The First Look: Sentry Tournament of Champions
3 Min Read
Written by Adam Stanley @adam_stanley
2022 Sentry Tournament of Champions preview
Happy New Year!
The 2022 portion of the PGA TOUR schedule kicks off in Hawaii at the Sentry Tournament of Champions and boasts an impressive field of winners from 2021.
Harris English looks to defend his title at Kapalua, while 38 of the 39 PGA TOUR winners from the 2021 calendar year are teeing it up.
FIELD NOTES: Phil Mickelson will peg it at the Sentry Tournament of Champions for the first time in 21 years … English looks to become the first person to successfully defend his title at the Sentry Tournament of Champions since Geoff Ogilvy in 2009 and 2010 … The golfer eligible to tee it up this week and not in the field is Rory McIlroy … Xander Schauffele didn’t win a TOUR event last year, but he’s in the field thanks to his gold-medal performance in Tokyo last summer. Schauffele won this event in 2019 … Other winners of the Sentry Tournament of Champions who are teeing it up again including Justin Thomas (2017, 2020 – won THE PLAYERS in 2021), Jordan Spieth (2016 – won the Valero Texas Open in 2021), and Patrick Reed (2015 – won the Farmers Insurance Open in 2021) … First-time TOUR winners who are making their maiden trips to the Sentry Tournament of Champions include Cameron Davis, Joel Dahmen, Talor Gooch, Lucas Herbert, Garrick Higgo, K.H. Lee, Seamus Power, and Erik van Rooyen… World No. 1 Jon Rahm is back in action for the first time since the Fortinet Championship. No. 2 Collin Morikawa is also teeing it up and has a chance to overtake Rahm for top spot in the world.
FEDEXCUP: Winner receives 500 FedExCup points.
COURSE: Plantation Course at Kapalua Resort, par 73, 7,596 yards (yardage subject to change). The Plantation Course is one of two at Kapalua (The Bay Course being the other) and has long been home to the TOUR’s winners-only event. Opened in 1992, this was the debut design from Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw. The duo did a hearty renovation in 2019. The course is the only on TOUR that plays to a par 73 and it features massive elevation changes, big fairways, and of course, wonderfully dramatic ocean views.
STORYLINES: Mickelson, who won the 2021 PGA Championship at 50 years old, last played the winners-only event in 2001. He’s won it twice before (1994, 1998) when it was played at La Costa Resort and Spa in California … With 2022 underway, many stars have their eyes set on the Presidents Cup. There are plenty of International hopefuls teeing it up in Hawaii, including past team members Hideki Matsuyama, Cameron Smith, Marc Leishman, Si Woo Kim, Sungjae Im, Branden Grace, and Abraham Ancer. The Internationals will be prime to takedown the American team, likely to include many from the victorious Ryder Cup squad from September … Only three times in the last 13 years has the winning score at the Sentry Tournament of Champions not been at least 20-under par (the average winning total is 22-under) … There were only 12 rounds over par in 2021… Players who are coming into Hawaii with some “off-season” momentum include Brooks Koepka (who took down Bryson DeChambeau in The Match), Viktor Hovland (who won the Hero World Challenge), and Kevin Na and Jason Kokrak (who won the QBE Shootout).
72-HOLE RECORD: 261, Ernie Els (2003)
18-HOLE RECORD: 62, K.J. Choi (3rd round, 2003), Graeme McDowell (4th round, 2011), Jason Day (4th round, 2015), Chris Kirk (4th round, 2015), Xander Schauffele (4th round, 2019).
LAST TIME: Harris English could not have started his year any better. English, who captured the Sentry Tournament of Champions for his first victory on TOUR since 2013, would go on to win the Travelers Championship in June as well. He was also part of the victorious American Ryder Cup team. English’s win at Kapalua came in a playoff over Joaquin Niemann. The duo both finished at 25-under through 72 holes after Niemann fired a sizzing Sunday 9-under 64 (tied for the low round of the week). Although English missed a 10-foot eagle try on the 72nd hole that would have won him the tournament outright, Niemann struggled in the playoff and English’s 6-foot birdie was all he needed to take the title. Interestingly enough, the only reason English was in the field was because he made the TOUR Championship in 2020. Given the abbreviated schedule due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Sentry Tournament of Champions for 2021 expanded its field to include all those who made it to the TOUR’s season finale. Justin Thomas – looking to defend his title from 2020 – finished one shot out of the playoff. Ryan Palmer finished fourth alone, while Xander Schauffele and Sungjae Im finished tied for fifth.
HOW TO FOLLOW
Television: Thursday-Friday, 6-10 p.m. ET (Golf Channel); Saturday, 6-10 p.m. ET (Golf Channel); Sunday, 4-6 p.m. ET (NBC), 6-8 p.m. ET (Golf Channel)
Radio: Thursday-Friday, 4–10 p.m. ET; Saturday, 5–10 p.m. ET; Sunday, 3–8 p.m. ET. (PGA TOUR Radio on SiriusXM and PGATOUR.com/liveaudio)
Note: The weekend TV windows could change based on NFL windows.