We’re back on the PGA grind here. The NFL regular season is over and we’re headed to Hawaii for the Tournament of Champions. It’s the perfect appetizer to the season because it’s a nice small field of golfers we’re familiar with. More on that tomorrow, though, as we’re more focused on the course and what leads to success here. As you can see from the chart below, scoring is high at this event. Of the 595 golfers who have played all four rounds here, 106 (16.4 percent) have scored more than 100 DK points.
The Plantation Course at Kapalua has played host to the Tournament of Champions under different sponsorships since 1999. The course is a Par 73 that plays a little over 7,450 yards. With greens averaging over 7,000 square feet, it’s no surprise that this is a birdie-fest. The field will be tasked with reading Bermudagrass greens and avoid nearly 100 bunkers as they make their way around the track. It’s important to get out to a fast start in Kapalua. Only three of the winners here since 1999 were outside of the top five after the first round.
|Golfer||Year||Winning Score||DraftKings Points|
OFF THE TEE
There are courses that can be pretty close calls when it comes to which stat we want to target off the tee. There’s no debate when it comes to Kapalua, we’re targeting distance, distance, and more distance. It is more than 20 times more predictive of DK Scoring than hitting fairways.
|Rank in 2018||Driving Distance||Driving Accuracy||SG: OTT|
|1||Rory McIlroy ($9,600)||Keegan Bradley ($7,300)||Dustin Johnson ($11,000)|
|2||Dustin Johnson ($11,000)||Satoshi Kodaira ($6,000)||Gary Woodland ($8,000)|
|3||Kevin Tway ($6,500)||Billy Horschel ($7,000)||Bubba Watson ($7,800)|
|4||Brooks Koepka ($10,200)||Ted Potter ($6,000)||Jon Rahm ($9,800)|
|5||Cameron Champ ($8,100)||Francesco Molinari ($8,400)||Bryson DeChambeau ($8,700)|
It’s impossible to undervalue driving distance at this course. The threshold seems to be right around 260 yards off the tee. If you’re below that, you are basically starting off behind the eight ball. That has only accounted for 29 percent of tracked golfers in the field here, though. The group above 260 can be split into 260-280, and over 280. As you can see, the over-280 group has the highest expected DK scoring.
It should come as no surprise that hitting greens in regulation is important, especially in a birdie fest. The field averages 79 percent of greens hit. That means for those who play all 72 holes, the average golfer will have 57 birdie putts. A 75th percentile ball-striking week leads to 60 birdie putts. The 213 golfers who’ve hit 60 or more greens here have averaged 92 DK points which is good for an average rank of 11th in DK scoring for the week.
|Rank in 2018||Greens in Regulation||SG: APP|
|1||Billy Horschel ($7,000)||Keegan Bradley ($7,300)|
|2||Dustin Johnson ($11,000)||Tiger Woods ($9,400)|
|3||Gary Woodland ($8,000)||Justin Thomas ($10,500)|
|4||Andrew Putnam ($6,600)||Dustin Johnson ($11,000)|
|5||Francesco Molinari ($8,400)||Bryson DeChambeau ($8,700)|
|6||Bryson DeChambeau ($8,700)||Scott Piercy ($6,700)|
|7||Jon Rahm ($9,800)||Paul Casey ($7,900)|
|8||Charles Howell ($7,100)||Francesco Molinari ($8,400)|
|9||Scott Piercy ($6,700)||Webb Simpson ($8,500)|
|10||Paul Casey ($7,900)||Gary Woodland ($8,000)|
- Greens in Regulation
- DK Scoring
- Driving Distance
- SG: ARG
- SG: Putting (Bermudagrass)