Fantasy Golf Picks, Odds, and Predictions for the Sentry Tournament of Champions
2018 Sentry Tournament of Champions Fantasy Preview
The final bars of Auld Land Syne have barely rung out and already we are preparing for the 2019 PGA TOUR season.
The players have enjoyed a decent break over the festive holiday period, and in the next few weeks they will begin to crank through the gears ahead of what should be a fantastic year for the sport.
It seems like a lifetime ago when Jon Rahm took the honors in the Hero World Challenge, closing out with a final round of 65 to climb the leaderboard and usurp the likes of Tony Finau and Henrik Stenson to claim 2018’s final title.
This week’s outing, the Tournament of Champions, heads to beautiful Hawaii, where 34 event winners will line up to take home the first big paycheck of the year.
Dustin Johnson of the United States waves after putting out on the third green during the final round of the Hero World Challenge at Albany, Bahamas on December 02, 2018 in Nassau, Bahamas. Get premium, high resolution news photos at Getty Images
Last Event’s Fantasy Results
Overall not a bad performance from the lineups at the Hero World Challenge and we’re happy to report that we closed out the fall season with 24 Top 25 picks and 15 Top 10s in just a handful of events finishing the 2018 calendar year.
With a wrap-around season winner in the books already and a handful of Euro wins, there’s no doubt that we’re ready for another wild PGA TOUR season on DFS.
Jon Rahm of Spain poses with the trophy and tournament host Tiger Woods of the United States after winning the Hero World Challenge at Albany, Bahamas on December 02, 2018 in Nassau, Bahamas. Get premium, high resolution news photos at Getty Images
The 2018 Sentry Tournament of Champions Field
The invitational status of the Tournament of Champions is straightforward enough: win an event on the PGA TOUR in the preceding year and you will cop an invite.
Some have chosen to turn down their place – Tiger Woods, Justin Rose and Phil Mickelson the high-profile absentees, but there are still plenty of famous faces among the 34-man field to whet the appetite.
Defending champion Dustin Johnson takes the headlines, and he will be joined by major winners Brooks Koepka and Patrick Reed, former T.O.C champ Justin Thomas, Rahm, Rory McIlroy, Bryson DeChambeau and plenty more.
Rory McIlroy of Northen Ireland plays his third shot on the 18th hole during the final round of the DP World Tour at Jumeirah Golf Estates on November 18, 2018 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Get premium, high resolution news photos at Getty Images
This Week’s Course Preview
The Plantation Course at the Kapalua Resort is incredibly unique: it is the only Par 73 on the PGA TOUR rotation.
You might think that would mean five Par 5s, but on the contrary: there’s the usual quartet of longer holes, but there’s eleven Par 4s and just a trio of Par 3s.
The other unique characteristic of the Plantation Course are the sheer elevation changes, which are significant in both directions. The seventeenth, for example, starts from on top of a mountain and winds downwards all the way to the eighteenth. The first is also severely downhill, and this trio of holes combine at more than 1,690 yards in total.
At 7,452 yards for its Par 73, you might think Plantation is a long old stretch, but in truth there are long and short holes to savor. For example, seven of the holes measure more than 500 yards, and yet six of the Par 4s are sub-400 yards.
The fairways are nice and wide, however, and of course the downward sloping holes can add plenty of distance to even the shortest of hitters. The large Bermuda greens are also receptive and run at a sluggish 10 on the stimpmeter.
It’s an easy layout – the last five winning scores have ranged from -19 to -30 – and the only real defense is the typically Hawaiian wind, which can blow up a storm from off the ocean.
A course scenic view of the 18th hole during the final round of the Sentry Tournament of Champions at Plantation Course at Kapalua on January 7, 2018 in Lahaina, Hawaii. Get premium, high resolution news photos at Getty Images
Weather Forecast for Kapalua, HI
It’s almost as if the weather gods are golf fans, as after delivering an almighty downpour on Maui in the build-up to the event, the rain should clear away in time for the start.
Those rains could be quite heavy at times from Monday through Wednesday, and the softer conditions might just favor the longer hitters.
The good news is that Thursday should dawn bright and sunny, and that theme continues throughout the weekend with temperatures of around 74 degrees.
The elephant in the room is the wind, which could blow at around 16 mph and possibly harsher at the local level. That could certainly be a factor this week!
Last Year’s Results from the Sentry Tournament of Champions
It was the perfect weekend for Dustin Johnson 12 months ago, who played the final 36 holes in an outrageous -15 to take the honors by a full eight shots from Jon Rahm.
After the second round DJ was nicely placed at -9, with Marc Leishman and Brian Harman leading the way at -10.
But the multiple-time Tour winner put on the after-burners over the weekend, leaving the field trailing in his wake as he lifted the trophy by eight from Rahm, nine from Harman and a full ten strokes from Hideki Matsuyama, Pat Perez and Rickie Fowler.
Where to Play Fantasy Golf for the Sentry Tournament of Champions this Week
The DFS sites are kicking off 2019 in fine style, and so there is plenty on offer for gamers this week. Big prize pots, low variance events and lots of choice; it’s the DFS dream!
- PGA $300k Season Tee-Off: What a way to start the year: $50k richer! That’s the top prize in this 71k team event, with the top 8,400 players doubling their money at the very least.
- PGA $25k Albatross: The small field of the Tournament of Champions means that contests with multi-entry are going to be very difficult to win unless you have a huge bankroll to work with. So, how about entering this single-entry contest which boasts a top prize of $2.5k?
This Week’s Fantasy Notes for the Sentry Tournament of Champions
With little in the way of current form to work with, our draft will have to be a bit smarter this week.
So what are the key pointers for gamers for the Tournament of Champions? We should certainly be looking at course form as a guide; this is a unique layout after all, playing as a Par 73 and with severe elevation changes.
And to add to that, we should be looking at form in Hawaii overall, which includes the Sony Open. There’s a stiff breeze in this part of the world and heady sea air, too.
For further course correlations, look to those coastal tests: Pebble Beach, Harbour Town, Sea Island, El Camaleon and so on.
As for course fit, don’t get too wrapped up in the course distance thing. Zach Johnson is a former winner here, and 12 months ago Dustin Johnson ranked second for Driving Distance but only at an average of 296 yards. Yes, he nearly notched a hole-in-one on a 400-yard Par 4, but elsewhere there are plenty of irons off the tee to be taken.
This is one of those tracks where it’s all about the business end of holes: lots of GIR and well-hit wedges on the Par 5s, and a sublime show of putting to boot (DJ ranked first for Putting Average). Bermuda specialists are more than welcome!
As for motivation, consider those players with something to prove, who may well have been grinding out on the course while others were putting their feet up during the break.
Our Top 5 (and Top 2 Sleeper) Fantasy Picks and Odds to Win the Sentry Tournament of Champions
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Fantasy Golf Predictions This Season (2018-2019)
Total Top 3s
Total Top 10s
Total Top 25s
Total Winners Picked
Total Runners-Up Picked
Total Made Cuts (Includes Sleepers)
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