It’s the new year and fantasy golf is back! Alex here, and I would like to welcome everyone to my DraftKings PGA Picks for The 2019 Sentry Tournament of Champions. This is a small no cut event, with only 34 players teeing it up. To be eligible for this event, you must have won on The PGA Tour last season. The Sentry TOC takes place at The Plantation Course (Par 73, 7,452 yards) of Kapaula, in Maui, Hawaii. This tournament has been held here since 1999 and Dustin Johnson is the defending champ, winning at -24 a year ago. All of the last four champions of this season opening event have shot -21 or better, showing you this is a very easy track.
The greens are large and the fairways are very wide, giving bombers an advantage. Short hitters can find success here too (Zach Johnson won in 2014), so I am not eliminating them, I will just be giving longer players a slight edge. Even though the greens are big, we still need to target strong iron players. (All of the last five champs have ranked T17 or better in GIR at The Plantation Course)
Also, with very low scores expected, we need to prioritize elite birdie makers. DJ led the field in birdies last season and each of the last three winners have either led the field or been T2 in birdies converted. Plus, those three golfers all led their fields in par four scoring during their wins, making the par fours the main holes to focus on. Finally, to shoot low numbers, you need to be rolling it well with the flat stick, so by default, I will be looking at putting stats, and splits. (The Plantation Course has Bermuda greens) @Hunta512.
Dustin Johnson: (11,000)
Per usual, Johnson is the clear favorite to win this week. (5.5/1) Since he won here last year, DJ has only missed one cut, and has posted 11 top tens in 19 starts. Last season, he ranked 1st in SGT2G, 1st in SG OTT, 5th in SG APP, 9th in GIR, 1st in P4 scoring, 1st in P5 scoring, 25th in SGP, and 1st in BOB%. He has gained an elite 8.4 strokes in his last 20 events and has won at The Plantation Course twice in the last decade. Overall, he has six top tens, in eight starts, and an average finish of 7.5 at The Sentry TOC.
DJ’s length and skills with the driver are perfect for him to overpower this course again, and he is a near guarantee for a top ten this weekend. With plenty of uncertainty around all of these players, since they haven’t played competitively in quite some time, I think starting your lineup with the ever so consistent Johnson, and his incredible course history, is a smart move.
Bryson DeChambeau: (8,700)
DeChambeau didn’t fare well in this event last season (26th), but this was his first attempt at Kapaula, and even though it’s only been a year’s time, Bryson is a completely different player now. After his subpar performance here a year ago, DeChambeau missed his next two cuts, and was the 94th ranked golfer in the world. But now, in his last six starts, he has three wins, no finishes worse than a T19, and is the #5 player on the planet. In his last 24 rounds, no player in this field ranks better statistically.
During this time, DeChambeau ranks 2nd in SGT2G, 5th in SG APP, 4th in GIR, 2nd in BS, 4th in SG on P4s, 4th in SG on P5s, 16th in DD, 4th in SGP, and 2nd in BOB%. He has gained 5.4 strokes per start in his last 10 and is currently tied with Rory McIlroy for the 5th best odds to win this week (12/1 via Bovada), but costs $900 less. At only $8,700, DeChambeau feels like a must play.
Patrick Reed: (8,200)
Considering his record at this course, this is a silly price for Reed. In four career starts, he has finished T16th, 1st, 2nd, and T6th, in that order. This is an average finish of 6.3, which is the best for all of the players in this field, that have played here in Maui at least four times. As for his recent play, Reed is fresh off back to back top tens, with a T7 at The WGC-HSBC Champions, and a T2 at The DP World Tour Championship.
Reed never really stands out statistically, but he ranks 16th in SGT2G, and 12th in SG on P4s in his last 50 rounds. He has the 8th best odds to win (16/1 via Bovada), but is the 11th highest priced player on DraftKings this week. Reed should finish inside the top 15 and is one of the best values on the board.
Brooks Koepka: (10,200)
Koepka has been a mixed bag at this venue, with a T3 and a T34th in two starts. He is the #1 player in the world right now and his pure power, and strong putting, are a match made in heaven for The Plantation Course. (10/1 via Bovada)
John Rahm: (9,800)
Rahm just won at The Hero World Challenge in December and he was 2nd here last season in his first career start at The Plantation Course. He has great distance (16th last season) and is an excellent on par fours. (5th in P4 scoring last season) Rahm is clearly underpriced, with him having the 2nd best odds (8/1 via Bovada), but being the 4th highest priced player in the pool.
Marc Leishman: (7,700)
After his win at The CIMB Classic, Leishman posted a T18 at The CJ Cup, and then T2 at The Australian PGA Championship. He finished T7 here a year ago and is primed for another great showing this time around. (7th in BOB% and 2nd in SG on P5s in his last 12 rounds)
Matt Kuchar: (7,600)
Kuch looked awesome in his win at The Mayakoba Golf Classic in November and he has four top tens in six career starts at The Sentry TOC. Over his last 12 rounds, he ranks 5th in BOB%, 2nd in SG on P4s, and 4th in GIR. Kuchar is one of the better targets under $8,000 this week.
Billy Horschel: (7,000)
In his two fall starts, Horschel went T11 at The WGC HSBC Champions, and T21 at The Mayakoba. He has two finishes inside the top 11 at The Planation Course in three tries and ranks 1st in SG APP, 5th in SGT2G, 1st in GIR, and 1st in BS in his last 24 rounds. Horschel has the best odds to win of all the players $7,200 and lower this week. (50/1 via Bovada)
Ian Poulter: (6,800)
Poulter played solid in the fall (T10 at The CJ Cup and T21 at The WGC HSBC Champions) and has two top tens in two starts at The Sentry TOC. He should finish in the top 20 and could go slightly under owned.
*Please note that most of these rankings are from Fantasynational.com