Rahm and Thomas Favored at Sentry Tournament of Champions

Teeing Off at the 2022 Sentry Tournament of Champions in Kapalua, Hawaii

The highly anticipated 2022 Sentry Tournament of Champions is set to kick off in Kapalua, Hawaii, where last year’s PGA Tour winners will battle it out for a remarkable $8 million in prize money. This prestigious event brings together an impressive lineup of golf’s finest players, offering fans a chance to witness their favorite stars in action. A total of 39 players have qualified for this tournament, although one unfortunate withdrawal due to a positive COVID-19 test has brought the field down to 38 competitors.

Champ Withdraws after Positive COVID Test

Regrettably, Cameron Champ, last year’s triumphant winner of the 3M Open, has been compelled to withdraw from the Tournament of Champions. Prior to departing for the event, Champ received news that he had tested positive for COVID-19 during testing conducted at his home in Houston. This unfortunate turn of events has underscored the ongoing impact of the pandemic on the world of sports.

Nonetheless, despite Champ’s absence, the Tournament of Champions promises an exceptional gathering of golfing excellence. The world’s top-ranked golfer, Jon Rahm, leads this distinguished group, poised to make his long-awaited return to tournament play after an extended hiatus. Having enjoyed a well-deserved break, the Spaniard expressed his gratitude for the myriad experiences that have shaped the past months of his life.

“I’ve experienced the ups and downs associated with COVID, became a father, won a US Open, played extraordinary golf, and then participated in an extraordinary Ryder Cup,” Rahm shared with Golf Digest. “So, when the Ryder Cup concluded, I felt exhausted not only from the last four months but from the preceding year and a half. Once I returned to Spain and wrapped up my commitments, I knew I needed a break, not only for myself but also for my family’s sake.”

Beginning the Tournament of Champions as a +750 favorite to clinch victory, as indicated by DraftKings Sportsbook, Rahm faces fierce competition from a talented field of players keen on starting their year with a triumph in Hawaii.

Thomas Aims for Third Tournament of Champions Title

Not far behind Rahm, Justin Thomas enters the competition as a near co-favorite with odds of +800. With two Tournament of Champions titles already under his belt, Thomas looks to kick off his 2022 campaign on a strong note, ready to overcome a frustrating period he endured over the past couple of seasons.

For Thomas, this event holds a special place in his heart. He describes the Tournament of Champions as a fun-filled week, where the laid-back atmosphere allows players to loosen up and embrace the joy of the game. “Sometimes you just kind of have to remind yourself you’re at a golf tournament,” Thomas quipped.

This particular tournament does not present the toughest challenge for golf’s elite, with leaders typically facing little trouble in scoring. Over the past years, six out of the last seven winners have finished the event with an impressive 21-under par or better. Thomas believes that the course layout contributes to the relaxed environment, with generously wide fairways and large greens. However, he warns that putting can be a challenge, particularly in windy conditions. “It’s really, really hard to make putts when it’s windy here,” Thomas highlights.

While the Tournament of Champions offers an equal playing field to all participants, considering they have all tasted victory in the past year, a few clear contenders stand out. Alongside Rahm and Thomas, notable favorites include Collin Morikawa (+1000), Bryson DeChambeau (+1200), Xander Schauffele (+1200), and Viktor Hovland (+1200). These exceptional talents are set to ignite the course with their skill and fierce competition, vying for the coveted title.

Conclusion

As the 2022 Sentry Tournament of Champions takes center stage in Kapalua, Hawaii, fans can expect a thrilling display of golfing mastery. With the absence of Cameron Champ due to a positive COVID-19 test, the field of players has slightly diminished, but the remaining 38 competitors are prepared to leave their mark on the prestigious event. Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas, considered frontrunners in the tournament, seek to lead an exceptional group of contenders, eager to commence the year with a victory. The relaxed atmosphere, coupled with the unique challenges of the course, ensures an exciting spectacle for spectators tuning in to witness the birth of a new champion.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How many players qualified for the 2022 Sentry Tournament of Champions?

This year, a total of 39 players originally qualified for the Tournament of Champions. However, due to a positive COVID-19 test, Cameron Champ unfortunately had to withdraw, bringing the final field down to 38 contenders.

2. Who is the favorite to win the Tournament of Champions?

According to DraftKings Sportsbook, Jon Rahm enters the tournament as the favorite, with odds of +750. However, Justin Thomas is not far behind, considered a co-favorite with odds of +800. It promises to be an intense battle between these two exceptional golfers.

3. Is the Tournament of Champions known for its challenging course?

The Tournament of Champions is generally regarded as a less demanding test for golf’s elite players. The course layout in Kapalua, Hawaii features wide fairways and ample greens, allowing for impressive scores. However, putting can prove to be quite challenging, especially in windy conditions.

4. Are there any other notable contenders besides Rahm and Thomas?

Apart from Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas, several other golfers are favored to perform well in the Tournament of Champions. Notable contenders include Collin Morikawa, Bryson DeChambeau, Xander Schauffele, and Viktor Hovland, each possessing the skills and determination to vie for victory.

5. What makes the Tournament of Champions a unique event?

The Tournament of Champions stands out as an extraordinary gathering of winners from the past year’s PGA Tour events. With only the most triumphant players in the field, the atmosphere exudes a sense of camaraderie and celebration. It serves as a platform for champions to showcase their skills and compete for yet another illustrious title.

Picture of Doug I. Jones

Doug I. Jones

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