Daily Fantasy Golf Course Primer: Sentry Tournament of Champions
The 2020 PGA season kicks off with an annual reward for the few golfers in the world who managed to win on the Tour in 2019. The Plantation Course at Kapalua is one of the most visually striking venues in all of sports, with wide open views of the Hawaiian horizon on nearly every hole.
Situated on the island of Maui, the 7,518-yard Plantation Course plays to a par 73, though the length is mitigated by the elevation, with an aggressive downward slope for most of the course, as well as the widest fairways on Tour by a substantial margin. Many holes feature fairways more than twice as wide as a typical Tour course. All of these factors lead to quite friendly proceedings, with the best players on Tour backslapping their way through a birdiefest before the "real" events start.
As mentioned above, only the winners from calendar year 2019 are invited, though a few notable winners annually take a pass on Kapalua, including Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods. Even without two of the biggest names in the world, the field here is still loaded with star power.
The forecast looks perfect, with temperatures in the 70s and no precipitation in the look ahead radar as of this writing.
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: Plantation Course at Kapalua
Distance: 7,518 yards
Fairways/Rough: TifEagle Bermudagrass
|Season||Par||Yardage||Avg Score||Avg O/U Par||Rank|
Last year's champion, Xander Schauffele, fired a blazing 62 on Sunday to get to 23-under par and top Gary Woodland by a single stroke. Schauffele had earned his spot late in the season, winning the WGC-HSBC Champions in the swing season. Woodland, likewise, had stood out in the fall with three top-10s. So even with the holiday layoff, we'll want to consider recent form when trying to parse through the top players.
The course did not play quite as easy the past couple years as it had in the few prior, but we are still talking about one of the 5-10 easiest courses of the season to kick things off.
As far as comparable courses, the other Hawaii track for next week's Sony Open is an obvious candidate -- Waialae Country Club features bermuda greens and wide open views off the tee, but its par 70 is no pushover. Firestone Country Club, the former host of the now defunct WGC-Bridgestone, paired a strong field with friendly conditions. And Nine Bridges, another gorgeous island layout, stands out not just for its scenery but also because its few editions have each been won by a world class player.
These stats will be the keys to success in the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
|Key Stats for the Sentry Tournament of Champions at the Plantation Course at Kapalua|
|Strokes Gained: Tee to Green|
|Strokes Gained: Approach|
|Birdies or Better Gained|
|Strokes Gained: Par 5s|
We'll keep it simple here, and bombers obviously get an edge when everyone is pulling driver 13-14 times per round. Birdies are key, but when conditions are this yielding, avoiding a bad bogey is just as important as keeping pace on the easy birdie holes.
Tee to green studs are always going to stand out, and in ideal conditions, we want iron play and par 5 scoring to guide us.
Course History Studs
Dustin Johnson is the key name here, with a T4 last year preceded by a blowout win, T6, and T10. Assuming the knee is healthy, he is a perfect match for this course.
Justin Thomas was third last year and won in 2017, and with his tee to green prowess and world class approach game, that should be no surprise. He has also dominated at both Waialae and Nine Bridges.
Jon Rahm is the favorite this week even in this loaded field, and with his recent form, it's hard to argue. But he has good vibes at Kapalua anyway, having posted a T8 finish last year and a runner-up the year prior.
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.