Aloha! Welcome to Hawaii! I really wish I could be on the beach with a girly cocktail in hand soaking up the Vitamin D, but I’ll have to settle for watching 8 of the top 10 golfers in the world from my couch. This year’s Tournament of Champions at Kapalua will be slightly different than years past due to Covid. Tony Finau has covid to thank for his invite, seeing as he hasn’t been a champion since 2016. Kapalua is the only Par 73 course the players see, with the signature hole being #18, a whopping 677 yards par 5. With that being said, SG OTT, Dr Dist, SG APP, BOB, and bermudagrass putting are the key stats for this course. The wind is a major factor here, it is the difference between -14 last year and -24 the year before. The weather is currently showing 14 mph winds on Thursday, with sub-10 mph winds through the weekend. Target golfers who can mash OTT, have a solid wedge game, and bermudagrass specialists. And without further ado, our Tournament of Champions Fantasy Golf Picks:
Tournament of Champions Fantasy Golf Picks
Xander Schauffele ($10,000):
Anytime there is a no-cut tournament, Xander is my go-to guy. Not only is he one of the world’s elite players, but he can shoot low at any moment. He has great course history here at Kapalua, finishing in 2nd last yr and 1st in 2019. Xander had an excellent 2020 campaign and we expect him to pick up where he left off.
Viktor Hovland ($9,200):
Hovland has to be biting at the bit to go play this weekend coming off a great month of December golf. Hovland won his second event at Mayakoba and took 3rd overseas in Dubai. Clearly, in great form, we love Hovland this weekend. While many golfers took time off after the masters, Hovland has spent no time messing around. It is his first time playing this event, but with the way he has been playing, we are confident he will be in contention come Sunday.
Daniel Berger ($8,600):
Berger is more of a gut play this week. He has not played this event since 2018, where he finished in 11th place. Berger came out of the gates red hot last year but fizzled out towards the end of the season. He is not the longest off the tee but has great approach numbers and is a great putter. In the past 50 rounds, he ranks out 4th in birdies in the field. In a no-cut event, that is a stat you like to see.
Cam Champ ($7,900):
Cam checks every box for this course. He’s #2 in Dr Dist, #4 SG OTT, and #13 in P with bermudagrass being his best surface. This will be his 3rd consecutive year participating in this event, finishing 14th last year and 11th in 2019. However, his game is much improved since then and he’s coming off an 8th at the Zozo and 19th at the Masters. Look for Cam to crack the top 10 this week.
Jason Kokrak ($7,300):
Jason got his invite to the TOC after winning the CJ Cup back in October where he showcased his ability to hit a golf ball very very far. He’s had 2 other top-10s since the restart (BMW and Schaub), but has also had a handful of MCs. Whether he finishes in top-10 or MCs, Kokrak consistently puts up good SG numbers OTT and T2G (1.8 over the last 20 events). No need to worry about Jason missing the cut in this event though, so he will have 4 chances to reach #18 in 2.
Lanto Griffin ($6,900):
Enjoy Lanto being priced below $7K, I don’t foresee it happening much this season. The average PGA observer may have been shocked to see a name like Lanto Griffin in the top 15 of FedEx standings last season but this will be the year everyone recognizes that name. Not quite the OTT specialist like many other names in this list, but his game is very well rounded. He ranks out as the best putter and #8 in SG APP in the field, not to mention a birdie machine. I expect him to show SG T2G on the field and have himself a nice weekend at the TOC.