Yahoo DFS Golf: Tournament of Champions

Yahoo DFS Golf: Tournament of Champions

This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Golf series.

Sentry Tournament of Champions

Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii
Plantation Course at Kapalua - Par 73 - 7,596 yards
Field - 42 entrants
Purse - $6.7M

The Preview

Escaping winter in the contiguous United States with a voyage to the Kapalua Resort on Hawaii's Maui island has been an annual reward for PGA Tour victors, but a funky 2020 schedule allowed those who qualified for the TOUR Championship to join in on the luau this week as well. In addition to pleasant temperatures reaching the upper 70s each day, wide fairways invite 42 entrants to get aggressive off the tee as driving distances average nearly nine yards longer here at the Plantation Course than the average venue on Tour. That doesn't necessarily mean the layout plays easy, however, as large bermuda greens and occasionally heavy winds discourage elite proximity metrics while promoting three-putt chances. Nonetheless, a competitive field that features all three of the top three players in the world figures to provide an entertaining kickoff to the Tour's 2021 journey.

Recent Champions

2020 - Justin Thomas
2019 - Xander Schauffele
2018 - Dustin Johnson
2017 - Justin Thomas 
2016 - Jordan Spieth
2015 - Patrick Reed
2014 - Zach Johnson
2013 - Dustin Johnson
2012 - Steve Stricker 
2011 - Jonathan Byrd

Key Stats to Victory

SG: Putting (Bermuda)
Par-5 scoring
Three-putt avoidance

Yahoo Value Picks

Based on $200 salary cap

Cream of the Crop

Jon Rahm - $47

Transitioning from Taylormade to Callaway, Rahm embodies the "new year, new me" sentiment with a whole new collection of toys in the bag to accompany a fresh wardrobe. Style points aside, the switch appears to be working for Rahm, who fired a record-setting 59 during the break at Silverleaf Country Club back home in Scottsdale in his first round using the Callaway equipment. The World No. 2 is coming off a top-10 performance at the Masters, which followed a runner-up effort at The ZOZO Championship in which he posted a 66.5 scoring average. Rahm paces this week's field in proximity over his last 36 rounds and he's second in SG: Off-the-Tee over his past 24.

Justin Thomas - $44

The defending champion probably shouldn't be a whole $6 cheaper than Dustin Johnson, and Thomas definitely shouldn't be ordered below Webb Simpson ($45). Thomas' last four trips to the Plantation Course resulted in a pair of wins to go along with a third-place finish in 2019. He's third in SG: Approach over his last 24 rounds and fourth in proximity over his last 36, and he's also fourth in SG: Around-the-Green during the latter span. He has placed T12 or better in six consecutive starts dating to the TOUR Championship in early September.

Patrick Reed - $39

Reed traveled to Dubai during the PGA's December hiatus to play in the Euro Tour's DP World Tour Championship, where a second-round 64 propelled him to a tie for third. He also finished T3 overseas at the BMW PGA Championship in October, recorded a top-10 at the Masters and sandwiched a T14 at the ZOZO Championship in between. While he's known for his elite short game and trusty putter, Reed is getting it done from distance as well, ranking fourth in par-5 efficiency over his last 50 rounds. Since Reed's 2015 win at Kapalua, he's added a pair of runner-ups and a T6 on Maui. 

Glue Guys

Harris English - $35

English's 2020 resurgence allowed him to end the calendar year at a career-high 28th in the Official World Golf Ranking. He racked up six top-10s this past year, including a second-place finish at The Northern Trust while missing just two total cuts in 20 starts. He's No. 1 in SG: Around-the-Green over his last 36 rounds and fourth in SG: Putting on bermuda over his last 50. 

Tony Finau - $35

Guaranteed to play 16 par-5s in 72 holes this week at the Plantation Course, Finau provides an advantage as he resides second to none in P5 scoring over his last 50 rounds. Precision has accompanied power of late, however, as he also ranks second in SG: Approach over his past 24 and eighth in proximity over his last 36 rounds. Despite the putting concerns, Finau has actually gained an average of 1.3 strokes per event with the flat stick in his last 10 measured starts.

Bargain Bin

Joaquin Niemann - $26

The 154-pound, 22-year-old ranks top-5 among the TOC field in SG: Off-the-Tee throughout his last 24 rounds, and he finished the 2019-20 campaign 53rd in driving distance, 19th in proximity, ninth in fairway proximity and 21st in par-4 scoring. Niemann gained an average of 4.1 strokes per tournament from tee to green over his last five measured events. Additionally, the Chilean has placed T23 or better in five of six starts dating to the U.S. Open.

Cameron Smith - $24

The Aussie gradually improved throughout the fall series, culminating in an inspiring runner-up effort at the Masters in just his fourth career appearance at Augusta National. A few weeks prior, Smith tied for fourth at The ZOZO Championship on the heels of a solo 11th at THE CJ CUP. Hailing from the land down under, he naturally grades out well as a ball striker in windy conditions, and he also gained an average of 2.9 strokes with his putter over his last five starts. 

Sebastian Munoz - $20 

Munoz didn't seem to earn enough respect throughout a brilliant 2019-20 campaign that saw him finish eighth in the final FedExCup Standings with nearly $3M in official earnings. The disrespect continues this week, as he's been dealt the minimum salary alongside names like Richy Werenski and Robert Streb. Munoz ranks fourth in SG: Putting from 5-10 feet on bermuda surfaces over his last 50 rounds, and he also ranked 34th or better in SG: Tee-to-Green, birdie average and proximity from 125-150 yards this past season.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Bryce Danielson plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: brycedanielson99, FanDuel: brycedanielson99, Yahoo: RotoBOOM.
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Bryce Danielson
Bryce covers the PGA for RotoWire and provides input on the golf cheat sheet. He also contributes to the coverage for NFL, NBA and other sports.
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