Sentry Tournament of Champions – Fantasy Golfanac

Course Details

The Plantation Course at Kapalua Resort
7,411 yards – Par 73 – Bermudagrass Greens
Average Green Size: 7,120 sq. ft.
Tournament Stimpmeter: 10 feet … Slow Greens

Driving Distance (Field Average): ~288 yards … Driver-Heavy Course
Fairways Hit (Field Average): ~72%… Easy-to-Hit Fairways
Greens in Regulation (Field Average): ~81% … Easy-to-Hit Greens

Tournament Angles

#1 Easy-to-Hit Fairways
#2 Coastal Courses
#3 Easy-to-Hit Greens
#3 Windy Rounds
#4 Short Courses
#5 Slow Greens

Previous Winners

2017: Justin Thomas -22 over Hideki Matsuyama -19
2016: Jordan Spieth -30 over Patrick Reed -22
2015: Patrick Reed -21 over Jimmy Walker in a playoff
2014: Zach Johnson -19 over Jordan Spieth -18
2013: Dustin Johnson -16 over Steve Stricker -12
2012: Steve Stricker -23 over Martin Laird -20
2011: Jonathan Byrd -24 playoff win over Robert Garrigus -24
2010: Geoff Ogilvy -22 over Rory Sabbatini -21

54-Hole Leaders

2017: Justin Thomas -18
2016: Jordan Spieth -24
2015: Hideki Matsuyama, Jimmy Walker (-17)
2014: Jordan Spieth, Webb Simpson, Dustin Johnson (-14)
2013: Shortened Tournament: DJ -16 winner after 54 holes
2012: Steve Stricker (-19)
2011: Jonathan Byrd, Robert Garrigus, Steve Stricker (-18)
2010: Lucas Glover (-17)

36-Hole Leaders

2017: Ryan Moore, Justin Thomas -12
2016: Jordan Spieth -16
2015: Sangmoon Bae, Rusell Henley, Zach Johnson, Jimmy Walker (-11)
2014: Zach Johnson (-13)
2013: Dustin Johnson (-11)
2012: Steve Stricker (-15)
2011: Robert Garrigus (-14)
2010: Lucas Glover (-15)

Important Interview Quotes

Q. Talk about the greens a little bit. They seem a little diseased. Did you notice anything out there today or any differences from the first few days you played?
They warned us ahead of time, before we got here, that there was a little issue and I felt like majority of the greens are really fine. The one that struggles the most is 14. I think you can’t really do much where the pin locations are. I think you’re going to see some pins on 15, there’s a couple pins that traditional pins that they may not be able to use. But they’re rolling really good and you hit good putts, they’re going to go in the hole. So it’s unfortunate that they had a little disease issue, but I think the TOUR’s done a really good job of managing them and I think they’ve got a great game plan for the next couple years of redoing some of the problem greens that they have had. And so, it wasn’t too bad, they’re being really smart where they’re putting the pin locations trying to be safe and make sure the greens last the entire week. -2018

Q. You have 14 rounds around this golf course and 65-under par. You like this place, don’t you?
I do. Any time I can come out, set up with wide fairways, large greens and be able to just kind of shape the golf ball and do whatever I want with it and be creative, it kind of fits into my wheelhouse. -2017

Q. What about this place do you like, this course?
Everything. There’s all the holes seem to fit my eye really well. The one hole that really doesn’t really fit, suit my eye is 14, yet today I hit it in there to three or four inches. And kick-in birdie. So I guess it fits my eye a little better this year than the past two. -2016

Q. Talk about today. Very consistent. You had to be pleased with the way you were striking it, especially off the tee.
Yeah, it’s some very wide fairways out here, so hitting the fairway isn’t the biggest problem I have. And you just got to place your ball very well from the second shot and I did that very nicely today and made a lot of good putts. That helps also. -2016

Q. You’re a good putter, very good putter, coming here and playing on these greens, do you find that a difficult challenge like some of the other guys or do you like the way it?
It just takes time to get used to them. Get used to the slopes and how slow some putts are and how fast some putts are. Just takes — and seeing breaks again. A lot of times we play kind of tight breaks and over here you can’t. You got to play big looping putts and kind of use your imagination and not so much rigid and where a ball should start. -2016

Q. Two different things here. One, is there any part of you that’s at all surprised that you’re in this position. And then secondly, you’ve been in first or second after every round you’ve played on this course. What do you attribute that to?
Definitely a smaller field helps chances of being in the lead are better. Am I surprised? We have decent weather. I took off some time, we had decent weather in Dallas before coming here, so I was able to get some work in up until the last few days.

I’ve played a lot of golf on this golf course. I played five rounds prior to even the tournament week starting. No, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, yeah, Tuesday, Wednesday, so six rounds on this golf course before the tournament started.

I saw some — I started to feel comfortable, a little more comfortable each day. Did I see 16-under? Maybe not to start the season, no. So how am I there? On this course? Or how do we continue to play well on this course? I feel like very limited mistakes.

Having 16, 17 of this round being the closest to making a bogey and still being able to knock those putts in, kind of with ease, it’s nice. I feel comfortable on any course with Bermuda, more so than I feel anywhere else. So that has to do with it, too. -2016

Q. Approach shots pretty good, too, you have not missed a green in two days, 36 for 36, it doesn’t get any better than that.
It’s a kind of course that the greens are a good size and usually you don’t have to use a really long iron. It’s the kind of course that with the second shot, some holes, many holes you have short irons and there’s not a lot of wind today. -2016

Q. Outside of Augusta, can you compare it to anywhere else?
Outside of Augusta, I mean it’s probably the only place where you get lies like that. And TV doesn’t do it justice. I was on 17 kind of above the hole after I tried to cover the ball, but I couldn’t. It wasn’t even really that bad of a swing. It was just that much slope. I stepped through like Gary Player used to. But you never get those lies really anywhere else. -2016

Q. Great round with being a rookie here. Tell me your impressions about the course and is it easy? You’re a long hitter that’s for sure, but you’re really, you really went to town today on the wind?
This golf course sets up nice. I think you can see it from all the guys that have won. It favors long hitters. Especially — it can play long, especially with the wind. You got quite a few holes into the breeze. They moved a few tees up for us, thankfully.

But it’s all about putting here. The best putters are going to win. They’re so grainy and it kind of like, it reminds me a little bit of Augusta on the greens. You can have six feet and it might break a foot, foot and a half. And it’s all about speed on these greens. That’s kind of what it reminds me of a little bit. Just a little bit slower. -2016

Q. And the chipping is similar. Would you agree with that?
Yeah. You’re not going to find a slopier golf course than this. There’s so many awkward little lies, ball above your feet, below your feet and then downhill and then you’re hitting up the hill. Things like that you just don’t find anywhere besides maybe here and Augusta or at least that I’ve played. So that’s — I think it’s a fair comparison. -2016

Q. Speaking of time off, for a guy whose played once since October, and this being the start of the year, how much of a help is it to be on a golf course that has such an open look to it, still got to hit your spots, but you’re not dealing with tree-lined 20-yard fairways?
It’s very nice. It’s very nice just to be able to get up there and just rip it off the tee, knowing you got a hundred yards of fairway. 18, for example. Just hit it hard because it’s going to be in the fairway. Just try to get it down there. That’s nice.

The greens are so big, too. You still got a lot to play with. There’s a lot of banks you can use, slopes. Things like that where you might get away with a bad shot, and it ends up right next to the hole. You just — just wasn’t supposed to be that way but it looks like it on TV. -2016

Q. How much adjustment do you have to make playing on this course and then going on to Waialae the next week?
Waialae, I mean compared it here, they got the same kind of greens, not quite as grainy next week as they are here. Definitely a lot flatter, it’s a flatter golf course and it’s more, a little more precision. It’s a lot tighter golf course, a lot tighter fairways. So you got to be a little more in tune with that. Here, it’s a lot wider and your margin of error is quite a bit larger. You definitely still want to be trying to hit your targets out here. -2016

Q. What’s the hardest part to learn about the golf course? What are the keys you picked up quickly?
Well, I think usually if the wind blows heavily like it can here, that can be pretty tough for a first timer because it’s going to blow heavier than what we are used to. It’s going to maybe surprise you and cause you to make a big number every once in awhile. -2015

Q. Have you ever played a course like this, in Japan or anywhere in the world?
Obviously I haven’t played a golf course that has so much undulation, up-and-downs and where the views are so beautiful. So yeah, this is the first time playing something like this.-2015

Q. How hard is it to figure out the greens here? Is that the hardest part to figure out about this golf course?
The grain, you don’t know if it’s coming in towards you or going away from you. So to judge that is probably the hardest. -2015

PGATOUR.COM: You’ve won at Kapalua twice. What makes the Plantation Course so unique?
“It’s an incredibly extreme piece of land. It’s nonsense they thought they could have golf there in the first place and it’s a testament to (Bill) Coore and (Ben) Crenshaw because they’ve got a really good course. It wasn’t built for TOUR players, it was built for guests. But it turns out that it’s great fun for everyone.

“It’s a perfect first week of the year for us, too. It has plenty of space off the tee, you can make plenty of birdies if you play well and you’re watching whales breech off the coast. It’s an incredible place. I don’t know why I’ve done well there but it suits what I do well. I do well with a wedge and it’s a real wedge-based course. The greens putt like Melbourne greens with big sweeping putts, 30-foot putts that break 12 feet. -2015

Q. There’s a history of guys repeating here, Appleby, Stricker; why is that?
Well, this golf course, too, I think once you get a good game plan for it, you really have got to, if you attack the par 5s, you’ve got to play the par 5s really well, which I did. Last year I played them very well. There’s a few short holes. Made birdies on those. There’s a few difficult holes you’ve just got to try to get on the green and make pars, and if you can do that, you’re going to shoot a good score every time you go out. -2014

Q. Obviously this place is known as favoring long ball hitters. But can you talk about how you really broke this golf course down and what shots?
Sure. The winds we had, with the exception of Friday, were consistent Trades, I guess. North by northeast, maybe a little east in there at times. That’s a good wind for me on this golf course. I can get home on two of the par 5s. I mean, I’d never hit anything more than a 5-iron into number 4 or 5. I hit 7-iron in there yesterday. So that’s rare for me. -2014

Q. With you and Jordan out there, what is the hardest thing for a first timer to figure out on this golf course?
Just the putts. You know everything goes towards the ocean. You know when you’re putting up to the mountain where some of the pins were the last couple days, right on the edge of the green. The green would be built up one way or another where it should be downhill, but those last maybe five, six feet are actually going back up and slowing the putt down or vice versa.
Also, I think some of the wind. You could feel some of the winds out there on the fairway a certain way, and you think it could be helping, and by the green it hurts a little bit. So just that knowledge that I’ll have for future years is a big benefit. That’s why you see guys that play well here year-in and year-out, you have that knowledge of some of the younger guys, and the rookies here, the newbies don’t have. We have to learn on the fly. -2014

Q. This is a golf course, it’s a long golf course, but really I think the key is iron play and putting and that’s something you’re noted for.
Yeah, it’s pretty open off the tee so it’s not a big deal driving the ball out here. There are some long holes, but there’s some scoring opportunities. It’s just getting in the right spot on the green to have a good look at it. -2014

Q. How are you adjusting to the greens? They’re very, very grainy.
Yeah, I actually really like the greens Bermuda and grainy. Being from New England, I putt Bermuda greens better than bent these days. I actually love them. -2012

Q. It’s been since 2001 since an American won here. There’s a lot of Americans on the leaderboard right now. In your mind is there any rhyme or reason why it’s been nine straight wins by non-Americans?
I think the Australians do well here because they have their season in their off-season. They go back to Australia and play a few events, so they’re sort of — they’re not quite as tournament rusty as the rest of us are. -2011

Q. Not too many first-timers have won here. You came pretty close your first year; I think you tied for 6th. Was this a course you just liked from the word go?
It is a course I like. I think it sets up really good for me. I wasn’t — the first year, not to be nit-picky, I wasn’t really in contention. I shot 63 the final day, 10-under, to kind of move into 6th. But I’ve been here, this is my fourth time. I had one year I was in pretty good shape, the year Daniel Chopra won. I played with him on Sunday and didn’t get anything going.
I think it sets up real good for me. You can’t be too particular on how you play the golf course because there’s so many uneven lies and the wind. You’ve got to be a pretty good feel player to adapt to the conditions, and I draw the ball, and I hit it far enough to be competitive on these par-5s. So I think it sets up good for me. -2011

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