Sentry Tournament of Champions Fantasy Golf Preview

Sentry Tournament of Champions Fantasy Golf Preview

I Need a Hero

Happy New Year, Folks! The last time our fantasy golf previews came to you was at the Hero Golf Challenge, and after a well-earned rest, that’s precisely what we intend to provide you with, a hero. A golfing Hero, to be precise. It’s always a difficult time of year for sports bettors, especially in the world of golf, as it’s hard to know who has been keeping their swing going and who has been stuffing their face with turkey! However, it does tend to bring us more value, so every cloud has a silver lining!

Our attention turns to the Sentry Tournament of Champions this week as we look to start the year with a bang. We will begin, as always, by taking a look at the history of the tournament as we begin to build this week’s BeerLife Sports profile.

The History

The Sentry Tournament of Champions is the only winner-only tournament on the PGA Tour’s schedule. Therefore, the only way to qualify for the contest is to win a PGA Tour-sanctioned official event since the last Tournament of Champions. The concept of the Tournament of Champions dates back to 1953 when it first appeared on the program. The original plan was for the event to be a winner’s showcase. On the other hand, the PGA Tour moved the Tournament of Champions to the head of the calendar in 1986, making it the season’s first event.

Jack Nicklaus has the most victories in the tournament, with five in his career, the most recent in 1977. Tom Watson and Arnold Palmer both have three victories, tying Stuart Appleby, who won three years in a run from 2004 to 2006, and Gene Littler, who won three years in a row from 1955 to 1957, for the second-most victories in the event. In addition, Tiger Woods, Steve Elkington, Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Gary Player, Don January, Frank Beard, Geoff Ogilvy, and Tom Kite have won the tournament twice.

Let’s turn our attention to the form of the previous five winners, analyze their rounds and see if we can find some crucial links to begin our BeerLife profile.

Past Results

2021 Harris English – 267 – Form 1/5/6/28
2020 Justin Thomas – 278 – Form 5/17/1/4
2019 Xander Schauffele – 269 – Form 8/1/48/25
2018 Dustin Johnson – 268 – Form 14/2/17/33
2017 Justin Thomas – 270 – Form 5/23/1/8

The Course

This island course features wide fairways, big greens, and no water hazards. The putting surfaces on the Plantation Course are the largest on the PGA Tour all season, and when combined with the spacious fairways, it’s no surprise that pros hit a high proportion of Greens in Regulation.

The Plantation Course at Kapalua is a rare par 73 that often plays easy. However, the wind is the course’s primary defense, and this venue should be no match for the PGA Tour’s finest.

However, the wind doesn’t appear to be forecasted this week, and the playing conditions look ideal for some low scoring.

The Field

Except for Rory McIlroy, 39 of the 40 players eligible for the winners-only event are expected to compete. All winners of PGA Tour events in the calendar year 2021 and Olympic gold medallist Xander Schauffele qualified. This will be the season’s tenth official tournament in 2021-22.

The traditional Tournament of Champions get-together for the four champions of the 2021 Majors takes place on picturesque Maui, the third-largest of the 137 islands that make up the USA’s fiftieth and last state. That includes the incredible Phil Mickelson, who won the PGA Championship in his 51st year, breaking the record for the most years on the course.

Key Stats

We run each player in the field through our BeerLife profile analysis to develop our selections. This is what we are looking for this week:

Winning Formula – Three of the previous five winners had won in the weeks leading up to this event. This is probably the most significant indication of those that have continued to practice over the holiday period.

Past Winners

QBE Shootout – Kevin Na and Jason Kokrak
Hero World Challenge – Viktor Hovland
RSM Classic – Taylor Gooch
Houston Open – Jason Kokrak

Finishing Strong – Looking at the rounds of the past five winners, it’s clear they have saved their best golf for the final day.

Round 4 Scoring Average

  1. Naoto Nakanishi
  2. Shane Lowry
  3. Rory Sabbatini
  4. Jinichiro Kozuma
  5. Gary Woodland

A Strutter with the Putter – With some of the largest greens these golfers will face all season long, avoiding three-putts will be vital.

3-Putt Avoidance (2021)

  1. Patrick Reed
  2. Alex Noren
  3. Cameron Smith
  4. Mark Hubbard
  5. Sam Burns

Stroking to Victory – Before English winning, the last four winners ranked second, third, first, and first when it comes to strokes gained tee to green.

SG: Tee-To-Green

  1. Sam Burns
  2. Like List
  3. Sungjae Im
  4. Ben Crane
  5. Justin Thomas

Draft Picks

After looking at the above data and running the field through our Beerlife profile builder, we have selected the following picks.

Must-Have Players – These are the players you need to have in your lineup regardless of the price.

Sam Burns
Odds To Win +1800
DraftKings $9,100
Sam Burns is a player that cannot be ignored right now. The 25-year-old already has a win on Tour this season and five top-ten finishes from six starts. Even when he didn’t make the top ten, he placed 14th, which shows his tremendous consistency, which is what you want from a DFS player. Off the tee, he has a superb game, and although that isn’t a necessity here, it should put him in good stead to hit some decent approach shots into these large greens. His approach play has also been fantastic this season, and he ranks first on Tour from scrambling from the fringe, which could be important this week. His putting is also decent. All of this has resulted in some fantastic scoring stats this season. I think you would be hard-pressed to find a better player on the planet right now than Sam Burns.

Steady Eddies – These guys should give a good account of themselves and are good additions to your lineup.

Jason Kokrak
Odds To Win +3500
DraftKings $7,700
I highlighted earlier the importance of winning coming into this tournament, well how about picking a player that has won twice! Kokrak has won at the Houston Open and QBE Shootout recently, making him arguably the most in-form player right now. Kokrak isn’t the best player off the tee, but he is long. This often means his approach play and short game doesn’t have to be the best. However, where he excels is with the putter. If this becomes a putting contest, which is quite easily possible, he is positioned arguably better than any other to contend this week
Freelance Sports Writer | + posts

Hey Guys

My name is Dean, AKA The Stat Man. I am a Sports Betting Analyst who uses math, algorithms, probability and logic to create my posts. I specialize in many sports, with Golf being the primary focus. You can find a lot of my work on various websites but the best content is found here on Beer Life.

I live in the UK, on the outskirts of London but my background and heritage is Irish. I'm an avid Manchester United fan who sees following them as a religion. Sport is pretty much my life, as I live and breathe it daily. If there is something I don't know it's probably not worth knowing as I have over 20 years industry experience and insight.

I would love to hear from my followers so drop me a message on the comments section and I will be sure to respond.

As always, believe in the power of statistics!