comps well, as both courses are long with massive, open fairways, reachable Par-4s, and large, tabletop Bermuda greens complexes. They’re also both plantation courses, for what it’s worth.

On a secondary level, Corales, Coco Beach, Albany, and Vidanta Vallarta are easier, coastal, and open courses similar to Kapalua. TPC Craig Ranch and Caves Valley also share the same advantage to bombers, though with less influence from coastal winds.

Looking at SG: TOT L36 rounds across each of the noted comp courses, the top-10 players in this field are Scottie Scheffler, Rickie Fowler, Tony Finau, Tom Kim, Xander Schauffele, Akshay Bhatia, Sam Burns, Viktor Hovland, Wyndham Clark, and Hideki Matsuyama.

KEY STATS TO CONSIDER

  • SG: APP
  • Driving Distance
  • Par-5 Scoring
  • Prox: 200+
  • Prox: <100 Yards / SG: ARG
  • Birdies or Better Gained
  • 3-Putt Avoidance
  • SG: P (Bermuda)
  • Course & Comp Course History

Bespoke to Kapalua, the course emphasizes Around The Green and Scrambling despite recently playing as a birdie fest. Four Par-4s sit under 400 yards and set up <30-yard wedges for up and down birdies, and each of the four Par-5s will also leave players in a similar situation if they aren’t already putting for eagle. The top-10 wedge players (weighting SG: ARG and Prox: <100) are Wyndham Clark, Denny McCarthy, JT Poston, Sahith Theegala, Matt Fitzpatrick, Eric Cole, Tyrrell Hatton, Mackenzie Hughes, Viktor Hovland, and Xander Schauffele.

Referencing historical trends at Kapalua, the ideal player should not be a debutant and rank above-average in Driving Distance, SG: Short Game, Birdies or Better Gained, and Comp Course History. There are just three players who rate out above average in each: Rickie Fowler, Patrick Cantlay, and Viktor Hovland.

Correlation

Looking at the correlation charts this week, we see a fairly notable decrease in the importance of P5: 550-600 and SG: APP, which checks out given the unique hole layouts at Kapalua and the higher GIR percentage expected from the field.

On the other hand, P5: 500-550 and SG: Short Game makes the most notable jumps in importance at the Sentry TOC, each vaulting into the Top 10 this week. It’s also worth noting the importance of Birdies (or Better) Gained, which are the top two stats for historical success at TOC.

the sentry odds
Top-10 Correlated Stats with SG: TOT
Top-10 Correlated Stats with SG: TOT at Kapalua

Taking each of the above key categories into account, there are just five players who rate out above average in all 10 top categories: Viktor Hovland, Patrick Cantlay, Ludvig Aberg, Tommy Fleetwood, and Cam Davis.

2024 Golf Futures

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Matt Fitzpatrick

Turning the page to a new year, Fitzpatrick will have a long list of fond memories to draw from in 2023. He was an integral part of Team Europe’s Ryder Cup victory, he won on his favorite PGA TOUR course (Harbour Town) and again close to home three starts ago at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. It’s not a bad way to follow up a major championship campaign the year prior!

When you analyze year-over-year improvements in Fitzpatrick’s game, he looks the part of a breakout multi-winner on TOUR this upcoming season. Considering his strengths of Driving Distance and Short Game (ranking top-10 in each), The Sentry is a sensible spot for Fitzpatrick to contend in straight away.

That profile fit paid dividends in his debut last year, where he impressed with a T7 finish. Carding a final score of -21, this was the lowest score relative to par of his PGA TOUR career. He may not have the reputation of a “birdie fest” kind of guy, but a forecast calling for firmer and windier conditions would lead me to believe scrambling will be far more critical this week than in recent, calmer years.

With five top-10 finishes over his last seven starts, Fitzpatrick’s odds opening beyond 25-1 would stand out as one of the best values available.

2024 The SENTRY: DFS Player pool

With all the course-fit profiles in mind, I’m leaning early toward the below player pool. Naturally, I’m looking their way in the 2024 The Sentry odds as well. I’ve broken the list down by actualized pricing/odds tier for DraftKings and rankings projections for Underdog with odds and pricing released earlier this week.

the sentry odds

UnderDog Golf Draft Rankings Tiers

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Tier 1

Scottie Scheffler
Viktor Hovland

Tier 2

Collin Morikawa
Patrick Cantlay
Xander Schauffele
Matt Fitzpatrick
Sungjae Im
Wyndham Clark

Tier 3

Cameron Young
Rickie Fowler

Tier 4

Cam Davis
Harris English
Luke List

Tier 5

Erik van Rooyen
Adam Schenk
Akshay Bhatia
Mackenzie Hughes
Kurt Kitayama

Model RESULTS & Breakdown

For my model in Fantasy National this week, I’m prioritizing Birdies or Better Gained, Course & Comp Course History, and Prox 200+, followed by a more balanced mix of Driving Distance, SG: APP, SG: ARG, and SG: P (L36, Bermuda 3-Putt Avoidance).

Model Favorites

The World No. 1, Scottie Scheffler, also takes No. 1 honors in my model this week. In his third career trip to Maui, he’ll look to improve on previous finishes of T13 and T7.

After Scheffler, my model’s top 10 is rounded out by Wyndham Clark, Eric Cole, Viktor Hovland, Rickie Fowler, Xander Schauffele, Justin Rose, Patrick Cantlay, Ludvig Aberg, and Tom Kim.

I want to build a tight card concentrated on players with proven experience at Kapalua. The odds will determine where I land, but I can confidently say at least two of Collin Morikawa, Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele, Matt Fitzpatrick, and Sungjae Im will land on my outright card.

Thanks for reading, and good luck navigating 2024 The Sentry odds!

2024 The SENTRY ODDS Comparison Table

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