It’s Opening Day for the 2021 PGA Tour season as the annual Sentry Tournament of Champions tees-off at Kapalua (Maui, Hawaii) today. For fans of Golf ⛳️ , it is another Christmas Day 🎄.
Sentry Tournament of Champions - First Round Advance Notes
There is no cut this week with the limited field. This week, 29 of the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking, including four of the top five: Dustin Johnson (1), Jon Rahm (2), Justin Thomas (3), and Bryson DeChambeau (5) are in the field. Rory McIlroy is No. 4 and not participating this week.
Australia’s Adam Scott was quoted saying “the course is in the best shape I’ve ever seen it, by far.”
The Sentry Tournament of Champions is one of the tour player’s favorite stops, usually because they’re amongst a small group of the past season’s tournament winners but also because of ‘the vibes’ says reigning champion Justin Thomas: “Yeah, it's a fun golf course. It's a fun event, a fun week. Sometimes you just kind of have to remind yourself you're at a golf tournament. But for that same reason, it's enjoyable.
“I always get up early with the time change here and I play, go out and play early, and then I pretty much hang by the pool and the beach the rest of the afternoon, and there's not any other tournaments I do that the rest of the year.
“So I don't know if it's the laid back vibes, just the kind of easygoingness or the golf course in itself that I enjoy, but it's definitely an overall wonderful week,” said Thomas when he met with the media yesterday in Kapalua.
What did Adam Scott do over the recent end of season break? “It was a lot of family time, but busy with kids at the moment, and I tried to enjoy that as much as I can, tested my patience, so that's ready for this season, if nothing else,” he said when meeting with the PGA Tour media contingent virtually.
“And I obviously tried to do some work on my game and get myself prepared to come out for the next six or seven months of this season and try and get some results on the board.”
Dustin Johnson Meets the Press
THIS WEEK on the PGA TOUR:
COURSE: Plantation Course at Kapalua (Maui, Hawaii)
ARCHITECTS: Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw
YARDS/PAR: 7,596 yards/Par 73
PRIZE Money/First Place Winnings: $6,700,000/$1,340,000
DEFENDING Champion: Justin Thomas (2020 Leaderboard link)
PAST CHAMPIONS of Event: (link)
FEDEx CUP Points/Winner Share for points: 2,989/500
SOCIAL MEDIA: #PGATour #FedEXCup #SentryTOC or @Sentry_TOC
TV COVERAGE: (All on Golf Channel) Thursday, January 7 - Friday, January 8: 1:00pm- 5:30pm (local); (7-10:30pm ET) and Saturday, January 9 1:00pm-5:30pm (local) and (7-10:30pm ET) - Sunday, January 10th (Final Round): GOLF Channel: 1:00pm-5:00pm (local) and 6:00pm-10pm (ET).
PGA Tour Radio Coverage: Thu-Fri-Sat - Noon-5:30pm (local) and 5:00pm-10:30pm ET); and Sunday final Noon-5pm (local) and (5:00pm-10:00pm EST)
Official Tournament site (link)
What They’re Saying
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Sentry Tournament of Champions and Rankings (USA Today)
Seven PGA Tour Sleepers for 2021 (Golf Digest)
Distance and the PGA Tour (Golf Channel)
PGA Golf and Sports Gambling (Golf Digest)
Top 100 Players - Ranked by (Golf World)
What They’re Saying About the LPGA Tour Commish
As noted in yesterday’s - First Look - PGA Tour preview, there was breaking news from the LPGA. Here is some follow-up well worth your time to review:
The Personal and Professional Side of Mike Whan (Golf Channel)
LPGA Players React (Golf Week/USA Today)
Keep An Eye On:
Collin Morikawa - Ranked No. 8 for 2021 by Gold Digest, the 23-year old product of Cal-Berkley is coming off a highly successful 2020, including his major win at the PGA Championship. He pocked $5,250,868 on the official money list in 2020 after banking $1,754,890 in his rookie season of 2019.
Check out his approach shots, one of the highlights of his game, along with some highlights of his PGA Championship victory:
On This Day in Golf History:
January 7th, 1963: Arnold Palmer wins the Los Angeles Open at Rancho Park golf course for the first of three times, firing a final-round 66 to charge from three strokes behind to win his 36th PGA tournament title and the $9,000 first prize. After making a double bogey on the 11th hole, Palmer makes birdie on No. 12 and No. 16 and makes birdie from off the green from 50 feet away on No. 17 to beat runners-up Gary Player and Al Balding by three shots. Palmer also wins at Rancho Park in 1966 and 1967.