Daily Fantasy Golf Course Primer: Sentry Tournament of Champions
The regular season for the PGA Tour is back following the shortest offseason in sports. The world's best golfers took the holiday season off and will get right back to it when the calendar turns to 2019 with the Sentry Tournament of Champions, the annual event composed entirely of the prior year's winners.
Hosted at the breathtaking Plantation Course at Kapalua on the island of Maui, Hawaii, the TOC is one of the more aesthetically pleasing events the contestants will face all year. The course has an extra par 4 to extend this 7,452 track to an atypical par 73. This limited event does not have a 36-hold cut and has a few notable withdrawals to tighten the field even more.
Let's dig into the course and see what stats we can use to build our daily fantasy lineups this week.
Course and Tournament Info
Course: The Plantation Course at Kapalua
Tees/Fairways/Rough: Tifeagle Bermudagrass
|Season||Par||Yardage||Avg Score||Avg O/U Par||Rank|
Kapalua consistently rates out as one of the best scoring environments of the season. The strength of the field certainly plays a part -- after all, golfers that win on the PGA Tour tend to be quite good at putting the ball in the hole. Even so, this course is fun for these guys. The winning score has been better than 20-under par each of the last four years, although it is worth noting that the winner in each of the past two editions was the only golfer to surpass that mark.
These stats have proven vital to success at the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
|Key Stats for the Sentry Tournament of Champions|
|Strokes Gained: Tee to Green|
|Strokes Gained: Approach|
|Birdies or Better Gained|
|Strokes Gained: Par 5s|
Overall tee to green play with an extra emphasis on approach is a tried and true method for identifying ballstrikers who consistently give themselves birdie opportunities. As this event features many of the best overall players in the world, these metrics can provide insight into the values when building daily fantasy lineups.
Birdies are a must here, as seven holes have a birdie rate of 25% or higher. Just as important, however, is avoiding the big numbers. On a course where everyone is making birdies, a bogey's penalty is magnified. And even with the easy rating and scoring conditions, Kapalua takes its fair share of strokes. Brooks Koepka would go on to win two majors and eventually reach the World No. 1 ranking in 2018, but he started the year with a 13-over score at the TOC -- a cool 37 strokes behind the winner, Dustin Johnson.
Even with the extra par 4, prioritizing golfers who consistently score well on par 5s is a more reliable strategy. Several of the par 4s are gettable for the long hitters, particularly the 350-yard third hole, but an aggressive bomber who can make the most of the par 4s here is probably an ideal par 5 player. A third of the field is going to birdie every par 5, so finding golfers who can exceed that rate will be paramount this week.
Course History Studs
Dustin Johnson - DJ won this event by eight strokes last year and has finishes of T6, T10, and T6 in his three next recent trips.
Patrick Reed - The defending Masters champion did not participate in last year's edition, but in the three years before that he finished tied for sixth, second, and first.
Jason Day - Day found his form in 2018, after some personal issues and inconsistent health disrupted his game the prior season. He finished T12 or better from 2015 to 2017.
Brandt Snedeker - While he's no longer considered among the world's best anymore, Snedeker has won enough to earn three trips to Kapalua in the past five years and has finishes of T14 (2017), T3 (2016), and T11 (2014).
Mike Rodden is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Mike Rodden also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mike_rodden. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.