The PGA Tour is back after the holiday hiatus, and this week, we get a few unique angles to study for our daily fantasy lineups and our bets.
It's a no-cut event with 39 golfers in the field, and we're also dealing with a par 73.
What can history tell us about what matters for this week at Kapalua Resort's Plantation Course?
Kapalua Resort (Plantation Course) Course Information
Average Green Size: 8,722
Green Type: Bermuda
Last 5 Winning Scores: -25, -14, -23, -24, -22
Last 5 Cut Lines: N/A
Okay, so a few things here.
One, the par 73 is just abnormal.
Two, the course is long at nearly 7,600 yards.
Three, we get an extra scoring chance with a fourth par 5, and that's led to low scores needed to win. The blip there is the -14, which was Justin Thomas' winning score two years ago. Heavy winds impacted scoring that year, and in total, three players (Thomas, Patrick Reed, and Xander Schauffele) were -14, while just three more were -10 under or better. Don't expect that to be the norm.
Four, the greens are huge. The average green size is around 2,700 square feet greater than the average PGA Tour green size (just a hair over 6,000 square feet, among courses in my database). Data shows that large greens de-emphasize the importance of approach play. That doesn't make it irrelevant, but it does help get weaker iron players toward the top of the field if the rest of their games are there.
Key Stats for the Sentry Tournament of Champions
- Strokes Gained: Approach
- Strokes Gained: Off the Tee
- Driving Distance
- Birdie or Better Rate
- Strokes Gained: Putting on Bermuda
Despite the fact that I just said approach should be de-emphasized a bit, it always matters, and it'll always be important when scores need to go low. It's hard to make birdies when you're missing greens in regulation.
The added length here -- yes, even with the wind and elevation -- has led to an added importance on driving distance.
We'll need scoring, which will come from converting putts on these bermuda greens.
Basically, when we get an easy scoring event, we're looking for iron play to get it close and putting to convert those chances. This week isn't really that different.
Golfers With Course History at Kapalua Resort (Plantation Course)
Past winners in the field include Harris English (2021), Justin Thomas (2017, 2020), Xander Schauffele (2019), Dustin Johnson (2013, 2018), Jordan Spieth (2016), Patrick Reed (2015). (Phil Mickelson is a two-time event winner -- 1994 and 1998 -- but won at a different course.)
Golfers with at least eight rounds here and a strokes gained average of at least 1.0, via FantasyNational, include Spieth (2.2), Schauffele (1.8), English (1.6), Thomas (1.5), Jon Rahm (1.5), Collin Morikawa (1.4), Lucas Glover (1.3), Reed (1.0), and Patrick Cantlay (1.0).