Welcome to the 2019 Sentry Tournament of Champions Fantasy Picks and Pro-Tip
News and Notes
The Sentry Tournament of Champions kicks of the 2019 PGA Tour season and we’re excited for another year of fantasy golf. The Plantation Course at Kapalua hosts the event again this year and will play as a Par 73 at 7,453 yards, featuring just three Par 3’s and still the full allotment of scoreable Par 5s. The winning score at this event has been -20 or lower all but one year since 2010 and regardless of conditions will require plenty of birdies to win.
The relaunch is always a challenge in terms of motivation and form, as we haven’t seen any of these golfers for weeks and some in much longer than that. It is hard to gauge who will treat this as a working vacation and who is motivated to start the season out strong. Regardless, DataGolf has revamped the projection model and there are a few key changes:
- More alignment with the finishing probability
- Moving towards a decay model for Current Form and Long-Term form to weigh rounds
- Incorporation of specific strokes gained metrics based on the predictive power of each metric
The wind conditions suggest sustained winds above 20mph for the first two days before weakening over the weekend. In showdown benefits there may be subtle benefits to easier conditions but there don’t appear to be drastic tee time splits particularly in a small field where guys are teeing off closer together.
Course Fit and Course History
A lot of discussion on length this week but both Course Fit and Course History suggest there aren’t any clear dynamics. Given the low scoring environment, there will be more strokes gained via putting and a hot putter will be required to win more here than the typical event. That said, there aren’t any clear course fit elements from the historic event data at DataGolf.
Similarly, for Course History, you see a blend of world-class (or at the time world class) putters like Steve Stricker, Jordan Spieth, and Brandt Snedeker, and strong tee to green players like 2-time champion Dustin Johnson, winner Justin Thomas, and Hideki Matsuyama. The poor course history performers are generally weaker players in a field that contains PGATOUR winners and don’t suggest any course fit. Our projections do not factor in course fit and there doesn’t seem to be a compelling reason to deviate from that.