The Sentry Tournament of Champions isn’t just for champions anymore. And that’s OK.
The first event on the PGA Tour in 2023 will have a field of 40 golfers, with 30 of them winners from 2022. There were 38 golfers in the field a year ago with all of them being tournament winners. There is an additional 10 golfers in the field this time around due a change in qualifications.
The tournament is set for Jan. 5-8 with coverage on NBC, Golf Channel, ESPN+ and Peacock.
Three of the four major winners from 2022 are set to tee it up, with Scottie Scheffler (Masters), Justin Thomas (PGA Championship) and Matthew Fitzpatrick (U.S. Open) in the fold. The only ’22 major winner who won’t be there is also the tournament’s defending champion.
Check out this list of things to know about the 2023 Sentry Tournament of Champions.
Defending champ won't be back
Cameron Smith poses for a photo with PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan after Smith won during the final round of the 2022 Sentry Tournament of Champions at Kapalua Resort. (Photo: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)
Cameron Smith fended off then-No. 1 Jon Rahm to kick off the 2022 golf calendar. Smith later went on to bigger, better and also controversial things, winning the Players Championship and the 150th Open Championship at St. Andrews before departing the PGA Tour for the LIV Golf League.
Other LIV golfers who teed it up in Kapalua in 2022 but who won’t be back this time around: Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Reed, Talor Gooch, Abraham Ancer, Matt Jones, Jason Kokrak, Kevin Na, Marc Leishman and Branden Grace.
Winners in the field
Scottie Scheffler chips onto the ninth green during the final round of the 2022 Tour Championship. (Photo: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports)
In addition to the three major winners (Scottie Scheffler, Justin Thomas, Matt Fitzpatrick), these 2022 tournament winners are also heading to Kapalua:
Hideki Matsuyama, Luke List, Tom Hoge, Sepp Straka, Ryan Brehm, Sam Burns, Chad Ramey, JJ Spaun, Jordan Spieth, Xander Schauffele, Patrick Cantlay, Jon Rahm, Max Homa, K.H. Lee, Billy Horschel, Rory McIlroy, J.T. Poston, Trey Mullinax, Chez Reavie, Tony Finau, Mackenzie Hughes, Tom Kim, Will Zalatoris, Keegan Bradley, Seamus Power, Russell Henley and Adam Svensson.
Field includes those who made Tour Championship
Patrick Cantlay hits his tee shot on the 18th hole during the third round of the 2022 Sentry Tournament of Champions at Kapalua’s Plantation Course in Maui, Hawaii. (Photo: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)
For the 2023 event and beyond, the field will include not just those who won a PGA Tour event from the previous year but also anyone else who qualified for the Tour Championship. There is some crossover, of course, but this year’s field of 40 includes 10 non-winners who made the final 30 of the FedEx Cup Playoffs:
Scott Stallings, Cameron Young, Collin Morikawa, Corey Conners, Brian Harman, Sahith Theegala, Adam Scott, Aaron Wise, Sungjae Im and Viktor Hovland.
The 2021 Sentry event had the same thing in place but that was due to the fallout in the massive schedule disruptions due to the COVID pandemic. In 2022, the Sentry went back to winners only.
It's now an 'elevated event', which means big money
Daniel Berger plays his shot from the 18th tee during the third round of the 2022 Sentry Tournament of Champions at Kapalua Plantation Course in Kapalua, Hawaii. (Photo: Matt York/Associated Press)
The Tour has 13 “elevated events” now, and most of them have a $20 million purse. The Sentry will check in at $15 million.
In August, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan announced the first nine elevated events for the 2022-2023 season. Those were the Players Championship; three FedEx Cup playoff stops (FedEx St. Jude Championship, BMW Championship, Tour Championship); the three invitationals (Genesis, Arnold Palmer, Memorial); the WGC Dell Technologies Match Play; and the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
The four additional tournaments to be elevated this season are the WM Phoenix Open, the RBC Heritage, the Wells Fargo Championship and the Travelers Championship.
25 years on the island
Jon Rahm hits his second shot on the 13th hole during the final round of the 2021 Sentry Tournament of Champions at Kapalua’s Plantation Course. (Photo: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)
Kapalua’s Plantation Course was designed Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw and opened in 1991. The course plays some 400 feet up the side of a mountain in Maui, Hawaii. A nine-month renovation project was completed ahead of the 2020 playing of the event.
The 2023 edition will be the 25th time the tournament will be played in Maui.
In addition, the PGA Tour and Sentry announced in August that the insurance company, which has been title sponsor of the event since 2018, has extended the sponsorship through 2035.