Golf Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
Daily Fantasy PGA Picks and Betting Guide for DraftKings & FanDuel – Tournament of Champions
Chris will be bringing you weekly PGA picks, analysis, and breakdowns to help you cash on DraftKings and FanDuel. Want more? He also provides a cheatsheet with stats, course history, current form, player write-ups for cash and GPP, a customizable model, and much more.
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Par 73 - 7,596 Yards
Greens - Bermuda
**Click the image above to see a hole-by-hole breakdown from PGATour.com**
Previous Five Winners
- 2022 - Cameron Smith(-34)
- 2021 - Harris English(-25)
- 2020 - Justin Thomas(-14)
- 2019 - Xander Schauffele(-23)
- 2018 - Dustin Johnson(-24)
After the longest break of the year, the PGA Tour is back for 2023. Things start with a bit of a vacation event as all the winners from 2022 and those who qualified for the Tour Championship will tee it up at the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Kapalua, Hawaii. The field of 39 players(Rory the only WD) will all play four rounds of golf as this is a no-cut event. While the event name has changed several times, the Plantation Course has hosted the previous year's champions since 1999 and the course has played as one of the easiest on tour with its wide fairways and very large greens.
The length of the course definitely affects my model this week as I will be looking at guys who are long off the tee. I will combine that with golfers who have been strong with their irons during the fall season and for those who are a little shorter off the tee, I will be looking at a strong long iron game in their profile. I say this, as it is hard to eliminate anyone from your multi-entry player pool this week with the quality of the field and fact it's a no-cut event.
The biggest factor in the winning score and reason for the variance over the years is the weather. Last year it was relatively calm throughout which led to the massive -34 winning score. Looking at the early forecast below, it appears we could see similar weather and another winning score in the mid -20's to low -30's. Stay tuned for updates on the weather in chat or check out this LINK.
For the picks portion of the article, I will be changing things up a bit and going back to the early days. Seeing as I am always looking at multiple factors in my overall model, I wanted to highlight a few players in each of those categories. For my full player pool and rankings weekly, make sure to grab a copy of my cheatsheet.
Course History Targets
Hard not to start with JT who is the only two-time champion of this event in the field this week. He not only won here in 2017 and 2020, but he has also finished Top 5 in five of his seven trips to the Plantation Course in Kapalua and is 1st in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green here over the last five seasons. The form is the biggest concern this week as JT has only played twice since the Tour Championship finishing T40 at eh CJ Cup and fifth at the Hero Challenge. Driving the inconsistent play is an ice-cold putter as he ranks 33rd out of 39 players in this field in SG: Putting over the last 24 rounds. Either way, I love the ball striking and hope for a strong performance on the greens and could easily see JT with another Top 5 and/or third win here. I also love the price tag under $10K opening up a ton of PTS/$ upside.
Sungjae could have fit into any of the categories here and is easily one of my favorite PTS/$ options in the smaller field event. He has only played here twice in his early career but has finished Top 10 in both appearances and also led the field in Strokes gained: Tee to Green in 2021 but was let down by his putter in the final round. He didn't get off to a great start to the fall season with two finishes outside the Top 25 but it's hard not to like the overall form as he ended the 2021-22 season with five straight Top 15 finishes including three runner-ups. He is ultimately too cheap considering his game travels and he has had success here. I love him for a Top 10 as a floor with upside of picking up the win and crushing his price.
Current Form Targets
Looking at the current form model, Cantlay leads the way in average finish when looking at each players last 10 events and while he is 4th over the last five events, he is 1st in DraftKings scoring during that stretch. He only played once in the fall but picked up where he left off last season with an excellent runner-up finish at the Shriners. Since his last missed cut on tour at the PGA Championship last year, Cantlay has been on fire with a win at the BMW Championship and Top 10 finishes in seven of 10 events with five Top 5's mixed in. He now returns to the Planation Course and Tournament of Champions where he has finished Top 5 in two of the last three years. At a price under $10K on DraftKings, I will a ton of exposure to Cantlay this week.
World Golf Ranking (#10)
Vegas Odds (20/1)
After another very consistent season(made 18 of 21 cuts with a win and 10 Top 25's), Hovland is off to a great start worldwide coming into 2023. He is fresh off his second straight win at Tiger's Hero World Challenge, has a T5 at the BMW PGA on the DP World Tour, a Top 5 at the Zozo Championship and Top 10 at Mayakoba. The one knock on him this week is the awful course history(T30/T31) but that should help drive down the ownership a bit and his game does fit this course as he is long off the tee but needs the irons to pop for him to have a chance. I will be chasing the red-hot form combined with his mid-tier price and loading up in all formats.
Stats Model Targets
World Golf Ranking (#16)
Vegas Odds (18/1)
He may be lower in my overall model9affected by no course history) and only average in my stats model(17th) but Cameron Young fits what I am looking for in a few key areas. First of all, he has the distance profile to contend and be on the radar anytime we get a long course or where distance can give you a clear advantage. Adding to that is an elite iron game as he ranks(in this field) 4th in Strokes Gained: Approach, 4th in Fairway Proximity, and 16th or better in all Proximity distances in my model. The form is up and down in the short term but he did flash big upside multiple times last year including tallying five top 5 finishes in an eight-event stretch. I love the stats profile and think Young has Top 10 upside in his first trip to Kapalua.
World Golf Ranking (#36)
Vegas Odds (60/1)
He hasn't played since late November but it was a much-needed break for Hoge who missed back-to-back cuts to close out 2022. I would be more concerned if he didn't start off the fall on fire with four Top 15 finishes and some of the hottest irons on tour. That leads us right into why we are here and that is the stats model where Hoge ranks 4th this week. You might ask yourself why as he is below-average in distance off the tee but what he lacks there he more than makes up for everywhere else. He is 2nd in SG: Approach on the sheet, 2nd in Fairway Proximity, 10th in Proximity from 200+ yards, 5th in Par 4 scoring, and top 10 in both birdie or better and bogey avoidance. At these prices, I am on board in all formats as it allows us to load up on two superstars at the top.