With the flip of the calendar comes the resumption of the 2022-23 PGA Tour season. Taking roughly a month-long break following the RSM Classic, it is the 2023 Sentry Tournament of Champions which will once again begin the new year. Welcoming 39 of the best players in the world, winners from the 2021-22 season and those who qualified for the Tour Championship will make the trip to Maui, Hawaii, to take on the Plantation Course at Kapalua.
World No. 1 Rory McIlroy will be among those forgoing the trip. With the ability to skip one of the newly elevated events in the PGA Tour season, the reigning FedEx Cup champion has decided to start his year a bit later than most while preserving his traditional schedule. Defending champion Cameron Smith will also not be in the field due to his association with LIV Golf, and Shane Lowry was unable to qualify despite a strong campaign in 2022.
In their place, 17 of the top 20 players in the world will compete. 2022 PGA Tour Player of the Year Scottie Scheffler has an opportunity to regain the world No. 1 title from McIlroy with a solo third-place finish or better. Scheffler arrived at this tournament a season ago winless on the PGA Tour but is now securely among the best players in the world 12 months later.
Last season’s runner-up Jon Rahm aims to perform in a similar manner to 2022 when he shot 33 under. Tony Finau hopes his hot summer and fall can drift into the winter, while Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Xander Schauffele look to enter the winner’s circle yet again in Kapalua as the only former champions in the field.
Event: 2023 Sentry Tournament of Champions | Dates: Jan. 5-8
Location: Plantation Course at Kapalua — Maui, Hawaii
Par: 73 | Yardage: 7,596 | Purse: $15,000,000
2023 Tournament of Champions field, odds
Odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook
- Jon Rahm (13/2): This time last year, Rahm was the No. 1 player in the world after a dominant 2021 campaign. He would have won this tournament if not for a record-setting performance from Smith but should take solace in knowing that he can blitz this golf course with the best of them. A winner in three of his last 14 tournaments to end 2022, the Spaniard found his touch on the greens once the PGA Tour got into the swing of the postseason. Continuing this quality of putting in Europe and winning at the DP World Tour Championship, should he continue on such a trajectory with the flat stick, another PGA Tour win is in his near future.
- Scottie Scheffler (17/2)
- Xander Schauffele (19/2): Thomas may have won in 2020, but it was Schauffele’s tournament to lose. Needing just two putts on the 72nd hole, Schauffele instead took three and ultimately fell in extra holes. Getting a taste of his own medicine, Schauffele lapped the field on Sunday the year prior with an 11-under 62 to beat Gary Woodland by one. The 29-year-old arrives this time around with seven top-five finishes in his last 13 starts, three of which were in the form of wins.
- Patrick Cantlay (10-1)
- Justin Thomas (11-1): The 15-time winner on the PGA Tour is a player I have a difficult time judging. Is 15 an impressive number of wins? Yes, but for someone of Thomas’ skill, I know he has even more in the tank. Winning the 2021 Players Championship and the 2022 PGA Championship, he has been without a multiple-win season since 2020. It just so happens he beat Schauffele and Patrick Reed in a playoff that year at this very tournament. His seven Tournament of Champions appearances read: T5, third, WIN, third, T22, WIN, T21.
- Tony Finau (14-1)
- Sungjae Im (16-1)
- Viktor Hovland (18-1): He’s the most recent winner in the field — albeit not in an official PGA Tour event — as Hovland outlasted Scheffler at the Hero World Challenge in the beginning of December. Known as the king of the tropics and resort-style golf courses, the 25-year-old from Norway looks to improve on his Tournament of Champions record. With finishes of T30 and T31 in his two prior strolls, tangible improvements in the short-game department could lead to a much more respectable showing for the ball-striking machine.
- Collin Morikawa (18-1)
- Cameron Young (20-1)
- Tom Kim (20-1)
- Jordan Spieth (22-1): There is one player who consistently discusses his desire to play at Kapalua each and every year, and that is Spieth. With finishes of second, WIN, T3 and ninth from 2014-18, Spieth returned last season and experienced some growing pains in the form of a T21 result. While his ball-striking numbers have improved, he continues to be an enigma primarily because of his putter. If it’s hot, he could win. If it’s cold, he could finish outside the top 20. Neither would be all too surprising.
- Matt Fitzpatrick (22-1)
- Sam Burns (25-1)
2023 Sentry Tournament of Champions expert picks
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