This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Golf series.
Sentry Tournament of Champions
Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii
Plantation Course at Kapalua - Par 73 - 7,596 yards
Field - 38 entrants
Purse - $8.2M
The PGA Tour returns from its brief hibernation this week on the island of Maui, as the Sentry Tournament of Champions once again plays host to the first leg of the Hawaiian Swing, dishing out 40 invites to those who emerged victorious throughout the 2021 calendar year. Only 38 entrants will be in attendance, however, as Rory McIlroy delays the start to his 2022 campaign while Cameron Champ remains at home in Texas following a positive COVID-19 test.
The limited field is accompanied by a no-cut structure, so everyone is guaranteed 72 holes on the only par-73 layout they'll see this season. The Plantation Course appears lengthy on paper at nearly 7,600 yards, but massive fairways allow for nukes off the tee as a notable proportion of approach shots will be attempted from inside 125 yards into these large bermuda putting surfaces. Northern Pacific winds often present as Kapalua's primary defense, but the forecast appears tame this week, with especially calm conditions throughout Sunday's final round as the leaders likely surpass the 20-under-par mark.
2021 - Harris English
2020 - Justin Thomas
2019 - Xander Schauffele
2018 - Dustin Johnson
2017 - Justin Thomas
2016 - Jordan Spieth
2015 - Patrick Reed
2014 - Zach Johnson
2013 - Dustin Johnson
2012 - Steve Stricker
Key Stats to Victory
Proximity: 50-125 and 200-plus yards
SG: Putting (bermuda)
Yahoo Value Picks
Based on $200 salary cap
Cream of the Crop
Collin Morikawa - $44
Morikawa, who's placed no worse than T7 in four international starts dating to a runner-up effort at the CJ Cup, is within mathematical striking distance to overtake Jon Rahm atop the Official World Golf Ranking with a podium finish this week. The 24-year-old became the first American to win the European Tour's Race to Dubai with his win at the DP World Tour Championship in late November, which preceded another top-5 result at the Hero World Challenge in December. Historically, Morikawa has underwhelmed with the flat stick on bermuda greens, but that didn't keep him from reaching 20-under-par in his second career Kapalua appearance last season when he averaged 6.25 birdies per round.
Justin Thomas - $42
Thomas has a solid chance to be the most popular selection in lineups this week, partly due to a TOC track record that includes four top-3s in five showings since 2017, including two wins during this stretch. He's now coming off back-to-back top-5s at the Hero World Challenge and the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba. Over his last 24 measured rounds, Thomas ranks second in Birdie-or-Better percentage, fourth in SG: Approach, sixth in driving distance and ninth in proximity from 200-plus yards.
Xander Schauffele - $41
Schauffele's victory at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo earned him a fifth straight trip to the Tournament of Champions, where he's placed T5-T2-Win over the past three years. Throughout his last 36 rounds on bermuda greens, Schauffele ranks third in SG: Putting and sixth in putting from 5-10 feet. Additionally, he's third in SG: Approach, sixth in proximity from 100-125 yards and eighth in driving distance over his last 24 rounds.
Daniel Berger - $34
Nobody in this week's field has been better on approach shots over his last 24 rounds than Berger, who's also top-10 in three-putt avoidance and putting from 5-10 feet over his last 36 rounds on bermuda. Berger's average finishing score is nearly 14-under-par through his first three Kapalua appearances, and he recorded a top-10 here last year when he hit 65 of 72 greens in regulation.
Sungjae Im - $31
With outright odds to win in the +2200 to +2500 range, Im looks like a steal at just $31, with 17 competitors carrying a higher salary. He tied for fifth in his TOC debut last season, stringing together four sub-70 rounds while racking up 24 birdies and an eagle. Over his last 24 rounds, Im ranks top-10 in Prox: 75-100, Prox: 200-plus, SG: Off-the-Tee and BOB percentage. This sample size includes his four-shot win at the Shriners Children's Open in October.
Talor Gooch - $28
Given the fact he arrives in Hawaii at No. 1 in the FedExCup standings, it's accurate to say that Gooch was one of the best players throughout the fall series as he picked up three top-5s and his first career win at the RSM Classic. No debutants have won at Kapalua since 2008, but Gooch's game should set up well for the wide open layout as driving accuracy has been one of his few question marks this season. Examining his past 24 rounds, Gooch ranks third in Prox: 100-125, fifth in Prox: 200-plus, sixth in SG: Approach and seventh in BOB percentage.
Marc Leishman - $23
Much like the aforementioned Im, Leishman's 30/1 outright odds on various books don't exactly match his $23 Yahoo evaluation. I doubt this discrepancy will be enough to turn him into a "free space" in lineups, but it's probably safe to expect inflated exposure given the small field as wise gamers should be way more inclined to click on Leishman instead of a $25 Phil Mickelson for example. The Aussie flashed some upside during the fall series as he notched back-to-back top-4s at the Fortinet Championship and Shriners Children's Open before adding another top-20 in Houston. Leishman has also been quite good over his past 36 rounds on bermuda greens, ranking first in putting from 5-10 feet and fifth in SG: Putting.
Joel Dahmen - $20
Dahmen is popping in models compared to other minimum-salaried guys as he's gained an average of two strokes per tournament both with the irons and putter throughout his past five measured starts. He's also No. 1 in proximity from 100-125 yards over his last 24 rounds, while ranking ninth in BOB percentage in this span as well. Dahmen is averaging an impressive 4.8 tweeters per round this season, and par breakers are even more important in a setting like the TOC.
Si Woo Kim - $20
Kim is often perceived as a great mid-long iron player as he gained north of five strokes on his approach shots in four different events last season, but he's also been solid with a wedge in his hands as well. He ranked 22nd in proximity from 125-150 yards throughout the 2020-21 campaign, and he's ninth among the TOC field in proximity from 75-100 yards over his past 24 rounds. Kim's fall series included a trio of top-20s at the Fortinet Championship, Sanderson Farms Championship, and ZOZO Championship.