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Sentry Tournament of champions 2022 DraftKings Preview

tournament of champions set to kick off 2022 pga tour season

It's that time of year again. It's colder than a snowman's three balls, my pants don't quite fit right, and the golf courses here are covered in white sadness. Fortunately, the PGA Tour's holiday vacation is finally over. With the swing season out of the way, it is time to get the 2021-22 season kick-started. Last season's event winners head to the Plantation Course at Kapalua for the 2022 Sentry Tournament of Champions. Let's get you set to see some green screens on DraftKings this weekend. 

What's up golf addicts! AC here, checking in week to week to provide a quick preview of the upcoming PGA Tour event. I’ll give you the lowdown on the course, the players, some key stats, and our favorite DraftKings picks for the week. 

It's about time we had golf back in our life. Well, good golf anyway. The QBE Shootout and the PNC Championship are decent exhibitions but pair those with the indoor simulators that I am forced to smash balls at and my life feels a bit empty. The Tournament of Champions is the perfect fill for that gap. A beautiful course. Stacked field. Lots of birdies. And, what's that!? Brooks Koepka is in the field!

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The Field and Tournament Details for the Tournament of Champions

Pretty straightforward here. If you won a PGA Tour event last season, or in Xander Schauffele's case, the Olympic golf tournament, you get the invite. *38 players. No cut. 72 holes of golf at Kapalua's Plantation Course on the island of Maui in Hawaii.

All but two of the current top 10 ranked players in the world will tee it up at the Tournament of Champions. World #1 Jon Rahm, Collin Morikawa, Patrick Cantlay, Bryson DeChambeau, Schauffele, Viktor Hovland, Justin Thomas, and Sam Burns all found the winner's circle in 2021 at least once. We should have had Rory McIlroy but he has decided to skip and Dustin Johnson went winless in 2021. Koepka, Jordan Spieth, Cameron Smith, Daniel Berger, Sungjae Im, Harris English, and Si Woo Kim are just some of the names heading to Hawaii for a free paycheck.

English snapped a huge drought in 2021 when he conquered Kapalua, winning in a playoff after posting -25. JT (Thomas) has two titles on the Plantation Course -- 2020 and 2017. Schauffele (2019) and Spieth (2016) were also victorious on the island. Winning scores typically go over -20. This event is to showcase some good golf and celebrate the champions of 2021. Sometimes the wind does not cooperate.

*Cameron Champ has WD due to Covid

THE PLANTATION COURSE AT KAPALUA key stats & Course Breakdown

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  • Course: Plantation Course at Kapalua
  • Location: Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii
  • Yardage: 7,600
  • Par: 73
  • Architect: Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw (1991)
  • Comp Courses: Bay Hill, TPC Louisianna, TPC San Antonio, CG of Houston, Augusta National, Riviera

If this is your first taste of the Tournament of Champions, you are in for a treat. The coastal Plantation Course at Kapalua features some of the best views the PGA Tour offers every year. The 7,600 yard Par 73 is a unique track. In fact, it is the only Par 73 on Tour. The course has four par 5s, three of which are reachable and just three par 3s. It plays as the 12th longest and the fourth easiest.

The Plantation Course is 100% Bermudagrass from tee to green. The greens and fairways are massive. The main defense of the course is the coastal wind and the tough, slow, and slopey Bermuda greens. There aren't any water hazards on the course but there are 93 bunkers. Wind does not appear to be a major factor this early in the week. always check as close to lock as you can. First tee time on Thursday should be mid-afternoon on the east coast.

Here's a tidbit from our Nut Hut inhouse caddie; "Length can be an advantage but there’s plenty of scoring opportunities for everyone. 4 5’s, only 3 3’s, and par 73 to make it that much harder to get into the 60s. There’ll be plenty of birdies. And here we go with no greens books. Who’s gonna be fazed by the new routines?"

Key Stats for Tournament of Champions

  • Course History
  • Ball Striking
  • Approach
  • Opps Gained
  • Driving Distance
  • Birdie or Better %
  • Putting

Kapalua plays elevated so driving distance won't be a huge advantage but the fairways are wide and the rough isn't nasty. There are also tons of slopes that a bomber can get a whole lot of extra yardage from. It will mostly come down to wedges and putting. The course plays very easy and you'll want guys who can pile up the birdies.

Fantasy National's Opps Gained stat will tell you who gives themselves the most opportunities within 15 feet. Pair that with birdie or better %. DK scoring is also something to look at on FNGC's stats base. With all of that, course history is a big advantage here. Not many players get to see the course and knowing the ins and outs will be key.

As far as hole-by-hole breakdowns -- There are eight par 4s under 425 yards and three par 5s between 500-550 yards.

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The Picks & Fades

Each week we will give you some plays and a fade from each DraftKings salary range. For all of DB and Pat’s thoughts and picks make sure to check out and subscribe to the Tour Junkies Podcast.

To Play or Not to Play Brooks Koepka

Abso-F*cking-Lutely

$9K & Above 

  • DB: Play - Xander Schauffele | Fade - Patrick Cantlay
  • Pat: Play - Justin Thomas | Fade - Bryson DeChambeau
  • AC: Play - Justin Thomas, Viktor Hovland | Fade - Collin Morikawa

Everyone in this field is playable. I'm not going to go into too much, These guys are all here for a reason and it's such a small field. JT's history can't be ignored. Even if last year wasn't a success for him, I think mentally he has grown a lot. Look out in 2022. Hovland is going to be another threat this season. He's got everything working very well. Morikawa is the worst putter in the range. That is the only reason I'm considering a fade.

$8K Range

  • DB: Play - Jordan Spieth | Fade - Tony Finau
  • Pat: Play - Brooks Koepka | Fade - Tony Finau
  • AC: Play - Brooks Koepka, Cameron Smith | Fade - Hideki Matsuyama

No shock or explanation is needed as to why BK is on this list. GIVE YER HEAD A SHAKE! Cam is the best putter in the field on Bermuda greens and is the second-best scorer in the field. Accuracy off the tee is always a worry but shouldn't be an issue in Kapalua. Deki is among the worst putters in the field. Everything else is okay but he doesn't tend to go off to often.

$7K Range

  • DB: Play - Billy Horschel | Fade - Kevin Na
  • Pat: Play - Patrick Reed | Fade - Kevin Na
  • AC: Play - Talor Gooch  | Fade - Patrick Reed

I love the way Gooch has been playing and although he is a debutant, a free paycheck and a milly up top can motivate some of the lesser studs. I just don't like Reed.

$6K Range

  • DB: Play - Si Woo Kim, Max Homa, Cam Davis
  • Pat: Play - Seamus Power, Lucas Herbert, Joel Dahmen
  • AC: Play - Si Woo Kim, Seamus Power, Garrick Higgo,

Now that Si Woo has a steady partner in his life, I think the "playtime" is over and it's go-time for golf. The $6900 price tag is a sign. Gonna stick with Power as well. He's best on bermuda and comes in fifth in bob% and seventh in DK scoring. Higgo is also settling down. Strokes gained home life is on the rise as he has recently got engaged.

There ya go. It's a small field and no cut. Don't blow your roll on the first week back. Ownership will be weird. Good luck!

THE INS & OUTS

OUT: Rory McIlroy, Cameron Champ

*Field is set at 38 with no cut after 36 holes.