2024 The Sentry Odds & Picks: Keep an Eye on Xander Schauffele

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If you’re battling bad weather this week wherever you may be, we’re sorry.

On the bright side, we’re going to give you the chance to kick back on your couch, grab a cold drink (or hot chocolate if it’s really cold), turn on the TV, and enjoy a couple of hours in paradise as the PGA Tour kicks off its 2024 season.

Welcome to Maui and The Sentry (formerly the Sentry Tournament of Champions).

The tournament’s name has changed to reflect a revamped format as all of the entrants are not champions anymore — at least in 2023. All of the previous year’s champions are invited to play as well as those in the top 50 in the world rankings.

That all adds up to a field of 59 players teeing it up in this week’s tournament which is a no-cut event.

The tournament will be played on Maui’s Plantation Course, a par-73 layout that reaches a jaw-dropping 7,596 yards. The course has four par 5s and just three par 3s. Note: If you’re going to bet on a hole-in-one, be careful because of one less chance for an ace despite a driveable par-4.

And players better bring their ‘A’ game to the Tour’s first event. The reason: Going low is a must if you’re going to compete. Take last year for example when Jon Rahm walked away with the title at 27-under-par. Do the math and you’ll see he’s at almost seven-under-par for each round.

In 2022, the scoring was even more impressive (or depressing depending on your viewpoint) as Cam Smith won at a record 34-under-par.

It’s a shootout from start to finish.

And speaking of finishes, the Plantation Course has one of the best finishing holes around.

The 18th hole is a monster par-5 that plays somewhere around 660 yards. It is all downhill making it a little easier for these big hitters. One fun fact is that this hole was the site of the first 400-yard drive on the PGA Tour back in 2003 by Jonathan Byrd.

The final hole has given up more than its share of eagles and even if a player is down by two heading to the 72nd hole, it’s not over.

In the end, the Tour’s opening event payout is impressive.

Win this week at the first of eight signature events on the Tour, and you pocket $3.6 million (from a purse that was increased from $15 million to $20 million) as well as 700 FedEx Cup points.

All of that money and points and a week or so in paradise with sun, swaying palms, tranquil beaches, and an impressive golf course… who could ask for more?

Let’s get started with our The Sentry odds and picks.

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The Sentry Field: Top Favorites & Best Odds Available

 

We Love Collin Morikawa’s Game Right Now

Collin Morikawa, one of the favorites this week at +1200 (Best Live Odds: ), has a lot going for him this week (and next week at the Sony Open on Oahu).

First, he’s had great success on Maui (he’s got plenty of relatives on the islands that will make up a great majority of his fan gallery) as he’s been in the top 10 in each of his four trips to the Plantation Course.

He was runner-up here last year to Rahm despite a final-round 72. Add in seventh, seventh, and fifth-place finishes and he’s always in the hunt when it comes to Sunday.

Then there’s his play late in the 2023 season.

In his final events of 2023, starting with the FedEx St. Jude Championship (the first playoff event where he was T-13), he ended the year with a T-6, solo seventh, and T-25 finishes as well as a victory in the ZOZO Championship.

So we get a guy who loves playing on the islands and is coming in on very positive vibes?

Sign us up.

Keep an Eye on Xander Schauffele

Xander Schauffele, +1400 (Best Live Odds: ) this week, has had more than his share of time off and should be ready to go this week.

He will be teeing it up for just the third time since the Tour Championship last fall.

That’s the bad news.

The good news is he’s won here and also has a runner-up finish.

He won in 2019 and followed that up with a T-2 the following year.

Last year, he withdrew with back woes after an opening-round 70.

He didn’t post a win in 2023 but still wound up 11th in the FedEx Cup points race with two runner-up finishes and 11 top 10s. He didn’t miss a cut last season.

He’s one of those players who adapts to the situation. With his stature (5-foot-10, 175 pounds), this course wouldn’t seem to fit his game.

But Schauffele just seems to play well no matter the course, weather conditions or the odds.

Like we said, he adapts.

We’re thinking he will get back in the winner’s circle early in 2024 with a victory this week.

Around the Prop Scene

With a limited field of golfers comes a limited number of prop bets.

That said, it’s not going to stop us from coming up with a couple of wagers on DraftKings we think can provide a decent payout.

First, we’re going to look at Corey Conners to win the ‘Rest of the World’ bet of the Nationality props. He’s at +1000 and the Canadian golfer has had a solid year including picking up his second PGA Tour victory at the Valero Texas Open.

Keep an eye on this tournament going to a playoff. At +300, it’s not the flashiest bet on the board but we like the chances with this stellar field. The last two tournaments didn’t go extra holes but the two tournaments before did go overtime.

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About the Author
Bill Bowman

Bill Bowman

Writer
Bill Bowman is a Las Vegas-based writer who has more than 45 years of experience in the sports-writing industry. He's spent the past 20-plus years covering the golf scene, including 10 years as a writer and editor with VegasGolfer Magazine. Bowman also contributes to the GolfNow Network of websites and Las Vegas Golf Insider.

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