The return of golf provides bettors with not just the opportunity to try and nail what often proves to be that elusive outright winner, but with the opportunity to hit some lucrative top-five/top-ten bets, and this week, the opportunities are plentiful. With only a select field heading to Hawaii, there really does appear to be some excellent value on offer for those punters willing to get stuck into the alternative markets.
Who has Kapalua form in the book?
Plenty of those on route to Hawaii has performed well at Kapalua’s Plantation Course in the past. There are in fact five previous winners in this field, one of whom has lifted the crown on two separate occasions. Justin Thomas emerged victorious in both 2017 and 2020, while Harris English, Xander Schauffele, Jordan Spieth, and Patrick Reed won in 2021, 2019, 2016, and 2015 respectively.
Not only are there five previous winners teeing it up this week, but there’s a whole host of players who’ve gone close here before. 12 of those set to feature have finished in the top five at least once at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, plus a further five have hit the top ten on at least one occasion. It’s fair to say that there’s a plethora of course form to delve into.
The course in Maui is likely to favor an attacking approach this week. The fairways are typically wide, and while the course is not without hazards, precision play won’t be the order of the day, so big hitters could be at advantage. What’s more, the greens aren’t overly hard to hit, nor are they small, meaning that those in attendance are likely to see more than their fair share of birdie putts. Scoring can get low here, as we saw last season when winner Harris English finished at -25.
To Finish Top Five
Patrick Reed – 1 Unit @ +450
Texan Patrick Reed is known for blowing hot and cold. When he’s not on it, things can go drastically wrong, but catch him on the right day, in the middle of a purple patch, and the big-hitting Texan is tough to stop. And it may be that the one-time major winner has found his feet ahead of a trip to a venue that he likes. When last seen, the divisive character looked to have his game in fine order as he finished third at the Hero World Challenge.
As touched on above, this is a course that Reed seems to have a liking for. He won this event back in 2015, and his form doesn’t stop there. When attempting to defend his crown, the 31-year-old finished second in 2016. He’s since gone on to finish sixth in 2017 and second again in 2019.
When it comes to strokes gained, Reed ranks well at this venue, especially with the flatstick. In this field, he’s the fifth-best in terms of strokes gained: putting, as well as seventh for strokes gained: around-the-green.
At the end of the day, there are a few others with slightly better numbers, but they all come with a much short price-tag attached to their names, and few have better overall course form than Patrick Reed, who as one of just five previous winners of this event in the field, deserves more respect in the betting.
To Finish Top Ten
Marc Leishman – 2 Units @ +225
If you’re interested in going for a top-ten here, the Marc Leishman should give you a run for your money at an eye-catching price. The Australian is currently available around the +225 mark, which given his previous form at this venue may just be on the generous side.
In four visits to Kapalua, Leishman has posted finishes of 23rd, 7th, 4th and T24, and while such figures aren’t incredible, they’re certainly respectable. In both 2018 and 2019, the six-time PGA Tour winner showed that he has the skillset to score well here, while if we look at the strokes gained numbers of those involved (on this track), then it’s easy to conclude that the Aussie is attractively priced in the top-ten market.
From tee to green, only seven players in the field have collected more strokes on average at Kapalua than Marc Leishman, who also ranks as the third-best in terms of strokes gained: approach at the Plantation Course. If we remove players who’ve only played the tournament once, then he moves up to seventh and second in those important categories, meaning that of those to have played this tournament more than once, only seven players have gained more strokes in total. Leishman gains an average of 0.99 strokes, which points towards a player more than capable of filling one of the top ten spots come Sunday evening.