It seems like yesterday that we were wrapping up the 2020-21 PGA Tour season, and now here we are, headed to Kapalua once again. The star-studded field of 39 players will find plenty of birdie chances at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. Winds are expected to be calmer than usual, and the winning score will likely be around 25 under.
In order to go low enough to contend at the Coore & Crenshaw-designed Plantation Course, players will need to take advantage of the par 5s, hit their short irons well, and give themselves lots of makeable looks for birdie—preferably inside 15 feet.
Here are a few players who have that skill set and would be strong choices in DraftKings leagues:
Xander Schauffele $9,500
I was not expecting to see Schauffele going for less than $10,000 this week, but here we are. He has finished first, second, and fifth in the past three years at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. His fifth-place finish came just as he was recovering from a bout of Covid-19. At Kapalua, Schauffele’s elite driving and consistent overall game allows him to pick the course apart and get plenty of birdie looks. Scores will be low this week, and Xander has no problem going low.
Sam Burns $9,100
Burns still isn’t a household name, but he will be by the end of 2022. He has risen all the way to No. 10 in the Official World Golf Ranking and has finished 21st or better in each of his past nine starts. Last year, he won twice and had multiple close calls. Burns’s game fits Kapalua perfectly: he bombs it off the tee, is an above-average wedge player, and has a high birdie rate. At $9,100, he is underpriced and will surely be a popular choice this week.
Patrick Reed $7,900
At $7,900, Reed is one of the best values on the board. He has the most upside to win of any player priced in this range. In his past six appearances at the Tournament of Champions, he has finished first or second three times. His game is well suited to Kapalua, being predicated on elite wedge play and tons of birdie looks. While Reed’s second half of 2021 was lackluster, we have to remember that he wasn’t healthy for most of it. Now that he’s back to 100% health, I am buying low on him.