DraftKings Daily Fantasy Golf Picks & Plays for The Tournament of Champions
As always, our goal is for PlayPicks to be your first and last stop for an all-around PGA DFS news source each week … and for free! Give me a follow at @DFSJimmie if you haven’t already. And while you’re at it, go ahead and like PlayPicks on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Now, back to your regularly scheduled PGA breakdown.
The Plantation Course at Kapalua is a unique par 73 with wide fairways and large Bermuda greens, stretching out near 7,500 yards. First and foremost a resort course situated on the west end of Maui, Kapalua is designed with the average golfer in mind. However, strong winds frequently determine the Plantation Course’s level of difficulty. The large fairways and greens are to help offset the difficulty the winds present.
How it plays
The Plantation Course will keep the players’ attention throughout the round with its ever-changing winds. The large fairways mean lots of serious drives, likely some of the longest of the season. With seven holes over 500 yards, distance certainly won’t hurt. The large greens might be easy to hit, but getting it close is another story in these conditions. Crisp ball-striking and the ability to play the wind are crucial in setting up makeable putts around Kapalua. As of this writing on New Year’s Day, 25-30 mph winds are projected between Thursday and Friday. Conditions appear much calmer for the weekend.
Nothing too crazy to report here. Holes No. 1 and 17 are the toughest. Meanwhile, look for eagles on the par-5 No. 5. Scoring is possible throughout this track, and the three 500+ yard par 4s are certainly the most likely to cause bogeys at Kapalua.
- Par 5 Scoring
- Birdie or Better
- Wind Players
- Short Par 4 Scoring
PGA DFS Picks
Top Tier: $11K – $9.6K
Dustin Johnson ($11K)
Dustin Johnson has had more appearances at this event than anyone else in the field this week and has the best course history to boot. He gained 27.93 strokes in his last five appearances with a win last year and 6/10/6 prior to that. DJ can dismantle this course with his length and is a strong wind player as well. Johnson is the highest priced golfer for a reason and could easily defend his title. Also, look for DJ to be the most-owned golfer on the slate.
Brooks Koepka ($10.2K)
Brooks had a disappointing showing at Kapalua last year (34th) but previously finished third here in 2016. I am willing to overlook last year’s bump in the road and favor the upside Koepka possess. He’s a big-time scorer on a track he can dominate and strong Bermuda putter as well. Brooks is coming off a recent victory at the CJ Cup, which is a similar tournament, course, and scoring environment. Look for Brooks to keep that momentum rolling into 2019.
Jon Rahm ($9.8K)
Fresh off his recent victory at a similar style course and setup, Rahm figures to be one of the most heavily tagged golfers on Fanshare this week. His aggressive style can play well at Kapalua if he can get past the winds of Thursday and Friday, as evidenced by his second-place finish last year. He will be very popular and rightfully so.
Others to consider: Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas
Mid Tier: $9.5K – $7.9K
Webb Simpson ($8.5K)
Webb continues to post strong results during his resurgence, most recently finishing 15th at the Shriners and third at the RSM, both in November. A strong ball striker who can control his flight well, Simpson is looking to improve on his already strong results at Kapalua. Even though it has been a while, the last three times for Webb were 3/11/3.
Xander Schauffele ($8.3K)
Xander couldn’t quite figure out the winds in his first appearance here last year, struggling on approach. I am optimistic he won’t repeat those mistakes after turning in a really strong 2018 season. Having some ties to the area is an important tournament factor for Xander. I bet he shows up in a big way this year.
Patrick Reed ($8.2K)
Reed is the obvious Cash play here in the mid-range, with his strong course history (6/2/1/16) and fit. Reed makes a ton of sense at his price tag. He’ll likely be very popular and heavily tagged on Fanshare this week. Reed is a good fit for this course and should be in for a strong showing to start 2019.
Others to consider: Jason Day, Bryson DeChambeau, Cameron Champ
Value Tier: $7.8K and Lower
Matt Kuchar ($7.6K)
Fresh off his first victory in some time at the OHL, Kuchar seems ready for a strong 2019. The last two times Kuchar played Kapalua he posted a 17th and a sixth, although it has been several years since he has been back. His steady game and ability to handle windy conditions will serve him well this week. He also ranks fifth in my overall model this week.
Marc Leishman ($7.7K)
Leishman is a well-known wind player and posted a seventh here last year. Coming off one of his best years ever on tour, “Leish” is looking to build on his successes, and Kapalua is a great place for him to start. The course fits his game well. He should be in good shape with a recent win at the CIMB back in October and a top 20 at the CJ Cup.
Brandt Snedeker ($7.4K)
Whenever you start talking about wind players, Brandt Snedeker is always in the discussion. The guy has had numerous strong showings in adverse windy conditions throughout the years, and with the projected high winds on Thursday and Friday of this event, Brandt should have a leg up on the field. He has also posted a 14/3/11 in his last three outings here and just so happens to come in No. 1 in my overall model.
Others to consider: Ian Poulter, Charles Howell III, Billy Horschel
*Eligibility restrictions apply. See website for details.