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Sentry Tournament of Champions Expert Picks

First Tournament of 2018 is Solid as Steele

PGA: U.S. Open - Final Round Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports

Tournament Information:

Sentry Tournament of Champions

Date: January 4th – 7th

Course: The Plantation Course at Kapula

Purse - $6.3MM

2017 Winner: Justin Thomas (-22)

The Plantation Course at Kapula – Besides being a beautiful sceneic course, plantation. It takes some cues from links courses with rolling hills and wide fairways. Winds off the water can wreak havoc on shots, this could be cross winds, headwinds and even tail winds depending on the hole (especially hole 9 which is all headwinds). This course provides a daring layout for those that can hit the proper shots so look for the riskier players to take some gambles here.

6 Golfers who I think would do well at Sentry Tournament of Champions, some are notable, some condierably less.

My Starting 4:

Brendan Steele – 4th in Fedex cup ranking thanks to a first, 4th and 13th place finish this fall across three tournaments. He finished 6th here last year and he is currently first in stokes gained total. His power is largely off the tee vs. on the green which should bode well for this courses demands.

Rickie Fowler – a 5th and 6th place finish here (in 2015 and 2016 – he did not play here last year) has him feeling good coming into the tournament this year.

Cameron Smith – The five year pro out of Australia already has a strong finish in two fall tournaments he entered - 5th (CIMB Classic) and 3rd (CJ Cup). Last year he had a mix of successful top 40 finishes in fall and spring (made the cut in 8 of the first 9 tournaments) which is appearing to duplicate this year. His driving isn’t too bad but it’s his putting that really gives him a boost.

PGA: The Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide - Second Round Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Patrick Cantlay – You will probably see this name quite a bit (at least in the foreseeable future) as I think he’s going to have yet another dominant year. He can drive – 5th currently on the tour in drive distance, and 4th in strokes gained off the tee. His last tournament was Shriners Hospital where he finished 1st.

My Bench 2:

Bryson DeChambeau- The California native has a strong drive (11th in strokes gained off the tee) and he came into the season with a strong fall campaign. His track record early in Hawaii (he’s never played this tournament specficially) is shaky so that part has me nervous. We’ll see if he can break through that and post a top 20 result.

PGA: BMW Championship - Third Round Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Jon Rahm – He has very little experience in Hawaii but his sheer power off the tee means he should be able to be among the more favorable golfers against this wind.