After an extremely long offseason, the PGA Tour kicks off this week in Hawaii at the Tournament of Champions at the Plantation Course at Kapalua. This should be a fun event to watch as it has one of its best fields in years (even though Rose, Tiger and Phil passed on their invitations). The Plantation course is a fun course to watch too since the wind is usually gusting, and there are massive elevation changes. You may see a player hit a 9-iron 220 yards on one hole and then hit the same club 110 yards on the next hole. The course is fairly wide off the tee and has very large greens, so even though the forecast is showing high winds for the first few rounds, I think players will be able to manage respectable scores. I don’t see anyone shooting -30 this week, but a reasonable winning score will be around -20.
With a field of only 33 players, ownership will be very condensed. There will not be many players owned less than 15% (unless you are looking at players like Michael Kim, etc.). Here are two players to consider this week:
Webb Simpson $8,500
Webb will go under the radar a bit this week based solely on his price point. He is priced between the two most popular players of the week in Patrick Reed at $8,200 and Bryson Dechambeau at $8,700. Webb has had success here, finishing 3rd, 11th and 3rd in his last three appearances. A large portion of the shots this week will come from 100 to 150 yards, which is Webb’s specialty.
Jason Day $9,000
Day is a good pivot from some of the top-priced players this week. He is a great player in the wind and should be able to use his short game to gain an edge on the field. Day’s weakness is his accuracy off of the tee, but that is mitigated a bit this week with the expansive resort-style landing areas. Day has finished in the top ten in three of his last four appearances at Kapalua, highlighted by a third place finish in 2015.
Some leagues are starting this week while others are waiting until the Sony Open to kick things off. There is one obvious choice this week:
Reed has finished in the top six in his last three appearances here, including a win in 2015. He would love to capture a victory here and rub it in his Ryder Cup teammates’ faces, who haven’t been too fond of him. I don’t see many other places that I would play Reed this year, so he is the top choice this week.