DraftKings preview: Sentry Tournament of Champions
January 01, 2020
By Reid Fowler, DraftKings
- January 01, 2020
Daily Fantasy preview for Sentry Tournament of Champions
The PGA TOUR returns after a few weeks off and travels to the middle of the Pacific Ocean for the Sentry Tournament of Champions located on Maui in the Aloha State of Hawaii. The tournament will take place at the Plantation Course in Kapalua and will be a no-cut event. The course will play as the only Par 73 on the PGA TOUR with just three par 3s, measure just over 7,500 yards and feature grainy, Bermuda greens.
The field will consist of only those who qualified by winning last season, which includes members of the winning U.S. Presidents Cup team like Patrick Cantlay, Rickie Fowler, Dustin Johnson and defending champion Xander Schauffele, who shot a 62 in the final round last year to beat out Woodland by just a stroke. Those who won last season, but haven’t committed include players like Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods, Brooks Koepka and the Open Champion Shane Lowry.
The Plantation course ranked as the sixth easiest course in scoring relative to par last season and routinely plays as one of the easiest every year. Finishing scores at Kapalua have totaled as high as 30 under back in 2016 with the lowest winning score at 22 under over the past four years. The main reason we see scores get this high? Extremely wide and easy to hit fairways as well as accessible par 5s, which are all birdie and eagle opportunities. The course’s main defense is the wind, but it shouldn’t be too much of an issue as we’ve seen guys still go low like Dustin Johnson, who won back in 2018 shooting 24 under in extremely windy conditions.
The normal key stats apply here like Par 5 scoring, birdie or better average and Strokes Gained: Approach-the-Green, but this week we should also be focusing a little more on Bermuda putting and Approaches from 100 to 125 yards. There are six par 4s measuring under 400 yards, which are just as important to score on as the par 5s.
Justin Thomas ($11,200)
It’ll be tough to fade Thomas this week with how well he’s currently playing and how well he’s played at the Plantation Course over his career. He’s ranks second to only Dustin Johnson in Strokes Gained: Total since 2015 and is one of only three players to qualify for the Sentry Tournament of Champions in four of the past five years. Thomas has the all-around game to win anywhere, gaining an average of 6.3 strokes Tee-to-Green over his past 10 tournaments. Ride the momentum.
Patrick Cantlay ($9,800)
Cantlay played amazing last season, making 11 straight cuts leading up to the TOUR Championship and gained an average of 2.6 strokes with his irons over his past 10 tournaments. Cantlay ranks 12th in Par 5 scoring average over his past six tournaments and if we look closer at his statistics over his past eight rounds with shot tracker he ranks fifth in approaches from 100 to 125 yards, ninth in birdie or better percentage and first in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green.
Collin Morikawa ($8,600)
If you’re looking for value, Morikawa should be a solid play this week. It’ll be his first start in Kapalua, but what he lacks in experience, he more than makes up with his iron play, ranking second in the field dating back to the last 50 rounds coming into this tournament. It’ll be hard to trust his putting on Bermuda, but he’ll rely on his strong wedge play ranking fourth in Approaches from 100 to 125 yards over his past three tournaments.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is reidtfowler) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.