The Hyundai Tournament of Champions will kick off the 2012 PGA Tour season at the Plantation Course at Kapalua in Hawaii.

Americans Steve Stricker and Webb Simpson are the pre-tournament favourites. The pair are priced at 8/1 with Ladbrokes.

Both had excellent seasons in 2011 and are sure to put in solid displays but I’m ruling out Simpson on the basis that he hasn’t tackled this course before. Stricker on the other hand has an impressive record around this track and with top ten finishes in each of his last three visits he is fully deserving of the favourite’s tag.

However, with the Plantation Course being a par 73, there is sure to be a premium on big hitting this week and there are a couple of bombers I would prefer to back over the favourites.

I’d be tempted to go for Gary Woodland at 16/1. He claimed the Omega Mission Hills World Cup title with compatriot Matt Kuchar to cap off a fine season in which he finished 17th in the FedEx Cup standings. With his power off the tee, he could really dominate if he’s on his game this week.

At the same price of 16/1, I’m also tempted to have a little punt on Bubba Watson. Another long hitter, he picked up two titles in 2011 and will be looking to get his season of to a flyer with a victory here.

My final pick for this one is Bill Haas who is also at 16/1. He rounded off his 2011 season in spectacular fashion, picking up the FedEx Cup title and the $10million bonus cheque in the process.

He was remarkably consistent throughout the season and finished inside the top ten no less than seven times. With a small field this week and Ladbrokes paying out on each-way bets down to fourth place, he is sure to be there or there abouts.

Other players guaranteed to attract the punters’ money will be David Toms at 25/1, Keegan Bradley at 16/1, Nick Watney at 10/1 and KJ Choi at 16/1.

Scotland’s Martin Laird is at 20/1 while defending champion Jonathan Byrd is 25/1 to retain his title.

Hyundai Tournament of Champions betting guide and tips:

2pts each-way on Gary Woodland @ 16/1 with Ladbrokes
2pts each-way on Bubba Watson @ 16/1 with Ladbrokes
2pts each-way on Bill Haas @ 16/1 with Ladbrokes