After a short offseason, the PGA TOUR returns this week with the Sentry Tournament of Champions. Since 1999, this no-cut event has been played at the Plantation Course (par 73, 7,596 yards, Bermuda greens) of Kapalua in Lahaina, Hawaii. Last season, Cameron Smith won at a tournament-record -34, one shot clear of John Rahm. Since then, Smith has taken his talents to the LIV Golf league, so he will not be in Maui to defend his title this week. In total, this is a field of 39 players — including eight of the top-10 ranked golfers in the world — with all of these golfers gaining an invite to the event after winning on the PGA TOUR last season. The only golfer that has elected to not compete this week after gaining an invite is Rory McIlroy.
Evident from Smith’s record setting score a year ago, the Plantation Course is one of the easiest tracks used at the PGA TOUR level. The fairways are wide, the greens are massive and the rough isn’t penalizing. Both long and shorter hitters have had success here in the past and we shouldn’t be focusing on OTT stats this week. However, we should be putting a heavy emphasis on approach and putting stats. Over the last five years, four of the players to secure the top prize at the Plantation Course have collectively finished top-seven in both SG APP and SGP during their victories. Notably, for two years running, the golfer to win the Sentry TOC has led their field in SGP, showing you how crucial it is to target strong putters this week.
The Plantation Course is a rare par 73 setup, that presents 11 par 4s, four par 4s and three par 3s. While scoring on both the par 4s and 5s will be vital, we should be prioritizing elite par-5 players, with every winner at the Plantation Course since 2018 finishing the week inside the top-seven in par-5 efficiency.
Below, I dive into my three favorite value plays for the Sentry TOC that all cost less than $7.5K on DraftKings.
Aaron Wise ($7,400) – Forget that Wise had a lackluster showing in his debut at the Plantation Course with a T27 in 2019, and attack the 26-year-old confidently at this soft price, which is a significant $2,500 drop from his last start. Wise was the 51st ranked player in the world when he made his first appearance at Kapalua four years ago, but is now the 33rd ranked golfer in the world. Wise has carded a top-25 finish in six of his last seven starts, including a pair of T6 finishes, both of which came at no-cut events like the Sentry TOC. Ranking second in SGP over his last 24 rounds, Wise’s flat stick was on fire to close 2022 and if he can maintain this hot putting stroke, the Oregon product should effortlessly beat his low salary with at least a top-15 finish.
Sahith Theegala ($7,300) – Theegala comes into this week in terrific form, after finishing T2 at the RSM Classic and then winning the QBE Shootout with Tom Hoge as his teammate. At the RSM Classic, Theegala had the second-best putting performance of his career, ranking fifth in the field in SGP on the Bermuda greens of the Seaside Resort. Including this finish, Theegala has now positively gained strokes with his flat stick in eight of his past solo 10 starts, helping him produce six top-25 finishes during this time frame. The rising star ranks 12th in DKFP when we analyze this field’s last 24 rounds and should thrive in his Sentry TOC debut this week.
Seamus Power ($7,200) – Power closed the fall swing in impressive fashion. After winning the Bermuda Championship, he carded a T3 at the World Wide Technologies Championship and then a T5 at the RSM Classic. Power collectively gained strokes with his irons and putter at all three of these events and moved himself up 20 spots to a career-best 28th in the world with this outstanding stretch of golf. At last year’s Sentry TOC, Power recorded a very respectable T15 finish in his first attempt at the Plantation Course, including an 8-under 65 in the second round. Playing arguably the best golf of his career, Power brings better upside this time around and is one of the best bargains of the week.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Hunta512) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.