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Joel Dahmen
David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports
FanDuel Strategy

DFS FanDuel Fit: Sentry Tournament of Champions

by Josh Culp
Updated On: January 4, 2022, 3:02 pm ET

It's good to be back with the PGA TOUR returning to action this week in Hawaii. 

The event this week is the Sentry Tournament of Champions, a limited-field, no-cut event. 

Everyone in the field either won a tournament or played their way to East Lake last year, so we know they all have upside. As fantasy gamers our job is to find out which golfers are most likely to reach that potential. 

Let's sort through some stats to see if we can't pick out a few value options. 

 

Easy Course Performance

The Sentry TOC is a birdie-fest, year after year. It's tough to find an easier scoring environment on the PGA TOUR. -

Over the last eight years, the field has averaged 18.93 birdies or better per 72 holes played. The TOUR average for that stat sits under 15 BOB per 72 holes. 

Some golfers love to fire at flags and can keep their foot on the gas. Others prefer a slop-fest, grind-it-out, tough test. 

Here are the top performers per round, when playing easy courses (-0.75 RTP or easier) over the last two years: 

Patrick Cantlay
Jon Rahm
Justin Thomas
Daniel Berger
Bryson DeChambeau
Xander Schauffele
Abraham Ancer
Cameron Smith
Viktor Hovland
Sam Burns

We can also look at a golfer's performance versus their baseline to see who over-performs most. Here is that list: 

Garrick Higgo
Kevin Kisner
Cameron Champ
Abraham Ancer
Cam Davis
Harris English
Daniel Berger
Viktor Hovland
Patrick Reed
Joel Dahmen

Overlap List: the names that show up on both lists include Daniel Berger and Abraham Ancer

Ancer has posted 20-under or better four times in his career, three of those coming since the start of 2020. 

Dahmen is an interesting value option on the list as his breakout win came last spring on a coastal course. He's never reached 20-under in a single week on the PGA TOUR though. It may be asking too much for another win but a top 10 could certainly be in the cards. 

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Off-the-Tee Forgiveness

Kapalua is known for its wide fairways that are very forgiving. 

Even when you miss the fairways here, you are usually still in play, with the ability to attack. 

The field averages around 70% GIR when missing the fairways at this course. The TOUR average is right around 50 percent, so quite a large gap there. 

Here are the top performers per round, when playing on courses that I've bucketed as forgiving off the tee, over the last two years: 

Justin Thomas
Daniel Berger
Jon Rahm
Patrick Cantlay
Bryson DeChambeau
Xander Schauffele
Garrick Higgo
Abraham Ancer
Viktor Hovland
Tony Finau

We can also look at a golfer's performance versus their baseline to see who over-performs most. Here is that list: 

Garrick Higgo
Stewart Cink
Daniel Berger
Matt Jones
Justin Thomas
Marc Leishman
Cam Davis
Sam Burns
Jordan Spieth
Abraham Ancer

Overlap List: the names that show up on both lists include Justin Thomas, Daniel Berger, Garrick Higgo, and Abraham Ancer

There is Berger and Ancer again. It makes sense that there would be some overlap with these two stats but there are also some big differences, most notable being Leishman. He has struggled on easy courses, relative to his baseline performance, but he does quite well when missing a fairway isn't the end of the world. Some of the best evidence of this came at the 2020 Farmers when Leishman circled eight birdies on Sunday despite hitting just three fairways. 

 

FanDuel Focus 

Justin Thomas ($11,900): He is going to cost a pretty penny this week but could be worth the price if he manages a podium finish. We know that is very possible at Kapalua, with two wins already on his course resume. JT has never had an issue keeping his foot on the gas. Each of his first four PGA TOUR titles were won on weeks where he reached 22-under or better. He has since added some grind-it-out wins to his resume but still usually flexes his birdie-making abilities on easy tracks. 

Daniel Berger ($10,500): The confident Florida State alum took some time off in the fall but didn't skip a beat when he returned to action at the Hero World Challenge in December. I think it was a well-deserved break that actually recharged his batteries. As for the course this week, he played here last year and found himself T2 at the midpoint before settling for 10th place. I think there is certainly top-5 upside for Berger this week and his slot on the salary sheet just might help him go overlooked as he's not in the "value zone" but not expensive either. 

 

Good luck with your lineups this week and check back tomorrow for some more course-fit analysis. 

Josh Culp

Josh Culp joined NBC Sports Edge in 2014. The DFS enthusiast from Iowa State can be found on Twitter @futureoffantasy.