PGA Tour gets under way in Hawaii
While it may no longer be the season opener, the Hyundai Tournament of Champions sees the PGA Tour return to action after the festive break.
With the second smallest field of the 47 tournaments – fewer than 40 golfers will participate – it’s a great chance for last season’s tournament winners to get the New Year off to a winning start.
Keep reading for our preview of this week’s 2015 Hyundai Tournament of Champions.
The only par 73 course on the PGA Tour
Since 1999, this tournament has been played over the Plantation Course at the Kapalua Resort near Lahaina on the island of Maui in Hawaii. While it has the honour of being the only par 73 course on the PGA Tour it will take a good score to win.
Over the last six years the average winning score has been 21 under par and so there is plenty of opportunity for birdies and better on the 7,452 yard course.
The field is restricted to players who won a PGA Tour tournament in the 2014 season and so there are only expected to be 34 men in the field.
Over the last few years experience has been a key factor in picking the winner of this event. Daniel Chopra (in 2008) was the last first-timer to win the event and defending champion Zach Johnson won the Hyundai for the first time at the seventh attempt.
Matt Kuchar recorded a career-best eleven top-10 finishes in 2014 and has a great record at Kapalua. In his last four visits his worst finish has been T9 and he was in good form when finishing T8 at the Hero World Challenge in December.
With experience around the course Kuchar looks terrific each-way value at 17/2.
The favourite for the title is a man who has won three times on the PGA Tour since this event was staged a year ago. Bubba Watson is 25/4 to win this tournament for the first time and finished T4 in 2013. He won a WGC event a couple of months ago and is expected to feature strongly.
Billy Horschel had a great end to 2014 and finished T8 at the Hero World Challenge last month. It’s only Horschel’s second appearance at this event but he finished T6 on his debut last year and shot 12 under par in his final two rounds. We like his chances at 18/1.
Some outsiders to consider in the betting
If you’re looking for a lively outsider at decent odds then one of the form players on the Tour this season so far has been Sang-Moon Bae. The South Korean player stands second in the early season FedEx Cup rankings having shot 15 under par to win the Frys.com open in October.
Bae followed this up with a T5 finish at the CIMB Classic in November and is in superb form. The downside is that it is his debut at Kapalua but he could offer terrific value at 47/1.
If previous experience at this event plays a major factor then there’s no-one in the field that deserves more respect than Geoff Ogilvy. The 37 year old won at Kapalua in both 2009 and 2010 and would have returned for a hat-trick of titles had it not been for a hand injury.
The Australian had a solid end to the 2014 season by finishing T2 at the Deutsche Bank Championship and has a terrific record on this course. He could offer great value at 37/1.
The 2015 Hyundai Tournament of Champions tees off on Friday 9 January 2015 at the Kapalua Resort in Hawaii. Check out all our pre-tournament odds over at our main site at https://www.betbright.com/golf/outrights/men/hyundai-champions-2015-winner