This Week’s PGA Tour Predictions!
The first PGA event of 2016 comes our way this week from The Plantation Course and Kapalua Resort in Maui. Last year’s winners on the PGA TOUUR will tee it up on Kapalua’s par 73, 7,411-yard course.
Hyundai Tournament of Champions
When: January 7 – 10, 2016
Where: The Plantation Course, Kapalua Resort, Maui
Format: 72-hole Individual Stroke Play (no cut)
Purse: $5,700,000 / Winning Share: $1,140,000
Defending Champion: Patrick Reed
Updated Sportsbook Bonuses For Today
Long, sweeping downhill holes will greet the golfers this week – length will obviously have to be a big part of the equation for the winner.
Because of its wide open layout accuracy and putting likely won’t be a determining factor, especially those with good scrambling stats like Patrick Reed had en route last year in his win. Those who can handle the inevitable winds should also do well.
With that in mind, who should we be keeping our eye on this week? Let’s take a look.
Hyundai Tournament of Champions Favorites:
JORDAN SPIETH 4/1
Of course Spieth is betting favorite heading into the first event of 2016. He finished top 10 in his last four events of 2015 including a solo fourth at the Hero World Challenge and a T2 in Australia. He finished solo second here in only previous appearance in 2014 and has the game to emerge here. His length off the tee, his solid irons and of course his putter make Spieth a perfect match for this track.
JASON DAY 5/1
Hasn’t played since the President’s Cup. He did close out 2015 with four wins in his last seven starts however – some rest may have done him some good or may act to slow him down! His game seems well suited for Kapalua – in two previous appearances, Day has notched a pair of top 10s, including a tie for third last year which featured a course-record 62 in the final round.
DUSTIN JOHNSON 15/2
Won this event in 2013 and was T6 in 2014. He has yet to finish worse than T16 in four appearances here and he ended 2015 with five top 10s in his last seven events played. On a track that rewards length and doesn’t punish a lack of accuracy Johnson HAS to be on the radar. Look for a few 400+ yard drives here and enjoy the show!
Hyundai Tournament of Champions Contenders:
BUBBA WATSON 10/1
Watson is another bomber that should enjoy what Kapalua has to offer in terms of forgiving fairways and a chance to crush it off the tee. He has finished inside the top 10 in his last two appearances here and has eight top-three finishes in last 11 months including a win at the Hero World Challenge a few weeks ago – consistently good!
RICKIE FOWLER 10/1
Won three times in 2015 and enters off a third place finish a few weeks ago in the Hero World Challenge. He has six straight top 25s – in very good form ahead of this week. Fowler hasn’t played here since a T6 in 2013 but it’s pretty hard to ignore one of the most gifted players on the planet.
PATRICK REED 10/1
Defending champion in this event has finished inside the top 10 in his last six tournaments – the best of which was a second place finish at the Hero World Challenge. He has fared very well in two appearances here and based on current form should be a factor again this year.
ZACH JOHNSON 20/1
Won this event two years ago and was seventh last year – surprising considering that Kapalua sets up better for those who can bomb the ball. He won the British Open last year which speaks to his ability to win on any type of track. Johnson’s wind skills were also on display at the British.
BROOKS KOEPKA 20/1
Finished seventh in his last start at the Hero World Challenge a month ago and arrives in decent form for his debut at Kapalua. Koepka is a tremendous striker that was top 20 last season in scoring average, strokes gained putting and ball-striking. Get used to seeing his name – Koepka is a serious contender every time he tees it up.
Hyundai Tournament of Champions Sleepers (50/1 or higher):
CHRIS KIRK 50/1
Is coming off a broken hand but assuming that he is back to full health is a good bet for a good finish here. He has done well in his appearances in Maui – a T16 was his worst finish in three tries.
SCOTT PIERCY 60/1
Something tells me Scott Piercy does well here – he has played in Maui twice before and has finished inside the top 15 both times. His game is well suited for this track as well – 12th in strokes gained: tee-to-green and good in almost all driving statistics.
Hyundai Tournament of Champions Picks:
The pick this week is Dustin Johnson at 15/2. He enters in terrific form, has a terrific history at Kapalua and his inevitable 400 yard drives simply can’t be ignored.
The sleeper is Chris Kirk at 50/1. His game is perfectly suited for this track and his history here should serve him well.
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