Sentry Tournament of Champions Primer: History, TV, Field, Odds

Tony Finau and Jon Rahm Sentry Tournament Of Champions
Tony Finau and Jon Rahm during a practice round prior to the Sentry Tournament Of Champions on the Plantation Course at Kapalua Golf Club on Jan 5, 2021 in Kapalua, Hawaii. (Photo by Cliff Hawkins via Getty Images)

It’s hard to believe, but the PGA Tour’s off-season is officially over as the 2022 portion of the 2021-22 season gets underway this week in Hawaii with the Sentry Tournament of Champions.

Contested at picturesque Kapalua on the island of Maui, the Tournament of Champions will feature a small, but superbly-talented, field of 39 golfers – all of whom were victorious in at least one tour event during the 2021 calendar year.

The star-studded field in Hawaii features seventeen of the top-20 ranked players in the Official World Golf Rankings, including defending champion Harris English and two-time winner Justin Thomas (2020, 2017).

Other big names teeing it up this week in Maui include world Nos. 1 and 2 Jon Rahm and Collin Morikawa, respectively, along with Patrick Cantlay, Bryson DeChambeau, Xander Schauffele, and Viktor Hovland.

As we do each week, here’s a round up of information and data points to prep you for the week in Hawaii.

The Skinny

Justin Thomas Sentry Tournament Of Champions at the Kapalua Plantation
Justin Thomas plays his shot from the 7th tee during the first round of the Sentry Tournament Of Champions at the Kapalua Plantation Course on Jan 7, 2021 in Kapalua, Hawaii. (Photo by Gregory Shamus via Getty Images)

Sentry Tournament of Champions
Title Sponsor: Sentry
PGA Tour Debut: 1953
Event Week: 10 of 43
Dates: Jan. 6-9, 2022
Where: Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii
Venue: Plantation Course at Kapalua
Distance: 7452 yards, Par 73
Architect: Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore
Field: 39 players (2021 winners)
Format: 72-hole stroke play with no cut
Purse: $8,000,000
Winning Share: $1,440,000
FedExCup/OWGR: 500/62
Defending Champion: Harris English

How to Follow the Sentry Tournament of Champions

Sentry Tournament of Champions
A rainbow appears in front of the first hole during the final round of the Sentry Tournament of Champions at Kapalua on Jan 7, 2018 in Lahaina, Hawaii. Photo by Stan Badz/Getty Images via PGA TOUR

TELEVISION: Thu-Sat: 6-10 p.m. (GOLF Channel); Sun: 4-6 p.m. (NBC), 6-8 p.m. (GOLF Channel)

PGA TOUR LIVE: Thu-Sat: 3:15-6 p.m. ET (Groups), 6-10 p.m. (Holes); Sun: 1:30-4 p.m. (Groups), 4-8 p.m. (Holes)

RADIO: Thu-Fri: 4-10 p.m.; Sat: 5-10 p.m.; Sun: 3-8 p.m. (PGA TOUR Radio on SiriusXM)

LINKS: Website | Facebook | Instagram

Sentry Tournament of Champions History

Sergio Garcia Wins 2002 Mercedes Championships at Kapalua
Sergio Garcia poses with the trophy after winning the Mercedes Championships in a playoff on the Plantation Course in Kapalua, Hawaii. Photo: Donald Miralle/Getty Images

The Sentry Tournament of Champions is annually held during the first week of January, and, since 1999, has been played at the Kapalua’s Plantation Course on the island of Maui.

The inaugural winner was Al Besselink who shot a 280 to edge Chandler Harper by a single stroke in 1953. For his second career PGA Tour victory, Besselink – then a swashbuckling 31-year old from New Jersey, was awarded a wheelbarrow of silver dollars worth $10,000. Known for his propensity to gamble, the University of Miami product, however, banked another $12,500 by placing a $500 bet on himself at 25-1.

For its first 16 editions, the limited-field tournament was contested in Las Vegas, Nevada – first at the Desert Inn Country Club from 1953-66, then for two years at the Stardust Country Club (1967-68).

In 1969 the tournament moved further west to Carlsbad, California, with La Costa Resort and Spa playing host until 1999 when it was moved to Maui.

There have been six title sponsors over the years with MONY (75-90), Infiniti (91-93), and Mercedes (94-09) holding the rights for the first 35 years. The title sponsor has been far less stable in recent years, however, with Hyundai (11-16), SBS (10, 17), and Sentry (18-21) sharing the marquee for the past 12 editions.

Past tournament winners include legends such as Sam Snead, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Tom Watson, Phil Mickelson, Johnny Miller, and Tiger Woods.

History: Recent Winners

2021: Harris English*
2020: Justin Thomas*
2019: Xander Schauffele*
2018: Dustin Johnson
2017: Justin Thomas*
2016: Jordan Spieth*
2015: Patrick Reed*
*In 2021 field

History: Records

Wins: 5, Jack Nicklaus (1963-64, 71, 73, 75)
Consecutive Wins: 3, Stuart Appleby (2004-06)
72-Hole Scoring: 261 (-31), Ernie Els (2003)
18-Hole Scoring: 62 (-11), K.J. Choi (Rd3, 2003), Graeme McDowell (Rd4, 2011), Jason Day (Rd4, 2015), Chris Kirk (Rd4, 2015), Xander Schauffele (Rd4, 2019)

The Course: Plantation at Kapalua

Hole 18 Kapalua
A view of the 18th hole during the final round of the Sentry Tournament of Champions at Plantation Course at Kapalua on Jan 7, 2018 in Lahaina, Hawaii. Photo: Stan Badz/Getty Images via PGA TOUR

The Plantation Course at Kapalua is located on the island of Maui, and measures 7,452 yards from the championship tees.

Designed by Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore, the Plantation track is a traditional links-style course offering dramatic elevation changes with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and ocean.

In addition to being the Tour’s only par 73, it’s also the only course on the schedule with seven holes measuring over 500 yards – two of those being the 549-yard par-4 17th and the 663-yard par-5 18th.

Notably, both closing holes play downhill, allowing most of the pros to reach in two despite the lengthy yardage.

The Field: Sentry Tournament of Champions

Justin Thomas and Xander Schauffele walk off of the 18th green as they head into a playoff during the final round of the Sentry Tournament Of Champions at the Kapalua Plantation Course on Jan 5, 2020 in Kapalua, Hawaii. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

The field in Maui this week features 39 of the 40 PGA Tour winners in 2021, including five former Kapalua champions: Harris English (2021), Justin Thomas (2020, 2017), Xander Schauffele (2019), Jordan Spieth (2016), and Patrick Reed (2015).

The only 2021 winner not teeing it up this week is Rory McIlroy.

All six of last year’s super event winners will be on hand as well: Thomas (PLAYERS), Hideki Matsuyama (MASTERS), Phil Mickelson (PGA), Jon Rahm (U.S. OPEN), Collin Morikawa (BRITISH OPEN), and Patrick Cantlay (FEDEX CUP).

Other marquee names in the field include Brooks Koepka (Phoenix), Viktor Hovland (Mayakoba), Abraham Ancer (Memphis), Sam Burns (Valspar, Sanderson), Tony Finau (No. Trust), and Daniel Berger (Pebble Beach).

First-time tour winners making their debuts at Kapalua include Cameron Davis (Rocket), Joel Dahmen (Corales), Talor Gooch (RSM), Lucas Herbert (Bermuda), Garrick Higgo (Palmetto), K.H. Lee (Byron Nelson), Seamus Power (Barbasol), and Erik van Rooyen (Barracuda).

Top-5 Betting Favorites

1. Justin Thomas (8-1)
2. Jon Rahm (9-1)
3. Collin Morikawa (10-1)
4. Bryson DeChambeau (12-1)
4. Xander Schauffele (12-1)

Full Field & Odds

Sentry Tournament of Champions | Plantation GC | Kapalua, Maui, HI | Jan. 6-9, 2022

Up Next On Tour

Sony Open at Waialae CC
Players tee off on the 8th hole during the 2017 Sony Open at Waialae CC in Honolulu, Hawaii. Photo: Getty Images

The PGA Tour tees it up in Honolulu for the long-running Sony Open, the second of the annual two-stop Hawaii set.

Jan. 13-16 – Sony Open in Hawaii (Honolulu, HI)
Jan. 20-23 – The American Express (La Quinta, CA)
Jan. 26-29 – Farmers Insurance Open (La Jolla, CA)
Feb. 03-06 – AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am (Pebble Beach, CA)
Feb. 10-13 – WM Phoenix Open (Scottsdale, AZ)
Feb. 17-20 – Genesis Invitational (Pacific Palisades, CA)

Joel Cook contributed to this report.


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