SBS Tournament of Champions 2017

RECOMMENDED BETSMARKETODDSBOOKMAKERS
Justin Thomas (ew)Tournament Winner22/1Betfred
Russell Knox (ew)Tournament Winner33/1BetVictor, Ladbrokes

Venue

The Tournament of Champions is the first PGA Tour event of every calendar year and takes place at the Plantation Course in Kapalua, Hawaii. It’s unlike every other tournament on the tour schedule as entrance is limited to players who won on the previous year’s tour – 33 will take part this year, including the defending champion Jordan Spieth, who got 2016 off to a spectacular start with a stunning eight-shot win over 2015 champion Patrick Reed. This coastal links course is unique in that it plays to par 73 and features marked changes in elevation and length. It has seven holes of more than 500 yards, but 6 par 4’s at shorter than 400 yards, with sharp descents on the the 1st, 17th and 18th holes, which make for a real test of judgement off the tee.

Favourites

Prior to the festive hiatus, Hideki Matsuyama was almost unstoppable, winning on four of his last five starts worldwide to move up to sixth in the world rankings, and the Japanese star is the market leader for this event at 5/1 across the board. Some firms have Spieth at the same mark, but there is plenty of 11/2 around for last year’s winner. Dustin Johnson, who won his first major title at last year’s US Open, is at 6/1 with Stan James, while Jason Day is an 8/1 chance with BetVictor on his first outing for more than three months. After finishing in the top two for two years running, Reed looks an interesting prospect at 14/1 with Betfred, while Ryder Cup warrior Brandt Snedeker is available at 20s with Bet365. If he can channel the aggression and determination that he displayed at Hazeltine, he could have a big year ahead.

Tips

justin_thomasJUSTIN THOMAS is one of the rising stars on the PGA Tour and the 23-year-old will be hoping an extra year of experience will help him avoid the slow start he made to 2016. He won his second PGA Tour title in October, with a second successive victory at the CIMB Classic in Kuala Lumpur, and a year older and wiser he should be able to maintain the focus that saw him finish last season with three top 10s in his last six events, include sixth place at the Tour Championship. Both Paddy Power and William Hill are offering odds of just 14/1, but this bright talent can be backed at a stand-out price of 22/1 with Betfred.

Russell KnoxScotland’s RUSSELL KNOX would be a much bigger name in the UK if he didn’t dedicate the majority of his time to the PGA Tour, on which he secured two victories in 2016. Knox, who was born in Inverness but who has been based in the States for the past decade, was also runner-up twice and finished the season in 10th place in the FedEx Cup. And he has started the 2017 season in fine style too, with top 10s on each of his three tour outings, so at odds of 33/1 with BetVictor or Ladbrokes, the World no.18 ranked player looks a great each-way bet this week.

RECOMMENDED BETSMARKETODDSBOOKMAKERS
Justin Thomas (ew)Tournament Winner22/1Betfred
Russell Knox (ew)Tournament Winner33/1BetVictorLadbrokes