The holiday season is now complete and the 2021 PGA Tour season is a set to begin with a tropical twist.
Yes, it’s upon us already as Thursday brings us the first event on the New Year's golfing calendar, The Sentry Tournament of Champions at The Plantation Course, Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii.
Happy New Year to everyone and all the best for 2021. It’s good to be back and let’s hope that this year brings us all a lot more cheer and goodwill and we can all get back to some kind of normality sooner rather than later.
It’s been so good to see all the tips and posts on the site from everyone over the holidays. Well done to everyone with all their winning selections. I’ll be hoping to continue from where I left last year and empty all they bookies satchels and provide you with plenty winners throughout the year. Let’s all have a toast 🥂. Cheers to that.
Well what a tournament we have to kick off or should I say Tee Off the New Year!
The Sentry Tournament of Champions
Justin Thomas returns to defend the title he won in a play-off last year. However, his task will not be an easy one with only two of the Top 10 golfers in the world missing; Rory McIlroy and Tyrrell Hatton who didn’t travel. That leaves a field of 42 bumped up from 34, all champions last year with the exception of a few including Hideki Matsuyama and Tony Finau.
This par 73 Kapalua Island course is truly stunning and spectacular and it's the traditional home of the PGAs US Tour curtain raiser.
The weather is forecast to be Sunny, as one would expect, but with winds of around 30mph arriving for the weekend it should make the final two rounds just a tad more interesting and exciting.
So on to the first selections for 2021. For my first pick I just simply cannot ignore the No.1 golfer on the planet just now, Dustin Johnson 7/1 EW betfair .
DJ ended 2020 finishing no worse than 6th in his final seven tournaments. The American makes his first appearance since winning The Masters, which was moved from April to November for reasons we know only to well now.
He also won The Travelers Championship and The Northern Trust, he was runner up at The Houston Open and also The BMW Championship with yet another major, 2nd place The PGA Championship, only to be beaten by eventual winner Colin Morinkawa.
His worst finish in those last seven events was T6th at, yes another major, The US Open. Is this guy good or what?
I can only see DJ continue from where he left off and 2021 will only bring him yet more success starting here this week in Hawaii.
Take the early price 7/1 on offer as this will not last long after a few opening birdies.
For my next selection I’m going to suggest Patrick Reed 16/1 each-way (Bet365).
Another course and tournament winner here having won this event in 2015 and only losing out last year to Justin Thomas in a 3-way play-off which also included Xander Schauffele.
The American was also runner up here in 2016 so knows this course only to well.
Reed comes here after having most recently finishing 3rd at The DP World Tour Championship in Dubai. At that event he was ranked 1st for strokes gained around the greens, that will be a key attribute on this Plantation Course with long wide fairways like runways and large greens to take aim at.
It’s interesting to note that five of the past eight winners at this tournament also have Green Jackets to their name with Reed being one of them in that elusive group. The classy American had finished no worse that the Top 15 in his six previous starts since September and will be amongst the challengers come Sunday and give everyone a run for their money.
For my next selection I’m going to look further up the field for some value and will therefore include Hideki Matsuyama 20/1 each-way (Betfair).
The man from Japan, who never actually won a tournament last year to qualify for this event, is here by invitation only, it’s an invitation he may welcome and make good use of.
His short game improved dramatically in 2020, pitching and chipping his way to 3rd at The BMW, 2nd in Houston and an impressive performances in the majors finishing no worse that 22nd in three of them.
I’ll be keeping an eye on Hideki this year as I usually think he is overpriced at many tournaments. This could be another event where the firms have overlooked him and I feel he represents terrific each-way value .
Dustin Johnson vs Justin Thomas
For my final selection I’m going to do what I've done successfully for the most part of last year and select a matchbet and make it my Nap. I feel Dustin Johnson is just too hot for anyone just now so I’ll recommend him to beat Justin Thomas at 10/11 (Betfair) NAP.