Photo Credit: Hawaii.com
If you need a quick break from football or basketball, flip over to NBC and tune in to the final round of the Sentry Tournament of Champions. The TOC is sneakily one of my favorite events of the year. It is the first tournament of 2019, and although it technically is not the first tournament of the new golf season, to most fans it symbolizes the return of golf.
Played in Kapalua, Hawaii, this tournament is one of the most beautiful on tour. The background shots of the ocean and the Hawaiian mountains are amazing, and the music that is played heading in and out of commercial breaks makes you want to go pour yourself a Mai Tai. In addition, this tournament invites every player who won on tour in 2018, so it has an outstanding field of players.
Tomorrow is the final round of the Sentry TOC. Gary Woodland (-17) currently has a three-stroke lead over Rory McIlroy (-14), and the two will be in the final pairing tomorrow. Some other names trying to chase down Woodland include Marc Leishman (-13), Xander Schauffele (-12), and Bryson DeChambeau (-12). World ranked #4 Justin Thomas (-10) and #3 Dustin Johnson (-9) will need to make up a lot of ground tomorrow to chase Woodland, but with their firepower, they can’t be overlooked.
Gary Woodland, a former Kansas Jayhawk, has been playing incredible golf as of late and looks to get his fourth career tour win. He’ll have to put together a solid round to stay ahead of Rory McIlroy and his new Taylormade Spider putter, but I think Woodland’s calm demeanor will allow him to win this tournament and hold up that beautiful Whale Trophy.