The PGA Tour starts the new year with its traditional visit to Hawaii for the Tournament of Champions.
Held at the Plantation Course at Kapalua, the field is limited to 34 players who won PGA tournaments last year.
The course itself has taken quite a soaking of late, increasing the length it is playing, and with large fairways and receptive greens the long hitters should prosper.
Jordan Speith is the bookies’ favourite for this event, but we’re going to side with the defending champion Justin Thomas.
JT has the length off the tee, he has already proven his liking of this course and perhaps most importantly last year showed his ability to start the season quickly. Many golfers try and peak for March/April when the big tournaments roll around, but Thomas got on a roll early last year with two wins in January, both incidentally in Hawaii.
Another player we will be keeping a watching eye on is Japanese star Hideki Matsuyama. He has the length to go far here but does tend to be a streaky player – that said, when he’s on he’s really on. He is 39 under in two starts here. If he starts well, then he may be worth an in-play bet.
Recommendations: Thomas to win, 1 pt, at 7/1, widely available
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