Preview: Sentry Tournament of Champions
January 2, 2019
Welcome to my first weekly golf blog for GRAIL SPORTS. I am EBIII, an avid golfer from Baltimore, MD, and in these quick posts I hope to provide a few nuggets of info on the tournament of the week, give some picks for your fantasy lineups, and introduce you to someone or something new. So let’s jump in.
As the calendar has turned to 2019 we are now just 99 days from the Masters!! The PGA Tour schedule has 38 events between now and Tour Championship in August, beginning this week with the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii. The Plantation Course at the Kapalua Resort in Maui has been hosting this event since 1999 and has distinction of being the only par 73 course on Tour. While it may be the highest to par, it also boasts some of the lowest scores of the year with our last three winners finishing at -24 (DJ, 2018), -22 (JT, 2017), and -30! (Spieth, 2016). In fact, since 1999 only one winning score has been higher than 10-under-par – that was Stuart Appleby completing his three peat in 2006 with a -8.
Enough about the tourney, let’s dive into the field and who will be teeing it up. 34 players will put balls in the air on Thursday, featuring 8 of the world top 10. Justin Rose (#2) and Tony Finau (#9) are not playing and other notables are Tiger (withdrew last week) and Jordan Spieth, who has not won a tournament since the 2017 Open Championship, 528 days.
One and Done Pick: Jon Rahm. The young Spaniard has shown he can dominate a small field by winning Tiger’s tournament in the Bahamas last month. The tropical climate will continue in Maui, where he finished 2nd last year.
The Guy You Haven’t Heard Of, But Need To: Aaron Wise. This Oregon Duck burst on the PGA Tour in 2018 to capture Rookie of the Year. Currently ranked 51st in the world, he is poised for another great year. I like the former NCAA Champion this week as he plays in his first TOC. He is not afraid to go low and ranked 10th in scoring average last year. Not to mention you can probably get him at 30-1.
Primetime golf is fantastic with the five hour time difference, so enjoy the NFL Playoffs and flip over to NBC/Golf Channel for late night viewing.