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FanDuel Strategy

FanDuel Fit: Sentry Tournament of Champions

by Josh Culp
Updated On: January 5, 2021, 6:24 pm ET

The PGA TOUR swings back into action this week with the limited-field Sentry Tournament of Champions. 

This invite-only event has been expanded this year to include any golfer that made it to East Lake, in addition to the normal field of calendar-year winners. 

For DFS purposes, that is a great thing because it gives us an extra handful of options to pluck from this week when building our rosters on FanDuel. 

With this event being so hard to qualify for, we don't have a large sample size of course history for most names in the field. That is the perfect time to lean on course-fit stats. What should we conside this week? Personally, I think the scoring environment and the ability to handle coastal (breezy) conditions will be key. Let's jump in and see what golfers perform well under these conditions. 

Windy Conditions

Looking at the early-week forecast, it appears that wind will be a slight factor each day this week at Kapalua. It's not extreme but the wind looks to be steady in the 8-to-16 MPH each round with gusts nearing or exceeding 20 MPH in three of the four rounds. Definitely enough to have you guessing your club selection. 

This is nothing new for golfers pegging it in Hawaii, or coastal golf in general. 

Let's see who has performed best when winds are 14 MPH or greater, over the last two years: 

Hideki Matsuyama
Patrick Cantlay
Jon Rahm
Webb Simpson
Dustin Johnson
Harris English
Scottie Scheffler
Lanto Griffin
Collin Morikawa
Xander Schauffele
Justin Thomas
Bryson DeChambeau
Adam Scott
Tony Finau
Patrick Reed

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

Lanto Griffin
Harris English
Marc Leishman
Michael Thompson
Stewart Cink
Cameron Champ
Brian Gay
Hideki Matsuyama
Brendon Todd
Patrick Cantlay
Collin Morikawa
Martin Laird
Kevin Kisner
Kevin Na
Mackenzie Hughes

Overlap List: names that show up on both lists include Hideki Matsuyama, Patrick Cantlay, Harris English, Lanto Griffin, and Collin Morikawa

What's the overlapping factor here? Well, Cantlay, English, and Matsuyama are 1-2-3 in terms of the most consistent around-the-green performers in this field, over the last year. When you misclub due to the wind, it helps to have the soft touch around the greens to recover. 

 

Easy Courses

I just talked about windy conditions so wouldn't that make the scoring conditions tougher? Yes, but even with heavy winds, the golfers are able to rack up bunches of birdies at Kapalua. This is a resort course with just three par 3s. There are lots of scoring chances which some golfers thrive on. They can build on momentum while others prefer to grind it out on tougher courses. 

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

Justin Thomas
Jon Rahm
Webb Simpson
Patrick Cantlay
Bryson DeChambeau
Dustin Johnson
Xander Schauffele
Hideki Matsuyama
Viktor Hovland
Patrick Reed
Adam Scott
Daniel Berger
Cameron Smith
Tony Finau
Abraham Ancer

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

Andrew Landry
Daniel Berger
Cameron Smith
Ryan Palmer
Abraham Ancer
Webb Simpson
Viktor Hovland
Harris English
Patrick Cantlay
Joaquin Niemann
Lanto Griffin
Kevin Kisner
Bryson DeChambeau
Sergio Garcia
Mackenzie Hughes

Overlap List: names that show up on both lists include Webb Simpson, Patrick Cantlay, Bryson DeChambeau, Viktor Hovland, Daniel Berger, Cameron Smith, and Abraham Ancer

Most of the names on this list are golfers that can string together four or five birdies without blinking an eye. Very good for DFS scoring. 

FanDuel Focus 

Patrick Cantlay ($11,000): He checks all of the boxes from the lists above. He does his best work on easy courses but he improves in windy conditions. On FanDuel, he sits right below the top tier of golfers this week. Will people overlook him and go top-heavy with two superstars or will Cantlay be a common building block as the second man in on lineups? It's tough to say, but I don't think he will receive heavy ownership when an $11k price tag. Not a bad way to pick up some leverage. 

Cameron Smith ($9,400): Dropping down to the value range, the Aussie provides some salary relief if you've already loaded up at the top. Smith is one of the best in the field when it comes to overperforming his baseline on easy courses. He ended the fall with three straight finishes of 11th or better including a runner-up finish at the Masters. He should bring a lot of confidence to the table as he heads into a new year. 

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