Sentry Tournament Of Champions Best Bets: Eyeballing Will Zalatoris, Sungjae Im, More

The PGA Tour resumes after a short winter break in the new year at the Plantation Course at Kapalua Resort in Maui, Hawaii for the 2023 Sentry Tournament of Champions. This will be a 72-hole, no-cut event with a 39-golfer field.

Reigning champion Cameron Smith will not be defending his Sentry title after defecting to the LIV Tour at the end of last year.

Otherwise, 17 of the top-20 golfers in the world are in this field, sans No. 1 overall golfer Rory McIlroy and No. 20 Shane Lowry.

The Sentry ToC is my first PGA Tour event handicapped since the 2022 RSM Classic in the middle of November. Perhaps I needed a break because, frankly, the 2022 RSM Classic sucked for ya boy.

My 2022-23 PGA Tour balance fell to +8.28 units (u) after a -4.49u showing in the last event handicapped. The recap of my 2022 RSM Classic is at the bottom.

Course breakdown and KPIs

The Plantation Course has Bermurda greens and is the only Par 73 on tour that plays at 7,596 yards. There are three Par 3, four Par 5s, and 11 Par 4s.

This is usually a birdie-fest with the average winning score of the last five Sentry ToC's being 24-under. Hence one of the stats in my model being Birdies-or-Better (BoB) Gained.

Because of its length, the Plantation Course we are prioritizing driving distance over accuracy. Plus there will be a lot of long iron so we added Proximity (PROX): 200+ into the model.

We are ignoring Greens-in-Regulation since the Plantation Course has massive greens. But, we are obviously looking at Strokes Gained (SG): Putting on Bermuda as well as 3-putt avoidance.

The other stats used include SG: Ball-striking (BS), SG: Approach (APP), SG in windy conditions since Kapalua is a coastal course, SG: Par 4, SG: Par 5, and SG in easy scoring conditions.

Sentry Tournament of Champions 'Horses for the course'

Will Zalatoris

The reason why we are getting a great price on Zalatoris is because he's been sidelined for a couple of months with a back injury.

But, over his last 50 rounds, Zalatoris is the best ball striker and iron player in this star-studded field. Zalatoris is picking up more than two strokes per round on the field in windy conditions.

Zalatoris also leads this 39-golfer field in BoB Gained and is third in PROX: 200+. He has struggled with the flat stick in his early career. Yet Zalatoris is sixth in 3-putt avoidance and seventh in SG: Putting on Bermuda, according to Ron Klos of Betsperts.

Furthermore, Zalatoris shows up for big golf events. Zalatoris has seven top-10 finishes in major tournaments and 2022-23 will mark his third season on Tour.

He finished sixth and second in his only two Masters appearances. Augusta National is one of the comp courses used in my Sentry ToC model.

Zalatoris is a bonafide star on the Tour and if his back is right, +2500 is an auto-bet. He won his last event played — FedEx St. Jude Championship aka the first round of the FedEx Cup Playoffs.

Finally, Zalatoris is a newlywed coming off an injury and is probably itching to get back on the course with the boys. These two life events allowed Zalatoris to reset and 2023 will be his best yet. Hopefully, he hits the ground running.

Go to DraftKings Sportsbook and bet the following Will Zalatoris odds:

Sungjae Im

Speaking of newlyweds, Im got married in the middle of December and finally can breakaway from the old ball and chain to play golf in Hawaii. Is there any better escape from husband/dad duties than a round of golf?

Also, Im is one of the more popular bets on the board, according to, and I don't think that's square money. The Sentry is literally called the "Tournament of Champions" and has most of the biggest names in golf.

Im is definitely one of the best players in the world hence him making my Sentry bet slip. But, Im is definitely NOT one of the most popular golfers in this stacked field.

More importantly, Im has one of the most well-rounded games in the world. He picks up strokes in the five most popular golf stats (Off-the-tee, tee-to-green, APP, around-the-green, and putting).

Im's best putting surface is Bermuda and he's finished eight and fifth in the last two Sentry ToC's. Since he is one of the hardest working golfers in the world, Im excels in all conditions.

He ranks in the top-10 for this field in SG in windy conditions, SG in no-cut events, SG at comp courses used and SG at Kapalua.

Go to DraftKings Sportsbook and bet the following Sungjae Im odds:

Justin Thomas

This is just a good, ole fashion value play. Thomas has the fifth-best odds according to DraftKings Sportsbook. But, JT is second in my power rankings for the Sentry ToC and has won this event twice in 2017 and 2020.

Thomas is a two-time major winner, second for SG on the comp courses used, third in SG with easy scoring conditions, fourth for SG in windy conditions, and second in SG at no-cut events.

He ranks top-10 in SG: BS, driving distance, BoB Gained and SG: Par 5 and first in Sand Saves. The Plantation Course has the sixth-most bunkers out of the 46 PGA Tour courses.

We are getting a good price for Thomas because he didn't play in other events while during the winter recess and JT only won one tournament in 2022. But, there aren't five better golfers in this field than Thomas.

Go to DraftKings Sportsbook and bet the following Justin Thomas odds:

Sentry ToC Matchups

Patrick Cantlay (-130) > Tony Finau

Finau is a trendy pick to win the Sentry ToC because he's won three events in his last seven appearances. And, frankly, my numbers say Finau is the highest power-ranked golfer in this field.

However, I'm fading my numbers because OutKick golf guy Mark Harris shared interesting intel with me earlier this week. Apparently, Finau is adjusting his swing and it doesn't look good.

Furthermore, Cantlay finished fourth in last year's Sentry ToC while Finau finished 19th in his first appearance in 2022.

Cantlay has the most SG for this field in easy scoring conditions, the best SG: Par 5, and is second in Sand Saves. Finau is 15th in Sand Saves, 34th in PROX: 200+, and 19th in SG at no-cut events.

Collin Morikawa (-120) > Tom Kim

This is another value play as Morikawa is the 10th-best golfer in this field, according to my numbers, and Kim is 19th.

Morikawa is a significantly better ball striker and iron player and he's second in this field for PROX: 200+ whereas Kim ranks 25th.

Kim is all the rage right now because of the ungodly heater he went on at the end of the 2021-22 PGA Tour. But, this is his first Sentry ToC and Kim is 25th in this field for SG at no-cut events and 28th in comp courses used.

Morikawa on the other hand has finished seventh twice at the Sentry ToC and fifth last season. He fifth in SG at no-cut events and eight in SG at comp courses used.

Final Bet Slip

2022 RSM Classic (-4.49u)

Win & Picks To Place