DFS Golf: UpNorth’s PGA Preview – Sentry Tournament of Champions Advice for Fanduel and Draftkings

DFS Golf is back! The new season kicks off with the Sentry Tournament of Champions!

My name is Josh Thomas, and I am a PGA and NFL Coach here at DFS Army! Welcome to the 2019 PGA Season! We here at DFS Army have got you covered this year with my weekly preview out on Sunday Nights, Chalk Donkey article breaking down the ownership projections, where to pivot, and GPP strategy out Tuesday Nights, and our Research Station that is full of more information than you could ever need!

The PGA Tour kicks off the 2019 portion of the season with the Sentry Tournament of Champions which is held annually at the Plantation Course at Kapalua Resort. To play in this event you have to have won an event in the 2018 season. 34 of the 37 winners from last year will be teeing it up in Hawaii this year on one of the most unique courses the players will play this year.

 

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Course Breakdown:

The Plantation Course at Kapalua Resort is a 7,411 yard par 73 that is typically a birdie fest. The average winning score over the last 9 years has been -22.3. This tournament has been recently dominated by Americans with 8 of the last 9 winners and 5 of the last 9 runner-ups being American. Typically, players in the top 25 in the world dominate here as well, so caution should be taken if rostering a player who had a win in an opposite field or weak field event (I’m looking at you Brice Garnett).

 

The Plantation Course is a par 73, 36 on the Front and 37 on the back. The players will face four par 5’s, eleven par 4’s and three par 3’s. The extra par 5 makes a huge difference in the scoring as the par 5’s all play at -.3 strokes or better, that being said, they don’t give up a ton of eagles with only 17 occurring during last years event compared to 599 birdies. Still, Par 5 scoring will be something to look at, particularly long par 5 scoring two par 5’s over 550 yards.

A staple of this course is the MASSIVELY wide fairways. I can’t believe Tiger Woods isn’t playing this year because he likely wouldn’t miss a fairway all week which is saying something. On average the field hits 72% of the fairways. The wide fairways play a role in players being able to attack these greens which are large as well. The field averages 82% of greens in regulation! That’s a crazy number and one of the highest you will see all year.

There are other ways to get it done though, last year’s champion Dustin Johnson only hit 65% of Fairways and 77% of greens in regulation and was simply able to overpower the field with his driving distance and strokes gained off the tee. A fantastic round with his irons in round 3 helped as well.

The greens are Bermuda grass and fairly slow. Players have complained in recent years about some of the green surfaces but the PGA has been working to red0 some and make them more playable. Being a coastal course (where isn’t there a coast in Hawaii?) the wind typically plays a factor with players hitting tee balls into the breeze on multiple holes. While long ball hitters like DJ have won here, shorter hitters aren’t out of it by any means. Brian Harman finished third last year and Zach Johnson has won here before as well.

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Key Stats: 

Key Stats to look for this week – Par 5 Scoring, SG: Approach, SG: Off the Tee, Birdies Gained

You can find all of these key stats in our DFS Army research station accessible ONLY for our VIPs.

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The Field:

In this section, I’ll cover who is in the field this week, the odds, any pricing discrepancies, and a few of my favorite plays on first look!

We get a small, 34 player field with no cut this week and while all players are PGA Tour winners, there is a pretty big discrepancy in terms of Official World Golf Ranking from top to bottom. Brooks Koepka #1 – Michael Kim #287

DJ is the favorite here after his win last year, followed by runner-up Jon Rahm. Brooks Koepka is fourth on the board after a massively disappointing performance last year while dealing with the wrist injury that hobbled him for the first part of the season.

Patrick Reed also looks to be a value with a T6, a 2nd, and a win here in his last three trips. You can get him on Draftkings for $100 more than everyone’s new favorite golfer Cameron Champ. 

On his first trip to the course, I think Aaron Wise presents a great value not only to win at 33-1 but makes a nice play at $7500 on Draftkings. I also

Kevin Tway looks to be a good value down the board as this course should suit his style of play and as weird as it sounds, I love me some Ted Potter Jr. here this week. How fun would another TPJ-DJ duel be to kick off the season?

The early indication looks like Bryson DeChambeau will be the chalk this week at only $8700 on DK. Though I think everyone’s favorite DFS darling Cam Champ will give him some run for highest owned.

My favorite DK play this week though is Doctor Evil himself, Patrick Reed. There has been so much hate swirling around him and I think he feeds off that like no one else. He loves this course and has crushed here over the years. Plus, Imagine Dragons are playing in the halftime show at the FBS National Championship…theres a narrative there right..?

 

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Final Thoughts: 

This is the first event of the 2019 PGA Season and with such a small field you want to be smart with your bankroll. In small, no cut events I typically only play GPP. Make sure whatever you play you are maxing out your entries to give you the best possible chance to win.

You do NOT need to spend all your salary this week! In fact, I would suggest you don’t. Get creative with your roster and make sure you are paying close to attention to ownership throughout the week.

We will have content for you all through the week at DFS Army. Our research station and domination station optimizer will be updated on Tuesday and I will have my full Chalk Donkey article breaking down all the ownership and GPP strategy for our VIP’s on Tuesday night!

Also, give me a follow on twitter @dfsupnorth as I’ll be posting updates there as well as useful retweets leading up to this weeks event!

What are you waiting for?!

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