Happy 2022, gang, and greetings once again.
It’s a little weird to welcome you back during the week of the 10th tournament of the season, but you get it and it doesn’t diminish the sincerity of the sentiment.
This is my 13th year in this chair that continues to exist because of your support for all things fantasy and gaming. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
The Sentry Tournament of Champions hosts 38 golfers this season, 15 of which appeared in Monday’s Power Rankings. The other 23 are slotted below, also in a customary ranking for this tournament. The hiatus for Sleepers ends with next week’s Sony Open in Hawaii.
The Sentry TOC is the first of 10 stops in Segment 2 of PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf, but it’s the only without a cut. In fact, it’s the last no-cut contest contributing until the BMW Championship and TOUR Championship conclude the season.
Although THE PLAYERS Championship wraps Segment 2, strategically it will be smart to save next-tier talents who make most cuts just to get through that week. The narrative over time continues to support the fact that TPC Sawgrass “wins” the tournament, so THE PLAYERS and The Open Championship (in Segment 4) remain the top-two crapshoots. Save starts for and play haymakers as you’d like, but those are the most indiscriminate events all season, so the short-range plan for both weeks is simply to survive and advance.
The only worthy exception is if you’re in the hunt for Segment 2 prizes and you want to lunge at THE PLAYERS. However, if you’re targeting only long-term goals, then you can absorb pushes in both weeks.
PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf
My roster for the Sentry Tournament of Champions (in alphabetical order):
You’ll find my starters in Expert Picks.
Odds sourced on Tuesday, January 4 at 5 a.m. ET. For live odds visit betmgm.
REST OF THE FIELD
16. Marc Leishman (-200 for a Top 20) … No one is watching the wind forecast more than his investors, but trade winds (from the northeast) are expected to remain relatively calm. (Continue to monitor this for obvious reasons.) Of course, this doesn’t mean that he’s less capable of contending, but the absence of the equalizer for the rest of the field had more to do with his omission from the Power Rankings than any other variable. However, he has more than enough experience and success in all conditions at Kapalua to warrant a roster spot in every format.
17. Hideki Matsuyama (-300 for a Top 20) … Like others in this field, he prevailed in his last start. It’s just that it was the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP in October, so he’s rested for more than two months. It also occurred in his native Japan, so the victory was more special than usual. He hung up a trio of top-four finishes to open his record at Kapalua, and then settled for a T41 in last year’s edition. Let that most recent result scare your opposition and remember that anomalies require the context of time.
18. Jason Kokrak (-250 for a Top 20) … If you ever wanted evidence of how comfortable a touring professional could be in his own skin after finally breaking through on the PGA TOUR (as he did at Shadow Creek in 2020), he delivered a clear case in Houston in November. Decided to play even though he “was hitting it so bad” just before the tournament, and then won the thing on what was the toughest course of the fall. Placed T35 in his Kapalua debut a year ago, but the upshot is the experience on the track.
19. Harris English (-225 for a Top 20) … Dealt with a sore back for about a month in the fall, so it’s fair to dismiss his results immediately after the Ryder Cup. He did us a favor and kept busy at the Hero World Challenge (T14) and QBE Shootout (T3 with Matt Kuchar), so it’s time to reverse expectations and lean on him to put up a worthy fight in his title defense at Kapalua.
20. Billy Horschel (-150 for a Top 20) … Because he’s locked into another gear to sustain terrific form enough to shed the characteristic as streaky, gone are the days of when he profiled as a form guy over course history, but Kapalua still has his number. Still, maybe he’s pushing back. Until a closing 75 en route to a T24 here last year, he was poised to record a personal-best finish in what was his fifth appearance. A T6 in his debut in 2014 remains his only top 10.
21. Seamus Power … What a delight he’s been. After that flourish last summer that culminated in his breakthrough victory (Barbasol) that awarded him a spot in this week’s field, he’s opened the new season with four top 25s, including a fall-finishing T4 at Sea Island. Even though he’s a debutant, DFSers shouldn’t hesitate because he’s fired on all cylinders.
22. Si Woo Kim … First trip since finishing 10th in 2018. One top 10 among three top 20s in the fall, so he presents no worry from the perspective of form, and he hasn’t exhibited any physical issues in almost six months, so that’s additional reason to exhale. Always risky for conservative gamers, but the potential bang is worth the buck in fractional, aggressive scenarios.
23. K.H. Lee … Elevated among the first-timers because of his consistently strong(-enough) form over time. He’s settled into his new tier on TOUR as a winner, and he gets the most out of his game as he’s applied experience on courses that have become familiar.
24. Joel Dahmen … Qualified for the first time via his nervy victory at Corales. The 34-year-old has paid early dividends this season by going 5-for-5 with a T5 in Houston. Sharks are unlikely to deviate this much, so run him out there in DFS.
25. Tony Finau … Benefited by the special circumstances to exempt the top 30 in the 2020 FedExCup, he made his second appearance at Kapalua last year and finished T31. Now back via traditional means with his long-awaited validation victory (at Liberty National), he’s targeting his first top-40 finish of the young season. All things considered and in the context of his cachet, he presents more as a trap than trustworthy.
26. Erik van Rooyen … Experienced a “hot golfer summer” in 2021. He became a father, broke through on the PGA TOUR and advanced to the TOUR Championship, all within the span of a few weeks. He’s cooled since, but can you blame him? Celebrated the holidays at home in South Africa, so he’s living his best life right now. The balance and the clarity of the last six months could manifest into something special at Kapalua even in his debut.
27. Max Homa … Twice a winner in 2021, albeit in different seasons, the 31-year-old has entered his prime. Even when he’s not winning, he’s contending more often, but the inconsistency he overcomes drags his value in short-term considerations in our world.
28. Brooks Koepka … Sat out the 2020 edition, so this is his first trip in three years. He hasn’t contended since a T3 in his debut in 2016, and he slumped in the last few months of 2021, but only new gamers would attach expectations to any of it, especially in a non-major.
29. Kevin Na … Rested a sore rib in advance of partnering with Jason Kokrak for victory at the QBE Shootout in December, but even a healthy Na has struggled at Kapalua. He competed in the last two editions and failed to crack the top 30 in both.
30. Lucas Herbert … The Korn Ferry Tour Finals grads from Australia is the first from the reshuffle category to hoist hardware this season. The breakthrough in Bermuda reinforced his profile as a winner. Give him time to build experience on the rotation of courses, but you’ve already witnessed what the thoughtful 26-year-old can do on an island.
31. Branden Grace … With a last-place finish (among 32) in his only prior appearance on this par 73 in 2017, he’s an easy pass among the qualifiers for whom there isn’t enough reason to endorse or otherwise, and that assessment in the same lane as his choppy record on par 72s. We like to hope for more than a coin flip.
32. Cam Davis … Since breaking through at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, he’s cashed seven of nine times but none went for a top 25, and three of those paydays were in events without a cut. In short, the talented 26-year-old is still finding his footing as a PGA TOUR winner, and that’s OK in the long-term.
33. Stewart Cink … Since capturing his third title at Harbour Town last April, he’s failed to record another top 20. Ended a 10-year hiatus at Kapalua with a T31 last year.
34. Phil Mickelson … The last champion at La Costa in 1998 hasn’t appeared at Kapalua in 21 years, so he’ll be reminded of the elevation changes for which his 51-year-old frame should be physically fit. As it concerns his prospects, if I had set aside a Power Rankings Wild Card for this event (instead of the traditional ranking of the remainder of the field), that’s where you’d have found him, and that’s never a surprise. If you’re in a full-season format, consider this appearance as a bonus with a guaranteed yield.
35. Kevin Kisner … Welp, so much for keeping the faith at Sea Island (see the Recap for The RSM Classic below). Instead, the short week extended three months of poor form for the 37-year-old. Finished a personal-worst T24 in his fourth appearance at Kapalua a year ago.
36. Matt Jones … After rising to victory at PGA National in March, he picked off only one top 25 (T18, ZOZO) in the remainder of the year. First start at Kapalua since a T11 in his debut seven year ago.
37. Garrick Higgo … All but disappeared after qualifying with his maiden title at the one-time Palmetto Championship at Congaree. However, this is to be expected of a 22-year-old who was thrust into potentially difficult and complicated decisions on where to fulfill commitments across multiple tours during a pandemic. In his last eight starts of 2021, he went from Italy to England to the United States to Japan to Bermuda to Mexico and to the United Arab Emirates before landing in his native South Africa.
38. Lucas Glover … No top 35s among five paydays in nine starts since taking the title at the John Deere Classic in July. First visit to Kapalua in 12 years. (A sprained right knee prevented him from giving it a go the last time he qualified in 2012.)
Rory McIlroy ... Although he’s qualified 11 times, he’s appeared only once, finishing T4 in 2019.
Cameron Champ … Tested positive for COVID-19. This was to be his first live action since shutting it down in October to allow an injured left wrist to heal.
RECAPS – THE RSM CLASSIC
Power Ranking Golfer Result
1 Kevin Kisner MC
2 Scottie Scheffler T57
3 Webb Simpson T8
4 Corey Conners T22
5 Robert Streb MC
6 Russell Henley T22
7 Louis Oosthuizen WD
8 Cameron Smith T4
9 Harris English MC
10 Alex Noren MC
11 Denny McCarthy T10
12 Henrik Norlander MC
13 Seamus Power T4
14 Adam Long T16
15 Alex Smalley MC
Wild Card Mackenzie Hughes 2nd
Golfer (GolfBet prop) Result
Patton Kizzire (top 20) MC
Andrew Landry (top 10) MC
Troy Merritt (top 20) T22
Matthew NeSmith (top 20) T29
Scott Piercy (top 20) T70
Patton Kizzire Top 40 (+210) MC
RECAPS – HERO WORLD CHALLENGE
Power Ranking Golfer Result
1 Collin Morikawa T5
2 Justin Thomas T5
3 Viktor Hovland Win
4 Rory McIlroy 18th
5 Xander Schauffele T12
6 Jordan Spieth 20th
7 Sam Burns T3
8 Abraham Ancer T14
9 Matt Fitzpatrick T12
10 Tony Finau T7
11 Tyrrell Hatton T9
12 Webb Simpson 17th
13 Bryson DeChambeau T14
14 Scottie Scheffler 2nd
15 Daniel Berger T7
16 Justin Rose T9
17 Brooks Koepka T9
18 Patrick Reed T3
19 Henrik Stenson 19th
20 Harris English T14
Viktor Hovland over Henrik Stenson (-220) Win > 19th
RECAP – QBE SHOOTOUT
Power Ranking Team Result
1 Harris English & Matt Kuchar T3
2 Sam Burns & Billy Horschel 2nd
3 Jason Kokrak & Kevin Na Win
4 Corey Conners & Graeme McDowell T5
5 Jason Day & Marc Leishman T3
6 Ryan Palmer & Matt Jones T11
7 Ian Poulter & Charles Howell III 8th
8 Sean O’Hair & Will Zalatoris 7th
9 Max Homa & Kevin Kisner T5
10 Brian Harman & Hudson Swafford 10th
11 Lexi Thompson & Bubba Watson 9th
12 K.H. Lee & Brandt Snedeker T11
BIRTHDAYS AMONG ACTIVE MEMBERS OF THE PGA TOUR
January 4 … Sebastián Muñoz (29)
January 5 … none
January 6 … Corey Conners (30)
January 7 … Camilo Villegas (40); Keith Mitchell (30)
January 8 … none
January 9 … Sergio Garcia (42)
January 10 … Ian Poulter (46)
Visit BetMGM.com for Terms and Conditions. 21+ years of age or older to wager. CO, IA, IN,MI, NJ, NV,PA, TN, VA or WV only. Excludes Michigan Disassociated Persons. Please Gamble Responsibly. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-522-4700 (CO, NV, VA), 1-800-270-7117 for confidential help (MI), 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ, PA & WV), 1-800-BETS OFF (IA), Call or Text the Tennessee REDLINE: 800-889-9789 (TN), or call 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN).