Sentry Tournament of Champions Analysis & Breakdown

NameSentry Tournament of Champions
CourseKapalua Plantation Course
Field Size42 (no cut)
GreensSlow Bermuda
Previous WinnersJ. Thomas (2020), X. Schauffele (2019), D. Johnson (2018), J. Thomas (2017), J. Spieth (2016), J. Reed (2015)
Welcome to tournament week at Kapalua.

We have to continually be jumping off of cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.

Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

Writing is…hard.

In times of frustration, I turn to the greats as a reminder of what’s possible through the skill of writing.

Inspired by Mr. Vonnegut, I am trying a new approach to analyzing DFS golf in 2020.

In the past, I would have posted my findings of the model, explain my reasons to use certain statistics for the course, and then go through a few plays that the models did not pick up on.

Short, sweet, and to the point.

However, I need to improve my writing because just giving out random names based on arbitrary numbers does not hone any useful skillset long term.

To kick off the year (but not officially the golf season) we have the Sentry Tournament of Champions.

The name alludes to what you can expect from this tournament: a week of golf with the winners of 2020 tournaments.

Covid-19 led to a few exceptions for those who were invited to the field and it has turned a, usually lame week, into a potentially exciting one. This field usually ends up being in the 20s in terms of size but we have over 40 golfers participating at this Hawaiian retreat.

This is not a difficult test for the pro field.

The fairways are wide, the rough is extremely forgiving if you somehow miss, and the greens are massive, making Greens in Regulation quite obtainable for the field.

Ultimately this will be a wedge and putt fest (a hit and giggle as some call it) in a race to a likely finishing score of -20 or lower.

The horses for the course are (no surprise) the four best golfers in the world. Two-time winners of this event Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas are the favorites for this week as they both range from 6 to 8/1. Jon Rahm and Bryson DeChambeau sneak right behind the first two and should be considered here for their elite skill sets featuring their drivers.

As a precursor to the season, you can always play these four guys. Unless they’re playing through an injury or DFS sites start pricing harder, these four golfers are always in play.

If I were to MME this week, my strategy would be to hammer a few in the mid and lower price ranges and mix up the expensive guys a bit.

The next two golfers on the board, Xander Schauffele, and Patrick Cantlay are going to be popular this week as they are any week they tee it up. If you want to play either, you’re going to have to eat more chalk than a physicist’s blackboard.

The next price range is going to feature some studs with reduced pricing all the way down through the 8s. Two guys that are fantastic approach players, especially with their wedges, are Collin Morikawa and Joaquin Niemann. Niemann’s price is fair for this field but 8800 is an absolute bargain for a guy that won twice last year, including a major, and has had, historically, a very similar profile to some guy named Justin Thomas.

The same Justin Thomas that has won here twice. I am going to hammer Morikawa in Hawaii and you should do the same.

I don’t mind taking a shot at Abraham Ancer as well considering he will be the lowest owned golfer 8k and higher, which feels plain wrong.

Guys like Harris English, Scottie Scheffler, and Cam Champ are just not good enough with their wedges compared to the rest of the field for me to pay up for them, so I won’t take a stab at either of the three.

It has been quite a while since I was not a fan of anyone under 7k but here we are. Everyone 6600 and cheaper has a near-zero chance of winning this thing due to their tournament wins likely being in spots where Russell Henley was a 10k player. No thanks.

I can understand taking shots at Lanto Griffin and Kevin Na as they both could easily pay off their paltry prices. Na is one of the best wedge players and putters in the PGA while Griffin has a great all-around ball-striking game. Outside of those two, you’re hoping one of these guys can have a career week against the elite of the game which just is not probable.

Overall, this is still not a great tournament for DFS players to gain an edge.

I dislike no-cut events. I dislike minuscule fields even more. This one has both covered.

If you’re interested in giving golf a shot this week, keep these three tips in your back pocket:

  1. enter contests lightly
  2. save some salary
  3. trust the process

Good luck!

If you enjoyed this article, please give me a follow-on Twitter at @ZawaDFS.

If you didn’t, follow me and DM me what you didn’t like about it.

Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii – Forty-two PGA TOUR players have officially committed to the 2021 Sentry Tournament of Champions, marking the largest field in tournament history. The limited-field event will feature the game’s biggest stars from around the globe when it returns to The Plantation Course at Kapalua from Jan. 6-10.

The Sentry Tournament of Champions is traditionally the PGA TOUR’s winners-only event where players qualify courtesy of their victories during the previous calendar year, however, an additional eligibility criterion was created for the 2021 event only due to the TOUR’s changes to the professional golf calendar as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Winners from the 2020 calendar year continued to qualify, while the top 30 players in the FedExCup standings who advanced to the 2020 TOUR Championship became eligible for the Sentry Tournament of Champions.

The field includes three FedExCup champions, 28 of the top 30 from the 2019-20 FedExCup standings as well as eight of the top 10 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Below is the final field list for the 2021 Sentry Tournament of Champions (asterisk denotes a first-timer and # sign denotes player eligible via 2020 TOUR Championship criteria):

Abraham Ancer #Hideki Matsuyama #
Daniel BergerCollin Morikawa 
Patrick CantlaySebastián Muñoz #
Cameron Champ #Kevin Na #
Stewart CinkJoaquin Niemann #
Bryson DeChambeauCarlos Ortiz*
Harris English #Ryan Palmer # 
Tony Finau #Jon Rahm 
Sergio GarciaPatrick Reed 
Brian GayXander Schauffele #
Lanto Griffin #Scottie Scheffler #
Billy Horschel #Adam Scott
Viktor Hovland*Webb Simpson 
Mackenzie Hughes #Cameron Smith 
Sungjae Im*Robert Streb
Dustin JohnsonHudson Swafford 
Kevin Kisner #Nick Taylor
Jason Kokrak*Justin Thomas
Martin LairdMichael Thompson
Andrew LandryBrendon Todd #
Marc LeishmanRichy Werenski* 
Players who qualified that did not commit include Tyrrell Hatton, Jim Herman and Rory McIlroy.