The Sentry Tournament of Champions is a troublesome task to kick off 2021 for the Find Me a 100 Winner column. As many as three of the final 5 winners went off at a single-figure value and we now have to go all the best way again to 2011 for the final time an outsider took the title.
Jonathan Byrd was typically a 50/1 on the High Street however he was matched at a excessive of 80.079/1 on the trade and previous to his win, the one different pretty huge outsider to take the title was Daniel Chopra in 2008, however he was matched at no larger than 90.089/1.
In 22 years, we’re but to see a triple-figure priced winner right here and there will be higher weeks forward for positive, after we’ll have two or extra tournaments to select from, with occasions that throw up greater than their fair proportion of monster-price winners, however I’m nonetheless completely happy to go to struggle with a pair of rags. Remember, they do not should win, they solely must commerce quick.
Course type factors to prolific Aussie
Although the final ten winners have been American, as Dave Tindall highlights when making a case for Cameron Smith in his each-way column, Australians have fared properly right here up to now. An Aussie gained 5 of the seven editions between 2004 and 2010 and I’m completely happy to probability one other right here at a monster value.
Several gamers carried out poorly after the preliminary lockdown final yr, after we did not have any golf performed between the start of March and the center of June, and one participant to actually battle was Marc Leishman, who needed to wait till the US Masters in November, the place he completed an encouraging thirteenth, to document his first top-20 after the break.
Prior to the lockdown, Leishman had gained the Farmers Insurance Open final January and he’d completed second within the Arnold Palmer Invitational – the ultimate occasion earlier than lockdown – however that was no shock. He usually performs properly early within the yr and he has a 50% top-ten strike price within the month of January.
It’s inconceivable to make a case for Leishman on his put up lockdown and pre-Christmas type however he hasn’t telegraphed any of his earlier 5 PGA Tour titles and the break might simply have refreshed and refocused him.
This is Leishman’s fourth look at Kapalua, and he is already proven a liking for the venue. Having completed down the sector in twenty third on debut again in 2013, he contended in every of his subsequent two begins.
Having led after rounds one and two in 2018 and having been matched at a low of 3.7511/4 in-running, a 76 in spherical three noticed him tumble all the way down to twelfth with a spherical to go however he rallied to complete seventh and he was fourth two years in the past on his solely different outing right here. He clearly likes the venue and he is proven type at one other low scoring course by the identical design crew…
The Plantation Course at Kapalua was designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw they usually had been additionally accountable for Trinity Forest in Texas the place Leishman completed runner-up to Aaron Wise in 2018. Despite having no type coming into the occasion, Leishman led the Byron Nelson there after rounds one, two and three earlier than getting collared in spherical 4.
Leishman isn’t any larger than 80/1 on the High Street so the 140.0139/1 accessible on the trade makes loads of attraction.
Lively longshot Laird to take pleasure in Kapalua return
Martin Laird will need to have thought he’d seen the final of Kapalua given he hadn’t gained on the PGA Tour since 2013 nevertheless it would not have been lengthy after his shock victory on the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in October earlier than ideas of this week got here to thoughts.
In three earlier visits, following his three earlier PGA Tour wins, Laird has completed fourth, second and twentieth right here so he’ll be relishing a return and he cannot be dismissed flippantly.
As highlighted in the preview, a quick begin is essential right here so if the 38-year-old Arizona-based Scotsman can navigate the excessive winds on Thursday and put up a good first spherical rating once more (sat second after the opening spherical on every of his final two visits), he may very well be properly poised.
I’ll be again on Friday with the In-Play Blog.
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