The Sentry Primer: History, TV, Field, Odds

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

The PGA Tour’s new season gets underway this week in Hawaii with the 72nd edition of The Sentry. After a decade of playing a wraparound schedule, the tour returns to a calendar-year campaign, starting this week in Maui.

The Sentry is the first Signature Event of 2024 and marks what the PGA Tour is calling its “Opening Drive,” a two-stop launch to the season in Hawaii. The tour’s two island events, The Sentry and next week’s Sony Open in Hawaii, will highlight the cadence of Signature (Sentry) and Full-Field (Sony) events that will define the new season.

Contested at picturesque Kapalua on the island of Maui, and colloquially known as “the Tournament of Champions,” the season’s maiden Signature Event will feature a small, but superbly-talented, field of 59 golfers, including tournament winners from 2023 as well as those who finished inside the top 50 of last season’s FedEx Cup race.

The star-studded field in Hawaii will include a bevy of top-ranked players but will be missing its two most recent champions: Cam Smith and Jon Rahm, who are now part of the LIV Golf League.

Kapalua winners, who will be teeing it up, include Jordan Spieth (2016), Xander Schauffele (2019), and Harris English (2021).

Other big names in the Maui field include Scottie Scheffler, Patrick Cantlay, Rickie Fowler, Viktor Hovland, Collin Morikawa, Matt Fitzpatrick and Tony Finau, among others.

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

The Sentry Skinny

Jon Rahm prepares to hit his tee shot on the 18th hole during the final round of the Sentry Tournament of Champions at Plantation Course at Kapalua on Jan 8, 2023 in Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii. (Photo by Harry How via Getty Images)
The Sentry

Title Sponsor: Sentry
PGA Tour Debut: 1953
Event Week: 1 of 34
Dates: Jan. 4-7, 2024
Where: Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii
Venue: Plantation Course at Kapalua
Distance: 7452 yards, Par 73
Architect: Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore
Field: 59 players (2024 winners and Top 50 FEC)
Format: 72-hole stroke play, NO CUT
Purse: $20,000,000
Winning Share: $3,600,000
2023 Champion: Jon Rahm

How to Follow The Sentry

Dustin Johnson 2018 Sentry Tournament of Champions Kapalua
Dustin Johnson during the final round of the Sentry Tournament of Champions at Plantation Course at Kapalua on Jan 7, 2018 in Lahaina, Hawaii. Photo: StanBadz/Getty Images via PGA TOUR

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

PGA TOUR LIVE: Thu: 12:30-10 p.m. (ESPN+); Fri: 12:45-10 p.m. (ESPN+); Sat-Sun: 1-8pm (ESPN+)
Subscribe to ESPN+

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

LINKS: Website | Facebook | Instagram | X

The Sentry 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 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. SBS (10, 17) then bookended Hyundai’s six-year run (11-16). Sentry Insurance signed on as the event’s title sponsor in 2018, initially signing a five-year deal, later extending the agreement through 2030.

Dustin Johnson Wins the 2018 Sentry Tournament of Champions at Kapalua
Dustin Johnson poses with the trophy after winning the Sentry Tournament of Champions at Kapalua on Jan. 7, 2018. Photo: Stan Badz/Getty Images via PGA TOUR

Past tournament champions include Hall of Famers such as Sam Snead, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Tom Watson, Phil Mickelson, Johnny Miller, and Tiger Woods. Recent marquee winners include two-time champs Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson, alongside stars such as Patrick Reed, Jordan Spieth, Cam Smith and Xander Schauffele.

History: Recent Winners

2023: Jon Rahm
2022: Cam Smith
2021: Harris English*
2020: Justin Thomas
2019: Xander Schauffele*
2018: Dustin Johnson
2017: Justin Thomas
2016: Jordan Spieth*
2015: Patrick Reed
2014: Zach Johnson
2013: Dustin Johnson
*In 2024 field

History: Records

Wins: 5, Jack Nicklaus (1963-64, 71, 73, 75)
Consecutive Wins: 3, Stuart Appleby (2004-06)
72-Hole Scoring: 258 (-34), Cam Smith (2022)
18-Hole Scoring: 61 (-12), Jon Rahm (Rd3, 2022), Justin Thomas (Rd3, 2022), Matt Jones (Rd4, 2022)

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 PGA 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 Sentry Field

Rickie Fowler
Rickie Fowler and caddie Joe Skovron during the second round of the Sentry Tournament of Champions at Kapalua on Jan 5, 2018 in Lahaina, Hawaii. Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The field in Maui this week features 36 PGA Tour winners from 2023 alongside 23 additional players who finished inside the FedEx Cup’s Top 50.

Two of the 2023 season’s four major champions will be on hand: Brian Harman (British Open) and Wyndham Clark (U.S. OPEN). LIV Golf League’s Brooks Koepka (PGA) and Jon Rahm (Masters) remain suspended by the PGA Tour.

Three of the nine most recent Kapalua champions will tee it up, including Harris English (2021), Xander Schauffele (2019) and Jordan Spieth (2016). Rahm (2023), Cam Smith (2022), Dustin Johnson (2018) and Patrick Reed (2015) are under contract with LIV, while a slumping Justin Thomas (2020, 2017) did not qualify.

Cameron Smith Wins Sentry Tournament of Champions 2022
Jon Rahm and Cameron Smith on the first tee box during the final round of the Sentry Tournament of Champions at the Plantation Course at Kapalua GC on Jan 9, 2022 in Lahaina, Hawaii. (Photo by Ben Jared / PGA TOUR via Getty Images)

Other marquee stars in the field include Scottie Scheffler (Phoenix, Players), Viktor Hovland (Memorial, BMW), Ludvig Aberg (RSM), Patrick Cantlay (Top 50), Collin Morikawa (ZOZO), Justin Rose (Pebble Beach), Matt Fitzpatrick (Heritage), Hideki Matsuyama (Top 50), Rickie Fowler (Rocket), Tommy Fleetwood (Top 50), Max Homa (Farmers), Sam Burns (Dell Match Play), Tony Finau (Mexico Open), Jason Day (Byron Nelson), and Tyrrell Hatton (Top 50).

Other familiar names in the field include Sungjae Im (Top 50), Si Woo Kim (Sony), Cameron Young (Top 50), and Keegan Bradley (Travelers).

Top-5 Betting Favorites

1. Scottie Scheffler (+550)
2. Viktor Hovland (+900)
3. Collin Morikawa (+1200)
4. Ludvig Aberg (+1500)
4. Max Homa (+1500)
4. Patrick Cantlay (+1500)
4. Xander Schauffele (+1500)

Full Field

The Sentry | Plantation GC | Kapalua, Maui, HI | Jan. 5-8, 2024

Justin Rose Wins 2023 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am
Justin Rose poses with the trophy on the 18th green after winning the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am at Pebble Beach Golf Links on Feb 06, 2023 in Pebble Beach, Calif. (Photo by Ezra Shaw via Getty Images)

2024 Tournament Winners

  • Si Woo Kim – Sony Open
  •  Max Homa – Farmers Insurance Open
  • Justin Rose – AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am
  • Scottie Scheffler – WM Phoenix Open
  • Chris Kirk – The Honda Classic
  • Nico Echavarria – Puerto Rico Open
  • Kurt Kitayama – The Arnold Palmer
  • Taylor Moore – Valspar Championship
  • Sam Burns – Dell Match Play
  • Matt Wallace – Corales Puntacana Championship
  • Corey Conners – Valero Texas Open
  • Matt Fitzpatrick – RBC Heritage
  • Nick Hardy – Zurich Classic
  • Davis Riley – Zurich Classic
  • Tony Finau – Mexico Open
  • Wyndham Clark – Wells Fargo Championship
  • Jason Day – AT&T Byron Nelson
  • Emiliano Grillo – Charles Schwab Challenge
  • Viktor Hovland –- the Memorial Tournament
  • Nick Taylor – RBC Canadian Open
  • Keegan Bradley – Travelers Championship
  • Rickie Fowler – Rocket Mortgage Classic
  • Sepp Straka – John Deere Classic
  • Vincent Norrman – Barbasol Championship
  • Rory McIlroy – Genesis Scottish Open
  • Akshay Bhatia – Barracuda Championship
  • Brian Harman – The Open Championship
  • Lee Hodges – 3M Open
  • Lucas Glover – Wyndham Championship
  • Sahith Theegala – Fortinet Championship
  • Luke List – Sanderson Farms Championship
  • Tom Kim – Shriners Children’s Open
  • Collin Morikawa – ZOZO Championship
  • Erik van Rooyen – WWT Championship
  • Camilo Villegas – Bermuda Championship
  • Ludvig Aberg – The RSM

2023 FedEx Top 50

  • Sungjae Im
  • Eric Cole
  • Patrick Cantlay
  • Cameron Young
  • Cam Davis
  • Harris English
  • Tommy Fleetwood
  • Adam Hadwin
  • Tyrrell Hatton
  • Russell Henley
  • Tom Hoge
  • Mackenzie Hughes
  • Hideki Matsuyama
  • Denny McCarthy
  • JT Poston
  • Seamus Power
  • Andrew Putnam
  • Patrick Rodgers
  • Xander Schauffele
  • Adam Schenk
  • Jordan Spieth
  • Adam Svensson
  • Brendon Todd

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 two-stop Hawaii set, now called the Opening Drive.

Jan. 11-14 – Sony Open in Hawaii (Honolulu, HI)
Jan. 18-21 – The American Express (La Quinta, CA)
Jan. 24-27 – Farmers Insurance Open (La Jolla, CA)
Feb. 01-04 – AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am (Pebble Beach, CA)
Feb. 08-11 – WM Phoenix Open (Scottsdale, AZ)
Feb. 15-18 – The Genesis Invitational (Pacific Palisades, CA)

Bill Sangster and Joel Cook contributed to this report.



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