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  • Writer's pictureJake Friedman (@THEJakeFriedman)

Sentry Tournament of Champions

By: Jake Friedman



Introduction

Happy new year everyone and welcome to the start of the 2024 PGA TOUR season! We start the season at The Plantation Course at Kapalua in Maui, Hawaii.


Please refer to Nate's articles for a very in-depth breakdown of the tournament's field, course and more!


Please give me a follow on X @THEJakeFriedman, I constantly post updates and interesting golf content that comes across my feed that you might find interesting or helpful. Any and all support is greatly appreciated!


DraftKings DFS:

10k+ Range

I'm going to play the game theory method this week and go with Xander Schauffele ($10,000). With Scottie Scheffler and Viktor Hovland the only other players in this range, Xander is going to draw the lowest ownership out of the three. Xander is elite on approach and with the putter. Although those aspects of the game are always important to winning a golf tournament, this week in particular it is essential. He also has outstanding course history here including a win in the 2019 and 2 top 5 finishes in 2020 and 2021. Although Xander can struggle to get across the line on Sundays, I think he's a smash play in DFS this week.


9k+ Range

Since I'm starting my lineups at the bottom of the 10k range, I'm going to continue here at the top of the 9k range with Patrick Cantlay ($9,900). Cantlay is an elite golfer. He is consistent off the tee and incredible with his irons. In 5 appearances at this tournament, he has 2 top 5 finishes. With all that being said, it all comes down to the putter for Cantlay who is above tour average. With a high ceiling and a low floor, I think Cantlay is another smash play in DFS this week.


Regardless of Collin Morikawa ($9,100) being one of the chalkiest plays of the week, I still think he is a must play. DraftKings got his pricing completely wrong. Statistically one of the best long iron players on tour, Morikawa's approach game is world class. In 4 appearances at this tournament he's finished no worse than T-7. I was on him last year when he melted down on Sunday to blow a huge lead to Jon Rahm and although that one still stings, you can't ignore his history here.


If you wanted to stick with the game theory lineup, I would consider Wyndham Clark ($9,600) and Brian Harman ($9,300).


8k+ Range

To start this range off, I'm going to be playing Tom Kim ($8,900). If you couldn't tell by now the 2 key stats I am looking for are approach and putting. Those are 2 things Tom Kim does extremely well. It doesn't hurt that he is also an accurate driver of the golf ball and had a T-5 finish here last year in his only appearance. Nate and I will be playing and betting Tom Kim a lot all season, you can get used to him being in my DFS lineups on a consistent basis.


At the lower end of the 8k range, I'm going with Sungjae Im ($8,100). This is a pretty cheap price to get one of the more consistent golfers on tour in your lineup. When you play Sungjae, you know what you're getting 9 times out of 10. Above average in driving accuracy, approach, around the green, and putting is a recipe to finish well in any tournament. Course history looks good as well with a T-5, T-8, and T-13 in his 3 appearances here. Sungjae can rack up the DFS points and is a great play at just $8,100.


7k+ Range

To start this range off I'm going to go with Russell Henley ($7,700). Henley is elite with his irons which is going to be very important this week. Although he is relatively short off the tee, he is extremely accurate which never hurts. His success this week will come down to how much the flat stick cooperates. I'm surprised by how underwhelming the course history is here but I'm ok putting that on the back burner to take a shot on Henley at this price.


One of my favorite plays of the week is Cameron Davis ($7,100). In my opinion this is another misplace by DraftKings. The form we saw from Davis to end the 2023 season and in the fall swing was extremely impressive. He finished T-10 or better in 5 of his last 7 tournaments. Although statistically he doesn't jump off the page like some of the previous players I wrote up, his recent form trumps all of that. He is above average in everything besides driving accuracy which is less important this week. Davis is going to be a key piece in a large chunk of my lineups at this price point.


6k+ Range

Although this play doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me, my model popped Byeong Hun An ($6,800). Sometimes you just need to trust your model and that's exactly what I'm doing here with Ben An. His skillset includes being long off the tee, not very accurate, above average on approach and around the green, and slightly below average putting. In the 6k range I'm ok taking a shot on Ben An in a couple lineups to see if he can have a good week in his tournament debut here.


For those who played the top of the board heavily and are in a crunch for a very cheap guy, I like Patrick Rodgers ($6,100). I'll start by saying he is not very good. He had an extremely underwhelming season last year on tour and ended the season is pretty poor form. Now that that is out of the way, his stat profile is surprisingly good for this course and he will be extremely low owned. Rodgers is above average in driving distance, approach, around the green, and putting. If you need to make a play in the low 6k range, I like Rodgers to fill in that spot.


Outright Bets

I structure my betting card each week to win the same amount on each golfer I bet and have a budget to ensure a certain profit margin. For the PGA Tour, I wager to win $1,250 (1U) on each golfer and have a weekly budget of $250. This ensures I net $1,000 if I hit a winner. If you are going to wager like this, please make sure to do so responsibly with a weekly budget you are ok with losing (even though Nate and myself are both long term positive bettors on golf).


Max Homa +1200 to win 1U

Collin Morikawa +1200 to win 1U

Sahith Theegala +8000 to win 1U

Cameron Davis +8000 to win 1U


Best of luck this week and as always, please bet responsibly!


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