Hyundai Tournament of Champions
Kapalua Resort and Spa
Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii
Yards: 7,452 per the scorecard
Par: 73 (36-37)
Greens: Bermudagrass (8,100 square feet on average)
Rough: Bermudagrass at 1.5”
Water Hazards: 0
Course Architect: Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore (1991)
Winner’s Share: $1,114,000
FexExCup Points: 500 to the winner
Defending Champion: Dustin Johnson was the only player to fire three rounds in the 60s to win the 54-hole event (weather). I’m not using last year’s data to factor into this year’s selection because of the start-stop, bad weather. If you follow fantasy golf, you know Dustin Johnson is the KING of winning in bad weather.
Date: January 3-6
Format: The winners from the 2013 season and the first six events of the 2013-14 season are eligible for this 72-hole, no-cut event.
Notes: Mark your calendars for a FRIDAY beginning and a MONDAY finish! Tiger Woods, Henrik Stenson, Justin Rose, Phil Mickelson and Graeme McDowell are eligible but are not competing this week. There are only three par threes, hence par 73.
Happy New Year But Not Really
The calendar has rolled over to 2014 but the PGA TOUR season has six events in the book.
Who are you arguing with?
On behalf of the golf staff at Rotoworld.com we wish you a happy, healthy and hopefully profitable 2014.
We’re here to help if we haven’t already.
Most people will open their seasons in one-and-dones (OAD), salary games and weekly drafts this week so everything that you enjoyed in 2013 will be back to “normal” this week. We’ll have our weekly chat on THURSDAY this week instead of the normal Wednesday (due to the holiday, silly) and it will take place at Noon ET.
As I begin year No. 3 as your columnist, the more things change, the more they remain the same. I’ll be in charge of the weekly preview column (Range Rover) and wrap-up column (The Takeaway) as well as riding shotgun on The Fantasy Pope, Rob Bolton’s Wednesday chats. I’ve added another mouth to feed over the holidays so that, along with your emails, texts, Tweets and whatever else, will keep me on my toes this fantasy golfing season.
If you’re curious about what games I play, well, here you go!
I am the Commissioner of a 15-man league that drafts LIVE every week. We have a grand old time but we’re quite serious as well as we play from the Sony Open through the FedExCup Playoffs. We award weekly winners plus we have multiple season-long games based on our weekly picks that reward the best and most consistent players.
I play Yahoo! Fantast Golf so I, just like you, can try and beat Ned Brown. It’s impossible but we all give it a shot. My team is called Glasshole. For those of you who don’t follow me on Twitter, I’m not a big fan of the Yahoo! game because I constantly forget to change my lineups on Saturday and Sunday mornings because I’m usually having too much fun on Friday and Saturday night. I will try and do a better job of that this season. I have no problem helping anyone set their lineups or strategizing their substitutions so don’t be afraid to ask.
I also play the Golf Channel’s Fantasy Game and each week in my preview article I will post the picks, money earned and standings position for myself, Rob Bolton, Ryan O’Sullivan and Ned Brown.
The final piece of my puzzle is the PGA TOUR’s weekly PICK FOUR game. I will list my picks for that game weekly during our LIVE chat on Wednesday whether or not longtime chat reader Chadders asks for them.
In closing, I appreciate all requests for help/information/suggestions and will do my best to get to all of them. For the best results, please get with me earlier in the week instead of midnight Wednesday! I also appreciate all the requests to play and join games but I just don’t have time or the resources to say yes to everyone so I’ll save you the time and politely decline right here!
Tell Me Who Are You?
I wrote this last year and I don’t see any reason to change it up so here it is:
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 for 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 Pope 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 last year and has great insight and strategy on all aspects of fantasy golf. Hit him up on Twitter to get his email and link to his golf blog.
Ned Brown is the KING of Yahoo! golf. Don’t believe me? Look it up. He kills it EVERY year and he’s part of our resource network for you! You can follow Ned on Twitter @Esoxgolf.
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 @mikeglasscott on Twitter. Please don’t hesitate to ask and I’ll be happy to help! If you have ideas for the column, please let me know and I’ll try and incorporate them!
The Fab Five
Here are the unofficial reasons that these five premium players are skipping this week in paradise:
Tiger Woods: There are mountains here, but none with snow, so the Large Cat is out as his lady friend prefers them covered in powder. He’s back at Torrey Pines, as usual, to kick of his TOUR season.
Phil Mickelson: He hasn’t been to Maui since 2001 so it’s no surprise he’s not here this week. He’s probably sneaking in a round or two at Pinehurst, site of this year’s U.S. Open and final jewel in his career grand slam. Probably.
Henrik Stenson: He was last seen with a wheelbarrow unloading his 2013 winnings in downtown Zurich…He’ll be back at Abu Dhabi in mid-January.
Justin Rose: After claiming his first major, Rosey is enjoy the holidays polishing his U.S. Open trophy that Mickelson so dearly wants. He’ll be at the money grab at Abu Dhabi as well, probably, to begin his season.
Graeme McDowell: The newlywed Nor’Irishman won’t tee it up until Pebble Beach as he enjoys life with his new bride. You can probably find him between range sessions at his tavern, Nona Blue, outside Orlando, supping a pint or two of the black. Probably.
After winning 31 of 40 tournaments in 2013 proper, the boys in stars and stripes have continued their dominance in the opening six events of the 2013-14 season. Americans Harris English, Ryan Moore, Chris Kirk, Jimmy Walker, Webb Simpson and Dustin Johnson have picked up the first six victories and have laid down the gauntlet for the remainder of the season. Adam Scott might have something to say about that this week…
Of those 46 tournaments in the calendar 2013, there were 13, first-time winners. They are all present and accounted for this week (so far). Yes, Kevin Streelman, I’m looking in your direction.
1999 was the first year for the “winners-only” format at Kapalua. The 15 winners have ranged from major champions (David Duval, Tiger Woods, Jim Furyk, Ernie Els, Vijay Singh and Geoff Ogilvy) to young guns (Sergio Garcia was 23 when he won) to journeymen Daniel Chopra and Jonathan Byrd. Australians also like it here as Stuart Appleby and Geoff Ogilvy are the only players since 1999 to defend their titles. Heck, Appleby defended his defense as he won back-to-back-to-back from 2004-2006.
Kapalua has seen Ernie Els blister its wide fairways and massive greens to the tune of 31-under-par 261; Stuart Appleby held on to his visor when the winds whipped up in 2004 as his eight-under-par 284 was the lowest on the leaderboard. Taking a look at the winners who have hoisted the trophy in previous editions, almost all of them have been huge off the tee. Almost all of them have been premium players. If driving distance isn’t in the cards, find somebody who can really wedge it and putt it (Stricker) without making bogeys. Bogeys, as is the case in most shootouts, feel like doubles around here especially when the average winning score is just under 20-under-par. Kapalua is consistently in the top five for easiest courses on TOUR.
Inside the Ropes
Kapalua is known for its generous fairways, light rough, humongous, contoured greens, trade winds, putts breaking towards the West Maui Mountains and severe elevation changes. The elevation changes make walking tedious but if the average winning score is around 20-under, it really doesn’t factor. What does factor are players with experience on this track with the winds, combined with length off the tee and nous on the greens. It’s a simple formula: Smash it off the tee, find it, hit 8,000-square foot green and make putts. Guys with the most distance put less club in their hands and can really attack pins. The non-putters in the group won’t struggle because the greens are running a hole- attacking friendly 10’ on the Stimpmeter. Both ball-strikers and premium putters have done well here. If the winds do pick up, experience, or Dustin Johnson, will be sitting on top come Monday afternoon.
Graeme McDowell and K.J. Choi share the course record as both fired 62. Not exactly two guys known for winning any long-drive contests and neither won the tournament. #informationispower