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Golf Glance: PGA Tour returns with Tournament of Champions

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Sep 26, 2021; Haven, Wisconsin, USA; Team Europe player Jon Rahm plays his shot from the fourth tee during day three singles rounds for the 43rd Ryder Cup golf competition at Whistling Straits. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 26, 2021; Haven, Wisconsin, USA; Team Europe player Jon Rahm plays his shot from the fourth tee during day three singles rounds for the 43rd Ryder Cup golf competition at Whistling Straits. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Field Level Media’s Golf Glance provides weekly news and storylines from each of the major North American golf tours.

PGA TOUR
LAST TOURNAMENT: The RSM Classic (Talor Gooch)
THIS WEEK: Sentry Tournament of Champions, Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii, Jan. 6-9
Course: Plantation Course at Kapalua (Par 73, 7,596 yards)
Purse: $8.2M (Winner: $1.476M)
Defending Champion: Harris English
FedEx Cup Leader: Gooch
HOW TO WATCH
TV: 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)
PGA Tour Live: Thursday-Saturday, 2:15-6 p.m. (Featured Groups), 6-10 p.m. (Featured Holes); Sunday, 1:30-4 p.m. (Featured Groups), 4-8 p.m. (Featured Holes).
NOTES: The winners-only field is at 38 players after Cameron Champ was forced to withdraw on Tuesday following a positive COVID-19 test. He won his third career PGA Tour event at last year’s 3M Open. The only 2021 winner not in the field is Rory McIlroy. … Collin Morikawa has a chance to overtake Jon Rahm for the No. 1 world ranking this week. … Xander Schauffele did not win a PGA Tour event last year but qualified with his gold medal at the Olympics. … Phil Mickelson will tee it up at Kapalua for the first time in 21 years. … English is seeking to become the first player to successfully defend his title at the event since Geoff Ogilvy in 2009-10. … Players making their event debuts this week are Gooch, Cameron Davis, Joel Dahmen, Lucas Herbert, Garrick Higgo, K.H. Lee, Seamus Power and Erik van Rooyen. … The Plantation Course is the only one on tour that plays to a par 73. In the 13 previous times the event was held at the course, the winning score has been 20-under par or better 10 times. Last year, the par-5 fifth hole had the lowest average score relative to par (4.095) on tour since 2005. The tour had 22 par-4s play harder during the fall swing. … Gooch already has 852 FedEx Cup points, more than he earned in any of his first four seasons on tour.
BEST BETS: Rahm (+750 at DraftKings) has four top-10s in four previous event starts, including a runner-up in 2018. … Justin Thomas (+800) is a two-time winner (2017, ’20). He is being backed by 7 percent of the bets and 8 percent of the handle wagered at the sportsbook. … Morikawa (+1000) has two top-10s in two starts this season along with a T5 at the Hero World Challenge. … Viktor Hovland (+1200) is coming off a win at the Hero World Challenge and has won each of his past two starts (Mayakoba). … Reigning FedEx Cup champion Patrick Cantlay (+1400) will make his 2021-22 season debut after winning four times last season. … Sam Burns (+1800) is in the top 10 for the first time this week and has five consecutive top-15 finishes. … Jordan Spieth (+2200) qualified for the first time in three years. He won in 2016 and leads with 8 percent of the bets and 11 percent of the handle backing him at DraftKings. … Brooks Koepka (+3000) offers longshot odds as he comes off a T9 in the Bahamas after beating Bryson DeChambeau handily in The Match.
NEXT TOURNAMENT: Sony Open, Honolulu, Hawaii, Jan. 13-16

LPGA Tour
LAST TOURNAMENT: CME Group Tour Championship (Jin Young Ko)
THIS WEEK: Off
NEXT TOURNAMENT: Tournament of Champions, Orlando, Fla., Jan. 20-23

Champions Tour
LAST TOURNAMENT: Charles Schwab Cup Championship (Phil Mickelson; Bernhard Langer won season-long title)
THIS WEEK: Off
NEXT TOURNAMENT: Mitsubishi Electric Championship, Kaupulehu, Hawaii, Jan. 20-22

–Field Level Media