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DFS Golf Picks This Week & Expert Rankings for Sentry Tournament of Champions

Geoff Ulrich



The Sentry Tournament of Champions has gone by a few different names, but it has always been an event that celebrates last year’s champions by giving them an easier shot at some free money in a smaller field, and it has always been held in Maui at the Plantation Course. Like the format, the venue is one of the more unique on tour, as the Plantation Course is a sprawling and wide-open par 73 that features four par 5’s — three of which are very reachable in two — but just three par 3’s. We will be going over some of the DFS golf advice and breaking down some of the best PGA DFS golf picks this week for DraftKings and FanDuel daily fantasy lineups based on the expert rankings and projections of the No. 1 player in the world, Alex Baker.

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The field this week will top out at 39 players, giving each a great chance to get their season off to a fast start with a decent finish. The weather conditions this week looks mostly calm (wind is this venue’s best defense), so another winner around 25-under par should almost be expected. The course has been dominated by 20-somethings of late too, as five of the last six winners were 26 or younger. That said, last year 32-year-old Harris English took home the trophy, beating 22-year-old Joaquin Niemann in a playoff. The hilly terrain and humid weather may have something to do with that, but so may the wide-open fairways that allow the younger bombers to use driver a ton.

DFS Golf Expert Picks | Sentry Tournament of Champions

Plantation Course Stats and Info

  • Justin Thomas won in 2020 and is the only winner over the last six years to gain fewer than 2.5 strokes putting.
  • The field typically averages well over 70% of the fairways hit, which is far higher than the tour average.
  • Greens are also easy to hit — they are oversized compared to average tour greens — but scrambling is tough and generally falls
    under or around 55%, lower than the tour average.

Putting Splits

The greens at the Plantation Course are Tifeagle Bermuda. They were replaced after the 2019 event and should play a little firm for the next year or too. Generally, though, due to the humid climate, they will run slow for PGA standards (around 10 to 10.5 on the stimp). Here is a more general look at some of the best and worst Bermuda putters in the field relative to their strokes gained on other surfaces. Use caution with these; they are not the be-all, end-all, but they make for a nice tiebreaker.

Positive Bermuda Putting Splits, Last 50 Rounds

  1. Kevin Kisner: +37 on Bermuda, +8 on all other surfaces
  2. Marc Leishman: +17.2 on Bermuda, -2 on all other surfaces
  3. Max Homa: +10 on Bermuda, -2 on all other surfaces

*+ equals total strokes gained | – equals strokes lost

Negative Bermuda Putting Splits, Last 50 Rounds

  1. Jason Kokrak: +14 on Bermuda, +38 on all other surfaces
  2. Harris English: +12 on Bermuda, +25 on all other surfaces
  3. Jon Rahm: +3 on Bermuda, +14 on all other surfaces

DFS Golf Picks & Fantasy Golf Rankings for DraftKings & FanDuel

Jon Rahm: Grades: A+, A Values: D

Jon Rahm ranks first in the projections this week, and it is not by a short margin either. He is clear of the second-ranked player in the rankings by 5 points yet has a modest 12-13% ownership projection, so there seems to be some opportunity brewing. This will be Rahm’s fifth time playing the Tournament of Champions, and he has finished 10th or better on all four prior occasions, which includes a second-place finish from 2018.

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Rahm’s prowess off the tee fits in with past winners, and his win at the Hero Open in 2019 — another open tropical venue — is a good indicator of his upside in events like this. While his lack of top finishes over the fall (and lighter schedule) is likely a bit concerning, he did have a strong playoff, winning the stroke-play version of the event at the Tour Championship. With four rounds of play for every entrant this week and plenty of useable players in the sub-$7,000 range, Rahm is a strong target. Plus, most DFS players will focus on starting lineups with less expensive players.

The Stats

  • Has averaged 3.4 strokes off the tee at the Plantation Course in his four starts.
  • First in strokes gained tee to green and ball striking over the last 50 rounds; second in DraftKings points gained over that same span as well.

Projected PGA DFS ownership: DraftKings: 12.7% | FanDuel: 16.7%

Latest PGA DFS Content

Daniel Berger: Grades: B, Values: C

Playing Rahm requires a mid-range value target to make lineups work. While he has only played one event since September, Daniel Berger rates out very well this week and has the highest points projection of anyone under $9,000 in salary on DraftKings. Berger skipped the entire fall swing, which is rare even for a top-20 player but looked no worse for wear at the Hero Challenge in early December, where he tied for seventh.

Berger has played a lot of golf since the pandemic began, and the break could easily end up being a positive for a player who finished eighth in the Tour Championship in late summer as well. Berger should take to this setup over the long term, as Kapalua has Bermuda greens, which are generally his preferred surface. While he can sometimes go overlooked, Berger is one of the consistent ball strikers in the game and ranks second in strokes gained on approach and fourth in ball striking over the last 50 rounds. At just $8,300 on DraftKings, expect him to be popular, but when paired with another lower-sentiment stud he can help make lineups work this week.

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The Stats

  • Has gained 16 strokes putting on Bermuda greens over the last 50 rounds.
  • Ranks second in strokes gained approach over the last 50 rounds and has finished 14th or better at the Tournament of Champions in three previous appearances.

Projected PGA DFS ownership: DraftKings: 30.0%| FanDuel: 24.7%

Low-Owned DFS Golf GPP Flier

Max Homa

Max Homa enters this week off a fall swing that saw him grab his third PGA win. He is slowly moving himself into a more elite tier of golfers, and his solid long game could see him start to compete at these elite-field events more frequently. While he may not be as consistent as some of the other top players in the game, Homa has gained over four strokes ball striking in three of his six starts, a feat which really emphasizes his ability to put together big spike weeks that lead to big results.

His wins have all come on bigger venues too, all of which have par 71s and feature three or more par 5’s. If Homa’s putter shows up, he could seriously contend this week and has the momentum building win from that fall that many a past champion has had, either from the playoffs or fall swing. He is a good GPP target this week and coming in with just mediocre sentiment.

Projected PGA DFS ownership: DraftKings: 12.3%

Top GPP Pivots for DraftKings

Almost no one is projected under 5% owned due to the small field, so below are a couple nice pivots for GPPs who project for bottom-third ownership.

Lucas Herbert

Much like Homa, Lucas Herbert is coming off a fall swing where he grabbed a win. He has a solid long-game as well, and since his win came at another off-mainland, open-style setting in Bermuda, that makes for good correlation with this week’s setting. He has shown solid consistency at the PGA level with his short game too and makes for a good boom-or-bust punt play given he is available near the minimum on both sites.

Joel Dahmen

Dahmen rates quite well this week in the Awesemo projections and has the second-highest points projection of any golfer under $7,000 on DraftKings. Dahmen is coming off a busy fall, which also included a fifth-place finish in Houston in his penultimate start of 2021 and has the ability to spike with his putter, which has gained him over 1.5 strokes against the field in four of his last five starts.

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The PGA DFS projections for today, the DFS PGA showdown projections and the FanDuel DFS PGA ownership projections for this week are made and used by Alex Baker, the No. 1 DFS player in the world. Looking for more DraftKings PGA DFS picks and the best PGA DFS picks? FantasyDraft DFS PGA rankings for today will be posted at least a day in advance of any tournament.
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