Inside the Ropes
Hyundai Tournament of Champions
Kapalua Resort and Spa
Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii
Par: 73 (36-37)
Greens: Bermudagrass (8,100 square feet on average)
Rough: Bermudagrass at 1.5”
Water Hazard: Pacific Ocean but it’s not in play!
Course Architect: Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore
Winner’s Share: $1,112,000
FexExCup Points: 500 to the winner
Defending Champion: Steve Stricker ran away from the field to win the title and thus being the first invite to the 2013 edition! Stricker is back to defend his championship.
Date: January 4-7
Format: The invitees are winners from the 2012 PGA Tour season. There are currently 30 in the field.
Notes: The first event of 2013 runs FRIDAY THROUGH MONDAY and will NOT be cut after two rounds. For historical perspective, this tournament has been played at Kapalua since 1999 so that will by my end range for historical perspective.
Happy New Year and 2013!
I hope that you were naughty AND nice in 2012 and were rewarded by the fat man in the red suit for your efforts.
Now that you have throttled the turkey dinners and swigged down gallons of egg nog, it’s time to get back to being athletic by playing Fantasy Golf.
This will be my second year of trying to entertain and educate you guys as we all try to hoist the trophies in our respective leagues.
The “rules” this year are no different than they were last year: You ask, I’ll answer. Whether it’s via email, Twitter or carrier pigeon, all of us here at Rotoworld.com will do everything rational in our power to make sure that you have all the information you need to dominate your weekly, monthly or season-long fantasy leagues.
The Weekly Process
Each week, I go inside the course and the numbers trying to find you the players I believe who project to have the best chance of playing well. Since we are dealing with human beings, there are many factors I will consider when putting together my projections.
First, I’ll always take a look at class. There’s an old saying in the world that “form is temporary and class is permanent.” I’m a believer in that but I’m also watching to make sure that the form is doing its part as well. It’s silly to try and force square holes into round pegs (see: majors and WGC events) when the class players usually dominate.
I’ll also take a look at recent form (who’s hot), course history (horses for courses) and statistical trends (which players games fit the course) to develop the best projections possible. You’ll see over the year that riding a hot player is easy. The hard part is determining when to jump off. There are certain players who eat up certain courses; there are guys who stripe irons; there are guys who roll the rock. Depending on the style of course, I’ll make sure I cover all the angles.
Tell Me Who Are You?
Information is power. I’m here to help those of you who don’t have 40 hours a week to set your fantasy roster. Here are some great resources that you should bookmark to help you set your weekly line ups:
Rotoworld.com, as you are aware if you are reading this, is the best source of up-to-the-minute news, injuries and golf information. We’re glad you’ve found us. Now, follow us on Twitter (@Rotoworld_GF).
Rob Bolton (@RobBoltonGolf) is the Dean of fantasy golf writing. His insight for Rotoworld.com and PGATour.com cannot be missed on a weekly basis.
Ryan O’Sullivan (@RyanGolfBlogger) joined the crew at Rotoworld.com, as I did, last year and has great insight and strategy on all aspects of fantasy golf.
Please bookmark the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR) and Jeff Sagarin’s Rankings at Golfweek.com to make your life easier.
Facebook, Twitter and player websites are another great source for information as they give us an inside-look at what makes them tick or what’s going on in their lives. Remember, even know they are golfers, they still are human beings, believe it or not. They have to deal with births, marriages, divorces, health issues and everything us mere mortals experience as well. These bumps in the road are good to know before drafting players, not after.
I will answer all of your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or @GlassWGCL on Twitter. Please don’t hesitate to ask and I’ll be happy to help!
Don’t forget, this column will feature the weekly picks of myself, Rob, Ryan and Ned Brown in GolfChannel.com's Fantasy Challenge PLUS Ned’s world-famous weekly Yahoo! Fantasy Golf Picks. You can follow Ned on Twitter at @Esoxgolf.
Since opening “the arms of the sea” to the best players in golf in 1999, Kapalua has shown its generosity and teeth. If the wind is up, as it was in 2006, scores can be in high as Stuart Appleby won firing eight-under-par 284. If the wind is flat, like it was in 2003, scores can be LOOOOOOWWWWWWWW as Ernie Els carded 31-under 261 in his victory. Steve Stricker’s 23-under 269 last year took the average to just under 20-under for the winner since 1999.
Experience pays at Kapalua as six of the fourteen winners here have been major champions (Duval, Woods, Furyk, Els, Singh and Ogilvy). Three of the last five winners have NOT been major champions (Chopra, Byrd, Stricker). Add in Stuart Appleby’s three straight victories, plus Sergio Garcia’s win and you have a recipe that favors big-time players. Only Daniel Chopra (two career wins) sticks out on the list of winners. He’s only won twice in his career two months apart.
In 2012, only PGA West (Nicklaus Course) played easier than the Plantation Course at Kapalua, though.
Raise your hand if you are not here…
These folks won on TOUR and were eligible to participate but chose not to do so.
Here are the UNOFFICIAL reasons for not attending:
Phil Mickelson: He’s won here twice in eight tries but has not teed it up on Maui since 2001. Mickelson’s first event of the season will be the Humana Challenge for the second year running. He qualified by winning the AT&T Pebble Beach but is probably skiing this time of year.
Rory McIlroy: He’s too busy disseminating rumours that he and his girlfriend, Caroline Wozniacki are engaged. He’ll open his season at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship in the middle of January. Um, he qualified just a few ways…
Justin Rose: The winner of the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral, Rose has only played Kapalua once, in 2011. He’ll probably hang around Orlando watching the 2012 Ryder Cup highlights. Wouldn’t you?
Luke Donald: He won the Transitions Championship in a four-man playoff. This would have been his third appearance (2003, 2007). Donald cannot dig out of the snow in his Chicago home to get there in time…
Tiger Woods: Woods hasn’t been to Maui for competitive golf since 2005. In eight events here, he has two wins and four other top five finishes. His worst two finishes are T8 and T10. Sounds like easy money but who needs that!
Ernie Els: The Champion Golfer of 2012 was in action in Malaysia as late as December 16 and he will be taking this week off. As the Champion Golfer, he scoffs at what the rest of us think.
Sergio Garcia: The 2002 Champion qualified through his victory at the Wyndham Championship. Like Els, he was playing in Malaysia but he won, so he’s allowed to take a pass. I would guess he’s hitting tennis balls and visiting “The Mechanic” who broke his leg skiing last week. No cigars in the hospital, boys!
Interesting that nobody from this group is missing through injury!