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PGA DFS: Sentry Tournament of Champions Course Preview

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.

PAST WINNERS

GolferYearWinning ScoreDraftKings Points
Dustin Johnson2018-24141
Justin Thomas2017-22131.5
Jordan Spieth2016-30149
Patrick Reed2015-21125.5
Zach Johnson2014-19123.5

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.

Tee viz

Rank in 2018Driving DistanceDriving AccuracySG: OTT
1Rory McIlroy ($9,600)Keegan Bradley ($7,300)Dustin Johnson ($11,000)
2Dustin Johnson ($11,000)Satoshi Kodaira ($6,000)Gary Woodland ($8,000)
3Kevin Tway ($6,500)Billy Horschel ($7,000)Bubba Watson ($7,800)
4Brooks Koepka ($10,200)Ted Potter ($6,000)Jon Rahm ($9,800)
5Cameron 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.

tee tree

 

ON APPROACH

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.

GIR box

Rank in 2018Greens in RegulationSG: APP
1Billy Horschel ($7,000)Keegan Bradley ($7,300)
2Dustin Johnson ($11,000)Tiger Woods ($9,400)
3Gary Woodland ($8,000)Justin Thomas ($10,500)
4Andrew Putnam ($6,600)Dustin Johnson ($11,000)
5Francesco Molinari ($8,400)Bryson DeChambeau ($8,700)
6Bryson DeChambeau ($8,700)Scott Piercy ($6,700)
7Jon Rahm ($9,800)Paul Casey ($7,900)
8Charles Howell ($7,100)Francesco Molinari ($8,400)
9Scott Piercy ($6,700)Webb Simpson ($8,500)
10Paul Casey ($7,900)Gary Woodland ($8,000)

Key Stats

  • Greens in Regulation
  • DK Scoring
  • Driving Distance
  • SG: ARG
  • SG: Putting (Bermudagrass)

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