Golf – Sentry Tournament of Champions

January 2, 2018 11:15 am / Published by

Golf is back! And there are few people more excited about this than myself. Actually, just did a quick poll in the DRAFT office – turns out no one is more excited than me about the return of golf.

It’s been over a month and a half since we last had a FedEx Cup eligible tournament – with just the QBE Shootout and Tiger’s return at the Hero World Challenge to tide us over last month. So it’s great to see an, albeit small, field return to Maui this week for the Sentry Tournament of Champions.

A field of only 34 means that there’ll be no cut come Saturday, which makes the downside of picking a poor performing player much more manageable this weekend as you’ll still be able to score for all four days. It also evens the bonus point situation as DRAFT will give bonus ‘place’ points down to the 50th placed player – although a bonus 3 points for 30th still doesn’t compare with 30 points for 1st.

This will be the first tournament of the season with all top 5 world ranked players out on the course, making for an entertaining weekend and what sometimes feels like the true beginning of the golf season.

When making picks this week, I’d keep in mind that The Plantation Course at Kapalua is a long, mostly open course with plenty of opportunities for long hitters. Expect to see some low scores on the par 73 course with something in the -20s or even -30s needed to win this.

I love recent form as a measure of how a golfer might perform, but worth noting that this is one of the stronger fields for the season so it will be interesting to see how the form of players like Cameron Smith (Aus), Patton Kizzire (USA) and Brian Harman (USA) hold up.

Easty’s top picks:

It’s really hard to get past some of the top golfers this week especially given recent wins by many of them.

Justin Thomas: JT won this event last year and kicked off a FedEx Cup winning 2017 with great performance. As a defending champion, with a win already this season, it’s hard to think he won’t score well.

Rickie Fowler: Rickie is the top projected player for points on DRAFT for this tournament, and with good reason, scoring -11 in his most recent round to win the Hero World Challenge. Rickie also had an outright 2nd in his only other tournament this season and 2018 is looking the goods for him.

Pat Perez: I think there’s value in Pat Perez here, and he could be a nice 3rd/4th round draft to pick up. Last year he was a great player to have in the pocket and scored pretty consistently. With a win already under his belt this season, I’d be happy to have Perez in my side.


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